Here at OBEX, we’ve talked a lot about how privacy and noise control affect employees at work. However, there’s another aspect of panel extenders that we haven’t talked about very much—the aesthetics. In April, we’re spending all month on the topic of how workplace aesthetics impact employees and how cubicle extenders and desktop privacy panels can enhance the workspace. First, let’s explore some of the research that’s been done on the topic.
It’s Not All about Ergonomics
A 2011 Swedish study published on PubMed has revealed something interesting regarding how employees feel about their workplace. Almost 2000 employees were surveyed at a broadcasting company and asked to provide feedback about both ergonomic and aesthetic concerns in their work environment. According to the results, workers notice more issues with how a workplace affects their senses than with how it supports their physical bodies. Aesthetic needs were mentioned more frequently than ergonomic needs—with no difference in reporting rates between men and women.
When Do Workers Care Most about Beauty?
What was interesting was the information the study gathered about the type of employees who ranked aesthetic improvements as very important. This list included workers who were:
- Tasked with psychologically demanding work
- Experiencing negative work stress
- Having sleep disturbances
- Undergoing problems at work
- Suffering from musculoskeletal pain
Apparently, employees experiencing challenges at work or at home may be more susceptible to noticing how unattractive their work environment is—and have a strong desire to work in a more soothing or uplifting space. In conclusion, “The study results show a relation between work place aesthetics and health and well-being. Future work health promotion and prevention may benefit from the inclusion of an assessment of workplace aesthetics.”
Using Panel Extenders for Aesthetics: Tip #1
Employers who want to improve productivity may wish to explore easy ways to create a more vibrant and appealing workspace. With the well-known impact of color on emotional well-being, installing blue or green panel extenders might be one way to help create a relaxing atmosphere for stressed employees. It’s an inexpensive way to give workstations a facelift.