When people are at ease in their work environment, they produce better work for longer periods of time. People’s sensory thresholds differ and according to Annemarie Lombard, sensory profiling helps us determine how, where and when our employees work best to support their basic neuroscience processes. She also shows us how subtle changes within a working space can meet sensory needs and enhance performance.
by Annemarie Lombard
Annemarie Lombard is the Founder and CEO of Sensory Intelligence. She is a registered occupational therapist with the HPCSA and the author of “Sensory Intelligence, why it matters more than IQ and EQ”. She was also the Business Woman of the Year winner for the Cape (SACBW 2008/9). She is currently completing her PhD at UCT, comparing sensory profiles with performance, absenteeism and attrition within South African call centres.
Open plan office environments are the norm for organisations on a global scale. According to Wall Street Journal online, nearly three-quarters of US and Canadian workers now do business in open plan office space.
This has been the trend for the past 35 years in office design. An open plan office uses space more efficiently and is more cost effective; it can be easily reconfigured and thus reduces construction cost. It further encourages team work, sharing of information and is seen as motivational for workers.
Occupant satisfaction is, however, very important in its overall success. If office conditions are poor, employees can become uncomfortable and dissatisfied, which can cancel the expected savings and benefits.
Research shows that worker engagement and performance improves when positive changes are made to the physical office environment space. It is a matter of feeling comfortable and at ease at your workspace; in order to produce better work for longer periods of time.
People’s sensory thresholds differ and sensory profiling helps us determine how, where and when our employees work best to support their basic neuroscience processes.
How does the brain work? The brain can be subdivided into three main areas:
The primitive brain through which information enters the brain for first line filtering and absorption – sensory intelligence™;
The midbrain, which is the seat to emotions - emotional intelligence;
Cortical brain, where our executive functions and primary performance production takes place - our IQ.
There is a constant three-way chit-chat taking place in the brain. It is, however, imperative to remember that in order to get high performance, which is produced through the cortical brain, it is crucial to work through the vital lower parts. » »