2.12A The Multi-Sensory Workplace: Leveraging Human Sensors to Improve Workplace EQ
Thursday, October 19, 2017 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Venue: George R. Brown Convention Center
Room: 320A

As the boundaries between work and life continue to blend, we need to think of offices as more than just a space to accommodate computers, work processes, and business infrastructure. Now, more than ever, we need to focus on the human experience within the workplace, which requires emotionally intelligent facilities managers. Human beings are sensors, which creates specific demands on workplace management - the ability to address human comfort and well being is critical to employee performance. Traditional workplaces are often not managed with these needs in mind, causing employees to experience sensory overload or deprivation. A deeper understanding of the human senses can be used to inform workplace management decisions - including scent branding, digital technology platform integration, spatial soundtracks, and even better restrooms. A multi-sensory framework can be leveraged to make facilities management decisions that are not just functional, but also enriching, resulting in offices that both attract and retain talent.

Learning Objectives/Outcomes:
Learning about touch - Moving beyond ergonomics, the sense of touch may be engaged throughout a work environment. Humidity and temperatures combine to create a unique experience of our environments. Digital technology is now connecting occupants with their building’s heating and cooling systems, enabling greater user-control.
Learning about sound - With increased frequency of open office environments, noise has been the focus of design. It is time to think proactively about the opportunities to bring more than just 'white noise' to the office. The next generation of spaces feature sound tracks and sound spaces, bringing music, sounds of nature and other acoustic sensations to the workplace.
Learning about smell - The use of HVAC systems that circulate fresh air into a space and materials the have pleasant or no smells, even when new, are just the beginning of leveraging scent in the workplace. Just as hospitality environments are known for their fragrance, new work environments offer branded scent aligned with the occupants mission, services and industry.
Learning about taste - Flavors of the contemporary office environment are quickly moving past the coffee point and water cooler. With increase focus on nutrition, well-being and healthful consumption in the work environment, taste is essential to the pallet of facilities management.
Levels of Learning
200 level
Topic Category:
Melissa Marsh, Founder & Executive Director, PLASTARC