The word neuroscience makes most people think of sophisticated experiments held in cutting-edge laboratories. While this is an accurate description of how neuroscience research is conducted, the findings from this research are much closer to our everyday experience than we realize. After all, neuroscience is simply the study of how your brain works, and your brain controls everything you do.
As this summer’s Space Management intern, I have been applying neuroscience research to the design of redpepper’s workplace environment to improve its facilitation of creative and efficient work. Drawing on the current knowledge about attention, focus, group dynamics, and environmental cues, I have based my design recommendations on people, not precedent. With today’s plentiful research on the brain, we simply cannot justify clinging to the status quo when it comes to workplace design. Status quos are defined by the example of kings and queens, and I don’t see any of those walking around Nashville.
Simple, right? Do some research, and voila! The blueprints for your new and improved workplace are in your hands. Well… not exactly. You now have the functional theory behind the place, but what does that translate into in terms of layout and looks? I hate to break it to you, but that depends. Specifically, it depends on two components: the employees’ needs and the company’s vision for the space.
The most direct way to determine an employee’s needs is to ask them, of course. In order to gather this information at redpepper I conducted a series of interviews in which I asked redpepperites about their current qualms with the space, and what they would need to get their jobs done more successfully. This technique identifies most top priority employee needs, and to find the more obscure ones I put the power of observation to the test. By observing how redpepperites use the space, I was able to collect pattern-based information about underutilized areas. The key here is using observation to identify patterns, which an individual is not likely to identify on their own.
Then comes the last key ingredient for a company’s ideal workplace design: the vision. Every company has a vision for their overarching goals as a player in the world and the culture with which they plan to accomplish their goals. At redpepper, everyone exudes the culture, which is grounded in creativity, growth, and change. The space is enlivened by this culture, and a well-designed workplace should reciprocally invigorate the people who work there by reflecting their vision. From working within the space and getting to know everyone over time, I acquired a very good understanding of the culture and which branding elements would reflect the correct atmosphere and vibe.
Once you’ve got the three key ingredients (Research, Needs, and Vision) you are prepared to ReNoVate any workplace. Simply overlay the information in each of these areas to create a design that met the needs of all three.
At redpepper, if we aren’t changing, we’re dying… so if you’ve got an interest in workplace ReNoVation, apply to be redpepper’s next Space Management intern today!
Dana B, Space Management Intern