There have been many studies done on the workplace and how external factors can affect your general well being and psychology. It’s a fascinating topic, and once you get into it it’s not hard to fall down the proverbial rabbit hole. “Hall’s proxemic framework“, “Sociofugal and sociopetal space” and “Altman’s privacy model” are all worth a google for further reading into the science behind this densely researched topic. And these just talk about the physical work space itself! We haven’t even touched on lighting or temperature.
At the Delphic head office in Manayunk, our very own 19th century mill, we have created our own unique workspace that promotes productivity, creativeness, and collaboration. And because, as Delphic’s head of talent acquisition, I find this sort of topic particularly interesting, I personally wanted to look at some of the features of working at Delphic and break down some of the psychological benefits of having or not having them in the office.
Decorating Your Own Space
This is an amazing statistic and backed up with a lot of research, too. I really enjoy observing the personal touches that people have brought to their own work spaces here at Delphic. It’s great that we allow everyone a way to express their own creativeness when it comes to their working environment, and it’s neat to see how people define themselves with their collections of Star Wars figurines, family photos, and all kinds of other decorations!
One of my favourite aspects of the environment is having our dogs in the office! Described by Dr. Beckers as “a low-cost, wellness intervention“, 16,000 years of being man’s best friend definitely tells us something about how beneficial dogs can be. The main benefit is the reduction of stress on individuals, but the hidden gem is that having dogs around increases communication between various company teams, leading to more creative discussions overall!
Art in the Workplace
In the city where Albert Barnes was inspired with the idea of having art in the workplace, it’s only fitting that we should try to follow in his footsteps. In a study I found, it stated that 82% of employees said art was important in the work environment, Although we don’t have a Matisse on the wall (our art could only be described as eclectic), we make our own and some pieces are definitely more useful than others. Overall, though, I think it’s cool to see the work of our creative department showcased on company walls, and it’s a great way to quickly show clients how clever and artistic we can be.
Plants and Flowers
When there is greenery around Dr Roger Ulrich stated that, “People’s productivity, in the form of innovation and creative problem solving, improved – which in certain circumstances could mean the difference between mild and great business success.” The study generated great statistics, such as a 30% increase in ideas when there was greenery around thinkers. There are other proven benefits as well, including reduction of stress and better quality of air. All in all, Dr. Virginia Lohr found that “Participants working in an environment with plants present were 12 percent more productive and less stressed than their non-plant counterparts.” That’s great to hear, as we have lots of plants in the office. Heidi, our office manager, is an expert greenfingers!
When it comes to standing desks, sometimes you need a carrot and stick to motivate yourself to get off your chair. It’s become fashionable over the last 5 years but some of the best creative minds, including Hemingway and Leonardo Di Vinci, realized early on that standing when creating was the way forward – so who are we to argue!? That coupled with research stating that sitting at work and idleness when awake is the route to many evils feels like a big enough motivator for me. Everyone at Delphic has a controllable Sit/Stand desk so that you can sit or stand at any given moment – the choice is yours!
Treadmill / Bike Seat
If you want to take it one step further, we also have the treadmill desk or the pedal seat. It sounds like a great idea but our Managing Partner Mark Patten didn’t last long with the pedal seat and I have heard some negative reviews regarding the treadmill.
“You are what you eat,” so the saying goes. I am not going to admit how many tomato points I have at The Couch Tomato, but it’s not even close to our Director of Web Development Brian Charniga’s amount, though the new favorite with the development team seems to be Dream House Asian Bistro. We have recently added a fruit bowl to the office backed up a new study, published in Psychological Research, that states that eating foods with high levels of tyrosine (like bananas, peaches, and almonds) leads to greater concentration and creativity.
I am not sure if the candy bowls or Bagel Fridays give us any kind of health edge, but they sure are very popular!
Recently, our Yoga room has been taken over by our digital marketing and analytics team, but we haven’t given up! We still have our weekly Yoga sessions on Tuesday nights. “Creativity arises naturally in states of stillness and presence”, Sat Bir Khalsa, PhD conducted a study over the span of two years on elite musicians. He found that “restlessness in the mind actually interferes with their performance.” We hope that our Yoga can bring us all into the present and allow our creativity to flourish.
There are lots of elements that make up a fun working environment, but it sometimes requires some trial and error to get just right. Working with lots of creative people certainly shows here at Delphic, and all of our combined efforts, personalities, and preferences have made for a great physical working environment. It would be awesome to know some of the elements that you think make up a great work environment – leave us a comment below or connect with us on social media and tell us what you think!