Every time you enter a space a rush of information is delivered through your senses.  

Multi-sensory workplace design is the practice of creating a working environment that considers the multiple senses of an individual. It seeks to create an atmosphere that is conducive to productivity, creativity and collaboration by incorporating elements of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. This type of design can incorporate elements such as lighting, soundscapes, scents, color, texture, and furniture that are designed to stimulate and engage the senses. In order to design a creative and productive workplace, it is essential to consider how the environment is making us feel, behave and act within it. Lets take a look at each sense and how it can have an impact.


Touch can be responsible for a range of emotions including comfort. It is important that the office look good but it is equally important for it to feel good. Your sense of touch can be engaged simply by seeing a soft chair across the room. You don’t actually have to be sitting in it. It is important to have a wide range of textures and surfaces around the workplace in order to satisfy everyone’s needs.


Sound can really interrupt your productivity due to distraction. In order to combat this, designers are using various acoustic solutions, including meeting pods, panelling, art forms, furniture and even lighting. Sound in the office can be relaxing or energizing, but it’s more closely associated with noise and distraction. Designers are needed to create a relaxing environment.


Smell is one of the most powerful senses when designing a workplace, but it is often one of the most neglected. Smell is responsible for 75% of emotions we generate on a daily basis. Pleasant scents can help create a strong, positive association between a space and its occupants and make it feel less sterile and more personal.


Although sight is considered the primary sense in design, it’s actually composed of many different facets that go far beyond aesthetics. For example, visual access to daylight and nature help us maintain consistent circadian rhythms. The colors of surfaces and objects can also have a significant effect on employee performance, satisfaction, comfort, and well being. By choosing your color scheme wisely,  you can appeal to a range of emotions and inspire certain desired behaviors in your employees.


While taste probably doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of workplace design, food and drink do play an important role in creating community at work. Providing healthy snacks and refreshments for your employees can help promote a sense of wellbeing and increase concentration and productivity throughout the day. Encouraging dining together by designing spaces to do so, strongly promotes employee bonding.