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The Next Office Design Trends Could Be Out Of This World


New office buildings are taking inspiration from spaceships when thinking about design.

Scientists worked for decades to determine the best way to help humans survive long missions in orbit and while doing this, looked at light, temperature and even working style. These focus points are now being incorporated into workplace design, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Indoor air quality can now be tracked and managed thanks to environmental sensors. CO2 levels, which typically skyrocket in the afternoon and lead to sleepy, unproductive employees, can be more readily controlled. By 2 p.m., many office areas can reach 1,000 parts per million for CO2, which is more than twice the level of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. Meeting rooms are even worse and can reach as high as 3,000 ppm.

Getting the temperature wrong also can have a huge impact on employee productivity. Warm environments are more conducive to creative thinking but cooler workplaces are better for helping people stay focused during repetitive or monotonous tasks, the BBC reports.

This is why some offices now have “thermal bubbles” for each employee that allow them to adjust temperatures to their liking, the WSJ reports.

Access to light may provide the most benefits of all. A window view increases productivity while exposure to daylight boosts happiness. Offices with few or small windows can shift the color of their LED lights from yellow to blue to improve concentration.