“True comfort is the absence of awareness,” Stumpf said of ergonomic design. “When a chair is a perfect fit for your body, it becomes ‘invisible’ and you’re not aware of it at all.”
Isn’t this also true of workplaces, wherever they might be? Our awareness of space increases more when it fails to meet our personal needs. Whether it is too much noise, colours we just hate, light that blinds us, technology that just doesn’t work, or a complete lack of spaces to meet our specific ways of working, our consciousness of the facilities provided develops to the point where our productivity is affected. When everything is working for us we are often unaware of how good the facilities are.
It can sometimes be difficult to point to why a workplace is functioning well, but it is so much easier to highlight reasons why it isn’t. That’s why engaging with the users is so important. Listening to stories about what doesn’t work is a step to understanding what does.