Healthy habits in the workplace

Posted: 20 May, 2016

By: Annemarie Lombard

Section: Corporate

Classroom-strategies-for-optimal-learning

I do chaos aka “organised clutter”…. I put my head down, “close my ears”, focus and produce high quality of work in the midst of noise, people, stuff, clutter, boxes, files, books, etc.  I have high sensory thresholds and my brain filters all the background noise and clutter so that it does not reach my conscious brain. My focus and concentration is therefore better because the level of distractions is minimal. But then I miss detail and can really mess things up in this department. The other day I booked a plane ticket incorrectly because I did not double-check the dates….I wanted to scream….  I reminded my assistant (who has low thresholds and a real stickler for detail) to never ever allow me to book flights again. Then I had a meeting with a new team member in my office last week.  She made a few interesting (yet very cautious) comments on organising and tidying up my office space.  I did not even register her comment (typical of a high threshold assess) but when I received her sensory assessment results (everyone who joins our team gets assessed of course) –  I connected the sensory dots.  She has low thresholds and will totally freak out in my space.  What works for me does not work for her – she needs her space to be organised, tidy, and clean and colour coded. Understanding that people are differently wired, have different habits and different work place habits are the fundamental insights and understanding of sensory assessment and sensory intelligence!  This directly relates to our immediate workspace.

A busy open plan office space (or worse, a 1200 sales contact centre) can absolutely energise one person while creating annoying distractions for someone else. Research clearly shows that people respond differently to the physical and sensory elements of a workspace. We rarely know how our sensory thresholds can be a contributor to our distractions, irritations or conflict.

To make sense – and be more productive and happy, we advise:

1.  Discover:  what is your sensory assessment?

2.  Acknowledge:  how does it influence the way you work, relate and operate?  Does your space make sense?  Does your job make sense?  How do you fit into your team?  Where are conflict areas and irritations?  Does it have a sensory assessment base?

3.  Adapt:  through self and team awareness to stop judging others, improve communication and accept diversity among the groups we work and live with.  Self-regulate – use your senses to boost your performance and apply Sensory ergonomics –small/minor/cost effective changes to your work environment.