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Designed for Focus - Top Furnishing Tips for Places of Study

Complete focus requires comfort, quiet, and clever design. Here’s how you can raise your study game through design.

August 25, 2021
College break area with yellow walls, white and gray triangular patterned floor, kids sitting in blue and grey lounge chairs and walking in a hallway

In any given space, our ability to achieve absolute focus hinges on environmental factors. Is it quiet enough? Are others being respectful? Do you have everything you need (reliable WiFi, coffee, a nearby restroom) to stay for hours? Unattractive spaces can cause discomfort. Something as simple as a piece of out-of-place decor can unsettle rather than soothe us. When attempting to truly focus, any unmet need becomes a distraction in itself.

All things considered, where we choose to focus has a tremendous impact on our ultimate ability to zero in and get to work. That includes and extends to the very chair, desk, and layout of our chosen workspace. For reference, libraries and collegiate spaces are deliberately designed to foster focus. But what do these spaces do to accomplish that which other common study spaces (cafes, offices, patios) often cannot? How can you arrange your space to encourage the kind of focus found at libraries and colleges?

In the 21st century, offices across the world need every advantage. As our workforces become more specialized, our workspaces, too, should evolve to meet their needs. To create focus and encourage innovation, try out these top tips.

Insist on Quiet

At the end of the day, true focus involves an ongoing conversation with yourself. You’re balancing needs, abilities, goals, and checkpoints, pausing now and then to review your work and assure yourself that it’s on the right track. Quiet, then, becomes less of a luxury and more of a necessity. If you can’t have a conversation with yourself and the work, how can you focus?

At the end of the day, quiet is a function of design. Design reinforces behavior and can even go so far as to physically prevent sound from traveling. For maximum concentration, it’s hard to do better than Framery One privacy pods. Framery specializes in workspaces that feel removed from the world at large, providing the deepest focus when you need it most.

Other solutions, such as Herman Miller’s Prospect group workspace, make focusing as a team that much easier. In either case, focusing comes down to places designated and reinforced for quiet conversations with ourselves, our coworkers, and our work.

Establish Space

What is it about libraries and college study halls that make them ideal for focusing? For starters, spaces such as these operate on an agreed-upon social contract. These places are set aside for focus. We agree—consciously or otherwise—to respect that purpose and behave accordingly. But what encourages usage within the spaces themselves? The answer: design.

Imagine how a library might be used differently if, instead of study cubicles, they offered many lush couches surrounding a central coffee table. Furnishings within your space inform the usage of that space. For the office, designing for solitude may take many forms, such as the Herman Miller OE1 movable desk screen or the Overlay system of freestanding, movable walls.

For a touch of the glamorous and aesthetically pleasing, 3Form partitions allow you to configure your open office plan for maximum focus. Unlike the sloppy, cookie-cutter decor of local cafes, 3Form products are elegant, bespoke, space-making solutions that encourage hushed awe and focus in equal measure. Available in numerous colors and sizes, and designed specifically for multiple purposes within the office, 3Form partitions serve as quality functional art pieces—every bit as beautiful as they are effective.

Settle In

In any profession, it’s difficult to do a proper job without the proper equipment. For many of us, especially when it comes to focusing, the proper equipment constitutes the right desk and chair.

Make the most of dedicated workspaces in your open-plan office with the Herman Miller Nevi Link desks, or the beautiful and private OFS Brands Staks desks. As for chairs, the Aspen Task, Amplify, and even the decadent and gorgeous Bernard Lounge Chair offer long-term comfort for hours on end.

Alert, comfortable, and ready to work, your employees will feel the difference in their productivity and focus with the right tools at their disposal.

Your Attention Please

Establishing focus can be difficult enough, and maintaining focus is an entirely separate issue. But with the right design choices, you can encourage and empower your workforce to settle in for the day’s hard work. More focus translates to better work, greater productivity, and enhanced pride in the day’s output to the benefit of everyone in your office.

To learn more about turning all or part of your office into a haven for concentration, browse our design solutions or contact us for a top-down strategy for maximizing focus each and every day.

Get your “shhhh” on with Office Environments

Office Environments has the solutions you need to foster focus, encourage diligence, and optimize layout. Trust Office Environments to bring your office up to library standards.

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