Department

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Dept. of Psychology

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Abstract

Interventions which change the visual appearance of the work environment to positively impact employee and organizational outcomes are becoming increasingly common. For example, environmental interventions such as adding indoor plants, changing the color of the walls, and increasing the amount of artwork within a workplace can lead to reduced stress levels, anxiety, fatigue, and sick leave (Dijsktra, Pieterse, & Pruyn, 2008a; Dijkstra, Pieterse & Pruyn, 2008b; Nejati, Rodiek, & Shepley, 2016). However, more research is needed to discover exactly why changing the appearance of work environments have a positive effect and what factors may influence the effectiveness of these interventions. There is theoretical and empirical support for the notion that the benefits of these interventions are in part due to the increased aesthetics of the environment. For example, Maslow (1954) wrote of a need for aesthetics, Kaplan & Kaplan (1989) argued that the aesthetic component of an environment can help individuals recover from mentally draining experiences, and Dijstrka, Pieterse, & Pruyn (2008) found that adding indoor plants to a room had positive psychological benefits due to the increase in the perceived attractiveness of the room. In this study, we seek to examine the impact that the perceived aesthetics of a workplace and the prevalence of aesthetic elements have on full time adult employees’ post work recovery needs, turnover intention, and job satisfaction. Additionally, we seek to examine if individual’s need for an aesthetically pleasing workplace and mindfulness levels moderate these relationships. Our ultimate goal with this work is to offer a model and methodological approach that can be useful to those interested in studying the impacts of the appearance of a workplace on employee job satisfaction, stress, and intention to stay at their job. A better understanding of this relationship will allow organizations to more effectively change the workplace to have greater positive impacts on employees’ health and happiness. This research comprises of two phases. First, participants complete a survey that measures relevant variables such as mindfulness levels, need for an aesthetically pleasing workplace, individual differences (e.g., personality), and asks them to identify any aesthetically pleasing visual elements that are present in their workplace (e.g., plants, artwork, colorful walls). If participants consent to continue to phase two, they will be asked to upload three photos of their workplace. These photos will be thematically coded to identify what elements are frequently present in environments that are rated as aesthetically pleasing.

Date

October 2018

Subject

Industrial and organizational psychology

Document Type

posters

Language

English

Rights

Under copyright.

License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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A mixed methods study on the impact of the perceived aesthetics of a workplace

Interventions which change the visual appearance of the work environment to positively impact employee and organizational outcomes are becoming increasingly common. For example, environmental interventions such as adding indoor plants, changing the color of the walls, and increasing the amount of artwork within a workplace can lead to reduced stress levels, anxiety, fatigue, and sick leave (Dijsktra, Pieterse, & Pruyn, 2008a; Dijkstra, Pieterse & Pruyn, 2008b; Nejati, Rodiek, & Shepley, 2016). However, more research is needed to discover exactly why changing the appearance of work environments have a positive effect and what factors may influence the effectiveness of these interventions. There is theoretical and empirical support for the notion that the benefits of these interventions are in part due to the increased aesthetics of the environment. For example, Maslow (1954) wrote of a need for aesthetics, Kaplan & Kaplan (1989) argued that the aesthetic component of an environment can help individuals recover from mentally draining experiences, and Dijstrka, Pieterse, & Pruyn (2008) found that adding indoor plants to a room had positive psychological benefits due to the increase in the perceived attractiveness of the room. In this study, we seek to examine the impact that the perceived aesthetics of a workplace and the prevalence of aesthetic elements have on full time adult employees’ post work recovery needs, turnover intention, and job satisfaction. Additionally, we seek to examine if individual’s need for an aesthetically pleasing workplace and mindfulness levels moderate these relationships. Our ultimate goal with this work is to offer a model and methodological approach that can be useful to those interested in studying the impacts of the appearance of a workplace on employee job satisfaction, stress, and intention to stay at their job. A better understanding of this relationship will allow organizations to more effectively change the workplace to have greater positive impacts on employees’ health and happiness. This research comprises of two phases. First, participants complete a survey that measures relevant variables such as mindfulness levels, need for an aesthetically pleasing workplace, individual differences (e.g., personality), and asks them to identify any aesthetically pleasing visual elements that are present in their workplace (e.g., plants, artwork, colorful walls). If participants consent to continue to phase two, they will be asked to upload three photos of their workplace. These photos will be thematically coded to identify what elements are frequently present in environments that are rated as aesthetically pleasing.