What does neuroscience tell us about how we work?

Workplaces of today should no longer serve one purpose and one style of working. According to the Office for National Statistics, as much as 50 per cent of the UK’s workforce now works remotely. This has demanded the attention of business leaders, CTOs and corporate real estate professionals, requiring them to drastically shift their approach towards implementing multi-faceted, multi-sensory spaces and frictionless digital infrastructures for their teams.

With this change in working habits comes the conversation on productivity, wellness and engagement, and greater attention to the mindset of the people in said spaces. AWA has carried out considerable research over its near 30-year history into the function of the brain, its emotional response to the working environment and how the two convene. A particularly dynamic area of research is that of habits, and the cycle of repetition in the mind.

There are 86bn neurons in an individual brain. The brain is a learning machine that exists to keep us safe. It is an amazing biological computer. When we do stuff over and over again, patterns and habits become deeply rooted. If you’ve worked in an organisation for 10 years, you’ve spent a million minutes immersed in that culture, reinforcing those ‘norms’.

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Andrew Mawson

Andrew Mawson

Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA)
Andrew Mawson is leader of global workplace consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) and founder of Workplace Week. From a general management career in the IT industry, his unrelenting curiosity for the transition to new models of work led to the founding of AWA in 1992. Since then, he has worked with some of the world’s leading organisations on their journey to explore and implement new forms of working and workplace.