Revision and coursework are regular occurrences for students across the country, and it’s important when they’re working through either of these, they’re motivated and productive.
The learning environment students are in can drastically affect productivity, and that’s where schools, colleges and universities can help. Here, Demco Interiors discusses five ways you can amend your learning space to help students’ concentration levels and productivity.
Learning Space Layout
The layout of your learning space is crucial when it comes to productivity. For some students who are studying or working, they’ll need a quiet space they can sit in to focus; whereas for group projects, a collaborative area is needed so they can bounce ideas off each other.
Ideally, your learning space will accommodate both of these. Having little cubicles is great for students who focus best in quiet environments, where they can shut the door and escape the noise. However, having open areas with sofas and tables can really encourage groups to get together and discuss ideas, but these need to be kept separate from each other.
When it comes to managing noise levels, another aspect to consider is the flooring. Carpeted floors can help to reduce noise travelling, as can installing freestanding screens at the end of each desk. For students trying to concentrate on their work, this can go a great way towards helping increase their productivity.
Use of Colours
You may think that minimalistic creams, greys and beiges are the way forward when create a tranquil environment to study and come up with creative ideas, but you’d be wrong. In fact, workspaces that have those particular colour palettes reportedly leave people using them sad and depressed.
The top three colours to help increase productivity are green, blue and yellow. Why? Well, because green and blue are associated with nature, they promote wellbeing, and improve focus and efficiency. Yellow on the other hand, can inspire innovation and creativity, with the connotations of this colour being energy, optimism, and freshness.
If you want to use red in your learning space, then you should consider this carefully. Whilst some students can find it inspiring, for others it can cause an increase in heartrate and feelings of panic. So, if you do decide to use red, then you should use it sparingly to draw attention to details in your workspace that are particularly important (e.g. signs).
Psychologists state that a learning space with no pictures or other distractions is “the most toxic space” that a human can be in.
Exeter University recently conducted some research, which noted that people were 15% more productive on average when plants were introduced into a work or learning space. In fact, it was found that just one plant per square meter substantially increased productivity.
There’s been countless amounts of research done on the benefits of plants in the workplace, which can easily be applied to learning spaces too. In fact, the University of Technology in Sydney found that the introduction of plants into a room could result in a 58% drop of anger, 44% drop in hostility, 38% drop in fatigue, and a 37% drop in tension.
So, if you’re looking to improve productivity in your educational workspace, then decorating it with plants is a good place to start.
Daylight and Fresh Air
Poor quality air can lower performance by 10%, a 2006 analysis found. Not only can airless rooms make people who sit in it sick; it drastically reduces productivity too… which isn’t great if students are spending time revising for their exams in there.
If your learning space is in the centre of a large city like London, then unfortunately, simply opening a window isn’t the answer – the air pollution and traffic noise won’t help with productivity at all!
However, there’s a way to achieve fresh air without opening a window… plants. Photosynthesis purifies air in learning spaces, as carbon dioxide is transformed into oxygen.
The other important thing needed to increase productivity is daylight. Many offices don’t have windows, and it’s a similar situation for learning spaces too. People who work in a space with windows are exposed to 173% more daylight than those who don’t. That results in an extra 46 minutes of sleep on average every single night – helping with concentration, motivation and productivity.
Students who enter your workspace at 9am, leave at 9pm, and sit at their desk the whole time aren’t going to be studying or working productively.
Putting up signs about the benefits of breaks, to help encourage them to leave their desks every once in a while. Research has found that “spacing” can really help with productivity levels: for example, revising for an hour over the space of a week is much more productive than studying for 7 hours straight.
Signs that suggest students take a 15 minute break after every hour of revision can help them to go outside, have a stretch and look at a different view. Then, when they’re back, their brain will be ready for more revision. After all, studying is tiring, and it can be very easy to lose concentration.
To conclude, there are many ways you can help your learning space to improve student productivity. These five tips don’t require much effort, but can help your students to enjoy higher levels of concentration, motivation, and of course… productivity.