Episode 25: Nourishment, Nutrition, and the Workplace

Confidential Client in Houston, Texas. Photo by Thomas McConnell.
Confidential Client in Houston, Texas. Photo by Thomas McConnell.

How does food fit into workplace design? IA Design Director Neil Schneider explains.

Subscribe to radioIA on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher.


Show notes

We’re designing around the senses in the workplace. By looking at various stimuli, we can design to minimize distractions for a workforce. On the other hand, certain stimuli can actually improve productivity. We want to stimulate people, so they think differently. There could be a piece of art that draws your eye, either through texture or pattern, that helps you to think a little differently. It can create calm or prime your brain to function a little differently.

We see a big movement with clients to provide healthy food for staff. But instead of sugary snacks and sodas, organizations are stocking coconut water, spa water, teas, and low-sugar snacks. On a larger level, cafeterias with food service programs offer farm-to-table options for staff. Good food helps nourish the mind, so you can focus better.

Food also helps build relationships. We’re designing so people can share a meal together, build relationships, and do good work together.

Cafes in the workplace aren’t just tables and chairs anymore. We’re designing to support networks, relationships, and work. See some of the IA-designed micro kitchens Neil Schneider discusses here and here.


Read an article by Ikujiro Nonaka in the Harvard Business Review, or browse the books he’s authored.