Walls: Why They Work at Work

The walls in your office play a concrete role in your company. That’s the conclusion after a 10-year long study was conducted on the American workplace. Mithra Moezzi and John Goins are the researchers at the Center for the Built Environment at UC-Berkeley who initiated the survey and published their findings. 

Workers in over 192 different office buildings throughout the United States were surveyed so researchers could discover aspects of an office environment that made employees either love or hate their jobs. One of the top 5 concerns of employees was the condition and esthetics of their carpet, walls, and furniture. Employees' caring about walls may surprise you, but it makes sense when you see how much they impact how we work.

How Walls Impact Our Thinking        

Can the walls in an office "raise the ceiling" for thinking and problem solving?

Sally Augustin has a Ph.D. in Environmental Psychology. Her book, Place Advantage: Applied Psychology for Interior Architecture, outlines the impact walls can make on one’s state of mind in the workplace. Based on rigorous qualitative and quantitative research, Augustin states that an office’s walls and layout “can enrich human experience” and subsequently human performance while at work.

As more and more research comes to light regarding place, interior design, and the relationship between architecture and human cognition, it’s becoming more evident that different walls make different types of thinking more easy or difficult. In “The Psychology of Architecture,” Jonah Lehrer highlights how research experiments by Joan Meyers-Levy demonstrated the difference in thinking that occurs in short-walled, low-ceilinged rooms versus rooms with taller walls and high ceilings.

The height, layout, and style of your walls plays a role in how your employees think and do their jobs

In rooms with lower walls and lower ceilings, Levy says “people are much quicker at solving anagrams involving confinement.” In other words, shorter walls help people solving logistical, mechanical problems. Taller walls and ceilings, however, give thinkers a more liberal and free space, enabling them to think more lofty and abstract thoughts. If you ever wondered why museums had high ceilings, now you know.

Turning Research into Results

The research and studies indicate walls heavily influence how your employees work. Still, how can executives take these results and translate them into something worthwhile for their office? This is where we can help.

We’ve partnered with Steelcase, Adotta, ALUR, Raco, and National Partitions to ensure any office can be optimized to accommodate any employee’s state of mind.


Steelcase’s V.I.A. 

V.I.A. walls create intelligent rooms with high acoustical privacy and surface flexibility. To keep up with design and functional trends, the panels are easily replaceable and reconfigurable so your space stays fresh and functional for your current needs.


Hailing from Italy, Adotta walls balance elegance with performance. Workplace Research Company Gensler hosts the best of Adotta’s Metafora series in their Austin office.


For those looking for a glass front but have some schedule flexibility and a budget to meet, Raco is the leader in conventional glass front design and manufacturing. Owned by an extrusion manufacturer, Raco has the ability to create custom profiels to meet your exact design need.

National Partitions

Utilized for strength, durability, and design/cost benefits, National Partitions are the perfect compliment to your industrial or warehouse space.


The minimalist design of ALUR walls is sleek in appearance, yet exceptionally strong.


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