The worker/workplace relationship

The characteristics of an object or space that encourage a particular behavior, or—put more simply—the opportunity for action.


Connecting People and Space

A workspace is much more than a container for people. And it’s much more than a tool used to perform a task.

A well-designed workspace participates in performing the task, enabling optimal human performance–cognitively, emotionally, and physically. Haworth's Global Design & Innovation team's studies have identified 10 core Affordances vital to human performance in any workspace, and critical to the design of an Organic Workspace®. When applied effectively, they help create the conditions that support well-being, allow people to do their best work, and enhance the workplace experience.

Impact on Human Performance
Haworth Affordances


Applied to Space

One of the central purposes of science is prediction–“when these conditions exist, this is what happens”. The purpose of applying Affordances to interior spaces is the same. 

Using Affordances to tailor spaces to the specific needs of individuals and groups, Haworth offers solutions that optimize human performance.

Haworth Affordance

Cognitive Haworth Affordance Cognitive

Helping people do their mind’s best work, Cognitive Affordances support intellectual activities such as thinking, reasoning, or remembering.

Place and retain appropriate mnemonic artifacts.

Create, record, and express thoughts within the physical environment.

Gather, organize, store, and retrieve information.

Manage both irrelevant and meaningful stimuli.

Haworth Affordances

Haworth Affordances

Haworth Affordances - Physical Physical

Supporting every person’s physiological fit in the workplace are Physical Affordances.

Furniture, fixtures, and spaces suitable to people’s physical characteristics.

Healthy and supportive environmental conditions.

Opportunities to change posture, position, and location – activity-based considerations.

Emotional Haworth Affordance Emotional

Nurture a person’s psychological state by considering Emotional Affordances during space design. Every person’s physiological fit in the workplace are Physical Affordances.

Familiar, meaningful, and engaging surroundings. 

A sense of personal control and safety; embedding opportunities for autonomy, inspiration, recovery, and security.

A feeling of connectedness with coworkers and others.

Haworth Affordances

Interested in more?

Learn more about Affordances and how your work environment can be optimized for the needs of your people.