The book begins by outlining the common design mistakes with the modern open plan office and the industry focus on the cost that has resulted in the ill-fated Workplace Zoo. The requirements of office-based workers according to psychological theory and research are then explained. Dr Oseland references historical studies in psychophysics to describe how to design environmental conditions (acoustics, lighting, temperature, indoor air quality) that enhance performance by supporting basic physiological needs. More contemporary research in environmental psychology investigates how cognition affects our interpretation and response to physical stimuli depending on personality, context, attitude and other personal factors. This in turn informs individual requirements for the environmental conditions as well as group needs. Studies in evolutionary psychology and biophilia are also referenced.