Cognitive Performance

“Cognition” is a scientific term for the working of the brain and ‘cognitive fitness’ is all about getting your brain into the best shape possible to enable you to be at your ‘personal best’ every day.

In a competitive world, it’s vital that every ounce of value is squeezed out of every asset. Your workplace experience and brain is no exception.

Why should organisations care about cognitive performance?

Organisations are dependent on many things for success – but arguably in the knowledge economy, the most important assets are the people.

Businesses are essentially buying “brainpower” so it makes sense that there is some focus on ensuring that each person brings their best mental performance to work and that they are provided with the best range of environments and tools to enable them to get the most from that brain and cognitive ability. So, in the world of knowledge work the ability to derive maximum value from each human brain on the payroll individually and collectively is mission critical – and deserves some attention.

Understanding the factors that influence cognitive performance

Our study, undertaken in partnership with The Centre for Evidence Based Management (CEBMa) identified and examined robust, peer reviewed academic research, seeking to understand what research could tell us about the factors that impact the cognitive performance of the brain. 

The rigour and efficacy of the process used by CEBMa guarantees that data is ‘bullet proof’ and can be relied on as the best available scientific evidence on the subject at this time.

AWA Advanced Workplace Associates Workplace: Workplace Management

This research identified a number of factors that positively or negatively impact the brain’s mental performance.

This is illustrated on the graphic to the right. Some of these factors are about personal habits and behaviours (i.e. exercise, hydration, sleep, caffeine), but others are about the environment in which people work (i.e. noise & interruptions, temperature, lighting). 

To understand the impact of these factors and the issues surrounding the adoption of better habits and behaviours, we also undertook a trial which showed that while many of these factors might seem “obvious”, that people don’t always adopt the best habits, and don’t always fully understand the importance of these factors to their own brain’s performance.

Through a process of education and experimentation, a team of volunteers started to adopt better habits that anecdotally were reported as beneficial to their personal cognitive performance.


To learn more about the factors that the research identified, please click here to read our series of blogs which look at each factor in turn.


We apply our cognitive performance research through programmes and assessments and help achieve the optimum level of individual brain power. Get in touch to learn how our cognitive performance research can help empower your workforce.

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