Whether we are aware or not, the environment we associate ourselves with affects how we behave, decide and feel. The environment affects us consciously or subconsciously.
People who live in major cities walk faster than people from rural areas because apparently the rate per hour in major cities is higher than in rural areas therefore walking after makes more sense in major cities so that you can save time walking and spending it making money. This assertion is called Economic Value of Time.
Social cues can also determine not just what types of food and drink we consume, but also how much. In African culture, if we are together I can’t eat alone and you just sit and talk, If I eat you eat. A recent review of the effect of social facilitation on consumption, how we behave with others compared with being alone, found that as the number of people we eat with increases, so does the amount of food we consume.
In one study, for example, eating with one other person was found to increase consumption by 33%, eating with three people by 53% and eating with six people by 76%. Research has found that, in the presence of familiar company, we tend to select more food and drink than if we had been dining alone. We often use the behaviour of others to license ourselves to select more food than we normally would.
When I started mentoring, I met most of my mentees for sessions at quieter restaurants, which meant most of my time I was eating or drinking restaurant food almost everyday. Picking up weight is easy in such a set-up. So to lose it, meant having to meet them at their offices or my office.
The contrary may also be true, if I’m with other people, I don’t want to show that I’m a big eater so just nimble a little and pretend that I’m an okay eater but when I get home, I ambush the kitchen with big pieces of meat.
Either way, the people we associate with, the places, offices, homes, and community (physical and virtual) we spend our at affects how we behave.
Much as we can influence the environment, the environment can influence us back as well.
We have the power to shape our associations, but once chosen, those associations shapes us.
Consider these factors when you decide where you want to setup your business premises.