Increasing Productivity Through Good Office Design


The most valuable asset any company has is its workforce, so they must be looked after in every way possible. Good workplace design that considers the health and happiness of staff helps to reduce stress and feelings of depression.

Studies carried out by the Harvard Business Review reported that happier employees could be as much as 31% more productive. An inspired and well-thought-through work environment can help your staff be happier and more motivated, and it can also benefit their creativity and productivity.

Fortunately, several design techniques ensure good office design is guaranteed.

Opportunities for Movement

Increasing Productivity Through Good Office Design

Huckletree Office by Sella-Concept

In days gone by, offices were designed to throw as many people in as possible; like sardines in a tin can, only it was people in cubicles. That notion isn't favored by workplace designers today, with open-plan offices and the idea of creating space more important.

As we grow more aware of our need to take breaks from our screens every hour, the ability to move around the office has become essential. When people hit a productivity wall they should take just a short, quick break away from their desk.

But if they have to navigate through a rabbit warren of cubicles and hallways, they aren't going to enjoy their break and may be less likely to take one in the first place. Having a well-designed office space with clear walkways, and ideally a break room, can help give employee productivity a shot in the arm.

Just as important as a good basic layout is creating an option for staff to work outside. Carefully considering where communal features like the water cooler and coffee machine are located to allow for short conversations and mental breaks are also important for promoting good office vibes.

Inspiring Creativity

Increasing Productivity Through Good Office Design

Bakken & Bæck Office by Kvistad Design Studio - Photographer Lasse Fløde

It's important to design a workspace that promotes creativity as well as productivity. New ideas are important for a business to evolve and design choices from the color of the walls to installing collaborative areas all contribute.

Mood-boosting colors like blue and red are best for getting the creative juices flowing and creating a sense of urgency. Alternatively, yellows and greens are better for boosting happiness and installing balance for a better all-around aesthetic. Increasing productivity is not just about the color of the walls, however, and finding a way to introduce a collaborative space allows for natural ideas to flow.

A formal meeting room is great for functional processes and procedures but it is vital to create spaces where people organically come together to swap ideas, bond, and collaborate. Designated rooms just for creative processes benefit greatly from storage to allow people to stow their artefacts away and completely focus on the task at hand. Ultimately, this productive atmosphere increases the quality of the work.

Natural Light

Increasing Productivity Through Good Office Design

OSWX by Studio BV - Corey Gaffer Photography

It won't come as a huge surprise that natural light is so important when designing workspaces. As well as making everything brighter and lighter, natural light can raise productivity and benefit people in offices in other ways too.

Large windows, skylights, and open-plan offices with light pouring in are ideal but it's important to ensure there isn't too much heat coming through. Light streaming in and heat transmitted can be difficult to control but awnings designed especially for skylights can prevent heat building and provide protection from the glare caused by direct sunlight.

Sunlight helps our circadian rhythms while also reducing the stress levels in our bodies, while low-level artificial lighting can make us feel lethargic and tired when we are exposed to them for long durations. Flooding a workspace with natural light acts as a mood booster throughout the year.

Plenty of Plants

Increasing Productivity Through Good Office Design

Headquarters Space in 55 Hudson Yards by A+I

Offices and workspaces around the world are beginning to understand the benefits of introducing plants for improved productivity. It might seem like the place will look busier but the plants produce cleaner air, which in turn helps employees to stay motivated, productive, and creative.

Bringing plants into the workspace has also been proven to reduce stress while helping to make a typically lifeless space have a bit of spark and energy. So, when designing a workspace for a client, ensure that drawings and examples feature plenty of greenery.

For environmental and sustainable design, it's almost impossible to ignore plants but they are great for office design for reasons other than clean air. Plants act as great sound absorbers and can be positioned to create work or break zones quite easily. Even creating workstations that allow employees a view out of a window or perhaps a living wall allows for greater focus.

Quiet Spaces

Increasing Productivity Through Good Office Design

The Coven by Studio BV - Corey Gaffer Photography

As important as collaborative spaces are in an office environment, so too are zones where people can chill out and take five. Open-plan offices are great but they can be disruptive if someone needs to focus, even with soundproofing.

The need for somewhere quiet to get stuff done means designers can get creative with sectioning off offices. This could be in the form of a soundproof pod where people can go to take calls and video conferences or it could be as simple as devoting a single room and space to silence. Noise distractions can cause workers to lose their productive flow, which isn't ideal for any business.

Hybrid working helps in this regard as it allows people to work from home for part of the week to avoid distractions but it's important that things aren't too distracting in the office. Different job roles require different levels of concentration so catering to those who need a bit more time by themselves ensures the entire office can stay on top form.

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