Can Office Design Really Affect Productivity?

11th May 2018

When assessing what affects an employee’s motivation and productivity in the office, there are a number of factors to consider. Relationships with other team members, understanding of tasks, quantity of workload, and HR systems can all have effects. However, another important factor is the office layout and environment.

Those of us who work in offices spend a lot of time there, so the space we work in can influence how we go about our job and daily life. Logically, therefore, it seems critical that we devote attention to the interior design of an office, which could have a big impact on employee health, wellbeing, and productivity.

Here we look at some examples of office design features that could really make a difference:


There are numerous reports and studies, such as Gensler’s Workplace Index, which explore the relationship between the physical working space and business performance metrics.

In his study, Gensler identified four key areas that need to be available for employees. Spaces to focus, collaborate, learn, and socialise.

Today’s cloud services, wireless devices and online storage systems allow company employees to access information at the click of a button.

Employees have freedom to work collaboratively without confinement to a cubicle workspace. Open-plan spaces allow for collaboration and socializing. However, when employees need time to focus on work in a quiet environment, businesses should consider what cubicles, private spaces, or partitioned areas could add to ensure that this is possible.


Office lighting can have a real effect on how your members of staff work, as well as their mental health and wellbeing.

Therefore, before you embark on your office refurbishment or fit out, make sure that lighting is high on the agenda. Employees often prefer workplaces with more natural light, and it’s not hard to see why. When you’re in an office all day, being next to a window can really make a huge difference to your staff members’ overall health, which will, in turn, help them to work more effectively—and likely enable them to enjoy their jobs more effectively.

Try to let as much natural light in with windows and roof panels where possible.

A badly designed lighting scheme can lead to eyestrain, drowsiness, and boredom—all impacting on overall team productivity.

By taking the time to consider the overall lighting effect of the office, employers will have a much happier and more productive team in the office.


If you are au courant with the latest ergonomic research for employee well-being, you will know that it’s vital for workers to have well-designed and well-fitted workstations and tables to maintain a healthy and happy time at work. In other words, ergonomic office furniture solutions in modern offices are greatly important for employee wellness purposes.

Adjustable office chairs can help prevent back pains and stiffness in the shoulders, hands and fingers. Employees should adjust their chairs so that their knees are just about level with their hips. Some might need to place their feet on a footrest or block in order to achieve this.

Repetitive strain injuries from typing, mouse movements, or even holding a telephone can sometimes lead to health issues over an extended period, so consider investing in headsets and software that help automate telephone calls and use voice recognition technology to reduce the need for typing and phone holding.

It’s also worth considering the use of sit-to-stand, mobile workstations. These ergonomic desks allow employees to change up their physical positions throughout the day, allowing them to stand while they work during parts of the day and then return to a seated position when necessary.

This flexible solution also allows workstation sharing between employees, such as during multiple shift work or job sharing.