How Office Layout Affects Productivity

December 14, 2021 / Written by Corporate Suites Staff

Recent research has shown that 85% of employees aren’t fully engaged at work, which culminates in a massive drop in productivity. Focusing on office layout eliminates distractions and primes employees to stay focused on accomplishing their goals.

The influence of office layout on productivity has taken on greater importance as more people return to in-person work environments. Over the past year, people have learned more about how they work best and what makes them more productive. Now, it is time to use what we’ve learned to make sure that your employees have what they need to stay on task and get more done each day.

How Do Office Layouts Have an Impact on Productivity?

If you’ve ever tried to take an important phone call in a crowded and noisy room, then you already have an inkling of how an office’s design can influence how much someone accomplishes. However, noise isn’t the only factor.

 Feeling stuck in a cramped workspace can cause employees to shut down or get up more often to visit the coffee station. Or sharing a desk with a colleague could result in someone wasting precious minutes every day searching for what they need. 

Giving your employees a well-designed office that feels organized, modern and bright shows that you care about their work and ensures that they can focus.

Personal Workspaces Establish Professionalism 

After spending time in their home office, employees today are looking to feel a sense of connection to where they conduct their work in an in-person setting. Having a workspace that they can personalize with a picture of their family or a favorite destination helps your employees to stay motivated for getting things done. 

Even something as simple as putting up a room nameplate gives your employees a sense of ownership over their work and sets a professional tone.

Ergonomics Reduce Distractions 

An achy back, cramping wrists or a kink in their neck makes people stop working and start focusing on how terrible they feel. Ergonomic furniture makes it easier for your employees to want to stay at their desks and keep working on a lengthy project. 

Make sure your office design plan has options to increase ergonomics in the workplace. For example, adjustable seats let your employees choose the right height for their chair to allow them to sit with proper posture.

Creative Environmental Designs Keep People Engaged 

It isn’t hard to fall asleep in a room with bland walls and boring architecture. Sleek, modern office designs include decorative elements such as plants and artwork that draw the eye to them and set the stage for professionalism. 

Good environmental design also includes varying workspace options so that people can move around. Being able to move to a meeting room helps employees to shift from working alone at their desks to getting involved in a group work session.

The Right Office Space Arrangements Can Foster Collaboration

Open offices are viable office design plans, yet you can do even more to use the layout to encourage collaboration. For example, office suites include small rooms where two to four people can work together at their personal workstations. 

This allows for them to work in closer quarters without having too much noise distracting them from their work. Additionally, you can inspire impromptu collaboration by setting pairs of chairs with a table in areas of the office that people walk through regularly. 

Doing this strategic move can turn an employee’s walk to the snack station into a sudden collaboration that could lead to their biggest ideas.

Proper Lighting Primes the Brain for Success 

In the past, offices were known for their fluorescent lighting that didn’t do much for productivity. Current research shows that employees reported an 84% drop in symptoms such as headaches and eyestrain when they were exposed to more natural light. 

Offices with large windows allow more light to filter in, and you can take advantage of this by placing desks close enough for your employees to bask in the sunlight.

If large windows aren’t an option, then you can mimic this effect by layering lighting. Adding more ambient lights and putting task lighting over the workspaces keep the office environment bright enough to help your employees stay more alert.

Special Features Increase Comfort

The great debate over the ideal office temperature is one that may never be fully settled. However, it is known that being too hot or cold can lead to a drop in productivity. Designing the office so that no one’s desk is stuck directly in front of a vent can prevent them from being blasted with heat or air conditioning.

Comfort features can also include areas where people can go to take a brief break before they head into an important meeting. Snack and lunch areas help your employees stop being distracted by hunger. Putting a ping pong table or other group activity nearby can help them network and collaborate without the pressure they might feel in a formal office. 

At the end of the day, having a cleaning crew available to handle the trash and vacuuming gives your employees a fresh start to the next day so that they can start their tasks with a sense of newness and optimism.

Know When to Use Open Office Layouts to Increase Productivity

Open office layouts involve putting multiple workstations into one large, open area. Keeping your employees close together eliminates downtime that comes from having to walk to another office. With this type of layout, your employees can quickly communicate with someone across the walkway to get the answers they need and keep on working.

Some employees also benefit from being around other people as they work. Knowing that others could get distracted by them watching a movie on their smartphone or taking a personal call keeps them accountable for staying on task.

Provide Closed Offices and Cubicles When There Is a Need for Privacy

Depending upon your company’s work functions, there are likely a few times when your employees need the privacy that closed offices and cubicles offer. For instance, you may have an employee who gets distracted in noisy environments. 

Meanwhile, providing them with an area they can go to when they need to crunch numbers or compile a report means that they’ll accomplish their work faster and with greater accuracy.

Private offices are also important for conducting meetings that require discretion. Choosing an office space that has private offices means that your employees won’t have to delay a meeting while they wait for a private room to open up. Being able to quickly handle a confidential phone call or meeting allows them to move on to the next item on their agenda.

Save Money with a Carefully Designed Office Layout

Time is money, and a well-planned office design makes it possible for your employees to make the most of every minute of their day. At first glance, it might seem less expensive to have your staff work remotely from home, but you need to consider the drop in productivity that might occur if they are distracted by other happenings in their life.

 If you choose to have a hybrid work plan, then including an option to go to an office that includes personal workspaces makes it easier for your employees to have a place to go that fosters productivity for tasks that they can’t do at home.

Office Design Frequently Asked Questions

Setting up an office is a huge endeavor that has an impact on your company’s success for years into the future. In fact, you could even say that a well-developed office layout sets the stage for each employee’s success since they’ll be able to achieve their personal goals while collaborating with a strong team. 

During your planning sessions, you are likely to encounter these questions, and knowing the answers helps you pick a customized layout that makes a dramatic impact on what your team can do.

Does Office Design Have a Substantial Impact on Employee Productivity?

Being in an environment that is well-lit, properly maintained and set up for fostering your employee’s ability to pay attention and focus on their tasks absolutely helps to increase productivity. 

One way to make sure this happens is to think about each person’s role and job duties. Then, find out what they need to make that happen. Whether they need to be in an open office or require a private space to think, making it available to them gives them the freedom to work free from hindrances that lower their productivity.

How Does Office Furniture Make Employees More Productive?

Office furniture does much more than decorate a space to make a good first impression on clients. It also serves as a place where your employees make their biggest decisions. 

An easy illustration of the importance of office furniture is to think about how much work would get done if a team of 20 people all had to conduct a meeting at a table meant for four. Everyone would be too distracted from standing and trying to find a place to take notes that their brainpower couldn’t be directed towards making critical decisions.

When you think about office furniture, consider the importance of having a variety of different types available. Large conference rooms with comfortable seating give everyone a place to hash out their ideas and share their reports. 

Of course, you’ll also want executive desks available for your employees to work on their individual tasks. Giving them adjustable seating means they’ll spend less time squirming and stretching and more time completing their work.

How Does Work Design Influence Higher Productivity Rates?

Feeling physically comfortable is an important factor in a person’s productivity, but good work design goes further than that. People tend to work harder when they know that their employer cares about their well-being. 

It sounds so simple, but it is true that your employees will feel motivated to push towards their goals when they know that you’ve gone the extra mile to make sure that their workday is free from distractions and filled with elements that foster their productivity.

Given the fact that your employees spend eight or more hours in an office environment each day, it only makes sense that their workspace has a major impact on their productivity. Planning an effective office setup takes time, space and an experienced eye. 

Putting the effort into finding the right office design plan for your team is worth the effort when you see them achieving new heights with their productivity.

Let Corporate Suites Help You Design the Perfect Office Layout for Your Team 

Setting up an office is a huge endeavor that has an impact on more than just the bottom line. By assessing your team’s needs and designing an office layout that supports their productivity, you are setting them up for success. 

At Corporate Suites, we offer private and shared Office Space to work and collaborate in NYC. We understand the importance of a well-designed office and have over a decade of experience helping businesses achieve their goals. Contact us today at (866) 633-9507 to get started!