May 29, 2023 | Kyle Doezema

How To Boost Employee Productivity With 10 Simple Interior Design Elements

Over the last decade or two, office space trends have come and gone. Years ago, we saw a decrease in the number of cubicle-farm space designs, and we saw an increase in open floorplan layouts. More recently, we have seen the introduction of fitness centers and ping-pong tables for leisurely activity in the workplace. However, a workplace design that promotes employee health and well-being will never go out of style. 

Many people spend more time at their offices than in their homes. That said, a quality workspace that prioritizes employee mental and physical health is of utmost importance. A well-designed, quality office environment can lead to calmer, more comfortable employees and, ultimately, more productive employees. Proper lighting, flexible workspaces, and using colors strategically can make employees feel valued, motivated, and productive. 

It is completely worth it if you are thinking of investing in proper design planning for a new office, redesigning your current workspace, or updating your layout and space usage. Happy employees make for happy business owners too. 

Here are 10 simple interior design elements that can enhance productivity in your office!

Office space with windows on the walls and cielings.

1. Natural Lighting

Allowing outside light to shine and filter through your office space can help connect you to the outside world when so much of your day is indoors. In addition, research shows that employees who sit closer (within 10 feet) of a window have 84% fewer eyestrains, headaches, and blurred vision. With so much of our work being done on computers, any effort to save your eyes will help. 
Look at moving bulky furniture that blocks sunlight from windows or adding a skylight within your office space layout. If it is impossible to bring true, natural light into your office space, consider replacing flickering lights and opting for ambient lighting over fluorescents.

Moveable desks and chair in a office space.

2. Adjustable Furniture

Back pain is a norm in today’s society, but not a lovable one. Adjustable chairs and computer risers can reduce the physical pain that comes with the computer-work lifestyle that takes away from productivity in the workplace. Each individual is unique. Having the ability to adjust equipment and furniture to the best personal fit will add to employee comfort.

Breakout space in a office with white couches.

3. Breakout Areas and Flexibility Within Office Layout

Different workspaces are likely necessary depending on the day, the person, and the type of task at hand. Maybe one-day tasks require community, teamwork, and collaboration in an open environment, but the next day, employees are expected to produce finished products independently. 
On any given day, an employee may feel overwhelmed and need a quieter, distraction-free private office for efficiency. Access to multiple rooms, booths, pods, and breakout spaces can help employees fulfill workplace assignments in their desired environment. A simple addition of movable walls or pods will elevate your office's flexibility.

White man in suit getting on a bike at a bike rack at his work.

4. Space For Activity and Movement

Nobody is made to live a sedentary lifestyle. Very few people produce “great” work by just sitting in a chair all day. Since exercise and activity release endorphins, increase blood flow to the brain, and cause higher energy levels and more alertness, employees are often more productive when participating in physical activity. 

To have the most productive workers, companies should encourage basic workplace movement by adding the following to their design layout: a gym, showers, accessible stairways, walkways outside the building, and bicycle storage.

6 different colored chairs lined up on a wall with clocks above each chair.

5. Use Colors Strategically

Behind every color, there is a deeper meaning or emotion it provokes. Color psychology is important in the workplace. For example, neutrals and blue shades bring about feelings of composure and concentration, while yellow is known to boost creativity. To each company, their own, but in most cases, office designers tend to lean towards blues and greens to boost efficiency, as they resemble the outdoors and activity. 

Nevertheless, attention must be paid to the color scheme. It should be implemented strategically because it can greatly affect employees’ ability to focus and stay focused throughout the day.

Black headphones on white background

6. Control The Noise

Privacy will be necessary at some point no matter what type of organization you work for. Noise is the highest-ranked disturbance factor in the workplace. Hearing co-workers’ conversations, music, phone calls, or the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city can overwhelm employee productivity. The ability to focus is severely impacted by unwanted noise. 
To avoid drops in productivity caused by office noise, try sound masking by installing a sound masking noise system that incorporates unobtrusive sound into an environment to 'mask' disruptive environmental noises. Consider providing employees with sound-canceling devices and white-noise machines if this is out of reach. 

wall of white cabinets with a wood cutout for a bench.

7. Organization and Storage

Clutter is a distraction. Design your office in a way that allows floor and desk spaces to be clear of extra items to keep employees at ease. De-cluttering and organizing the workstation makes finding needed items much more feasible. Add storage lockers, file cabinets, drawers, and coat racks to do so.

Kitchen with black cabinets and a wood dining table.

8. Kitchen or Snack Room

Undoubtedly, our energy levels drop significantly when we don’t fuel our bodies adequately. Providing employees with a separate kitchen space to grab a quick snack or warm up a healthy lunch will help to keep employees aware and alert leading to more productivity.

By improving access to nutritious snacks, like fresh fruits and vegetables, making nutritional information available, and promoting mindful eating, employees will experience a boost in energy levels and optimized work performance. 

Not only is food for fuel important for our overall health and working ability, but so is water intake. Adequate water consumption betters sleep and clarity of mind. Implementing a drinking fountain or water cooler in the office can significantly improve employee health. A fun way to educate your employees on the benefits of drinking water and encourage their participation is to host a water challenge with prizes for employees who drink the most water during their work day!

White desk with yellow chair, with whiteboard above the desk.

9. Accessible Technology and Tools

Save your employees from the headache of slow Wi-Fi, and provide them with top-tier technology and access to the tools they need to succeed. For example, provide monitors for video calls and whiteboards for creative brainstorming.

Apple laptop and desktop on wood desk.

10. Personalization

Having the ability to personalize your workplace to showcase the things you love and reflect your personality can impact your engagement and sense of belonging within a company. 

Employees can add clocks, artwork, pinboards, or other accessories that align with their values. When designing your office, don’t forget how important this can be. Provide this luxury within reason to keep your workplace design cohesive and aesthetically pleasing. 

An article from Forbes states that 93% of tech employees said they would stay longer at a company if the company offered healthier workspace benefits, like wellness rooms, fitness benefits, sit-stand desks, healthy lunch options, and interactive, ergonomic seating.

A comfortable workplace geared toward employee well-being has the potential to greatly increase employees' productivity and, therefore, the overall success of any given company. However, this is impossible without proper office design and layout.

At Workplace Integration, we provide design and space planning, new and used furniture, accessories, and more.
Contact Workplace Integrations today to get started on the journey to making a better, more productive workplace.

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