10 Design Tips to Improve Productivity at Work


10 Design Tips to Improve Productivity at Work

Employees come to work, prepared to get things done. They spend the first two hours engaged in activity, but the rest of the day is devoted to sending emails, instant messaging other employees, and trying to stay awake.

Sometimes, the problem of low productivity lies in your office practices. But other times, it’s a symptom of bad design.

According to research, millennial employees, who make up nearly 75 percent of the workforce, place a high value on work-life balance, and they prefer to see their jobs as an experience rather than a paycheck. Part of what can ensure a great experience is an improved office design that eliminates distractions, promotes focus, and makes your company a fun place to work.

If you’re struggling to get your employees motivated, there’s a good chance your problem could be the design. Here are ten excellent ways to address that.

1. Landscape the Yard

If your firm is lucky enough to have a backyard to the office, landscape it, even if it’s small. The backyard can be a great opportunity for employees to get outside and enjoy nature and bond with their coworkers.

2. Bring a Little Nature Indoors

Two different studies, from 2013 and 2011, found that employees who have a plant at their desk work more productively and with more brain power than those who leave their desks bare. Plants can remove mold and bacteria while filtering the air, so they have a positive effect even if you’re utterly unaware of it.

3. Increase Window Space

Natural light has repeatedly been shown to improve test results and cognitive performance, both in students and employees. If possible, widen your office windows and add a few skylights to increase the natural light in every room.

4. Upgrade Indoor Lighting

If adding more natural light isn’t an option, upgrade your artificial light fixtures. Switch to systems that employ indirect lights to lower the harshness. You might also consider UV lamps, which mimic the light of the sun and can improve the overall mood and contentment of the people working in the space.

5. Promote Ergonomics

Chairs with proper back support, desks at the right height, and screens that won’t strain employees’ eyes all contribute to positive ergonomics in the office. Take a trouble to adjust desks and chairs, and replace computer screens that may be making employees uncomfortable.

6. Alter the Scent of the Room

The human sense of smell is powerful and can have a bigger impact on motivation than many people realize. Try adding aromas in your office that will help employees stay motivated, such as lavender, peppermint, citrus, cinnamon, and pine.

7. Create a Resting Area

Google has one of the most beloved and productive workplaces in the world. One of the things that makes it stand out is the company’s resting areas. It has entire rooms dedicated to lounging, with comfortable couches and chairs, magazines, and even nap pods. Rest areas are perfect for those who need a quiet place to think or need to take a 15-minute nap before getting back to work.

8. Install Exercise Equipment

Exercise is a massive mood booster. It improves alertness and energy, enhances mental health, reduces the risk of illness, and puts people in optimum shape. When they exercise regularly, workers are able to focus better on the task at hand instead of how tired they are. A walk-and-work station and some other equipment will enable employees to get some exercise during their breaks.

9. Paint

The color of the room can have a major impact on productivity. If it’s too bright, it can be distracting. Too dull, and it can put people to sleep. Try going for a neutral color that has bright accents to lighten the room and encourage the inhabitants to focus better.

10. Improve Space Planning

Workplace flow is another essential element of office productivity. When various activities function in harmony with one another, employees are able to work better as well. For example, it’s great to have the copier, printers, and fax machines in an area where everyone who uses them has ready access. Little changes like that can reduce laziness and stimulate efficiency in your office.


Jenna is a freelance journalist specializing in technology, digital communications, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

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