6 Design Features that Help Increase Productivity in the Workplace

Thoughtful modern office design incorporates features that consider several simultaneous aspects of office productivity. This article will look at six of the major considerations when it comes to integrating design features into your workspace: Light, noise, air, ergonomics, flexibility, and amenities.

1. Light

Proper lighting isn’t just about providing bright light to see without causing eye strain. Lighting affects our mental, emotional, and physical health as well. It can help employees maintain a positive, can-do attitude as well as improve focus. All of these factors can have a major impact on productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

Natural lighting is usually ideal. It contains the perfect spectrum, intensity, and refraction that humans have evolved to appreciate. When natural lighting can be incorporated into our workplaces, employees are generally happier and more productive. However, it is not always possible. Floor to ceiling windows and skylights generally add considerable cost to a lease making them impractical for some budget constraints.

Modern office spaces utilize professional lighting designers that have the much needed expertise to make sure work spaces are evenly lit with quality, low-energy, artificial lighting while making the most of any available natural light. They bring together ambient fixtures which illuminate large areas, task oriented lighting to improve visibility in work zones, and illuminated accent features to enhance mood.

2. Noise

Noise is a part of every workplace. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to predict how noise will travel through a workplace until it is humming with activity. Considering noise flow as a part of the overall design of each office space, and utilizing the expertise of noise engineers, is critical to ensuring smooth operations once desks are filled with employees.

3. Air

Air quality is an often overlooked design feature of the office space. However, it can have dramatic effects on productivity. Poorly circulating air can create hot and cold spots, help spread viruses increasing employee sickness rates, and concentrate toxins from common office equipment such as commercial printers.

Airflow starts with the right equipment, smart technology, and adequate air exchange registers for the size of the space. However, airflow must be considered at every stage of the overall office design process to ensure that large objects such as desks, equipment, and partitions won’t create “dead spots” where airflow is poor.

4. Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the study of the workplace efficiency with an in depth look at the way we as humans interact with the objects in our environment. One of the primary goals of ergonomics is to reduce redundancy, thereby saving time and reducing the effort required to perform a task.  

When most people think of ergonomics in the workplace, the first thing that comes to mind are properly designed desks, chairs, and monitors. Although these elements of designing a workspace are critical to productivity in office environments, they are just scratching the surface when it comes to what the science of ergonomics has to say about workplace productivity.

Thinking ergonomically requires integrating this science into the entire flow of operations as we consider how best to use our office spaces. Optimizing for employee productivity requires expertise, a clear sense of the flow of day to day operations, and strong communication with clients to develop a big picture plan that integrates ergonomics into every aspect of design.

5. Flexibility

Ultimately you need office space that can be customized and adjusted to accommodate your company through growth and changes as you adapt your operations to best accommodate market conditions. Your company will probably evolve over time, and your office space should be designed to remain flexible to adapt with your operational needs.

Multipurpose rooms, shared offices, modular desk layouts, and open floor plans are just a few of the ways that modern office design incorporates flexibility into workspaces. Keep in mind that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. A flexible office design still needs to match your company culture and unique operational needs.

6. Amenities

Modern workplace design often incorporates amenities such as cafes, exercise rooms, lounge areas, and day care facilities. Although once thought to be a potential distraction from work, research has shown that such amenities often increase productivity by boosting morale, providing health focused activities on breaks, and promoting bonding between employees for better team building.

Design Your Office

As a business, it’s your responsibility to build and design a workspace that supports efficiency and productivity. Keep these design features in mind to make your employees motivated and inspired.

Jen spent eight years in real estate, with six years in commercial leasing and facility management. She is now the leasing director of Figari handling leasing and business development. Her charisma and dynamic attitude certainly make her the life of the party. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach and getting a tan.