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How Does Workplace Design Influence Productivity

One of the biggest production boosting factors in office design. How your office is designed has an impact on job work productivity and the overall output. Read More!

Unhealthy or emotionally toxic work environments impact negatively on employee health and team productivity. A workforce under stress may suffer from mental and health problems like anxiety, depression, and addiction. This harms the company with increased absenteeism, high staff turnover and lower work productivity.

What is workplace productivity?

It is the efficiency with which tasks and goals are completed for the company. This directly impacts profit, customer satisfaction, company reputation, and staff loyalty. Employees who are happy, engaged, and thriving at work are capable of 20% more productive output.

How does workplace design influence productivity?

Research is showing two important factors influence productivity in the office. The ability to focus on knowledge-based tasks and our very human need to connect with the natural world.

The last two decades saw wide-open office spaces with an almost playground-like design come to dominate corporate culture. This was a reaction to studies that concluded at the time. The previous generations of cubicle farms and warrens of offices were counterproductive to teamwork.

Interestingly, more recent surveys have shown that collaborative office space has not contributed to a more productive work environment. What went wrong? It appears that we are being bombarded by too many distractions, too much noise, and too much technology. A far more nuanced balance is needed to support a focused and productive workplace.

How to improve productivity?

Not every working environment is perfect but making a few adjustments can make a big impact on workplace productivity.

Introduce light by opening window spaces or changing all the light bulbs to daylight fluorescent lighting. Natural light is directly linked to increased productivity in the office. Bad lighting and no natural light source have negative impacts on concentration, sleep cycles and mental health. Move workspaces closer to windows; remove drywall or room dividers to let substantial amounts of daylight shine in.

Daylight bulbs give off light with shades of blue that mimic natural sunlight. Commercial health and safety regulations have industry standards for lighting. A professional lighting consultant can measure and assess your office lighting.

Add natural elements to the overall office decor. The Biophilic Design (biophilic means “love of nature”) philosophy is to use natural systems in the design of the built environment. Humans have an innate connection to the natural world. Exposure to nature is important for our well-being.

Create a productive work environment by incorporating natural elements, textures, patterns, and colours. Design a feature wall of top to bottom wallpaper featuring botanicals. Consider a wall with a hanging garden of aromatic plants or large office windows that overlook a park or lake.

Incorporate more breakaway rooms, closed-off areas, and “Do Not Disturb” time zones. The global trend for many years has been to create open spaces that encourage team productivity. Concentration takes effort. To engage in deep, productive thought we need an undivided mind. Distractions from cell phone ‘pings’ or colleagues stopping by for an impromptu meeting create frustration.

This is not a return to the cubicle; this is creating a balanced environment by providing ample private space to get away and think. A focus-based productive workplace is a strategy to balance out the negatives of open-plan offices.

The design elements of your office should be consciously selected for the optimization and organisation of spaces with a human focus.

At Giant Leap, we believe that a beautifully decorated office environment brings out the best in people. We are a team of interior designers with a passion for office design and people. We’d love to help you design your space and improve workplace efficiency.


Let us know how we can help you redesign your office space. Click here!

Meet the Giant Leap Team

We are led by a strong, black woman owned leadership team of designers who have put people at the centre of our company. Since 2011, our team of interior architects have worked with both local and global clients to produce award-winning designs for corporate and commercial spaces that make everyone who enters feel inspired and more creative.

People are at the heart of everything we do; everything we design.

Giant Leap, welcome to a better place.