Creating A Productive Workspace

Office Layout Ideas for Productivity

A great staff gets the job done, does it well and works efficiently. Hiring capable and hard-working people is only the first step to productivity, though. The environment in which your employees work can impact their output and overall morale.

Optimizing your workspace design can help your employees reach their full potential.

Office Design and Your Employees

Workspaces should foster inspiration, focus and collaboration. Experts report that 53 percent of Americans are unhappy at their current job. They often feel unfulfilled, discouraged and overtaxed. With the right office workspace, employees show an increase in job satisfaction and are less likely to quit for these reasons.

Modern offices are beginning to stray away from the tradition of bland cubicles and hallways with closed doors. Many businesses are adopting more open spaces where personnel can collaborate, inspire and share. Below are some practical ideas to improve your workspace environment.

Invest in Good Desks and Office Chairs

To ensure productivity, invest in desks and office chairs that support good posture, especially during long periods of sitting. With a comfortable office seat, people are less likely to fidget in an attempt to find the right position. Adjustable chairs with wide seats and locking wheels allow you to concentrate on tasks more easily.

Similarly, the right desk should stand at the perfect height for the individual to avoid neck strain or stiffness. Fortunately, today’s options include adjustable and standing options for improved health and comfort. For added convenience, many models have drawers, shelves and built-in filing cabinets so employees can keep all of their necessities close at hand.

Choose desks with plenty of storage to keep all of your work essentials within reach.
Choose desks with plenty of storage to keep all of your work essentials within reach.

Consider Various Floor Plans

When formulating office layout ideas, be sure to choose the design that best suits your business. What is best for one company may be less effective for another. The amount of collaboration and individual work your employees require will help you decide which layout is most efficient.

Traditional Office Layout

The classic “cubicle farm” model has mostly gone out of style in recent years. These single cubbies are partly open, with partitions separating them from other work areas. Although this workspace design allows for more privacy, better focus and the option to personalize your desk, it can also feel isolating and claustrophobic.

Open-Floor Plans

A grouping of desks and shared tables in a single room is the preferred setup for many modern corporations and start-ups. This approach is beneficial for companies where lots of communication is necessary. Open layouts are flexible and inviting, but they also lack privacy and result in more noise distraction.

Casual meeting spaces in areas with less traffic provide employees with a place to have quick discussions or collaborate on projects in a more comfortable setting.
Casual meeting spaces in areas with less traffic provide employees with a place to have quick discussions or collaborate on projects in a more comfortable setting.

Coworking Spaces

A coworking layout has several office workspaces separated by project or department. This design combines the group dynamic and communication benefits of open-concepts while keeping specific job roles clustered together in smaller spaces. It fosters collaboration, provides a semi-private workspace and keeps the space organized.

Create Comfortable Getaway Spaces

In most jobs, some level of quiet or privacy is essential. If you expect your staff to perform well, select different areas of the building or floor for private conferences, meetings or alone time. Employees like to have a variety of areas to work, but want spaces where they can relax, as well.

Types of Workspaces

Providing a variety of workspace options for your employees allows them to choose their ideal environment based on their project and preference. Break rooms, lobbies, lounge areas and patios are terrific places for employees to either work or relax:

Versatile Seating

Some offices have couches or sectionals to add comfort and versatile seating, especially for impromptu meetings that involve the entire staff. Instead of the traditional setup, consider using a large coffee table in the conference room for a more relaxed vibe in meetings and brainstorming sessions.


Make sure that you have a variety of adjustable chairs so that your employees can find the correct stool height to maintain proper posture.

Comfort While You Work

For a boost of comfort either at one’s desk or on the office sofa, add ottomans for use as portable footstools or chairs.

Arm chairs or recliners are great seating alternatives where people can sink into a project while enjoying their midday coffee or tea.

If your office has hardwood or tile floors, try making the lounge or lobby look a little cozier by adding an area rug that complements the color scheme.

Adjust the Lighting

Fluorescent lighting is popular for many commercial buildings. Although this option saves companies on energy costs, this artificial light source has a slew of negative effects, including a link to increased stress. On the other hand, dark spaces can feel sleepy and depressing, thus inhibiting productivity.


Instead of relying on overhead lights, invest in accent lighting and lamps that cast a warm glow throughout the room. This creates a more relaxing vibe in which people can feel calm and have an easier time focusing. Make sure you have enough outlets or plenty of power strips if someone wants to use their own lamp.

Fill the Space with Plants

In a 2014 study, the productivity of employees rose 15 percent with the introduction of houseplants in the office. Plants have a natural calming effect, can lift your mood and improve air quality. Even low-maintenance silk florals help create a more comfortable, grounding environment.

Place greenery throughout the office or invite people to bring their own plants.
Place greenery throughout the office or invite people to bring their own plants.

Keep the Space Organized

Disorganized workspaces are notorious time wasters for employees. Difficulty finding tools, files and office supplies are notable frustrations that cause staff members to lose valuable hours. As you develop your work office ideas, include plans for keeping the space organized for maximum efficiency.


By using different storage solutions like bookshelves, drawers and filing cabinets, you can keep items tidy and easily accessible, reducing the amount of time spent searching. Consider having a designated supply closet and invest in a label maker. Good organization in an office workspace allows personnel to focus on their job roles instead of distractions.

Choose a Productive Wall Color

Another important consideration in your workspace design is how wall colors can affect your environment. Many people associate bright colors with daylight, so lighter hues are a great way to make your workplace feel airy and cheerful. Consider some of these recent popular colors as well as these suggestions to choose the perfect shade for your office:

  • Shades of blue help people feel relaxed and calm, making this an ideal color for break rooms or lounge spaces.
  • Look for ideas on how to decorate with yellow since this happy, bright and energetic color can improve focus, mood and productivity.
  • A green accent wall or furniture offers an instant update that freshens the look of your office while also helping employees feel alert.

Mindful Workspace Design

Whether you run a small start-up or just purchased some commercial real estate, be mindful of how you set up your office. Your workspace design should encourage productivity and remove distractions. By optimizing your office layout, atmosphere and furniture, you’ll create a more enjoyable and productive space for you and your staff.