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10 Office Design Ideas to Improve Productivity

Written by 9rules Blog on December 10, 2015

Working in an office can be stifling for creativity. The workplace environment has a much stronger impact on overall productivity than many people realize. If you’re looking for a way to get your employees to stay focused and work better together, evaluating the design of your office layout may be just what you need! Here are a few ideas to get you started.

office design

1. Add Modular Furniture

A lot of businesses are turning towards open-concept desks, but that’s not always the best option for every office. For some, modular systems, better known as cubicles, are better for increasing productivity and keeping your workforce focused. Just be sure these systems are well designed and can adapt to the demands of a busy office.

2. Improve the Lighting

Bad lighting can cause fatigue, eyestrain, headaches, and even depression. Avoid this by ensuring that every desk has plenty of light. Open the blinds to bring in more natural light, if possible. If you’re in an office without a lot of windows, consider switching to natural light bulbs or installing light therapy devices to mimic the light of the sun.

3. Get New Chairs

Office chairs should be ergonomically designed and comfortable to reduce injuries that result from sitting too long at a desk.

4. Rearrange the Workflow

Some offices are set up in a way that’s not conducive to effective workflow. If that’s the case, take a day to rearrange the workplace so that it’s more effective. You might move the water cooler away from the receptionist’s desk and next to a window, or rearrange the desks so there’s more privacy.

5. Change the Paint Color

Color has a bigger impact on the psyche than most people realize. For example, the color blue has been shown to increase productivity and clarity of thought. The color red has also been associated with quick brain stimulation and productivity. Beware of using too many colors, however, since that can be distracting.

6. Set the Thermostat

The ideal temperature for working conditions is between 70 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower than that and typing errors increase. If it gets much higher than 74 degrees, it increases fatigue and sluggish brain activity.

7. Use Noise Buffers

Noise can be very distracting, whether it comes from within or outside the office. Add noise dampeners to the windows to cut out outside noise, include wall art to reduce echoes in the office, and provide noise canceling headphones for those who need complete silence to work effectively.

8. Add Nature

A little foliage throughout the office can really brighten up the space. It also helps to give the employees some responsibility over various plants in the office. Some studies even claim that plants and the oxygen they emit make you smarter.

9. Burn a Scented Candle

Studies show a direct correlation between certain scents and brainpower. Filling the room with lemon, for example, has been linked to lower clerical errors.

10. Separate the Spaces

It’s important that the office be separated into different spaces. The break room, for example, should be removed from the conference room, and the conference room separated from the desk area. It’s important for each room to have a distinct, individual purpose. For example, if the work area isn’t separated from the break area, people will have a hard time focusing when they need to be hard at work. This may be a larger change for your office layout, but it’s entirely worth it for the boosted productivity.