Optimising your work space – maximising productivity through effective office design

Building and maintaining a strong team is integral to developing and growing a successful business – and part of this process is making sure that you get the most out of your employees.

In this post, we take a look at how optimising the design of your office space can help to improve the happiness, wellbeing and productivity of your employees, benefiting your business.

A positive, personal space

Remember, your team members spend a large proportion of their lives working in your business, so if you want to get the most out of them, make sure your office is somewhere they want to work!

When it comes to office design, many business owners still choose to prioritise the look and feel of their company branding over the wellbeing and happiness of staff members.

Of course, it’s important to give off the right, professional impression to clients and customers, especially in meeting rooms and communal spaces, but it’s easy to take it too far.

Enforcing arbitrary, unnecessary rules banning personal affects or office clutter can serve to demotivate staff members and affect the wellbeing and cohesiveness of the team, reducing productivity across your business.

Giving staff members some freedom in terms of workspace personalisation helps to foster a more positive, relaxed working environment, generating good feelings towards you and improving staff loyalty.

Investing in furniture

Making sure your employees have the right furniture is incredibly important to the welfare and productivity of your staff members.

Think of office furniture as an investment, and avoid the temptation of buying cheap, unsuitable furniture – it will almost invariable prove to be a false economy.

Working at a cramped desk, and sitting on an uncomfortable, unsuitable and un-adjustable chair for long periods of time isn’t just distracting, it’s also dangerous, and can cause a number of serious health problems, including:

  • Headaches
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Stress and depression
  • Joint pain and muscular problems
  • Numbness
  • Back, neck and leg pain
  • Problems with circulation

In addition to hampering the day-to-day productivity of your staff members, these can cause an increase in sick days and absenteeism – seriously affecting business performance.

Avoid these problems, and protect your business by making sure that all your staff members are supplied with the right chairs and desks.


Sometimes, providing the right office furniture isn’t enough to prevent the health problems associated with working for long periods on a computer at a desk – you may also want to invest in additional accessories.

These include:

  • Copy stands – to protect workers who spend a lot of time working from paper documents from both eye and neck strain
  • Laptop stands – bringing the laptop screen into a more ergonomic position, improving posture and reducing strain
  • Adjustable foot supports – reducing back, neck and joint pain for staff members who spend all day at their desks
  • Dual monitors – increasing productivity for employees who need to multitask
  • Wrist supports – improving comfort for team members who do a lot of typing

By choosing the right accessories, you’ll be able to improve the focus, wellbeing and output of your employees, improving overall productivity in your business. Offering accessories also shows your employees that you care about their welfare.

Illuminated working

Natural light is incredibly beneficial to your office, so make sure your office design makes the most of it. In addition to providing a range of physiological and psychological health benefits, it will also help you to reduce the amount of artificial lighting needed in your business – reducing your energy bills.

In addition to making your office feel more spacious and welcoming, natural light is also better for the eyes and good for the mood, reducing the risk of eye-strain, headaches and lack of focus in your office.

When planning your office space, the idea should be to make sure that all your employees can benefit from some natural light. Try to avoid blocking out light from your windows with furniture or office equipment, and keep windowsills clear of clutter. Be careful when positioning desks, to avoid glare from the sun obstructing the view of your team members.

If you’ve got a room that lacks natural light, then consider removing the interior walls or replacing them with transparent glass – which will provide an additional feeling of space, and brighten up the area.

Reducing distractions

Busy, bustling offices can be noisy, distracting places, and reducing unnecessary distractions is a good way to help optimise staff productivity.

Office equipment like photocopiers and printers are typically quite noisy, and tend to be a focal point of any room, attracting office traffic. These can be a serious distraction to your employees, so try to plan your office space so that no one has to sit right next to them. If possible, move them away from the workspace altogether to minimise their impact.

Kitchens, cafeterias, toilets, meeting rooms and break-out rooms can all be noisy places that distract your employees, so wherever possible try to position them away from the workspace.

If distractions are still a problem in your office, consider creating a designated quiet room, where your employees can go when they’re struggling to focus on a task.

Next steps

Planning your office is just one part of creating a winning team in your business. For further information on any aspect of teambuilding, or running a business, get in touch with Coach Pam today on 07540 888016 or by emailing pam@coachpam.co.uk.

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