How Office Design Can Affect Employees

Office Interior Design

Office productivity is a hot topic. Managers across all industries spend countless hours strategizing about ways to achieve productivity improvements. Before you hire, or heaven forbid, fire team members, plan an elaborate corporate retreat, or invest heavily into the latest and greatest iteration of “six sigma,” it’s worth taking a moment to consider your workspace.

Poor workplace design can directly impact productivity. At Indoff, we believe effective interior solutions have the power to boost any bottom line. When we approach any commercial interior project, we consider four key aspects of workplace design: personal spaces, shared spaces, ergonomics, and environment. Let’s take a closer look at each of these and how effective office design can affect productivity.

Personal Spaces

In most office environments, individual employees require some type of personal workspace. This might be anything from a front desk for a receptionist, a corner office for middle managers, or a cubicle for your accounts payable clerk. Each employee’s personal style will influence their space; some folks are just messier than others. That said, employers can set the tone for productive workspaces by providing things like the following:

  • Adequate storage. Clutter creates chaos, and chaos reduces productivity. Plenty of useful, accessible storage can minimize clutter. Practical storage solutions also make it possible to keep the most frequently used items close, and the rest tucked away out of sight.
  • Privacy. While the value of privacy in the workplace is certainly up for debate, it’s important to acknowledge that some level of privacy is needed, especially for workers whose roles demand concentration. You’ll want to strike the right balance between an open floor plan vs. cubicles to satisfy the needs of all your employees.
  • The right tools. Provide your employees with the right tools. For example, if you’ve got an employee who travels to the printer every hour to retrieve documents, their productivity would be boosted with a dedicated printer at their workstation. What do your employees need to do their jobs well?
  • Trash receptacles. It needs to be convenient for employees to dispose of unwanted items, shred sensitive documents, and recycle responsibly. Ready access to well-marked bins will help things in your office stay tidy.

Shared Spaces

Your office also needs to provide a variety of shared spaces. Your waiting area or lobby is one example, but so are conference rooms, cafeterias, break rooms, copy rooms, and smaller collaboration spaces. Each of these spaces is important and deserves special consideration. They serve to support your employees and communicate your corporate culture and facilitate innovation and collaboration. Deals are often made in powerful conference rooms. Product improvements are realized over coffee in the break room. And employees share ways to make their jobs more efficient and more productive in spaces designed to welcome conversation, exchange, and engagement.

These shared spaces need the following:

  • Adequate, comfortable seating that’s appropriate for the space
  • Other furniture such as tables and cabinets as needed
  • High-quality, task-appropriate lighting
  • Access to tech
  • Décor that’s warm, inviting, and interesting


Ergonomics is all about making daily working conditions safer and more comfortable, both of which are critical to productivity. Employees who experience strain, pain, or fatigue will not be as productive as they might otherwise be.

Your interior office design’s focus on ergonomics should include the following:

  • Desk configurations that protect employees’ hands and backs.
  • Proper screen placement
  • Comfortable, adjustable chairs
  • Footrests (for the short one whose feet don’t) reach the floor.
  • Quality keyboards and mice that protect the users’ hands

Beyond basic ergonomics, you might also consider the value of additional creature comforts that go a long way to making employees feel more comfortable. The possibilities are endless but could include things such as:

  • shared public standing desks that allow employees to take a break from their seats and get up and move around while still working
  • complimentary healthy snacks in the break rooms
  • extra cushy seats in some shared spaces
  • bright colors and cheerful décor

This list could go on and on. There’s a lot of value in making your workplace pleasant, comfortable, and safe.

The Environment

Beyond the furniture, office supplies, and other essentials, creating the ideal environment to foster productivity is paramount. This includes the following:

  • Good ventilation. Clean air is healthy air.
  • Lighting. Lighting is especially critical. Dim, unnatural lighting contributes to eye strain, headaches, and lethargy. Bring in as much natural light as possible and upgrade your fixtures and bulbs to high-quality LEDs.
  • Lighting is especially critical. Dim, unnatural lighting contributes to eye strain, headaches, and lethargy. Bring in as much natural light as possibleand upgrade your fixtures and bulbs to high-quality LEDs.
  • Plants. Greenery cleans the air and creates a calming atmosphere suitable for productivity and office morale.

Employee Impact

The Bottom Line

You want your workplace to run smoothly and efficiently. To accomplish that, you’ll need to think about what makes your team feel inspired, engaged, and creative while at work. The changes you make might be as simple as adding fresh plants and splashes of color around the office. Or you may decide that a complete overhaul is required. Either way, Indoff is here to provide expertise and industry-leading products to get the job done right.

The connection between the workplace and productivity is evident. A well-planned, thoughtfully designed workspace makes it easier for everyone to get their task completed, collaborate with others, and enjoy coming to work every day. Healthy, happy employees are also engaged, productive employees.

Today is a great day to reach out to Indoff to discuss workspace design. Our commercial interiors Partners are here to provide real solutions. Great office design is not about following the latest trends or spending boatloads of money; it’s about seeking out and implementing what works, and Indoff is here to help you with that. Find an Indoff Sales Partner in your area to get started.

Courtney Brazell

Courtney joined Indoff in 2010. She brings years of experience in project management and tech solutions and is responsible for supporting our Partners’ sales efforts.

Phone: (314) 997-1122 ext. 1291

Josh Long

Josh joined Indoff in 2013 as part of the acquisition of Allied Appliance, a nationwide appliance distributor. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of our appliance division that is comprised of Allied Appliance and Absocold, a manufacturer of refrigerators and microwaves that Indoff acquired in 2017.

Phone: (314) 997-1122 ext. 1107

Jim Malkus

Jim joined Indoff in 1988 after spending 5 years at Ernst & Young, where he specialized in audit and accounting for privately-held businesses. Jim is responsible for the day-to-day management of Indoff.

Phone: (314) 997-1122 ext. 1203

John Ross

John’s background includes the start up and acquisition of several successful business ventures, and he provides strategic planning and overall corporate governance.

Phone: (314) 997-1122 ext. 1201