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Design Strategies to Consider for a Productive Work Environment

Productivity is the essence of every business. It plays an important role in the quality of output and the success of a company. How employees function incurs a large impact on how they work, including their ability to stay focused and productive. While culture shapes workplace values and values dictate the future, the overall design of a workplace affects employee productivity.

Office design is not just about hanging motivational posters or styling cubicles. It’s all about getting more things done and helping employees produce the best results. In a study about workplace performance by WPI Analytics, the physical environment plays an important role in affecting employee’s focus. In fact, a well-designed workplace can increase productivity by 20%. But despite these figures and studies, more employers don’t invest much when it comes to workplace design.

Designing a workplace doesn’t have to be expensive. All it takes are a few decorations, from plants, an accent shiplap wall, and a clean space. After all, spending a few bucks on resources can go a long way to boost a company’s productivity level. Make your office space a better place by following these suggestions.


You may have heard this plenty of times, but keeping your workstation clean makes a big difference in productivity. Working in an untidy area will not help you get plenty of work done. Instead of focusing on the task at hand, a messy area will make you think about how messy it is and how you will clean it.

Encourage employees to take at least a few minutes tidying up their workstations. They can create an organized system that suits their working style and discard unnecessary items to eliminate clutter and distractions.

Aside from cleaning and organizing desks, employees can also create a to-do list before beginning their workday. By the end of their shift, they can tick off the tasks they have accomplished and write pending tasks for tomorrow. Doing this helps employees reflect on whatever they have accomplished for that day and how they can advance towards producing better work outputs.

Personalized workspace

Personalizing a workstation can boost the emotional connection to work, but it should be done moderately. Incorporating plenty of personal touches can lead to uncontrolled clutter. The best way to do this is to tailor a workspace that appeals to an employee’s visual side and taking out items that don’t take too much value. It can be an office-friendly accent wall, productivity-boosting planter, or a desktop calendar to track tasks throughout the week.

Another way is to include personal items that will inspire employees to stay focused and productive. It can be a family photo to keep you motivated the whole day or an art piece to help release all creative juices. A great tip is to find artworks that are likable and unique but not too generic. In fact, having personalized items and decors inside the office will enhance the aesthetics and increase creativity and reflect the company’s values.

Allowing employees to customize their workspaces also contributes to lower stress levels by making them feel comfortable. Even room scents can also affect the mood and mindset. Consider adding comforting scents to the office to increase focus among employees. They can also boost alertness, mood, and relaxation. Some must-try scents include pine, citrus, cinnamon, peppermint, and lavender.

But remember to keep the room scents subtle since not all people like the idea of adding scents to their work environment. Other alternatives are essential oils which you can keep in the bag or drawer.

modern office


One of the secrets to staying productive during a long, tiring day at work is to take plenty of quick, short breaks to develop a newer outlook about the task at hand. Some companies provide stand-to-sit desks for their employees to encourage moving and changing positions the entire workday. If you don’t have one, spruce things up by switching the locations of office equipment and furniture to encourage employees to stretch their bodies and move away from their workspace.

For example, you can place the phone or copy machine away from the cubicles and put a water cooler in the middle where employees can refresh and chat with their coworkers. Productivity is not just about the time and effort spent on each task. It also involves knowing the right time to refuel and recalibrate once in a while.

Keep in mind that no employee has the same work style. They have their own strategies to achieve focus and productivity. That is why there is no fixed approach for functionality, design, and layout that applies to everyone. A better way to boost productivity is by giving employees flexibility and letting them apply personal touches in their workspace to express themselves and be creative freely.

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