9 Unique Office Design Ideas to Increase Productivity

Here's a hard truth: your employees probably don't want to come to the office.

Since the world embraced work from home culture in the last couple of years, many have discovered how comfortable remote work can be. And because of that, they may be more resistant to working in an uncomfortable office environment.

However, not all workplaces thrive remotely. Some teams only do their best work when they come together in a shared space.

If that sounds like your workplace, it's essential to create an office design that is inviting—so inviting that employees will prefer it over their own comfy home office.

Read on for nine office design ideas to boost productivity and employee satisfaction.

1. Offer Privacy

There was once a time when open office plans were all the rage. But these plans don't work for most employees. In fact, open office plans lead to a 15% decrease in productivity, as well as a 32% dip in employee happiness.

Instead, keep some space between employees and offer privacy when possible. When employees are blocked from environmental distractions and cross-table chatter, they can focus better on the work they need to get done.

2. Choose Ergonomic Furniture

No office interior design is complete without proper desks and chairs. Many office workers will spend hours at their desks, meaning the furniture provided must be exceptionally comfortable. If it's not, they may waste time massaging away back pain or constantly trying to readjust their chairs, taking attention away from work.

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To avoid this problem, opt for ergonomic furniture. Ideally, desks should have adjustable heights, and office chairs should support good posture.

Furniture should also accommodate those with physical disabilities when possible.

3. Inject Some Color

If you want a dull staff, go for a drab, colorless office.

Assuming you don't want a dull, uninspired team, bring some color into your office design. Painting the walls or adding colorful decorations can bring energy into the workspace.

Certain colors are also linked to higher productivity levels. Red, purple, and yellow are some great options.

4. Install Bright Lighting

Don't overlook the lighting in your office design. Employees need bright (yet warm) lights to stay awake and focused.

Not only that, but dim lighting can make it difficult to see important paperwork or whiteboard presentations. And when workers are made to squint and strain their eyes in dark rooms, they may suffer from headaches and other ailments.

If possible, make sure your office has plenty of ceiling lights throughout the space, along with additional lamps and desk lights.

5. Combine Function and Style

Modern office designs should prioritize both function and style.

Function keeps things moving efficiently, while style creates a cozy and creative space perfect for brainstorming big ideas. It's important to incorporate both in all areas of your office.

For example, the bathroom should be a welcoming space for employees taking a break. Hanging some artwork or setting flowers on the sink helps to liven the space up aesthetically.

However, function can't be overlooked. An automatic soap dispenser and a fast drying hand dryer save precious time.

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6. Choose an Office With Outdoor Space

A study shows that workers who spend 29 minutes outside are 45% more productive after returning to their workspace.

To truly maximize productivity, look beyond the four walls of your office, and make sure there's access to the outdoors. A rooftop with tables, a green courtyard, or a walking path near the building can make all the difference.

If you're unable to include outdoor space in your office design, consider other ways you can bring nature inside. Indoor plants and other greenery can be soothing, as well as having windows that can open easily to allow fresh air in.

7. Design Effective Meeting Rooms

Some of your team's most productive moments may come during group meetings. Make sure your space accommodates these important gatherings.

Meeting rooms should be spacious, allowing everyone plenty of room. They should also have space to store any necessary equipment, such as projectors and audio equipment.

Similar to the issue with open offices, these rooms should also be completely separated from other spaces, ideally with a wall and door. That way, group huddles don't disrupt others. 

8. Keep It Clean

It's difficult to remain productive in a messy, chaotic office. But keeping an office design looking clean and tidy requires a bit of thought.

For one, you should have plenty of storage and shelving solutions to make sure everything has a designated home. Each desk should also have its own paper trays, cabinets, pen holders, and other organizational tools. That way, there are never random piles of papers or notebooks strewn across desks.

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There should also be a trash station with well-organized bins, including paper bins, recyclables, and other trash.

9. Offer Relaxing Zones

Busy brains need a rest to stay productive. Though it may seem counterintuitive to encourage employees to lounge on the clock, it can actually help them stay sharp throughout the day.

Design a space for relaxing, complete with a sofa, comfortable chairs, and refreshments. This can be an area where workers take breaks or just chill out after a difficult meeting.

Keep these zones separated from work areas. If you don't have a room to spare, use a wall divider to section the space off.

Rethink Your Office Design

Now more than ever, managers and designers must think hard about how to create offices employees will love. To increase productivity and keep your team happy, use the nine ideas discussed above when crafting your office design.

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