Is office design key to increasing productivity?

As an employer your ultimate aim is to achieve the best work and most productivity from your employees, and there are many different ways to do this. Techniques such as implementing incentives, regularly engaging in out of work activities, and offering praise and rewards have all proven effective.

Another tactic however, often overlooked, is to carefully consider the office environment itself in relation to productivity. Here we will discuss some top reasons why office layout is key to increasing productivity in the workplace, and provide some small changes which can make a huge impact.

Office Layout

How people move around the office has not always been considered as an important link to productivity, however the design of the environment is highly important. An open plan office will have a positive impact on productivity versus using cubicles or closed offices where teams cannot speak and voice ideas easily. Careful planning of open plan offices is still important, and seating teams together who are working on the same project or client can greatly improve productivity.

Providing areas where workers can take time away from their desk is also important for improving attention span and concentration. Office refurbishments are a perfect time to consider the overall layout of the office and make changes accordingly. You can experiment by moving teams around or even just changing the positioning of the furniture.


A factor which is highly important for improving productivity is to consider the temperature of the office. Making sure the environment is kept cool with air conditioning units during the warmer months, and adequately heated during cooler months is vital for concentration.

If a workspace is too hot or cold, productivity levels can drop. A study from Helsinki University states the ideal temperature for maximum productivity within an office is 22 degrees Celsius. A brilliant way to ensure your workspace stays comfortable throughout the year is to implement MSL planned maintenance services, ensuring that your office space will be maintained and checked for any potential maintenance issues with heating systems and air conditioning units; these problems can be resolved before they escalate which could result in uncomfortable or unusable working conditions.

Outside Inside

Research by the University of Exeter has shown that having plants within an office can make staff happier and lead to an increase in productivity by up to 15%. Bringing the outside in by introducing indoor plants can lead to workers becoming more cognitively engaged in their work, and bring about a higher workplace satisfaction.

The perceived increase in air quality, alongside the thoughts that plants can lower stress whilst increasing concentration, are all ideal for increasing productivity across the office.


Allowing employees to personalise their office space can lead to an increased emotional connection which can be excellent for mental wellbeing. It is however, highly important for the workspace to not become too cluttered which can be detrimental to productivity. One or two personal items such as a framed photograph can strike the right balance between personalisation and minimalism.

These personalised items can sit perfectly alongside other desk essentials which are ideal for helping to improve productivity such as desk calendars to track the work week and manage time effectively.

There are many different environmental factors which can affect productivity, of which we have discussed just some above. By carefully implementing and experimenting with small changes throughout the office, productivity can greatly increase.