How does workspace design impact employee productivity

November 10, 2020

A global study by Steelcase found that 11% of employees are highly dissatisfied with their offices and as a result are highly disengaged from their work. It’s also very well known that employees spend almost a third of their lives in the office. In such a case, the working environment is bound to influence their engagement, well-being and productivity.

Key findings from the Fellowes Workplace Wellness Trend Report include:

  • An overwhelming majority(87%) of employees would like their current employer to offer healthier workplace benefits, with options ranging from wellness rooms to cafeterias.
  • 93% of employees in the tech industry said they would stay longer at a company that would offer healthier workplace benefits.
  • Employees also reported that many companies lack superior technology requirements which hinder their ability to be more productive.

No matter what industry you’re in, we can observe from these statistics that a well-designed modern workspace immensely affects employee productivity. It’s also a good time for organizations to revamp their workspaces with a redefined approach to create a better experience as employees continue to return back to offices. Let’s look closely at some of the factors our experts believe indicate how workplace design affects employees’ engagement and productivity.


Offices designed with open workspaces encourage employees to work collaboratively and creatively in an inclusive space. These spaces give employees the flexibility to break free from their hectic schedules and give themselves a break. A few ways to do this could be:

  • Ergonomically crafted work areas with the ability to alternate from sitting to standing positions.
  • Soundproofing to create quiet zones
  • Provide comfortable and informal seating


Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago reported that compared to offices without windows, those with windows received 173 percent more white light exposure during work hours. It was also observed that employees who got more white light resulted in less absenteeism, reduced stress, lesser illness, and increased productivity.


Workplaces play a key role in driving company values and create a positive visitor experience. It can foster a feeling of belongingness, inspire innovation and encourage teamwork. Especially in an age when the working class would have millennials in the lead, who project different behavioural tendencies than the previous generation. When choosing between two-employers they prefer a workplace that says a great deal about the organization’s attitude towards the workforce.


Flexibility is important in today’s work environment, wherein the workspace should be easily adaptable depending on the current task at hand. An article by Gallup found that employees who have the ability to move to different areas at work are 1.3 times more likely to be engaged than other employees. Ensure comfort, minimalist designs, ergonomic furniture and premium Grade A architecture in order to provide a productive office environment to employees.


There are many studies suggesting the correlation between psychology and colour. The psychological effects of color choices should be well thought before designing an office space. A company can utilize different colour schemes depending on their goals. According to Gestalt psychology, blue is a calming color and reduces stress. Yellow is good for sparking creativity and red for promoting productivity.

Office Designs are about creating a balance between company culture and employee satisfaction. Employee well-being and morale is vital for the overall success of the company. By simply offering employees areas to recharge and taking their comfort into consideration, you can easily make subtle changes to improve the physical environment at your office. The shift envisaged towards a fluid workspace might become a reality sooner than expected and prove to be a driving force for employee engagement and productivity.

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