Why Your Office is Killing Productivity (And How to Fix It)

Posted by Norma Anthony on Jun 28, 2016 2:36:00 PM

In a perfect world, your employees would remain focused and on-task all day long. Unfortunately, this is hardly ever the case. Thanks to chatty coworkers, nonstop cell phone notifications and the temptation of surfing the internet, your employees are constantly distracted throughout the workday.


While Facebook and text messages can lead to unmotivated, distracted employees, they aren’t the only contributing factors. Your office design also affects your employees’ ability to focus and be productive. We’re outlining how your office design and layout can hurt productivity and how to address these common issues. 

Wrong Set-Up

Is your office one large communal area where employees yell to one another from across the room? Do your employees work in a cube farm where they hardly ever interact or discuss ongoing projects? If you’re hearing a fair amount of chatter, or your employees hide behind their cube walls, it may be time to reevaluate your office set-up.

What’s the best layout for your office? Well, that depends on your company, your building, the allotted space and your employees. While many businesses have been making the move to an open office floorplan, that doesn’t mean an open office is right for your company. Consider your employees’ work styles. Do they work independently or in groups? Do they need more collaborative areas where they can discuss business matters?

If your employees work better in an individual workspace, separate centralized, noisy areas from private spaces where they can do focused work. If your employees tend to gravitate toward conference rooms or mill around one desk, make sure you include plenty of collaborative spaces. You can’t please everyone, but you can certainly try by designing a variety of workspaces to accommodate diverse preferences.

Not Enough Breaks

Are your employees skipping their breaks? Is your break room constantly empty or just a couch and a coffee machine in a neglected corner? You may have invested considerable time and effort into designing your employees’ workspace, but you cannot overlook the importance of the break room.

Breaks are not only necessary in increasing productivity but also allow employees to connect and engage in conversation. Sometimes workers are so overwhelmed by their massive workload that they forget to stop and regroup. Make sure your workers take the time to visit the break room and step away from their desk. Employees can go for a walk, grab a coffee or even sit down and recharge for a little.

Boring Office Décor

Are your employees staring at bland all-white walls? Is your only office decoration a dead plant or a water cooler? No employee wants to spend their entire day in a boring office space. Add some personality to your office space with paintings, plants and unique pieces of art. Express your company’s personality and liven up the place with fun decor.

Also, don’t forget to consider your office furniture. Your chairs and desks should not only be comfortable but aesthetically pleasing. Take time to design an office that fosters creativity and doesn’t have employees rushing out the door at the end of the day.

A few adjustments here or there can significantly improve work productivity. Creating an ideal office layout, encouraging break times for refueling and investing in new decorations are just a few ways you can “revive” the workplace and have employees buzzing with energy.

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Topics: office redesign, office design