Creating a Better Office Design to Increase Productivity

A study conducted by Harvard researchers found that office design is powerful; it is not only key to the functionality of a workplace but also influences employees’ home lives. The team behind the study looked at ten buildings spread throughout the United States, exploring them for qualities conducive to strong work output. Interestingly, buildings that have incorporated sustainability as a central value, through green certification of their building methods, are associated with 30% fewer sick days, 26% better thought processing, and 6% lower incidence of sleep disorders and disturbances.

Use of environmentally friendly principles is just one design method that can be used to foster a higher level of innovation and creativity. What else can you do? Let’s look at seven factors that are pivotal to excellent design and specific steps you can take with office design to increase productivity.

7 factors for better office design

If you want to use office design for better business results, you want to know the core elements of design. A 2016 piece in Harvard Business Review discussed the 7 central factors that guide highly successful office design projects – each of which exist on a continuum or spectrum, as indicated in parentheses:

#1 – Size – Square footage usable for the design (smaller to larger)

#2 – Perspective – The way that the attention of users of the space is directed (inward to outward)

#3 – Temporality – The extent to which a space is geared toward engaging occupants and keeping them there (short-term to long-term).

#4 – Technology – Incorporation of technological systems and tools (low-tech to high-tech).

#5 – Exposure – Treatment of privacy and isolation, related to sound or sight, within the design (private to public).

#6 – Enclosure – Implementation of ceilings, doors, and walls (open to closed).

#7 – Location – Accessibility of the space to users (core to periphery).

How to use office design to increase productivity

With those basic components of strong design in mind, what can you specifically do to leverage your space for better business output? Here are a few actions you can take in terms of the design and also controlling the environment:

• Design – Build in paths to create chance encounters.

• Design – Create a space that is specifically intended for relaxation.

• Environment – Don't let it get too hot, since almost half of people become less effective when the temperature is 77 degrees or above.

• Design – Build in quiet spaces for any solo activities. Why? 17% of office workers say that private areas would make them more productive.

• Design – Embrace flexibility with a more agile design – creating better movement, health, and a sense that people are not glued to one spot.

• Environment – Use aromatherapy, since office errors are reduced with lavender, jasmine, and lemon scents (20%, 33%, and 54%, respectively).

Taking the next step

With this design-output relationship in mind and a few specific strategies that can be implemented through office design to increase productivity, how can you move forward? At Beaux-Arts Group, we do more than sell furniture. We understand space. See our approach.