7 Office Design Tips to Maximise Productivity

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that the UK has a productivity problem. In the last quarter of 2022, output per worker and hour were 0.2% and 0.3% lower than the previous year. While there are multiple factors involved, it’s clear that business leaders need to take action to reverse this trend and set companies and the economy on the path to growth again.

Getting office design right is a crucial piece of the productivity puzzle. When it’s done well, it can motivate workers to get back into the office and give their very best. But you may wonder, can design features like acoustic pods and potted plants really boost your bottom line?

To find out, let’s explore how office design affects productivity and what you can do about it.

1. Give People Options

Being rigidly confined to the same desk, with the same view, and surrounded by the same colleagues could be enough to hit anyone’s productivity. Especially if the view is less than inspiring and the person sitting next to you provides a running commentary Clare Balding would be proud of.

While the term hot-desking may send a shiver down our collective spines, offering people some flexibility is still a good thing. This could include less formal spaces such as breakout areas they can decamp to with their laptops for a while. Acoustic pods are another sanctuary that can help workers get their heads down in blissful silence.

2. Don’t Neglect Ergonomics

Simply put, ergonomics helps boost productivity by supporting people’s health. It’s about more than just providing comfortable, adjustable office chairs, although that is one important aspect. It also includes:

  • Reducing repetitive motions
  • Eliminating potential hazards
  • Controlling distractions

It pays to research ergonomics to discover adjustments that can make a big difference to your employees’ comfort. Even better, work with an ergonomic consultant who can assess your office and provide tailored advice.

3. Kill Clutter

We’ve all heard the saying, a place for everything and everything in its place. It turns out following this mantra is good for our productivity. Studies have found that clutter is an enemy of good mental health in the workplace. Being surrounded by stuff makes us less productive and could make us dread going to work.

The solution? Business leaders need to maintain a firm line when it comes to office clutter.From day one, make it clear to new starters that this is a clutter-free office, and it's everybody’s responsibility to keep it that way. It’ll seem like a pain at first, but in time, your colleagues will thank you for it.

4. Keep Workers Well Fed and Watered

For some people, getting out of the office to buy a coffee or a spot of lunch is a highlight of the day. Others prefer the convenience of bringing their own food and drink to the office.

So if possible, give people options by providing a designated kitchen area. This should be clean and inviting and have a large fridge that can accommodate everyone’s lunch and drinks. A well-thought-out microwave policy will keep distracting smells and office angst to a minimum.

5. Inject Some Life With Plants

This might sound a little out there, but trust us, it’s backed up by science. Research into office productivity conducted by the University of Exeter looked at the impact of plants on workers’ perceptions of air quality, concentration, and satisfaction in two large offices in the UK and The Netherlands.

The results showed that adding some carefully chosen greenery could boost productivity by 15%, compared with working in so-called ‘lean’ offices with no plants at all. The researchers also commented that adding plants lowers physiological stress and makes people feel happier. It could be a small investment that pays big dividends in terms of employee satisfaction and improved financial health of your business.

Just make sure someone’s responsible for watering and feeding them. We couldn’t find a study, but we’re pretty sure dead plants are productivity killers.

6. Choose Colours Carefully

Colour preferences are highly personal, but research has shown that certain hues are more stimulating than others. For example, a study by the University of British Columbia found that blue boosts creative thinking while red helps our attention to detail.

But before you go and paint your office walls scarlet, take a moment to think about your business and your workers. Think about the environment you’re trying to create and how to use colours carefully without overwhelming your colleagues. Consider consulting an office interior design company to strike the right balance.

7. Explore Acoustic Pods for Offices

There are times when all of us need a little privacy. Whether it’s a confidential HR meeting or a new project you’re keeping under wraps, every office needs a quiet space people can retreat to for a private phone call or meeting.

If you don’t have the luxury of an empty conference room or unoccupied offices, acoustic meeting pods for UK businesses could be the perfect solution. They come in 3-4 and 5-6 person varieties and give you a private, soundproof space for collaboration or private conversations.

They’re comfortably equipped with everything you need, including:

  • Silent ventilation systems
  • Comfortable seating and tables
  • Task and ambient lighting options
  • Monitor stands for presentations and virtual meetings
  • State-of-the-art soundproofing materials to minimise distractions

When you incorporate soundproof pods for individuals or meetings into your office design, your workers are able to focus and collaborate more effectively.

A Productive Office Needs Acoustic Pods

Great office design leads to happy, productive workers who form the backbone of successful businesses. There are several important design elements, but if your workers have nowhere to go to get away from the hum of printers, servers, and other humans, they may never achieve their productivity potential.

That’s why at Soundbox Store, we have created a range of soundproof pods that meet the needs of all offices. From phone booth style acoustic pods that are perfect for home or small offices to 4-6 person meeting booths, we have everything you need.

Check out our range to find the perfect fit for your office.