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The links between office design and productivity

Offices are seldom thought of as being a pleasant place to spend the majority of your working life, which is no surprise when most office layouts are far from inspiring. Cramped desks, drab cubicles and tired décor all contribute to a lack of productivity.

While the perfect workspace will ultimately come down to what suits the company culture, there are some simple steps you can take towards achieving a happy and productive environment.

Shine a light

In a study conducted by Pots Planters & More, it was found that 40% of people listed light as being the most important factor in their workplace environment. It’s no secret that dim lighting can strain the eyes and bring on headaches, so if this is the case in your office then it could be time to let natural light in and be wiser with your lamps and lightbulb choices.

The secret behind lighting ergonomics is to get the balance right between natural and artificial; the better and closer to a natural colour temperature your lighting is, the more productive people are.


In results from the Pots Planters & More study, one of the biggest ‘embarrassments’ for people in their offices is the furniture. The British Council of Offices even found that productivity increases by 23% when bad office furniture is replaced.

From mesh back chairs to sit-stand desks, the opportunities for improving the ergonomics of workplace set-ups are endless! In the long-run, these investments can go a long way in improving comfort and efficiency for your employees.

A splash of colour

While colour schemes in many offices will reflect a company’s brand, one of the things to consider when refurbishing your workplace is the selections you make. Studies over the years have found that not only do colours change our moods, but they also have a profound effect on productivity too.

Try to avoid predominantly white, grey or beige schemes, as these can induce feelings of sadness. Instead, go with hues of green/blue to improve efficiency and focus, or yellows to express optimism or energy.

Going green

With the biophilia hypothesis considered as our “innate need to seek connections with nature”, it may be a surprise to see that just 42% of global offices have plants or greenery.

Touching on the benefits of colour in the office again, studies have shown that bringing in a variety of rich, green shades from plants can offer a visually-meditative experience that, ultimately, results in happier and healthier employees. But plants don’t just look great! They also act as great air filters and provide clean, purified oxygen, which stabilises humidity levels and reduces symptoms of “sick building syndrome”.

A good office environment isn’t just about the look. It also comes down to how the space works and whether it is practical for your company culture. If you’re looking to improve both the functionality and aesthetics of your workspace but aren’t quite sure where to begin, get in contact with Foursquare Workspace today and we’ll be happy to help.