Workplace Design: A Tool for Employee Productivity

ideal workplace design with tall green plant, natural light, and comfortable seating

The design and layout of your work environment is linked to employee productivity and engagement, yet, the power of quality workplace design is often underestimated. As employees, our physical environment impacts our comfort, mood, and focus, says ViewSonic. That’s why modern workplace design trends are using data to create functional, aesthetically pleasing spaces to boost engagement and productivity.

Long gone are the days employees clock in, work on the same task for 8 hours, then head home. Today, many employees shift gears several times throughout the day as they work through a variety of tasks and projects. The workplace design should be accommodating for every one of these shifts, explains Jeff Revoy, founder of SpaceIQ.

    • Employees – you benefit from quality workplace design by experiencing increased focus, collaboration, creativity, sense of value, role satisfaction, and overall well-being, as well as reduced stress.
    • Employers – you benefit from quality workplace design by experiencing increased employee productivity, engagement, and retention, reduced absenteeism, interest from new talent, and improved financial performance.

business man being productive at work next to a large window

How to enhance workplace design  

Enhancing your company’s workplace design doesn’t need to be extreme, expensive, or immediate. While new furniture, wellness rooms, and ping-pong tables are exciting, there are small changes you can make that will improve the atmosphere. The WELL Building Standard aims to support and improve human health and well-being by focusing on seven areas of building performance:


An 11% increase in productivity is associated with fresh air and reduction in air pollutants, according to a World Green Building Council study.

    • Install air filtration systems
    • Bring in office plants
    • Open the windows on nice days
    • Keep the office clutter-free


Water consumption throughout the day improves focus, energy, and sleep quality, all of which lead to increased productivity.

    • Install water coolers around the office
    • Provide reusable water bottles
    • Educate employees about the benefits of drinking water
    • Organize water challenges among staff members

woman drinking a large glass of water


Healthy employees are powered by healthy foods. Encourage healthy eating habits so employees will feel energized, alert, and productive all week long.

    • Replace vending machines with healthier options like fresh fruit
    • Promote mindful eating by dedicating a specific room for lunch breaks
    • Host lunch and learn sessions with local nutritionists   


Hours of screen time combined with poor office lighting can result in headaches, eye strain, blurred vision, and fatigue.

    • Reposition bulky cabinets and furniture that block natural light
    • Provide employees with blue light filters for computer screens
    • Consider installing skylights
    • Offer desk lamps


Improving employee health through exercise can lead to increased productivity, creativity and engagement, plus reduce sick days.

    • Install bike racks
    • Encourage employees to take the stairs
    • Offer sit-to-stand workstations
    • Organize stretch breaks

man riding his bike through the city to get to work


Designing your workplace to be a space of comfort can reduce office-related musculoskeletal disorders which result for 70 million doctor visits in the Unites States each year.

    • Offer sit-to-stand workstations
    • Provide employees with different areas to work throughout the day
    • Designate areas of the office for breakout sessions, informal meeting areas, and brainstorming


Emotional well-being is just as important as one’s physical health. Employees who work in offices with natural features, such as plants and fresh air, report feeling 6% more productive and 15% more creative, according to a recent study.

    • Bring in potted plants
    • Construct a green wall or flower garden
    • Create an outdoor working area such as a work friendly patio or staff garden
    • Designate a wellness room for employees to relax and decompress
    • Offer schedule flexibility by allowing employees to work from home when needed

The ideal work environment is a combination of several factors. As an employer, it is important to create a setting in which employees feel comfortable, safe, and free to collaborate.

businessman working on his computer next to large windows and a large plant