The Productive Workspace: Top Design Ideas for a Fully Functional Office

As individuals, we know what makes us tick and what we need to work at our best. The optimum level of work is stimulated by different factors that are unique to each person. For example, extroverts and introverts usually prefer entirely different noise levels while working, just as some may be night owls rather than early birds when it comes to productive work patterns. There are a host of conditions that affect our daily routine and its productivity, sometimes without even realising. However, in an office environment many of these conditions are already laid out for us, with little or no flexibility to change how or when we work.

This leaves the responsibility with employers to create a workspace that will offer their team more versatile and user-friendly areas to work in to accommodate as many as possible. To maximise the productivity levels from their staff it would be prudent to consider what design trends to implement in your office.

Office User-Experience

Providing an experience for those entering your office, whether employee or visitor, is fast becoming a competitive requirement. These features not only offer an entirely unique visitor experience but can eliminate the monotony of the traditional working day, improve wellbeing and boost productivity levels. ‘Work hard, play hard’ has never been more applicable.

The big guns like Google and Amazon set the bar high, offering an abundance of original and exciting features like slides and basketball courts that set them apart from the crowd. But you don’t need to be a multi-million-pound company to provide an unforgettable experience. Simple yet effective features could include a boardroom table that also doubles as a ping pong table, combing practicality with fun. The co-working company WeWork supplies their clients with a beer tap on each floor, offering free booze in exchange for hard work. These are smaller, more affordable amenities that can offer a considerable morale boost and a greater incentive to be productive during working hours.  

Workplace Biophilia

The amount of time we spend indoors during the day is overwhelming. The average office worker spends 90% of each day inside, with up to 60% of that time without access to enough natural light – this is bound to have repercussions. Out in the real world, the relationship between light and nature is entirely congruous, so why should the office environment be any different?

Studies in science have already discovered that overall wellbeing can be improved by 40% with the presence of plants in the office. Plants placed in the office can act as a biofilter, improving air quality and creating a healthier working environment. Living green walls are an emerging trend that can help to insulate your office, both to retain heat in the winter and keep it at bay in the summer.

Colour and Office Productivity

It’s time to do away with the drab, clinical colours in your office and embrace the bold, bright shades. Of course, it is crucial that your choices are selected from you brand colour palette, particularly if your office is client facing or acts as your designated showroom. Finding the right balance of these colours in the appropriate areas of the office can affect both the wellbeing and productivity levels of employees.

According to colour psychology, they can be separated by what they can promote:

  • Blue – communication, trust, efficiency, calming.
  • Orange – enthusiasm, creative performance.
  • Yellow – energises, boosts optimism.
  • Green – harmony and balance, creativity, reduces anxiety.
  • Red – enhanced brain wave activity.
  • White – spaciousness, creativity.
  • Grey – neutral but too much can reduce self-confidence.

Based on this colour psychology, consider where you could place these colours in your design to maximise the impact on work that will take place there. For example, try using blues in meeting rooms to promote trust and communication, or painting walls white in smaller corners of the office to make them appear more accessible.

It’s safe to say that wellbeing and productivity go hand in hand. Feeling generally happier in the workplace will motivate the individual and increase productivity levels. Providing a design for your office that considers this is invaluable in nurturing a prosperous business and attracting new talent.


Sarah Tilley - https://www.oktra.co.uk/

Oktra designs and builds offices. As a dynamic team of designers, builders and strategists, they are driven by a singular goal - to create workplaces that help people achieve their ambitions. From workplace studies to their design concepts, each workplace they build captures the essence of its people.

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