The link between workspace design and productivity

On average, we spend nearly a third of our lives at work. And in that time, employees are expected to get their heads down and produce the best quality work they can.

But how can businesses help encourage better employee productivity without making them feel like they’re back at school?

The answer is with great workspace design.


How the work environment impacts productivity

Lots of research has looked into the link between workspace design and productivity. On the whole, the results show that considering the ambience of the environment, considering the office furniture and layout and designing a space to meet specific business objectives are all effective ways to boost employee productivity.

Research has also shown that employees themselves believe they will be more productive when their workspace is designed effectively.

This is because a positive working environment improves mood, encourages creativity and creates a positive perception of the business to attract the best talent and retain hard-working staff.

workspace design and productivity

But what elements of office design can we improve on to encourage better focus and more productive working throughout the day?

Let’s take a look…


How to improve your office design for better productivity

There are many ways to build on your office design to encourage better productivity in staff. Some require a simple tweak to your existing office space, while others may require more time and effort to craft the right working environment.

Here are just some ways you can improve the office design to increase productivity.


The decor is the base of your office design, with all the other elements playing off the key décor theme. It’s important to choose an overall theme, colours and furnishings that reflect your brand and company culture.

This helps to define your space while still working to improve productivity. Try to use a light colour pallet to play off the lighting and make the office feel bigger. If your brand colours are on the darker side, try using them as accent colours throughout the office rather than the leading design colour.


Branding is vital for encouraging a good company culture and giving employees a sense of belonging in a business. If staff buy into the brand, they are more likely to enjoy working for the company, so they stop viewing it as a standard 9-5 job.

To do this, try bringing your branding into the office by using brand colours and signage. One way to do this is with branded lightboxes hung on the walls or freestanding lightboxes dotted around the space.

wall mounted lightbox display

Freestanding lightboxes can be used throughout your design to bring the brand into the office’s physical space. Plus, lightboxes can be transported, so if you need the branded signage for an event, you can bring it with you for ultimate impact and return it to the office when you’re done.


No one wants to work in a boxed up, stuffy work environment with no airflow, especially in the warmer summer months. This can cause the team to feel lethargic and become distracted from their work, ultimately impacting productivity.

That’s why it’s important to ensure the office design includes lots of windows and even air conditioning to ensure air moves around the space.

Another way to improve air quality is by doing it the way nature intended – with plants! Plants naturally turn CO2 into oxygen for better air quality and add a fresh look to the decor.


The positioning of the windows isn’t just good for ventilation. It allows in lots of natural light, which has also been shown to improve mood and helps to reduce the strain on the eyes from staring at screens.

If lighting is limited in your workspace, try to make the office layout open plan to make the most of the natural light in the building. And in areas where windows aren’t a possibility at all, try to get creative and think of ways to mimic a window.

This can be done with a lightbox. Lightboxes provide an additional lighting source in a dark office and can be customised with your choice of artwork to give employees something nice to look at, just like they would a window.

Office design inspiration

Breakout spaces

Giving staff a range of places to work within the office is critical for a productive workspace design. Creating breakout spaces in offices gives your team a place to take a break from their own desk, improve communication and work collaboratively to come up with new and exciting ideas.

A breakout space is especially useful in creative industries, where mental blocks are common, and a change of scenery is needed to regain focus, aid thinking and encourage idea creation.

When designing a breakout space, try to make it different from a typical meeting room or workspace. Tailor its features to the job at hand and think of the many ways employees can use it to make the most of the unique space.

Personal workspaces

While positive workplace relationships and collaboration are great for improving office productivity, sometimes you need to get your head down without distractions.

Including designated solo workspaces into the office design gives employees a place to temporarily separate themselves from co-workers without permanently isolating them. Having a mix of collaborative and personal workspaces allows your employees to control how they work for better productivity.

If space is precious and you can’t afford to tape off a whole area for personal work, you could use moveable partitioning to separate an area and create a temporary private space as and when it’s needed.

Non-Working Spaces

While office design is all about improving productivity, it’s also important to give staff an area to switch off from work so they can reset their minds when needed.

Whether employees want to enjoy their lunch break away from the desk or are having a bad day and need to step away for a few minutes, having a strictly no work zone in the office can help to increase overall work satisfaction.

Non-working spaces could include a kitchen and dining area for employees to eat their lunch or, for the more modern office design, a chill-out area complete with comfy sofas and maybe even a ping pong table.


The overall goal of office ergonomics is to ensure the workspace fits you, your employees and the work you’re all doing. This means shaping the work environment to suit.

This can be done by investing in high-quality office furniture such as desk chairs with proper back support or offering the option of standing desks if your team are sat down all day.

It’s also a good idea to invest in ergonomically designed office accessories like mouses and keyboards that follow the body’s natural shape. These accessories help to make work more comfortable and shows employees you care about their health and well-being.

Talk to your team

At the end of the day, your employees are the ones who are being productive, so it’s a good idea to ask them what will help boost their productivity and consider their opinions.

This will help you to come up with new and unique ways to improve performance, and the communication will help the team feel a part of the office redesign, so they know their input is valued in the business.

office design improves productivity


Workplace design solutions from DPI

As we’ve discussed, there are many ways to improve your workspace’s productivity through office design, and DPI is here to help you achieve this.

Our range of bespoke LED lightboxes and partitions are manufactured to order and can be used throughout the office to build on the decor and create a workplace environment that your staff want to be in.

We can make displays in almost any shape or size to suit your designs with your own choice of artwork printed on push-fit fabrics. The push-fit fabric design allows for artwork to be changed quickly and effortlessly without the need for a professional fitter. This means displays can be updated as often as needed to bring variety to the workplace and improve productivity.

Get in touch with our team to discuss your workplace designs and how our product range can help boost workplace productivity.