The Impact of Office Layout on Employee Productivity

The Impact of Office Layout on Employee Productivity

The productivity of your employees is one of the key factors determining your business’ success. Yet, to maximize it is a complex and difficult task – multifaceted, requiring balancing many available solutions and affecting even the smallest elements in your company. One such aspect that seems tiny but has a huge impact on productivity is your office layout. How exactly does it influence the way your employees work? Find it out below!

Navigating the Office – How a Good Layout Helps Your Employees Save Time

The first of the effects that office layout has on productivity is related to the distance your employees need to walk to reach the most important spaces – meeting rooms, bathrooms, or kitchen. But is it really so critical?

The answer is – yes. According to Runn, an average US white-collar worker has between 11 and 25 meetings every week. Add to that the restroom and coffee breaks, and you’ll see that your employees move from point A to point B several times a day. Thus, you need to plan your layout with that in mind.

If the distances between the rooms are too long, the productivity will drop – your employees will simply have less time to work while spending more time walking. On the other hand, with a thought-through layout, you can minimize the time spent on navigating the office, significantly boosting your employees’ efficiency.

Creating the Right Space for Everyone

Your office layout also impacts productivity based on the number of different spaces that it offers. One size rarely fits all, and your employees are different, meaning that the perfect conditions for your worker no. 1 won’t necessarily be perfect or even good for workers no. 2 and 3.

Therefore, the variety of spaces included in your office layout has a major impact on productivity – you want to create the finest conditions for as many employees as possible. However, it’s also crucial to balance this with other points from our list in mind – preparing 20 or 30 different types of rooms would make it extremely difficult to create a layout that is easy to navigate and to keep the distances between most crucial spaces short.

What spaces should you definitely offer to boost productivity without creating an overabundance of rooms? Here are a few ideas:

  • open space rooms,
  • office booths,
  • quiet rooms,
  • brainstorming rooms/booths,
  • supply rooms,
  • conference rooms,
  • break/leisure rooms,
  • space to work outside (if possible).

Enlightening Your Employees to Work Better

Another way through which the office layout may affect productivity is connected to windows – namely sunlight and air quality.

The more natural light there is in the rooms, the less tired your employees' eyes will get, meaning that they will be able to do their best for longer periods of time. The same goes for fresh air, which is much better for employee wellness than air-conditioning. However, you need to remember that overdoing one of these may also impact the productivity of your employees negatively.

An example of that can be seen when the windows are at a wrong angle in relation to the desks, and the sunlight falls directly on your workers’ screens. Instead of helping them work more efficiently this creates a reverse effect, with the employees wasting time looking for ways to cover the windows.

Enhancing Your Employee’s Comfort

A good layout is a convenient and comfortable one. Simple as it may seem, it has actually a major impact on the productivity of your employees.

The more noise, inconveniences, distractions, and pain, the less effective your teams are. After all, as a result of these four culprits, your employees get tired much more easily, and so their performance drops before the end of the day. Planning your office layout can help you with that.

While we usually associate comfort with furniture itself, the way it’s organized can also affect it. This can mostly be observed in rooms where the space between furniture pieces is insufficient.

Bumping into your colleague's chair every time you need to get up is something terribly uncomfortable. The same thing goes for situations where employees don’t have enough legroom under their desks, due to the people sitting on the opposite side. While such solutions might seem like a money saver – you can use a smaller office – they actually lead to a visible drop in productivity, especially at the end of each day, so in the end they are not profitable and only do more harm than good.

The Takeaway

As you can see there are 4 major ways in which office layout affects the productivity in your office. This is why you should pay extra attention to it and consider working with professionals while planning your space – it might include some additional initial costs, but can quickly pay off in your teams being much more efficient.

Did you like this article? You may also read: Workplace Distractions Are More Than Just Annoying

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