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How the Office Environment Affects Productivity

The office enviornment can have a significant impact on how an employee feels whilst at work, ultimately having a knock on effect on their productivity. In this weeks blog we take a look at how you can design your office environment to enhance productivity, exploring how you can make the most of lighting, furniture and colour to bring out the best from your employees.

Temperature & Air Quality

Even though you can’t see the air, it’s affect on employee health and productivity should not be ignored. One experiment found that a well ventilated office with low levels of carbon dioxide caused productivity to jump by 61% when compared to a standard office environment.

This increase in productivity is due to the negative health risks associated with inadequate ventilation as poor air quality can lead to headaches and respiratory problems, increasing absenteeism throughout the office. Installing good quality HVAC systems into an office environment ensures that your office has clean air, allowing employees to work productively.

Temperature within an office environment can also have an impact on productivity as employees who are toll cold or hot may be unable to focus on the task at hand. Ideal temperatures are subjective as different people feel cold and warmth differently, therefore experimenting with the temperature in the office may be the best way to find a compromise and limit any impacts on productivity.



Dim lighting conditions in your workplace environment can lead to eye strain, headaches, drowsiness and a lack of focus, on the other hand bright fluorescent lighting can also lead to eye strain, headaches and can trigger migraines. With these potential problems associated with poor lighting, care must be taken to find the right balance between dim and bright lighting so the negative impacts on employee wellbeing are minimised. The best workplace design companies create 3D models of a space and ensure that lighting conditions remain at the ideal level for your space.

Natural light within your office environment affects productivity significantly, with one study finding that offices which have plenty of natural light and outdoor views can reap productivity gains of up to 70%



Carefully designing colour into your office environment could play a role in boosting productivity and wellbeing, as different colours can trigger different responses amongst employees. Blue and Green are calming colours which is ideal for offices where the work is stressful as the calming effect can improve mood and help with brain function. Red can be a motivating colour, boosting energy levels and cognitive function due to the simulative nature of the colour.

Yellow and orange colours are best used for boosting creativity, therefore if your business is based upon creativity and innovation then designing hot desking or brainstorming spaces with a yellow or orange colour scheme would be the obvious choice to maximise the creativity of your workforce.


Noise levels within your office environment can have a detrimental effect on your workplace productivity, with one study finding that employee productivity can fall by up to 66% in noisy open plan office environments. Although too much noise can be problematic, silence isn’t necessarily golden as many workers find they are more productive with some ambient noise, meaning office environments should be carefully designed to limit but not completely eliminate background noise.

Designing a mixture of working spaces into your office environment is one way to positively increase productivity, as private working booths or meeting rooms can provide a much needed escape from the bustle of the open plan office, allowing employees to focus on tasks which require close attention to detail without any distractions. Providing the option of a quiet working area is the best way to ensure that all employees working styles can be accommodated, maximising productivity within your office environment.



Office furniture impacts productivity in a couple of ways, firstly choosing furniture such as desks, monitor stands and seating with the correct ergonomics can reduce health issues throughout the office. Muscle fatigue, musculoskeletal disorders and consequently absenteeism are all problems associated with office furniture which isn’t up to the task, and the result productivity can be drastic in terms of long-term absences due to illness and poor employee morale. 

Designing different types of furniture into your office environment can impact productivity for the better, for example if an employee needs to be able to concentrate or make an important call then a private phone booth may be the perfect space to allow the employee to work at their most productive. Alternatively, introducing soft, informal seating into your breakout spaces may create a relaxed space which allows for creativity to flow, which is especially useful for brainstorming sessions.


All elements of the office environment can have either a positive or an adverse impact on productivity and getting your space just right can be difficult. Officeinsight are here to help, we create inspirational workspaces which can bring out the best from your employees so if you’re looking at boosting the productivity in your office we’d love to hear from you!


Author- Marcus Livesey, Marketing Executive at Officeinsight

Carlie Dunbar

Written on the 23rd May 2024 by

Working behind the scenes, Carlie assists with the purchasing and setting up of new projects and looks after day-to-day tasks within the office.

Find me on LinkedIn

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