Designing an Office Layout for Maximum Productivity

Designing an Office Layout for Maximum Productivity

Your office may have plenty of desks, chairs and computers but you’ll agree that doesn’t mean the layout and floor plan is designed to generate the highest possible level of productivity.

Having enough equipment and access to clean restrooms is important but a cool office layout that really works isn’t something you just pick up at an office supply store like Staples or Office Max. A well-planned office space isn’t a commodity—it’s unique to your work environment and what you want to achieve.

Before looking at the elements that create a favorable place to work, consider why you want to plan your office layout.

Here’s an easy hint.

  • Question: Who comes into work each day?
  • Answer: The people.

Photo: OFS Staks Workstations

Even in this digital age where automation and smart offices that save energy are popular topics, an office layout and furnishings are designed to support the people and their work. The more effectively that they’re able to think and function, the more productive they’ll be.

Before reading on for the solutions, understand what you need to change—the office environment and layout problem.

Office Layout Problems to Correct

The most popular layout is the open office. Do you recognize the list of challenges?

  • Distracting Noise
  • No personal space
  • Increased risk of catching colds, illness
  • Regular interruptions
  • Reduced job satisfaction with higher risk of talent turnover

A write-up by Rivier University noted that a key step in making an office layout design is to plan the workspaces so its closely related to each person’s job. The environment is holistic.

Now read through these elements of a well-designed office and evaluate how these are used in your workplace.


Guess what the most important lighting system is for office productivity? Light streaming in from outside.

  • Natural Light

Photo: Nevins Leaf Living Walls

An abundance of natural light creates a favorable workplace. Does your office design let workers share the light streaming in from windows? Desks should be within twenty-five feet of windows. For those farther away, install solar tubes or office skylights if possible.

  • Artificial Light

Photo: Humanscale Vessel Lighting

Keep artificial light at levels that are bright enough without creating glare and offer screen protectors to shield people’s eyes if they spend long hours on their laptops or desktops.

Do you lighting solutions at individual workstations so people can control the light the way it works best for them?

Photo: Humanscale Element 790, Horizon 2.0 & Infinity Lighting

And that leads to the next point of an office layout designed for productivity—the space itself.

Work Space

As you evaluate your existing office space, think about this—one of the big negatives of airline travel.

Want to know how that relates to office layout?

Passengers crowding together in lines and being herded on to their flight can be akin to coming into an office where the space isn’t planned well and their only option is sitting at an open plan benching site.

What’s the problem?

Photo: OFS Range Open-Plan Benching

Little to no personal space. People try to block each other out instead of collaborating with each other. Don’t expect architects or interior decorators to guide you through the design.

A well-designed office space creates enough privacy for employees to tackle the challenges in front of them and allows for collaboration.

This give-and-take approach to space planning is the 2010 Space Planning Strategy.

Here’s the idea.

Use the right style of workstations that fit the needs of individual employees in smaller businesses and departments in larger corporations.

These products let people work together well:

The Desk Makers Teamworx Open Plan Desking can accommodate a few people without making them feel crowded.

Photo: DeskMakers TeamWorx Open-Plan Benching

Use benching solutions that define personal work areas such as the ODS Lift Table Height Adjustable Workstation.

Photo: ODS (Office Design Studio) Lift Height Adjustable Tables

Planning on what products to use and where to place them makes the most of your available space.

Create collaborative space using architectural walls that are easy to set up and rearrange as necessary. It’s easy to make a private meeting area for two or for a larger group so others aren’t disturbed.

Photo: Trendway Volo Walls

Plan well and you’ll eliminate the biggest culprit that ruins office productivity—the lack of personal space, according to design publication in an article Open-plan office design is preventing workers from concentrating, study finds.

Break Areas

Brief breaks can help people keep their ideas flowing and problem-solving mode in gear. Having a designated break area where employees can get up briefly from their desks, move to get the blood flowing, and take call help with daily focus.

Photo: OFS Coact Modular Lounge

The 2010 Space Planning Strategy can show you how to accommodate your workstations and your break area so that spaces are well-defined and laid out in a logical fashion.

Make the office work for the whole person. Maximizing productivity doesn’t mean just churning through a to-do list. Instead, it’s a strategic process to provide solutions for your customers.

Invest in people by designing a layout that supports their skill set and you’ll boost the overall work environment.

Photo: OFS Obeya Architectural Structures

Get the Expertise You Need

Get input from 2010 Office Furniture on your space planning needs. Call or submit your questions.

The team has more than 45 years of experience serving corporations, universities and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Choosing the Best Benching or Desking Workstations in Los Angeles
Main Photo by: OFS
Resources & Special Thanks to: Rivier University, Dezeen & Respective Product Manufacturers: OFS, DeskMakers, Humanscale, Nevins, ODS & Trendway

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