5 things your workers want from their office design

The look, feel and functionality of your workplace can be vital to maximising employee productivity and can help improve overall company performance.

Research by design and architecture firm Gensler has identified that the office working environment can influence and improve worker productivity by as much as 19%; while four out of five (79%) professionals say the quality of their working environment is very important to their sense of job satisfaction.

Further to this, a recent study commissioned by Cabe (The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) and BCO (The British Council for Offices) found that 91% of mid- to senior-level managers believed that layout directly affected staff performance.

As suggested by these studies, good office design and comfort have the potential to improve your company’s productivity. It can boost your workforce’s mood and professional pride, while carefully considered functionality can mean day-to-day tasks are more streamlined and efficient.


We have talked to workers from a range of different industries to find out what it is about their own workplaces they value most to explore how successful office planning can increase morale and drive success.

1. Ambience

The key to creating a successful office environment is encouraging the optimum state of mind for your employees to do the best job possible. Minimal noise, the right temperature and comfort are fundamental to this to reduce distractions and keep workers happy and at peak productivity.

Stewart Hicks who works as a social media manager for a PR firm says:

“The relaxed nature of my office allows my creativity to thrive. I often spend afternoons sitting in a beanbag designing graphics or engaging with my clients’ customers on social media. A peaceful atmosphere helps me keep on top of the task juggling that my role involves.”

In its Engagement Lab report ‘Could office noise be damaging performance’, workplace specialists and providers of The Best Companies Accreditation Standard, Best Companies, advises employers to create ambience through carefully considered design choices:

“If your office acoustics are amplifying every little sound to distressing levels, consider introducing sound-absorbing materials into your interior design. Often this can be done in a highly attractive, skilfully designed way.”

Creating the best working environment is more important than ever in our age of more flexible hours and workers becoming ever more mobile. Your office needs to work harder as the ultimate haven of productivity for your employees to really make sure your company is getting the maximum return on the hours your employees are in the office.

Paul Birch who works as an assistant manager for an office management company says:

“Now that more people are working away from the standard office, it is crucial to create the right atmosphere. Mobile workers want to stay more productive and create a better work-life balance. The right ambience can be the difference between finishing that important piece of work or struggling on through the evenings and weekend.”

2. Layout

Good special planning is about finding a solution that meets your company’s specific requirements and can increase productivity, whether that’s through providing open-plan collaborative areas that promote a culture of informal meetings and teamwork, or privacy to minimise interruptions and allow workers to focus solely on the job at hand. In its study ‘Are distractions ruling your workplace’ Best Companies suggests:

“Open plan offices can be a real boost to creativity, but be sure to consider the acoustics of your space. Are your people being overwhelmed by the amplified noises of photocopiers, chitchat, slamming doors? While some people work well in a noisier environment, others prefer much lower noise levels when it comes to boosting their concentration. Consult with your staff to find out how they are responding to the space they work in.”

Juana Diaz who works as a talent acquisition manager for a consultancy firm says:

“Our open-plan office allows greater interaction between colleagues, which allows for better communication and cohesion among the team.”

Jonathan Taylor who works as a risk analyst for a wealth management firm says:

“Our closed-plan office allows my colleagues and me our own personal space and a solitary environment to sustain concentration and minimise the risk of distraction.”

3. Light and colour

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Workers on the whole prefer natural daylight to artificial lighting so the more windows your office has the better. Light can be maximised by increasing surface luminosity to encourage an increased feeling of brightness. The psychology of colour can help you to work out the best shades to introduce into the space depending on the nature of your business. However whatever hue you choose, creating a colourful and uplifting environment on the whole can really impact on your workforce’s mood.

Samuel Skevington who works as an administrator in education says:

“The bright colours and light and airy feel of our office instil a sense of vibrancy and enthusiasm among workers for a mentally stimulating environment that’s perfect for our sector.”

4. Functionality

A well-designed office can help to optimise workflow and improve efficiency. Subtle changes made to how the workforce interacts with the space can have a significant impact. Replanning the space to increase worker agility is a good start, while introducing more ergonomic office furniture and storage solutions to reduce clutter and keep the office organised will minimise the time spent wasted by your employees hunting for that particular folder or rifling through documents.

Sarah Moseley who works as a sub editor for a publishing firm says:

“Working on a busy production desk, it’s essential that my office is well organised. The energy my company has invested in admin and storage solutions helps keep our day-to-day work running smoothly.”

5. Wow-factor

Feeling proud of the workspace they come into everyday can improve an employee’s sense of company loyalty and mean they perform better when acting as a face for your business during client meetings. Creating impressive reception areas, a polished feel and introducing quirky design features where appropriate can really help improve feelings of motivation and job satisfaction among your workforce.

Daisy Tinker who works as a buyer for a fashion brand says:

“From the beautiful front window and foyer, which are visually merchandised every few months, to the smartly fitted-out kitchens; in our office everything is designed to impress clients and employees alike.”

Kelly Office Supplies provides the creative vision for beautiful workspaces in your business. With a wide variety of office furniture, office refurbishment projects and other furniture related services, we can help you create a work environment that truly reflects your company.


Paul Cotter

Bad Dog, 16 Seapoint, Barna, Galway