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How Does an Office Environment Impact Productivity?

28 May 2019

If you are intending to move your business into new offices, you will have many different things to think about. Budget is always an important consideration, as is the location of the office. One essential factor that you should never neglect is the type of environment you are creating within the office. And you may not realise it, but the internal features of the offices you choose, can have a significant impact on productivity levels within your business. 


Environmental effects on productivity

If there are issues with the sound or lighting levels in the offices that you choose, your employees are likely to become frustrated. This in turn can lead to a lack of motivation and a decrease in productivity. The same problems can occur if the furniture in the offices is not comfortable and supportive. In addition to employees becoming demotivated, they could begin to suffer from health issues such as back pain and migraine. This can lead to increased absence levels which have a negative impact on productivity. Bearing all of this in mind, there are some essential points to consider when creating an office environment that will promote good productivity.


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Ensuring the quality of light

Being exposed to the right amount of natural light during the day helps people to sleep better at night. This is important as it's during this sleep that the mind retains the information it has taken in during the day and the body rejuvenates itself. This means that after a good night's sleep a person can perform more effectively. It follows that if you create a good lighting environment in your office space, it helps to optimise the productivity of your employees. There are several ways in which you can create this type of lighting:

  • Choose offices which have a high number of windows that let in natural light. 
  • Make sure that window ledges are free from clutter so that light can enter through the entire window. 
  • Create an open plan environment so that natural light can permeate all areas.
  • Make sure that any electric lighting used automatically adjusts to optimise the use of natural light where possible. 
  • Make sure that everyone working in the office can see out of a window.


Time for a break

No-one can be fully productive all day every day. People need to be able to have a break, clear their head and relax for a few minutes, before getting back to work. This is why it's a good idea to provide break out areas within your offices. Providing your employees with a place where they can spend a few minutes relaxing means that they are more likely to be highly productive when they are at their desks.  When you are creating this type of break area, remember that it can be indoors or outdoors. You can opt to have comfortable tables and chairs on the same floor as work areas, or you can choose to create an exterior garden area where employees can also get the benefit of fresh air. 


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The importance of ergonomic furniture

Anyone who is working in an office environment usually spends a lot of time sitting at a desk.  If the furniture you provide for your employees is not ergonomic this can cause problems. Office chairs should be comfortable and provide support, so that back and neck pain is avoided. They should also be fully adjustable. Desks should also be adjustable as different people need desks of a different height. For some people, desks that can be used while standing help to increase productivity as they enable people to sit or stand throughout the day, depending on which is most comfortable. 

Providing this type of ergonomic furniture in your office space allows your employees to be comfortable as they work. This helps to sustain their motivation levels and productivity.  Ergonomic furniture also helps to reduce instances of back and neck pain which can lead to sickness absence. The less sickness absences your business has, the better the situation is for productivity levels. 

Taking into account all of these environmental factors when you are choosing an office space is important. Making the right decisions can have a significant impact on productivity levels within your business. 



Ella Hendrix is a freelance writer based in the UK and typically focuses on business trends, human resources and digital projects. 


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