Published: 06 Mar 2020
Updated: 01 Aug 2023
Category: Workplace Wellness , Serviced Office Space , Flexible Workspace

More Than a Workplace: Office Design Types for Productivity and Comfort


Over the past decade, there’s been a lot of talk about different types of office layout and how they affect productivity. Due to this, open offices and co-working spaces compete to provide a workplace that excels in every respect.
But how do you know that an office is designed to ensure comfort and make you more productive? The following sections aim to answer this question and help you make an educated choice.

What Are the Types of Office Layout?

In general, there are five different types of layout, each with its pros and cons. Here’s a quick overview.

1. Open Space

There are no partitions or cubicles and the workstations are usually set up in clusters or rows. This layout works great for flat hierarchy organisations and fast-growing start-ups because of easy communication.
However, if an open space lacks private meeting rooms and isolated areas you should look for a different office. It’s quite tricky to have a business meeting with a hovering crowd.

2. Private Offices

Venues that offer private offices are best for businesses that require a certain level of confidentiality. And it’s best if you can customise the workstation to your needs.
But having a private office doesn’t mean one should work in isolation. Communal spaces such as meeting rooms, coffee bars, and lounge areas should be within easy reach.

3. Cubicles

Cubicles are still going strong for two reasons. They offer greater communication than private offices, but there’s less distraction than in open spaces.
Ideally, there shouldn’t be too many cubicles in any given area. Otherwise, the environment can feel cluttered and claustrophobic.

4. Workstation Clusters

This arrangement is great for companies with multiple teams that have different roles. The clusters can be partitioned like cubicles, and again the idea is to foster better communication within the team itself.
But if there are no communal spaces, the social interaction between co-workers of different teams will still suffer.

5. Co-Working Space

Co-working spaces may be the ideal work area for for start-ups, freelancers, and small companies. Top venues offer luxurious lounge areas, workstation customisations, private meeting rooms, and more.
But you should be wary of security and privacy. For example, a co-working space should provide personalised card access and storage lockers to start.

Impact of Office Design on Employee Productivity

According to Forbes, 93% of workers in the tech business state that they’d remain with the company for longer if it offered a healthier workplace.
Some of the perks tech workers look for are an ergonomic workstation, adjustable desk, healthy lunch, and wellness rooms. This is one of the reasons more and more companies adopt the WELL Building Standard.
The focus is on seven concepts that help a worker remain healthy and happy, thus more productive:

  1. Air

  2. Water

  3. Nourishment

  4. Light

  5. Fitness

  6. Comfort

  7. Mind

The office design productivity research from the World Green Building Council shows that productivity increases by 11% due to clean air. In addition, the human brain is 73% water, so access to clean water is a must.
Sufficient hydration gives you clarity, alertness, and improves your energy levels. It’s similar with nourishment and an ideal workplace should minimise access to processed foods.
With this in mind, light is another crucial component for human wellbeing. Research by the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at the University of Cornell confirms this.
The results show that working within 10ft from a window reduces blurred vision, eyestrain, and headaches by 84%.

Features to Look for

In the world of office design, productivity is the buzzword. Architects, interior designers, and furniture manufacturers go the extra mile to provide the space and tools for a seamless workflow.
But as you might guess, the trick is not only in ergonomic workstations, windows, and healthy nourishment.
To really feel great within a particular area, it should feature plenty of natural spaces. This can include greenery like flower gardens, living walls, or just potted plants.
What’s more, space should extend to outdoors and it’s always great to have a rooftop patio or a terrace at your disposal. The ideal space should support workers who have an active lifestyle.
Amenities may include an on-site gym and other areas where the workers can stay active. The office space can also provide end-of-trip facilities such as bicycle storage and showers to ensure workers don’t compromise their daily health routines.

The Main Takeaways

All the given features are there to promote workers’ overall wellbeing. They sharpen the concentration, increase alertness as well as workers’ decision-making skills.
In a way, a well-thought-out office layout and amenities provide a homely feeling. The design doesn’t impose any constraints, allowing the workers to focus on their tasks. And the added benefit is that the workers’ stress levels are likely to go down as a result.

Office for the New Millennia

When all is said and done, the contemporary workplace needs to be human-centric. This means that every aspect is geared towards promoting health, comfort, and physical and mental wellbeing. The great thing is that nowadays it’s shouldn’t be too hard to find such a space.


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