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11 Office Design Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Productivity

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News 7 Ways Office Affects Productivity

Which Of These Office Design Mistakes Could Be Hurting Your Business?

Your office design has one of the most significant impacts on your business’s culture and overall performance. While some business owners and office managers underestimate the importance of how a workplace looks and feels, those who get the most from their teams know what a huge difference the design of their office makes for their success.

A properly-designed office can provide numerous benefits for a company, from enhancing productivity to increasing interest from prospective employees or clients. Of course, this means a poorly designed office has the opposite effect, potentially dragging the performance of your company down.

Let’s dive into the 11 office design mistakes to avoid so you can maximize the happiness and productivity of your workplace.

Aesthetic Mistakes

Choosing Boring Or Agitating Colors

Research has shown time after time how color affects mood and productivity, and boring old white or gray is known to be un-motivating.

Different colors have different wavelengths that determine how much energy we must expend to perceive it. If you’re ever feeling anxious or stressed, low-wavelength colors like blue and green can have a calming effect. If you’re feeling tired or down, a high-wavelength color like red or orange can be stimulating to the mind.

Projecting The Wrong Image Or None At All

One of the most crucial elements of any great company is establishing consistent branding. While this concept mostly applies to marketing materials like business cards and websites, it also extends to your office space.

For instance, if your company’s marketing materials are serious and formal but your office is full of bright colors and bean-bag chairs, this could confuse potential clients or hires.

Forgetting To Make The Space Inviting

Even a formal office space should be inviting. Numerous small details can ruin a potential client or investor’s first impression, such as the comfort of the seats or the colors chosen. Similarly, if the task chairs of team members are visibly uncomfortable, it could send the signal that your company doesn’t take employee comfort seriously.

Productivity Mistakes

Not Considering Ergonomics

Ergonomically-designed chairs and desks are proven productivity boosters and help reduce the costs related with repetitive task strain and injury. When ergonomics aren’t considered when procuring desks or office chairs, the impact is long-lasting.

Workers who are seated all day in inadequately supportive seats are more likely to develop back or neck issues, along with nerve problems like carpal tunnel. Investing in ergonomic furniture pays dividends in the long run, as labor will cost less and productivity will soar.

Design Details That Inhibit Productivity

Many philosophies exist about what type of office layout is best for fostering productivity, but there are some aspects that will always slow down your employees. For example, lighting that isn’t bright enough leads to workers feeling drowsy all day long. On the other hand, workplaces that are too bright can cause headaches.

Imbalance Between Privacy And Collaboration Space

Effective offices have a good balance of private and public spaces. While open office plans are a great way to facilitate conversation and collaboration, they should always be balanced with more private rooms. People still need places to hold meetings or have creative discussions without being overheard or seen by everyone else.

Distraction Mistakes

Placing Workstations Close To Distractions

While some individuals can work while watching TV, others are easily distracted by simply seeing people walking down a street. Although it may not be feasible to avoid all potential distractions, you should be mindful of the things that often distract employees like elevator doors, bathroom doors, or common areas where conversations happen frequently. Placing workstations near these distractions can be incredibly harmful to productivity.

Not Soundproofing Your Office Sufficiently

Maintaining soundproofing throughout the office, whether with something simple like a wooden door to an office, or as advanced as acoustic wall tiles, can help keep out noise from the rest of the building so your team can focus on their work.

Not Accommodating The Sensory Differences Of Team Members

We all process sensory stimulation and spatial configurations at unique levels. Some people are more neurodivergent than others, perceiving sensory input far differently. That said, these differences often bring extraordinary strengths to the workplace. To design inclusive spaces, we need to ensure that they respond to the sensory needs of all individuals, especially the neurodivergent.

Hypersensitive individuals process the details of sensory stimuli to a degree that is magnified. To function at their highest capacity, many prefer to avoid bright lights, crowds, unfamiliar scents or textures, or even temperature fluctuations.

Conversely, some people are hyposensitive, having difficulty hearing or feeling the acute sensory details in a specific environment. These folks need to be overstimulated to successfully process sensory information.

Dynamic workplaces that provide an inclusive work environment should not only consider the physical aspects of a space (i.e., acoustics, user-controlled furniture and lighting), but also pay close attention to how people’s senses affect their engagement and responses to them.

Space Utilization Mistakes

Failure To Minimize Clutter

One major impediment to productive work is clutter. Once you've determined the area you'll be using in the space and accounted for any possible distractions, it’s important to consider how smaller items and belongings will be organized.

Not Enough Breathing Room

When private space is invaded, even inadvertently, employees can easily become irritated and less productive. For your team to function at optimal performance, it’s essential to give each of them enough personal space to spread out and get to work without other people too close.

Contact G|M For Your Office Design Needs

G|M is committed to designing workplaces that are comfortable, inviting, and productive environments. To see for yourself, come visit one of our showrooms in Riverside, Irvine, or San Diego and experience a wide range of top office interior designs. We make it simple to elevate your workplace through aesthetically pleasing, highly functional designs and products that stand the test of time.