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4 Office Layout Techniques to Motivate Employee Productivity

Jamie Danielle Munro
August 10th, 2012
For leaders looking to motivate employee productivity in the workplace, excellent incentives and bonuses might not be enough to bring efficiency and quality to the next level. Humans are very much influenced by their immediate surroundings, including both the people and physical space. According to Sustainability, a journal from the Swedish Research Council, "The way the workplace is designed has greater significance than we think. It affects health, wellbeing and work." Considering the space in which we work has such a stronghold over one's ability to perform, businesses must take these layouts into consideration when understanding the motivations behind each employee. Here are ideas on how to make the workspace more accessible and motivate employee productivity.

Keep it cozy. Facebook is the largest social network in the world, and its office headquarters reflect the hip, young culture that make up most of its employees. The interior design looks more like something you would find in a high-class house rather than an office, which is what makes this space so enticing. With the balance between work and private time continually blurred, this arrangement allows employees to reclaim a sense of that home life. Moreover, a cozy atmosphere can encourage one to feel at ease with their surroundings and consequently focus on the tasks at hand.

Open space. The open workspace concept has gained much favourability in the last few years, with large companies opting to break down the physical signifiers of hierarchy. The Denmark office of LEGO is one such example, with slides and open areas to encourage conversation and random run-ins. By opting for these designs, leaders hope to spark ideas that never would come to fruition with everyone trapped in a cubicle all day.

Optional pods. While the open layout encourages interaction among co-workers and healthy conversation, not everyone works the same. Some need stimulus to think, while others require absolute silence. To accomodate both work habits, companies can invest in pod-like stations that give employees that ability to escape and focus. Trend Hunter PRO explores these products in Preserving Privacy, which features a number of designs suitable for open work environments.

Exercise equipment. As addressed in Trend Hunter's Business of Fitness article, worrying about one's health is at the forefront of many minds in North America. Sitting in an office all day does not help this issue, and with the fast-paced environment of today's work culture it becomes difficult for employees to find the time to exercise. However, leaders can help motivate employee productivity by incorporating exercise equipment into workstations. Our PRO trend Workplace Workouts covers everything from healthy seating to stand-only desks, which increase oxygen to the brain and help one focus.

CEO Jim Hackett of Steelcase, a workplace design center, recently explained in an interview with Forbes magazine the significance of office space. He states, "People need a range of settings to accommodate focused, collaborative and social work in both open and enclosed environments -- in other words, a palette of place." Giving workers a range of options can help accomodate various personalities and work ethics, while helping to motivate employee productivity.

More on office design can be found in our Design Trend Report.