How Office Interior Design Can Influence and Improve Productivity (And 6 Ways You Can Achieve It!)


We’ve touched on this one a few times but let’s really examine how and why office interior design is so crucial when it comes to productivity. The two are intrinsically linked, but what does this mean for your business and how can you capitalise on the concept, while avoiding the hidden pitfalls?

Firstly, let’s look at why it’s a good idea to bother at all. A happy workforce is a productive workforce. A productive workforce is a profitable workforce. Simple really. By incentivising and inspiring your staff, you’ll be better off in the long term.

Office interior design - 6 ways it can influence productivity - Ben Johnson Interiors

It’s not new information that unmotivated employees, and the resulting high staff turnover, will negatively affect business. These days, the office is a dynamic space. People don’t expect to just clock in, do their job and then go home.

If, as companies, we’re asking our employees to be constantly bringing their A Game, be innovative and be happy about it, we have to provide the right environment for that, which often means driving change to allow the team to really thrive.

This has been backed up by numerous studies, showing a boost of as much as 20% on employee productivity if the office is well-designed and encourages smarter working. Some of this is due to morale. A silent and depressing office only results in staff who are putting in minimal effort, watching the clock count down to the end of the day. It’s demoralising and almost all workers believe their workplace symbolises how they are valued by their employer.

Attracting new team members

A well designed office interior also works as a draw for potential new staff and it’s important you’re making the right first impression. In the current climate, job seekers are deciding whether or not they can imagine themselves working in the space provided. If your company culture and physical environment doesn’t align with their values, you can bet they won’t fancy taking up your job offer.

The crème de la crème of the workforce knows that they can find somewhere they’ll actually enjoy working. If your office isn’t up to scratch, someone else will provide a more attractive option and you’ll lose out on the best candidates. Show you care about the wellbeing of your staff and you’ll reap the rewards.

Which leads us nicely to…

6 ways to boost productivity with your office interior design:


Studies have found that exposure to increased natural light at work led to happier employees, less absence, better health and, you’ve guessed it, increased productivity!

We understand that adding windows to your building might not be an option but with clever uses of glass and strategically placed mirrors you could achieve a dramatic improvement.

This is a topic we’ve recently covered in depth here.


Be brave with this one. A neutral colour scheme can have a calming and soothing effect but is that really what you want in the workplace? ‘Calming’ doesn’t sound too productive to us and bland colours can actually increase gloomy thoughts.

There is no single ‘best’ colour for office design, so it’s worth having a think about the psychological effects of colours when planning your office refurbishment. For example, oranges and pinks evoke feelings of energy, excitement, warmth and enthusiasm, whereas blue can create a more tranquil atmosphere and is said to improve concentration.

Where those colours are used also has an impact. A narrow room painted in a bright colour might feel a bit intense, but with just the end walls painted it can appear more balanced.


Introducing some greenery into the office can have many benefits on the wellbeing of the employees and create a far nicer working environment. They’ve been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, illness and fatigue.

Research has even found that office plants can increase productivity by as much as 15% and plants are not usually a large financial investment.

For a more in-depth look at biophilic design, check out our previous post on the topic.

A minimal yet welcoming meeting space we designed for SY4 Security in Leeds.


Think about how your office could be better laid out or divided. Ideally you want a mix of areas to cater for different tasks or different types of workers.

At Ben Johnson Interiors we’re often required to create flexible spaces that have multiple uses; for solo working booths, breakout areas, casual meetings, collaborative tasks etc. Having a mix of environments is important when it comes to productivity and creativity, as it offers the option of collaborative working or privacy and peace.

Desks placed together encourage the team to work together, and if the tasks require communication and collaboration then the work will be far easier. This also improves working relationships overall, alongside team spirit, which is a nice little boost for morale.

It’s also a good idea to ensure there’s space to move around, or perhaps offer standing desks. Movement increases Serotonin (the happy hormone) and happy employees do better work. If your office workers are spending entire days stagnant at their desks, they’re probably not achieving their full potential and the health implications of being stationary for long periods of time could have a knock on effect on productivity.

Kitted-out meeting rooms with gadgets galore in the Gama Healthcare offices we worked on.


The constant progression of technology can seem a little daunting but it pays to keep up. Multiple screens and wireless connectivity are standard practice these days and without video conferencing options the pandemic would’ve looked very different. Interactive whiteboards are another great option to encourage innovation and creativity, especially useful in meeting rooms and collaboration spaces.

Specialised software and apps can also make day-to-day office life simpler, either by organising resources or streamlining processes. Check that your tech and software is up to date and it’ll remove potential hurdles for your staff.


Comfortable seating, practical products, height adjustable desks… There’s a plethora of intelligently designed office furniture out there. Gone are the days of a rickety chair on casters in a dimly lit cubicle. We keep an eye on the market and are always happy to recommend the best products for the job, within your budget.

There are so many clever and attractive storage solutions out there too, and your office will look heaps better for making the most of them. If employees are left with only their desks to store all their bits and bobs, paperwork and equipment, this will likely create a sense of overwhelm and perhaps even wasted time as they have to hunt for everything under piles of junk.

We’ve discussed the problem and our top tips for decluttering the workplace in another recent post here.

Breakout seating with high acoustic buffers for privacy and noise reduction in the Equifax offices.

Providing the best working environment really does go a long way in ensuring greater employee satisfaction and retention. Although spending money in the short term might feel a little counterproductive, the evidence more than suggests that not investing in your office space will be detrimental to your employees and your profits, regardless of the industry.

An engaged workforce is one of the main keys to success, and creating a place people are excited to work in each day will allow you to enjoy the benefits of an enthused workforce.

If this sounds too good to be true and you’d like to see where improvements could be made in your business, we’d love to be involved.

Get in touch with our team and let’s see how we can work together to boost your business.