Published 08 June, 2022

4 Ways Office Design Can Drive Behavior and Productivity of your Workforce (5 mins Read)

The recent best selling book Atomic Habits written by James Clear states how our habits and actions have a strong link with how we perceive our surroundings and environment. Out of all our senses, our vision is the most dominant one. No wonder there is a whole science behind where FMCG companies should place their products in retail stores and malls to drive greater sales. Products at the eye level of the customers have higher probability of being sold.


If you want to drive a certain behavior then make it very easily visible. That’s the design principle organizations can adopt while setting up their workspaces. One of the reasons that Google became such a favorite employer was because of the great facilities they offered at their offices, ranging from contemporary cafeteria, soda vending machines to sleeping pods and massage rooms.


The prospect of being in office was made so exciting for the young workforce that they didn’t mind spending long hours at work. In fact , as mentioned by Douglas Edwards, who was the first Marketing Director at Google writes in his book I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 that a lot of employees had built their whole life around being in office. Starting from eating, showering , playing as well as entertaining themselves at Googleplex. So there was no real reason for these employees to seek time outside the office complex.


We hope you have started getting the point that visual cues can be very effective in driving certain types of behaviors and habits. Here are a few things one can consider while designing office spaces-


  1. Cubicles vs Open Seating
    It is proven that in case you want to perform a high focus individual contributor role, it is best to sit at a place which reduces distractions. Hence a cubicle or a closed sitting area can be ideal for such tasks. Whereas, open seating encourages greater interaction. So, if there are tasks that require a higher degree of collaboration then open seating is better suited.


  1. Keep it Bright
    Light has a definite impact on the energy levels of human beings. So keep it bright to create an energetic environment, wherever possible natural light would be the best. In fact sun light has also proved to have a positive impact on stress levels. Also, use the
  2. Visual Displays
    This is a very effective way to drive organization level communication. As an organization you can use banners, posters, stationery, desktop images to keep re-iterating your key values and messages. The right kind of displays will ensure that these values/ethics become relatable to working with you as an employer and hence chances of more and more employees demonstrating the desired values becomes higher.
  3. Desired Actions Should Be Made Easy
    People don’t want to change their habits if it brings in more struggle and difficulty even if the payoffs are great. The better way is to make things easier and enable lesser struggle. For instances if you want to encourage an open door policy in your office then best is to organize the work area in a manner where your leaders sit in open areas rather than in their exclusive cabins. That makes the leaders appear more accessible to the rest of the workforce and hence your effort of having an open door policy can become real pretty soon. Similarly, if you want your teams to use flipcharts to crystallize and convey their thoughts then place them close to their desks. Keep the refreshment pantries easily accessible to that people don’t spend time walking up and down to the pantry to get their cuppa.


Design can play a critical role in driving behavior and productivity at work. Given the surge of remote work it wont be a bad idea for employers to send across some visual displays which the employees can use at their home offices which would not only make them feel more inclusive but will also drive the intended behavior and values irrespective of the physical location of the employee.

Read more about : 12 Ways working Professionals in USA can Optimize their Taxes and Increase Take Home Pay

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