The Impact of the Office Environment on Employee Performance

by | Last Updated: Apr 17, 2022 | Business Strategies | 0 comments

The places we spend our time have an impact on how we feel.

Just think about the most famous works of architecture around the world. Places of worship, the Empire State Building in New York, or the Roman Colosseum. All of these are larger than life, all awe-inspiring. But the influence of architecture and interior design doesn’t just end there. After all, most of us aren’t spending the majority of our time at the Notre Dame. Instead, we’re spending it at home and at work.

Bearing this in mind, it becomes obvious that the office environment has the potential to significantly impact employee performance. And it’s a concept that’s getting special attention, both from business owners and industry experts. In an economy that largely relies on productivity, that’s no surprise.

Interested in making adjustments to your office space in order to inspire productivity and efficiency? If the answer is yes, keep the following data in mind.

Private and Communal Spaces

One of the first things to consider when designing an office space is to try and create a balance. Differentiate between areas meant for teamwork and those aimed at allowing individuals to fully apply themselves to their assignments.

Ideally, a workspace should allow employees to focus on their tasks, free of unnecessary distractions. Whether these are offices, cubicles, or seats at a coworking desk, encouraging a decluttered, calm environment can be highly beneficial. Where possible, socialization and relaxation areas can contribute to productivity. They allow employees to take short breaks, have a change of scenery, and become refreshed through interaction.

Interior Design & Color Palette

When it comes to how your offices look, there are several factors you should keep in mind. First and foremost, you will want to create a space that’s pleasant to spend time in. This means choosing the right colors and materials for your furniture. Research shows that light neutrals are particularly effective at reducing stress. Similarly, materials such as wood can have a positive effect. It has been shown that they create a sense of being in a more natural environment.

Another thing worth noting is that you should keep changes within an environment close to a minimum. Research done back in 1988 suggested that changes in terms of office color could lead to a decrease in task accuracy.

Auditory Distractions

Distractions are one of productivity’s biggest enemies, and they often come in the form of sounds. One research paper studied the way in which sound impacted employee performance. The results showed that noises such as phone ringing, loud office machines, as well as conversations all negatively contributed to overall efficiency.

But that’s not to say that an office that’s completely silent will encourage a higher level of employee engagement. On the contrary, the right type of music can greatly contribute to efficiency. Furthermore, it can set a positive, stress-free mood. There’s a wide availability of playlists curated to inspire focus, and you can easily make use of them through streaming services such as Spotify.

Room Temperature and Air Quality

A working environment is determined by more than just visual and functional elements. In order to ensure your employees are achieving peak performance, you should consider the way their physical health is affected by the spaces they’re operating from.

Research has shown that temperature can have a positive or negative influence on performance. The ideal range should be around 69° Fahrenheit. What’s interesting is that productivity can decrease above 73°, which is a good reason to keep the thermometers at an eco-friendly setting.

As for air quality, it can also be a significant influence on employee performance. Plants in your offices can have an air-purifying effect, but even more, they can improve mental health, focus, and reduce stress.


Last but not least, when planning your office spaces, it’s important that you keep lighting in mind. It is known that certain shades of light have an energizing effect, which can result in better focus and productivity. To make use of this, do a little bit of research on the types of lightbulbs to use in your office.

If you’re ready to take things to the next level and do some biohacking, you can choose smart lights. These can be set up to shine a cooler shade in the morning, then shift to warmer colors during the afternoon, mimicking natural lighting. This will have a positive effect on productivity and help maintain a healthy circadian rhythm in charge of ensuring quality sleep. Additionally, combined with special glasses or software, it can help reduce eye-strain and its negative health effects.

Final Thoughts

There are definitely a lot of techniques you can start practicing to boost employee performance. Ensuring that your team is working in an environment focused on health and productivity is a huge part of that. But you’ll find that encouraging habits such as spending time outdoors, exercising, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep will have significant effects as well.

How about your experience on the subject? Do you find that there are any particular environmental factors that influence your performance at work? Let us know in the comments section.

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