The Impact of Design Choices in the Office

Think about the best office you’ve ever worked in. Perhaps it was a windowed affair with a great view and lots of open spaces. Or maybe it was an industrial-looking warehouse with a business update. No matter how it looked and functioned, certain design decisions played a role in making it special.

Are you looking to create a space that’s uniquely productive, energizing and pleasing? Here are some things you should know before you pick up your hammer and paintbrush.

1. Never underestimate the power of natural light

There’s something about sunlight that energizes us. Perhaps it’s because it helps our bodies create vitamin D or because it’s simply pleasant to bask in, but capturing it in the workplace is almost always beneficial. Tall windows, skylights, bays and other window types are a must if you want to keep employees feeling good about their work and environment. Without them, productivity can suffer as this windowless office piece at explains.

2. Neutrals or colors? There’s room for both

White, eggshell, tan and taupe will go a long way toward fending off dingy, depressing workspaces. It’s why a majority of businesses tend toward the lighter shades. But too much of the same can leave employees a little uninspired. The cure? A dash of color on a ‘power wall’ or other space where workers can gather. If your company has a specific color palette, try working with it to reinforce brand standards.

3. Beyond sight, consider sound design

Sound is one of the most overlooked factors when creating an office space. It’s also one of the most important. If your business is in a loud city neighborhood, developing ways to muffle noise will help employees stay focused and productive. If you’re a light manufacturer, natural divisions between the assembly and administrative areas are a must. Music, for the most part, is usually discouraged unless your employees all agree on the genre.

4. Don’t forget what’s underfoot

The right flooring can have a significant impact on an office space. While carpet is an easy out, it does have an advantage of typically lower costs and can also muffle sound. However, if you can swing it there are some really interesting options that can leave employees and clients wowed. One successful Midwest restaurateur uses recovered gymnasium floors for a one-of-a-kind look that’s fun to work on and a conversation piece for patrons.

5. Textures make a difference

If you’re looking to set a specific tone, textures can come into play. From stainless steel work surfaces to sandblasted brick walls, design choices abound. Plants also can be used to set a textural tone. Ferns can add a softer touch, while succulents like cactuses can spike up – and spice up – the décor. For an overview of which plants are best for the office, check out this piece by Gardening Know How.

6. Landscaping shouldn’t be overlooked

While often an afterthought, landscape design is one of the first things employees and prospects notice. Here’s where it can pay off to consult with a landscape design consultant – someone versed in outdoor environments who can approach the challenge with a professional eye. It’s not as easy as lining the walkway with arborvitaes – you likely want a pro.

Designing an office that’s a great space to work in is a considerable accomplishment. By applying these design tips you can pull it off in style. For examples of some truly inspiring office spaces, check out these spaces on


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