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12 Office Fit Out Ideas & Tips to Boost Productivity

Dr. Greg Dooley - Design and Build Specialist

Dr Greg Dooley

Digital Marketing Manager

Content Specialist in Office Design & Build

Office Fit Out Tips to Boost Productivity

There are numerous indicators to suggest that the way we design and fit out office spaces impacts productivity. A global study of 18000 desk workers, for instance, found that 82% of workers felt more productive when they were happy and engaged at work, while 22% noted that ‘too much chaos’ at work negatively impacted their ability to be productive.

Fitting out offices to boost productivity takes careful planning. The right design can transform an office from a simple workplace into a dynamic space that fosters creativity, boosts morale, and ultimately drives business success. Below are 12 ideas, tips and insights for creating a productive workplace.


  1. Create Flexible Workspaces Designed for Productivity
  2. Brighten Workspaces by Maximising Natural Light
  3. Boost Productivity by Enhancing Air Quality in the Workplace
  4. Balance Productivity and Collaboration with Modern Office Layouts
  5. Use Colour to Influence the Mood of the Workplace
  6. Enhance Workplace Dynamics through Art
  7. Use Technology as a Driver of Productivity
  8. Reintroduce Home-Like Comforts
  9. Use Biophilic Design
  10. Focus on Wellness
  11. Use Acoustics for Noise Management
  12. Enhance the Visitor Experience
Sunlit Meeting Room - Encouraging Transparency and Teamwork

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Hybrid Office Design
Hybrid Workspaces

1. Create Flexible Workspaces Designed for Productivity

The design of offices to accommodate flexible working paterns has become an essential aspect of office fit-out projects. A 2023 study by the CIPD shows a substantial increase in flexible and hybrid working arrangements, with approximately 60% of employees now engaging in some form of remote work.

The study notes that the demand for remote working has risen sharply, with 46% of employers observing a higher number of requests for it. Furthermore, it suggests that nearly two-fifths (38%) of organisations have reported a boost in productivity due to hybrid working. These findings are corroborated by the Office for National Statistics, which indicates that as of late 2023, output per hour worked was 2.0% higher than pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, signifying continuous productivity gains amidst changing work patterns.

Features to support a ‘hybrid-friendly office’ include:

  1. Versatile Work Zones: Create spaces that support both in-office and remote employees. Incorporate a variety of work settings, including collaborative zones and private workspaces, equipped with the necessary technology to facilitate productivity regardless of location.
  2. Informal Meeting Areas: Establish casual spaces like lounges or barista areas that serve dual functions for social interaction and informal virtual meetings. These areas can help bridge the gap between remote and on-site team members, encouraging spontaneous collaboration.
  3. Private Communication Booths: Integrate private booths and pods equipped with videoconferencing technology. These spaces are ideal for remote workers needing to participate in team calls or requiring a secluded area for focused work.
  4. Noise Management Solutions: Employ sound-masking systems, absorptive panels, and room dividers to minimise distractions. This ensures that virtual meetings are productive and on-site workers can concentrate without disruptions.
  5. Interactive Team Zones: Designate areas equipped with digital whiteboards and multi-screen setups to facilitate dynamic, real-time collaboration. These “team zones” should support quick reconfiguration to adapt to various team needs, whether participants are remote or physically present.
  6. Equipped Private Enclosures: Outfit private office areas with amenities like adjustable lighting, integrated technology docks, and acoustic panels to create an ideal workspace for virtual or remote individual work.
  7. Open Floor Plans: Opt for open floor plans with clear sight lines to enhance visibility and encourage impromptu interactions. This design strategy helps integrate remote colleagues more seamlessly into daily office dynamics.
Optimising Office-Space for Productivity
Angola LNG Office Design and Build London

2. Brighten Workspaces by Maximising Natural Light

We all know how a bright sunny day lifts the mood. When it comes to workplace productivity maximising sunlight can have a significant role. A Harvard study showed that employees who sit near windows are 51% less likely to endure eyestrain from their computers than those who don’t. Similarly, it found that 47% of workers feel more tired without access to natural light or views of the outdoors, while 43% report feeling gloomy in the absence of natural light.

Natural light also enhances employee productivity and well-being by maximising natural light throughout the office space. Natural light not only illuminates but also invigorates the work environment, contributing to improved mood and energy levels.

  • Strategic Placement of Work Areas: Position workstations and meeting areas near windows to ensure that as many employees as possible can benefit from direct sunlight during the day. This layout helps in reducing the reliance on artificial lighting and offers the psychological benefits of a view outdoors.
  • Installation of Skylights: Where possible, incorporate skylights in central areas or dark corners to brighten up the entire office. Skylights provide a top-down lighting solution that can make spaces feel larger and more open.
  • Use of Glass Partitions: Opt for glass partitions instead of solid walls wherever privacy allows. This design choice helps maintain an open feel throughout the office while allowing light to flow freely from one area to another.
  • Automated Shading Systems: Install automated blinds or shading systems that adjust according to the time of day and the amount of sunlight. This technology helps in managing glare and heat from direct sunlight, maintaining comfort without sacrificing natural light.
  • Reflective Surfaces and Color Palette: Use reflective surfaces like mirrors or glossy finishes to further enhance light distribution. Light, neutral wall colours can also amplify the brightness of natural light, making the office appear more spacious and airy.
Enhancing Air Quality in the Workplace
Improving Air Quality Through an Office Fit Out - DTRE

3. Boost Productivity by Enhancing Air Quality in the Workplace

Fresh air has a crucial role in increasing productivity. About 20% of the oxygen that we breathe in is used by the brain for proper functioning and that in turn increases clarity of thought and helps to improve concentration. A year-long Harvard Public Health study across six contents monitored real-time air quality at office workstations and assessed cognitive performance through tests. It found that increases in pollutants like PM2.5 and CO2 were correlated with slower response times and reduced accuracy in cognitive tests. A similar study using remote sensors and surveys in combination also found positive effects when certain levels of carbon dioxide, VOCs, and humidity were maintained. There have also been studies showing just 2 hours a week in nature can boost health and improve well-being. Poor air quality can lead to headaches, fatigue and decreased cognition.

Conversely, fresh air contributes significantly to reducing fatigue, preventing illness, and improving overall concentration and productivity. You can elevate employee health and cognitive function by ensuring the air quality within your office is optimal. Enhance ventilation with state-of-the-art HVAC systems that pump in fresh outdoor air and use air purification methods. Adding live plants also helps to absorb airborne toxins and produce oxygen.

  • Advanced HVAC Systems: Invest in high-quality HVAC systems that not only regulate temperature but also improve ventilation by introducing fresh outdoor air into the office environment. Modern systems can filter out pollutants and maintain a constant flow of clean air, crucial in densely populated office settings.
  • Air Purification Solutions: Incorporate air purifiers throughout the workspace, especially in areas with limited airflow. Use HEPA filters or other advanced technologies that can trap airborne particles, allergens, and pathogens, thus ensuring cleaner breathing air for everyone in the office.
  • Integration of Live Plants: Place a variety of indoor plants around the office to naturally detoxify the air. Plants absorb toxins and produce fresh oxygen, enhancing indoor air quality and adding a touch of nature to the workspace.
  • Regular Maintenance Checks: Schedule regular maintenance for air ducts and ventilation systems to prevent the buildup of dust and mould, which can compromise air quality. Ensuring that these systems are clean and functional is essential for maintaining a healthy office environment.
  • Natural Ventilation Options: Whenever possible, incorporate natural ventilation into your office design. Allow windows to open and install ventilated skylights to let fresh air circulate naturally, reducing the dependency on mechanical systems and enhancing the overall freshness of the air.
  • Monitoring Air Quality: Utilize smart sensors and monitors to continuously check and manage air quality levels within the office. These devices can detect changes in air composition and prompt necessary adjustments to HVAC settings, ensuring optimal air quality at all times.

By prioritising these elements in your office fit-out, you can help safeguard the health and enhance the productivity of your workforce by providing them with a cleaner, fresher working environment.

Office Fit Out Company in London
Circular Economy and Office Design

4. Balance Productivity and Collaboration with Modern Office Layouts

The push towards open-plan offices and hot-desking is reshaping how workspaces are utilised. With all the merits of open plan offices such as increased collaboration, enhanced transparency, and flexibility in space usage, they also have several drawbacks including noise and distractions, lack of privacy, and increased stress due to constant interruptions. One size certainly does not fill all, and while some employees thrive in a collaborative and energetic environment, others might find it overwhelming or distracting.

According to a Savills survey, 80% of UK workers operate in open-plan environments, with London leading at 89%. Despite this widespread adoption of open plan office space, only 12% believe that this layout boosts their productivity, and a significant 37% find it detrimental. Additionally, 45% of respondents feel that hot-desking hampers their efficiency. These insights underscore the need for office designs that not only foster collaboration but also accommodate the diverse needs of workers by incorporating quiet areas and flexible working arrangements to boost productivity effectively. Some of the

  • Zoning for Different Teams: Divide the office into distinct ‘neighbourhoods’ for different teams or departments. This strategy helps create a sense of community for team members and can optimize interactions that are crucial for day-to-day operations.
  • Dedicated Collaborative and Quiet Zones: Differentiate areas designed for collaboration from those set aside for quiet, focused work. This could involve open-plan areas equipped with all the necessary tech and furniture for group projects, and sound-proofed or secluded zones for tasks requiring deep concentration.
  • Efficient Placement of Resources: Position commonly used resources like printers, copiers, and office supplies in accessible, central locations that do not disrupt work zones. This placement strategy helps prevent unnecessary movement and noise, which can detract from productivity.
  • Use of Space Visualization Tools: Employ advanced tools for space visualization to plan and optimize the office layout. These tools can help visualize traffic flow, the effectiveness of different zone placements, and the overall organic feel of the space, ensuring a smooth and distraction-free workflow.
  • Flexible Furniture Solutions: Incorporate modular and movable furniture that can be easily reconfigured to suit varying needs and activities within the office. This adaptability can be crucial in accommodating project-specific demands or changes in team size.
  • Barrier-Free Design: Whenever possible, design open spaces that encourage a free flow of ideas and people. However, ensure there are sufficient barriers or buffers like plants or acoustic panels that can reduce noise and visual distractions, maintaining productivity without sacrificing openness.
K2 - Criteo - Office Curator - LARGE-94

5. Use Colour to Influence the Mood of the Workplace

In office settings, the strategic use of vibrant colours can significantly influence mood and productivity. Studies have shown that areas adorned with warm, stimulating colours like yellow, orange, and red, spark creativity and foster lively interactions. These spaces become centres of dynamic exchange and innovative thinking, energising staff and enhancing their creative abilities. Conversely, spaces for individual work are often designed with cooler, soothing tones of blue and green, creating a calm and focused environment. These colours can help reduce stress and increase concentration, supporting tasks that require sustained mental engagement.

Colour can also play a role in cohesion. This integration of brand colours into the office décor, including walls, furniture, and artwork, not only strengthens brand identity but also elevates the aesthetic of a space. Our work for Criteo’s global transformation project, for instance, used a palette of bright yellows, reds and oranges to bring together the colours of the new company logo. Ensuring a visually cohesive environment that reflects the company’s values and culture through a thoughtful colour strategy contributes to making a more pleasant and productive workplace.

Recommended Reading List

For some fascinating reading on the use of colour in the workplace see the list of articles below:


6. Enhance Workplace Dynamics with Art

Integrating art into the workplace significantly boosts the aesthetic appeal and the intellectual atmosphere of the space. But it also has a key role in performance. A study of 2000 office workers, for instance, found that employees are up to 32% more productive when given control over the design of their workplace. Furthermore, a broader study across 32 companies, from food distribution firms to law firms, revealed compelling statistics: 78% of employees agreed that art in the workplace reduces stress, 64% felt that it boosts creativity, and 77% believed that it encourages expression. That impact extends beyond your employees, as one study shows with 94% of respondents feeling that artwork made the office feel more ‘welcoming’.

Thought-provoking art installations do more than decorate; they spark inspiration and provoke curiosity. Strategic placements of bold statement pieces or interactive sculptures serve as focal points in communal areas, while regularly rotated exhibits keep the environment fresh and stimulating. Additionally, by supporting local artists through dedicated gallery spaces enriches the cultural vibe of the office and promotes community engagement.

Here are a few points to consider when integrating artwork into your office space:

  • The Type of Art Installation: Choosing art that reflects the themes or concepts of your company can intellectually engage employees and foster a deeper connection with their work. Our work for the Extreme Group, an exhibition firm, used paint cows throughout the space, creating a highly unique and personalised atmosphere that spoke to the fun and innovative nature of the company. However, we’ve also completed projects for corporate clients (e.g. Platinum Equity, DTRE and Cantillon Captial) where the use of art and sculpture is more conservative.
  • Interactive and Engaging Pieces: Include interactive art that employees can engage with, adding an element of surprise and delight that can break the monotony of the workday and stimulate creativity. This engagement helps to create a lively and interactive atmosphere that encourages employees to think creatively and collaborate more effectively.
  • Statement Pieces as Focal Points: Some offices use eye-catching artworks or interactive sculptures in strategic locations to create focal points that encourage interaction and conversation. These curated art collections not only add visual interest but also inspire and motivate, transforming mundane spaces into sources of creativity and conversation.
  • Support for Local Artists: Dedicate spaces within the office to display works by local artists, supporting the community and introducing a variety of artistic styles and perspectives to the workplace. This not only enhances the office’s cultural atmosphere but also fosters a greater connection between employees and the local art scene.

In essence, by integrating art into the workplace, companies can create an environment that not only looks good but also promotes a sense of well-being and productivity among employees and leaves a positive impression on visiting clients.

Technological Enhancements for Inclusivity - Tech
Office Design & Build with the Latest Room Reservation Tech

7. Use Technology to Enhance Productivity

From virtual collaboration to the use of AI assistants, cutting-edge tech is reshaping the way we do work and improving productivity. Offices that take a proactive “technology-first” approach to designing or refurbishing their offices will stand to benefit from a range of productivity improvements such as automated workflows, enhanced communication, more streamlined meetings, and better management of precious work hours. Some of the current smart tech being used in offices include:

  • Occupancy Sensors: Utilise occupancy sensors with counter and PIR technologies to determine if spaces like pods, booths, or meeting rooms are occupied. This helps in managing space efficiently and ensuring areas are utilised when needed.
  • Smart Environmental Controls: Integrate temperature and humidity sensors to maintain a comfortable and healthy office environment, leading to enhanced employee productivity and satisfaction.
  • Advanced Lighting Systems: Employ light sensors to adjust the lighting automatically based on the natural light available, reducing energy consumption and aiding in the creation of a more comfortable workspace.
  • Intelligent Air Quality Monitoring: Implement air quality sensors to monitor and manage air conditions, triggering ventilation or air purification systems as needed to ensure a safe and healthy working environment.
  • Proactive Energy Management: Use power consumption sensors to analyse and optimise energy usage throughout the office, promoting sustainability and cost-efficiency.
  • Enhanced Security Measures: Deploy motion and visual sensors to enhance office security. These sensors can activate security cameras or control access based on detected movements, improving overall safety.
A comfortable social seating area

8.  Resimercial Design: Reintroducing Home-Like Comforts to the Office

Integrating resimercial design – blending residential and commercial elements – into the workplace is increasingly popular as companies seek to make office spaces feel more comfortable and inviting. This approach helps ease the transition for employees accustomed to the comfort and flexibility of working from home.

  • Ergonomic Workstations: Equip work areas with adjustable desks and ergonomic chairs that promote proper posture and reduce physical strain. These workstations are designed to boost both comfort and productivity, making everyday tasks easier and improving overall job performance.
  • Neurodiverse-Friendly Environments: Create dedicated spaces tailored for neurodiverse employees, featuring quiet zones and sensory-adjusted settings. These areas include adjustable lighting, noise-dampening solutions, and secluded spaces to help reduce sensory disturbances and support a variety of cognitive preferences.
  • Comfortable Lounge Areas: Develop lounge spaces with soft couches and cosy armchairs that replicate the comfort of home, providing a perfect spot for relaxation and informal gatherings.
  • Teapoints and Kitchen Spaces: Enhance kitchen areas and teapoints with modern conveniences such as coffee machines and snack bars, paired with inviting seating arrangements to foster social interactions and a warm community feel.
  • Recreational Facilities: Install entertainment facilities such as game rooms that include a range of fun activities, creating an ideal environment for team bonding and enjoyable breaks.
  • Ambient and Warm Lighting: Introduce soft, warm lighting throughout the workspace to mitigate the glare of traditional office lighting and create a more inviting atmosphere.
  • Soft Fabrics and Textures: Incorporate plush fabrics and gentle textures in office décor to enhance the tactile experience and soften the ambience of the workspace.
Sustainable Design Awards 2024
K2 Space Recsustainability

9. Add Plants to the Office with Biophilic Design

Incorporating biophilic design into the workplace reconnects humans with nature, which can boost well-being and productivity. Features like living green walls not only purify the air but also enhance the visual appeal of the space. Interior water features provide calming auditory sensations, while the use of wood tones, stone, and organic textures evoke the outdoors. Abundant natural light is prioritized through the use of skylights and large windows. Even small nature motifs throughout the office can spark mental restoration and reduce stress.

  • Living Green Walls: Install living green walls to improve air quality and bring a vibrant, natural aesthetic to the workplace.
  • Interior Water Features: Add water features such as fountains or waterfalls to create a soothing sound backdrop that enhances concentration and reduces stress.
  • Natural Materials: Use natural materials like wood, stone, and bamboo in the construction and decor to bring the outside world into the workplace and create a more inviting environment.
  • Maximizing Natural Light: Design workspaces to maximize exposure to natural light through skylights and large windows, reducing reliance on artificial lighting and improving mood and energy levels.
  • Nature-Inspired Motifs: Incorporate small nature-inspired motifs in artwork, decor, and textiles to subtly enhance the connection to the natural world.
  • Organic Textures: Integrate organic textures throughout the office to simulate natural environments, which can help in reducing the sterile feel of typical office settings and promote relaxation.
Incorporating Biophilic Design Elements
Relaxation Area with Hanging Plants

10. Focus on the Wellness & Wellbeing of Staff

Employee wellness is holistically prioritized in the workplace through a variety of dedicated facilities and programs. Offices are equipped with fitness studios, massage facilities, and spaces for meditation classes to encourage physical and mental health. Nutrition counselling and farm-fresh cafeterias or micro-markets provide nutritious meal options to support healthy eating habits. Outdoor walking trails and zen gardens offer peaceful respites in nature, fostering relaxation and stress relief during the workday.

  • Fitness Studios: Provide on-site fitness studios that offer a range of exercise equipment and classes, helping employees maintain physical health directly at the workplace.
  • Massage and Relaxation Facilities: Include massage facilities and relaxation areas where employees can unwind and recharge, reducing stress and enhancing overall well-being.
  • Nutrition Counseling: Offer nutrition counselling services to educate employees on healthy eating habits and provide personalized dietary advice.
  • Meditation and Mindfulness Classes: Schedule regular meditation and mindfulness classes to support mental health and enhance focus and productivity.
  • Farm-Fresh Food Options: Establish a cafeteria or micro-market stocked with farm-fresh and nutritious food options to promote healthier eating habits within the office.
  • Outdoor Wellness Spaces: Develop outdoor spaces like walking trails and zen gardens that allow employees to enjoy nature and engage in physical activity or meditation during breaks.

11. Use Acoustics for Noise Management

Beyond basic acoustic treatments, consider advanced solutions like sound masking systems that add a level of ambient noise designed to obscure speech, making open office environments more private and less distracting.

  • Advanced Acoustic Treatments: Implement state-of-the-art acoustic solutions to minimize noise pollution and enhance speech privacy within open office layouts.
  • Sound Masking Systems: Install sound masking systems that emit a background sound similar to airflow, effectively masking human speech and reducing the intelligibility of conversations, which can help in decreasing distractions.
  • Privacy in Open Offices: Use these technologies to maintain privacy and reduce distractions in open-plan office environments, fostering a more focused and productive workspace.
  • Customizable Sound Environments: Offer customizable sound environment options that allow employees to adjust the level of ambient noise in their immediate area according to their preferences and tasks.
  • Integration with Overall Design: Ensure that noise management solutions integrate seamlessly with the office’s overall design and do not interfere aesthetically or functionally.
  • Continuous Evaluation: Regularly assess the effectiveness of noise management strategies and make necessary adjustments to ensure optimal working conditions for all employees.
Benefits of Working in An Office _ An Office Design & Build Guide

12. Enhance the Visitor Experience

Consider the experience of visitors with welcoming reception areas, clear signage, and comfortable waiting areas. This helps in creating a positive first impression and can reflect well on the company’s brand.

  • Welcoming Reception Areas: Design reception areas that are inviting and representative of the company’s brand, offering a comfortable and professional first contact point for visitors.
  • Clear Signage: Ensure that signage throughout the office is clear and helpful, guiding visitors effortlessly to their destinations within the building.
  • Comfortable Waiting Areas: Provide seating areas that are comfortable and equipped with amenities such as reading material, refreshments, and guest Wi-Fi to enhance the waiting experience.
  • Brand Reflection: Use the design of visitor areas to convey the company’s values and ethos, making sure that every element reflects the brand positively.
  • Staff Training: Train reception and frontline staff in customer service best practices to ensure that all visitors are greeted warmly and professionally.
  • Feedback System: Implement a system to gather feedback from visitors on their experience, allowing continuous improvement and adjustment based on real user input.
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