For every different employee, there is a different office design and environment that will make them happy and productive. You can’t reasonably expect an engineer and a customer service representative to be able to work in the same office. Yet, the way we approach office design in the modern business world is a one size fits all mentality.

This may be why 52 percent of Americans report being dissatisfied with their job and unhappy at their workplace. Creating an office design that is tailored to your employees’ needs and puts them first can lead to happier and more productive workers.

Customize Each Space By Department

The ways in which your employees’ work should be the inspiration for your office design. It’s no secret that each department in your company takes on different tasks in different ways. Some departments require a lot of collaboration, while others require employees to focus and work alone.

Take into account these factors when designing your office space. You can incorporate both collaboration rooms and private focus rooms to give employees options. Considering open office designs and wall separators can also help you customize your workspace to meet your employees’ needs.

Give Employees the Freedom to Move

It’s no secret that sitting all day has major negative health effects on our bodies. When you incorporate movement into your office design, you make it easier for your employees to take care of themselves and be more productive.

Give your employees space to walk around and an office design that encourages them to get out of their chairs. Standing desks and open floors plans that include spaces where employees can stretch or do light exercise are great ways to make sure your employees stay healthy and happy.

Incorporate the Outdoors Into Your Office Design

Research from the University of Washington states that employees who had visual and physical access to green spaces were able to focus and alleviate stress more easily. While there are some things you may not be able to change about your office, like its proximity to green spaces, there are ways you can bring the outdoors into your office design.

Try incorporating easy to care for indoor plants around the office. Encourage employees to bring small potted succulents or bamboo to put around their workspaces. Hanging pictures of nature on the walls and playing soundtracks of waves or rain are also great ways to bring the outdoors in.

Create an Office Design with Multi-Purpose Spaces

Including communal areas into your office design is a great way to allow employees to socialize and collaborate with each other on their own time. Multi-purpose spaces like lounge areas or cafe style spaces give employees a place to take a much-needed break and rejuvenate.

Try incorporating things like a kitchen and comfortable couches and seating where employees from different departments can come together to mingle, socialize and grab a snack. Multi-purpose spaces like these will make employees feel more at home and give them an informal space to relax during the work day.

For more tips on creating an effective office design, check out our blog post “The Best Way to Utilize Space in Your Office.”