How Office Furniture Design Affects Productivity And Emotions

Most of us spend more than 50% of our lives indoors. This influences our mental status, actions, abilities and our job performance.

Research shows that employee productivity and happiness can result from a better work environment. That great environment starts with office furniture and its design.

In this article we’ll look at how office furniture design affects productivity and emotions.

When we talk about office furniture, we’re talking about desks, chairs, filing systems, conference rooms and meeting areas. These pieces all have a role to play in the proper functioning, productivity and efficiency of the employees using them.


One of the most important things to consider when purchasing and placing office furniture is whether or not it’s ergonomic.

Remember, employees are inside nearly half their lives sitting at their desks. If using their chairs and computers causes discomfort, your employees will be less productive and unhappy.

Today, employee happiness and satisfaction matters. Providing ergonomic office furniture gives your employees a reason to stay motivated and work hard.

Here are some tips for using the right kind of office furniture and keeping your employees comfortable and content:

  • Purchase ergonomic chairs to relieve back aches and make workers comfortable. Let workers choose their own chair. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work for everyone.
  • Let employees decide on the size of their desk including width and especially height.
  • Provide storage options that work for the employee’s daily tasks.
  • Create an inviting atmosphere that isn’t sterile so you increase productivity and employee happiness.

Round Edges Vs. Straight Lines

Straight edges and curves. Which is better for office furniture?

You’re probably familiar with King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Let’s consider King Arthur’s round table. He knew something when he created his round table and had his knights sit around it.

Sitting in circles provokes creativity and leads the people present to work with a collective mindset. Contrast that with sitting in straight lines or at a long rectangular table, and this setup triggers feelings of individuality.

What exactly was King Arthur on to? He knew that the round table would provide more productive discussions and deliberations. But, more importantly, his round table, with no “head,” implied that everyone sitting at the table had equal status and was on equal footing.

Consider a round table for your conference room, and you’ll find that employees have an increased freedom to share and enhanced creativity that derive from a feeling of equality.

Office Placement

In the early 1900s, employees’ desks all faced their supervisor. The 1950s saw large offices occupied by managers and a bullpen full of the “regular” workers. The cubicle was ushered in during the 1960s, while the 1980s-90s saw cubicles getting smaller as managers tried to cram in workers.

Moving from the 1990s-2000s, office managers began playing with an open concept arrangement to encourage worker communication. In the year 2015, tech giants are leading the way towards flexible, collaborative spaces. Today’s worker often gets to choose how and where they work.

In offices like Google, you might find traditional desk spaces, but you might find areas that look like a living room. These provide areas of collaboration for spontaneous discussion and innovations.

The Take-Away

According to environmental psychology, an office and the furniture in it can either stress a worker out or make them creative, productive and happy.

Surround employees with soothing colors, ergonomic office furniture and well-placed and designed meeting areas, and you’ll find they are more productive and happier. Add some plants and a few inexpensive amenities, and you’ll increase employee loyalty, too.

One final suggestion, engage your employee(s) when choosing office furniture design. What works for the extrovert won’t work for the introvert. The five foot tall employee will be happier with a different size desk and chair then the six foot five employee. Catering to your employees’ needs and letting them participate in office furniture design encourages productivity and good emotions.

At Studio Proper, we design with users in mind. We provide products that balance durability, function and a delightful form. We make using the iPhone and iPad easier. Our X Lock system is seamless and allows an ease of function employees appreciate.

Consider the Vesa Arm Adaptor. It makes the iPad compatible with commercial monitor arms and mounts for ease of use. Visit our website to see our products in action!

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