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How the physical environment impacts productivity

Our environment influences our mood and actions. For this reason, the design of our work environment greatly impacts our productivity and performance. Since so much of our time is spent working, our office space ought to be healthy, positive, and comfortable enough to spur creativity.

The most well-designed office spaces are effective at driving performance and encouraging collaboration. Workplace management solutions Serraview even found that innovative companies are “5 times more likely to have workplaces that prioritize individual and group workspace”. If your company’s work is dependent on teamwork and collaboration, this post will explain how a collaborative workspace can help.


What is a collaborative workspace?

A collaborative workspace is a type of office design that fosters efficient communication and feedback between two or more people. Some examples include shared office spaces, open coworking spaces, and even conference rooms. These collaborative spaces often feature close seating with clear lines of sight. The goal is to get people to have quick, impromptu conversations, which inevitably help solve problems faster.


What are the benefits of creating a collaborative workspace?

Clear communication – Relying on email and text can frequently result in miscommunication. Sometimes instructions or context can be unclear. Other times, noise can disrupt a message’s intent- such as internet lag, time difference, or difference in typing habits.

Encourage collaboration – As the name implies, these types of workspaces are great for teams and group work. By breaking down barriers like walls and computers, you promote healthier, more productive discussions.

Greater sense of community – Remote workers are on the rise, but nothing says community like working together in person. Having coworkers and teammates to talk to in between projects and meetings can be the best way to break the monotony of the daily grind.

Long-term wellness – Collaborating in an open workspace does wonders for the team’s spirit and morale. With clearer communication and stronger camaraderie, going to work doesn’t feel like such a chore.


Tips on creating a more collaborative and productive workspace

There’s no such thing as the “best office layout”, but there are a few ways you can improve an existing workspace to give your productivity a boost.

Create more flexibility and mobility. Ditch the cubicles and rigid office layouts and embrace the open space. Let your team move around if they want to by creating space to work side by side, opposite each other, or in private nooks. Learn more about the concept of activity-based working here.

Reduce the noise level. If you can, take out anything that contributes to a noisy environment. Seal windows and doors, and replace loud computers and fans. With fewer sound distractions, your team will be more comfortable while speaking to each other.

Use humidifiers and scents to improve the air quality. Make sure air is able to circulate through the room, so no one feels stuffy. Keep an eye on the thermostat as well, as temperature can have similar effects on productivity.

Maximize your natural light. For many computer users, the light from lamps and monitors is enough to brighten the whole room, but it doesn’t have the same effect as sunlight. Whenever possible, open up blinds to let in more light, or encourage walks outside. Daylight can have a major impact on one’s mood.

Team up on decorations, but inject some personality. Your workspace is essentially your second home. It may even seem like you spend less time at your actual residence. Decorate it the way you would want to decorate your personal space. While different decors are proven to be more effective, it’s up to you to design your personal workspace in a way that boosts your productivity and reflects your values as an entrepreneur. Everything from the color palette around you to the type of chair you sit in has a measurable effect. Personalize your workspace the way you see fit.

Don’t forget, clients will also see your workspace—and they’ll certainly judge it. It’s no secret that people prefer pleasant aesthetics. Clients are no different. The less legitimate your office appears to them, the less likely you’re going to win their business. Legitimacy comes in many forms, too – your office should reflect values that line up with the values of your clients. Your workspace doesn’t exist to merely ignite purpose in yourself; it also serves to reassure clients that they are in good hands.


Care about the place you spend so much of your time working in, as it is ultimately a reflection on you. Various aesthetic choices speak volumes – are you a modern business? Your office should reflect as much.

Check out our more in-depth and comprehensive guide to workplace productivity here.

Explore creative solutions to a collaborative workspace through Novel Coworking.