How effective office design can help to keep stress under control


Snowed under with emails, a phone that won’t stop ringing and a seemingly endless cycle of looming deadlines. Sound familiar? We all experience work-related stress at some point or another, but excessive amounts can interfere with productivity and have an adverse effect on our mental and physical wellbeing. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to take the pressure off at work – and office design is one of them. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which the set-up of your work environment can help to stave off stress.

Breakout areas

Having a relaxing space where employees can remove themselves from their work demands and clear their minds can help to alleviate built-up tension. After all, office workers are often required to sit in front of computer screens for long periods of time, which can make them more susceptible to mental burnout. If you want your team to work to the best of their ability, it’s important to provide facilities where they can get away from their desks to socialise with colleagues and de-stress. There are plenty of design ideas online that can give you inspiration on how to create fun, recreational areas in the office. For example, sites like offer a variety of breakout furniture that is designed to encourage staff to unwind.


Open plan offices, while great for colleague collaboration and camaraderie, can also be a breeding ground for stress. With high noise levels, hardly any privacy and distractions at every turn, there’s little wonder why this type of office layout can result in workplace woes. Indeed, a study conducted by the University of Calgary found that open plan office designs can have a negative impact on job performance and employee satisfaction.

However, there’s no need to revert back to 90s-style office cubicles just yet. There are plenty of ways to overcome the limitations of open plan offices, such as using screens or room dividers to provide privacy and reduce noise levels. As a general rule, offices that are the right temperature, spacious and have lots of natural light can help boost morale and keep stress levels at bay.

Workstation set-up

Cramped, cluttered desks leaving you frustrated? You’re not alone. A study conducted by scientists at Princeton University compared people’s task performance in a clutter-free and cluttered environment and found that a disorganised space impedes performance and contributes to increased stress levels.

Well-designed, spacious desks can help employees feel more organised and in control of their environment, which in turn can help to improve their overall mood and help them to remain calm in stressful situations.

By bearing advice like this in mind when it comes to office design, you shouldn’t struggle to maintain a happy, healthy workforce.


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