How an office layout can affect stress and motivation

A person’s office space is the place where he/she spends a significant amount of time in the day. So, just like home, the arrangement of furniture, and other infrastructure of office can have a considerable impact on one’s life, stress and motivation.

Most of the organisations take these vital points into consideration while designing the offices so that employees do not feel over stressed due to the work pressure and deliver better productivity.

How an office layout affects stress and motivation in the employees?

Today, the jobs have become quite competitive and everyone wants to stay ahead of his/her counterparts by performing better.

At the same time, they also undergo the pressure of achieving their goals and targets, as it impacts their job security. If a person is not able to achieve his/her organizational targets, they have the fear that they may lose their job as it establishes that they are incompetent.

All the aforementioned factors combined with the office layout can cause stress on the employees. Some of the major reasons that signify how an office layout can create stress include:


An office structure with open arrangement can result in noise, and research shows that the ceaseless exposure to noise can undermine an employee’s motivation while causing work related stress.

As per the results of a study published by the “Journal of Applied Psychology”, the participants who got to spend some hours in a quiet workplace were more successful in solving different puzzles as compared to the employees who spend those hours in a noisy workplace.


An office with open layout not only creates work related stress in employees due to noise, but also hampers the employee’s privacy.

Privacy is one of the vital considerations in a workplace environment because private work spaces boost job performance.

When the workers are not isolated from their surroundings in the office, they feel the lack of privacy, and their performance deteriorates to some extent. The deterioration in performance can result in stress and lower performance can also decline the self-motivation in employees.

What Changes Should Be Made in Offices to Boost motivation and Reduce Stress?

Research demonstrates that open office layout and cubicles based arrangement can contribute to stress. But, a few changes in the office furniture and infrastructure are capable of reversing this effect, reduce stress and enhance the motivation among the employees.

Some of the changes in the office layout that can help in achieving a positive impact on employee performance, include:

·      Developing office spaces where cubicles have a little higher wall can help in establishing privacy so that employees can focus better on their work.

·      The open office space can be segregated into different departments, and each department can have its own private working space. This will boost cooperation among employees without affecting the employee privacy.

·      Enhancing greenery in the office by planting a few small trees and plants can have a positive effect on the employee productivity. To some extent, it also helps in educing the effect of the noise.

Click on source to know how stress management can be done n the offices to enhance the overall productivity.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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