Spacious offices with all the fancy bells and whistles might be all the rage these days, but you’d be surprised to know that the most notorious office designs from hell are not those built in the 60s, with their obsolete cubicles and closed-off offices (although a little upgrade wouldn’t hurt too).

To truly increase productivity, observe if these office mistakes from hell are present in your workplace.


No reception area, or an unwelcoming lounge

Let’s begin where customers, employees, and the employers walk in. The reception area, lobby, or the lounge might not seem like the most important player in the company’s journey to success, but never underestimate the reception area’s humble role of setting the first impression on guests. Without a cozy, welcoming, and well-lit reception area with ample seating, guests, employees, and potential talents might perceive the lack of a proper reception as a company’s lack of outgoingness and professionalism.

A lot of space is not necessary, but guests and potential clientele will undoubtedly appreciate that. What they will also appreciate further is an environment where they can sit down and relax, have access to the daily news, and/or a water or coffee.


Lack of Ergonomic Work Equipment

When your team relies on machines that are best used when seated, like computers, laptops, and other devices, they tend to be more exposed to musculoskeletal discomforts, repetitive stress injuries, and other aches and pains resulting from sedentary lifestyles. In work industries and environments like these, the only way to protect them is by utilizing work equipment or furniture that promote blood circulation, more movement, and comfort especially when the user is performing the same action over and over again.

In most offices today, sit-and-stand desks are often the most common ergonomic equipment, along with seats offering spinal support or footrests that have been designed to alleviate pressure in the legs, ankles, toes, and soles.

A standing desk from Anthrodesk


Lack of Other Essential Amenities

There are amenities which you might not normally find in an office, but when added, they can improve the workflow and lifestyle of employees tenfolds. These other essential amenities may include a gym, a yoga room, gardens for relaxation and meditation, and as seen in many startup offices: daycare centers for children.

These small additions can change the usual office environment into a community, and if this is the ambiance you would like to build in your workplace, start by introducing health, family, and personal care rooms.

People meditating inside a building


Dim or Poor Lighting

Dim or poor lighting is not something you can answer by simply adding more lamps, outlets, and extension lighting. The proper way to respond to dim or poor lighting in any work environment is by allowing natural light to enter the workplace. After all, what can be healthier and more efficient at brightening up the area than natural light produced by the sun?

An office with a big window

From a health standpoint, artificial lighting, especially those that are too bright and do not correspond to the lighting in nature depending on the time of the day, can disrupt your circadian rhythm and cause you to suffer from disrupted sleep or irregular sleeping patterns. As an alternative, soft lighting is often the best choices to use in busy work environments.


Weak Acoustics

In busy workplaces, quieter areas and private work rooms with great acoustics are everything! Although the open-office trend, which is the rage these days, can successfully create a very transparent and collaborative environment, it is unable to create private and quiet environments for individuals who thrive best in these workplaces.

As a response, many offices today marry the traditional cubicle interior with open-space office layouts to create more choices for employees and to provide them with the opportunity to work where they are likely to thrive.