Can Workplace Design Help Solve Employee Burnout?

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

Employers can harness the power of design to manage stress, and help their employees stay focused, engaged and productive throughout the workday.

Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the worker has to the company and its objectives, which frequently contributes to top notch work, productivity and profitability.


On average, an office employee spends 11 minutes on a given task before being interrupted, and it takes them around another 25 minutes to get back on track.

During the workday employees are interrupted by emails, phone calls, and associate conversation, requiring the mind to use valuable energy to refocus throughout the day.


Sound itself isn't a bothersome condition, however noise—which is defined as a loud, undesirable sound that causes distraction—is. The contrast between the two depends on circumstance and sensitivity, which makes the ability to control noise the most important matter for employees in the workplace.

The surrounding commotion of a coffeehouse, for example, can be seen as attractive to certain people and troublesome to others.


The failure to get away from undesirable sounds at work can cause associates to feel they have little authority over their workplace, and furthermore, noise can cause the perception of a heavier workload.

Today, more work environments recognize that associates feel more control and job satisfaction when they are able to choose between a collaborative environment or a quiet space. So, in addition to the typical cubicle and conference rooms, workplaces are adding spaces like game lounges, phone booths, wellness rooms, and nap pods. 

Workplace design is a critical component of addressing burnout but often overlooked. Here are some additional factors to take into account when considering employee satisfaction:

  • 101% increase in cognitive scores in offices that had low concentrations of CO2 

  • 6% decrease in employee performance when temperatures are too hot or too cold 

  • 46 minutes of additional sleep reported for workers that have windows in their office 

  • 66% reduction in productivity in noisy workplaces 

  • 7-12% reported increase in productivity in one call center that had a view of nature 

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