How to Create an Ergonomic Workplace with the Right Office Furniture

When it comes to creating a productive, inviting, and comfortable workplace, ergonomics should be at the top of your list. Ergonomics focuses on optimizing a workplace environment to reduce fatigue, discomfort, and injury. It’s the study of how to make people’s work environment as comfortable, efficient, safe, and healthy as possible. To achieve this, selecting the right office furniture is essential.  

The Benefits of an Ergonomic Workplace 

Lady smiling while working in ergonomic workstation

Emphasis should always be placed on ergonomics when designing a workplace. A workspace design that prioritizes ergonomics not only improves worker satisfaction and productivity, but also minimizes injuries and decreases fatigue. It shows both customers and employees that you care about their well-being and want to create a productive and healthy workplace. A well-designed workplace makes it easy to move around, reach tools and equipment, and maintain good posture. Here are some of the main benefits of investing in ergonomic workplace design:  

Improved Comfort & Safety 

Ergonomic workplace design helps reduce physical strain, allowing you to work smarter rather than harder. Ergonomic furniture and accessories such as height-adjustable chairs and sit-stand desks, footrests, and wrist supports provide extra comfort and support. By reducing physical strain, you are able to stay productive without putting your health at risk. 

Increased Productivity & Focus 

When you’re comfortable in your workspace, you’re more likely to stay focused on the task at hand. An ergonomic workplace design allows for better posture, which helps reduce distractions and increase concentration. Ergonomic design also encourages collaboration and communication, as it provides an environment that is conducive to idea sharing and teamwork. 

Reduced Risk of Injury 

If you’re working in an uncomfortable environment for long periods of time, you’re more likely to suffer from repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. An ergonomic workplace design helps to reduce strain on your muscles and joints, reducing the risk of injury. In addition, it ensures that any equipment you use is easily accessible, so that you don’t have to stretch or strain to reach it. Ergonomic furniture also helps you stay compliant with OSHA guidelines.  

What Office Furniture is Best for an Ergonomic Workplace? 

Person placing laptop on laptop stand

Wondering where to start when it comes to incorporating ergonomic workplace furniture? Here are some of the top office furniture pieces that should be incorporated into any ergonomic workplace design: 

Laptop Stands 

Working with a laptop can cause neck and back strain, but laptop stands can help alleviate this problem. Laptop stands can be adjusted to any height so that your screen is always at eye level. This will reduce neck strain and help keep your posture correct.  

Adjustable Seating 

Sitting in the same position for long periods of time can lead to muscle fatigue and poor posture. An adjustable chair or stool will give you the flexibility to move around, ensuring that your body is supported in all directions. 


Keeping your feet flat on the floor helps you maintain good posture, but it isn’t always possible to do this. Footrests provide an easy solution by allowing you to adjust the height of your feet and keep them at a comfortable level. 

Sit-Stand Desks 

Sit-stand desks are becoming increasingly popular as they provide a great way to stay active while you work. These desks are adjustable so you can switch from sitting to standing whenever you need to. 

Lumbar Support 

Back pain is one of the most common workplace injuries. Investing in lumbar support cushions or chairs can help reduce strain on your lower back, improving both your posture and comfort. 

Anti-Fatigue Mats 

When standing for long periods of time, having a cushioned anti-fatigue mat will not only improve your posture, but also increase blood circulation.  

How to Set Up an Ergonomic Workspace 

Lady using adjustable desk standing while working

In the ideal workplace design, employees should be able to adjust their workstations to meet their specific needs. For example, adjustable desks allow users to alternate between sitting and standing positions throughout the day. Anti-fatigue mats are great for those who need to stand for long periods of time, like hotel clerks, food service workers, cashiers, and more, as they provide extra cushioning to reduce strain on joints. Height-adjustable chairs and stools also enable users to move their seat up and down depending on either their height or preference. And for those who must use a mouse or keyboard for long hours, wrist rests for a mouse or keyboard are invaluable for reducing strain and improving circulation. 

Additional Tips for an Ergonomic Workplace 

Good posture is essential for all workplace employees. Maintaining good posture reduces strain on the body, prevents long-term musculoskeletal injuries, and improves mental focus. To maintain good posture at work, be sure to sit with your back straight and feet flat on the floor or on a footrest. If you’re standing, keep your feet shoulder-width apart with your shoulders relaxed and your spine aligned.  

There are several products available that can help you maintain good posture in the workplace. Desk risers are great tools for adjusting your desk to the right height, so you don’t have to stoop or lean forward to type. Additional products you can use for ergonomic support include ergonomic keyboards, adjustable monitor arms, and wrist rests. Ergonomic keyboards encourage good posture by keeping your wrists in a neutral position. Adjustable monitor arms can help place your screen at the correct distance from your eyes and relieve any strain. Wrist rests can also be used to support your wrists while typing or using a mouse.  

Get in With Gateway 

Gateway delivery truck

These are just a few ways you can make sure you’re creating an ergonomic workplace design and staying comfortable throughout the workday. Remember, any changes you make to your workspace should feel natural and comfortable so you can stay productive and free of pain and fatigue. Gateway Furniture in South Texas offers a great selection of ergonomic furniture to help you create a workplace design that feels comfortable and supportive. With their wide range of office chairs, desks, and more, you’ll be sure to find something that fits your needs. They also offer custom design solutions so you can create a workspace that works best for you. With Gateway, you’ll get the support and comfort you need while working in your office. 

Why You Should Use a Dedicated Workplace Design Team 

First impressions matter. When a customer or client walks into your workplace, you want them to feel comfortable and welcome, with ample seating, natural light, and a dynamic workplace setup. Your workplace should speak to your company values and aesthetics. But how do you find that aesthetic? How do you find the specific furniture that will work best for your space? How do you decide which colors to use? And how do you do it without breaking your budget? 

You can find the answer to these queries by working with a Dedicated Workplace Design Team. Working with a team of workplace designers allows you to take advantage of their expertise and experience in creating optimal spaces for your corporate office, teacher’s lounge, breakroom, medical office, co-working space, and more.

Whether you’re an office manager, administrative assistant, C-suite executive, or just want to update your small business workspaces, working with a commercial interior design team will help you increase productivity, improve employee retention, enhance employee recruitment, reduce workplace spending, and improve customer impressions.  

Dedicated Design Aesthetics 

Finding the perfect look and feel for your workplace can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Working with a dedicated workplace design team can help you bring your vision to life and make your space look great. At Gateway, we understand that every workspace is different, and it’s our goal to make sure that each design is tailored to the individual needs of our clients. Our team will work with you to create an aesthetic that fits the unique personality of your business, as well as create a comfortable and inspiring atmosphere that promotes productivity.  

Our design team takes pride in being able to help you find the right combination of furniture, materials, colors, and textures to create the perfect look and feel for your space. We also strive to create designs that are both attractive and practical, utilizing the latest trends while still remaining functional and easy to maintain. 

We can help you find the right aesthetic for your business, whether traditional, industrial, modern, minimalist, or a balance thereof, helping to ensure that your space feels timeless while still providing a unique look that stands out from the rest. No matter what kind of aesthetic you’re looking for, our experienced design team can work with you to make sure that your vision comes to life.  

Increased Productivity 

By using a design team, you can let someone else worry about the layout plan and design, procurement of furniture and art, deliveries, and installation, so you can focus on your work. Our experienced design team works efficiently to ensure your office layout exceeds your expectations. We design specifically for you; if you need a separate room for printing supplies, if you need quiet rooms for small meetings, if you need charging stations, etc. Whatever you need to improve productivity, we will design it for you.  

Designing specifically for productivity helps to minimize distractions and maximize efficiency. By carefully selecting furniture that is comfortable and ergonomic, as well as incorporating elements such as natural lighting, biophilic design, and touchdown spaces, productivity levels are sure to increase. Additionally, office designs that promote collaboration and communication can encourage creativity and lead to higher productivity in the workplace. 

Improved Employee Retention 

Creating a well-designed workspace is essential to keeping your employees happy and loyal to the company. When a company invests in making the workplace comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, it demonstrates its dedication to employee comfort and satisfaction. This helps build morale and a sense of community in the workplace. 

Working with a dedicated design team will ensure that your workspace meets the needs and expectations of all your employees. Take the time to listen to what your employees want in their workspace and use this as a starting point for designing a space that works for everyone. Not only will this make them feel heard, but it will also help create a workplace where everyone can be productive and happy.  

Enhanced Recruitment Efforts 

Make a great first impression on potential employees with a well-curated space. Attractive and comfortable workplaces are appealing to job seekers, as it shows that the company cares about the employees and provides a welcoming atmosphere. A well-designed office sends the message that not only is the company serious about its business but also that it invests in its employees. It also conveys the idea that the company values creativity, comfort, and innovation, qualities that are highly desirable in any new hire.  

Furthermore, a workplace design team can create an environment that is inviting and motivating, both of which can be great selling points for potential candidates. A team of workplace design experts will know how to create an inviting atmosphere and make sure that the office space looks professional and polished. In this way, a workplace design team can be instrumental in ensuring successful recruitment efforts. 

Reduced Office Costs 

A well-designed office environment not only provides a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for workers, but it also helps to decrease procurement spending, reduce energy consumption, and ensure sustainability. With the help of a professional team, businesses can plan their workspace in such a way that it uses minimal resources while providing maximum benefit to avoid costly mistakes. An experienced design team will be able to suggest furniture arrangements that are aesthetically pleasing while remaining cost-effective. They can help in choosing ergonomic chairs, desks, smart storage solutions, and other office furniture that promotes employee comfort and efficiency without overspending on uncomfortable and unnecessary equipment.  

The workplace design team will suggest ways to make the most of natural light, air purification, and ventilation in order to reduce electricity usage and decrease the spread of illness. Using strategically placed windows, intelligent lighting and temperature systems, and other features can help keep the office environment cooler or warmer without having to use constant air conditioning or heating. By implementing cost-effective measures, they can create a comfortable and productive work environment while avoiding unnecessary expenses.  

Improved Efficiency through Color-Based Design 

Colors can have a profound effect on the overall efficiency of a workplace. Not only do colors affect the mood of employees, but they can also be used to create an efficient balance between branding and practicality. A dedicated workplace design team can help you create an aesthetic that reflects your brand while also promoting confidence, creativity, attention to detail, and skill. 

When it comes to choosing colors for your office, the design team will consider the psychology of color, as well as how the colors interact with one another. Your team will take into account the lighting, flooring, and other materials in the space to ensure the most efficient use of color possible. With the right balance of colors, your office will promote comfort and concentration while still creating an identity that matches your branding and company values.  

Colors can also be used to designate specific areas in your office space. Different colors can be used to differentiate between collaborative workspaces, private workstations, break rooms, and more. This helps employees, customers, patients, and clients quickly identify which areas are meant for specific workplace activities.  

The Gateway Team 

With a dedicated workplace design team, you can create an office space that uses color, furniture, and layout efficiently to reflect your brand and promote an atmosphere of productivity without interrupting your workday. By using the experienced Workplace Interior Design team from Gateway Furniture, your workspace can become not only aesthetically pleasing, but also functionally productive. 

2023 Office & Workplace Design Trends

How the Workplace Will Look in 2023 

We are living in an ever-changing world, one where the office environment is always changing too. Technology, culture, and current trends all play a role in how the modern workplace looks and feels. As we approach 2023, let’s look at some of the trends that are likely to shape the office of the future. From biophilic design to smarter workspaces, these office design trends will help create healthier, more productive workspaces. Let’s explore how the office will look in 2023 and what steps you can take to make sure your office is up to date. 

The Home Office: The New Norm? 

In 2023, more businesses will be embracing remote work as a viable option for their employees. This means that many people will be setting up home offices in order to better accommodate this shift. Ensure efficiency with the best hybrid work essentials.  


As technology continues to evolve, there are a variety of design trends that will be popular in the home office. For starters, ergonomic furniture continues to be particularly important in home office setups. This includes adjustable chairs, standing desks, and other features designed to make sure that people are comfortable and productive while working from home. Additionally, the incorporation of natural elements such as plants, wood finishes, and natural light will be important in creating a calming environment. 

Collaboration Tools & Tech 

With the growing trend of remote work, it’s also likely that collaboration tools and shared workspaces will become more commonplace in home offices. They will give users access to project management software, video conferencing platforms, and cloud storage solutions that allow them to be productive and efficient no matter where they work.  

Virtual Reality & AI 

Finally, there may also be a surge in the popularity of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies for remote workers. Virtual and augmented reality allow users to create immersive environments in which they can collaborate with others in different locations, making remote work even easier.  

All in all, the home office of 2023 is looking to be an exciting prospect. With a combination of ergonomic design, collaboration tools, and virtual/augmented reality technology, the home office is primed to become a hub for productivity and creativity. 

Technology Will Play a Bigger Role in Office Design 

With technology becoming ever more integral to our daily lives, it’s no surprise that it is also having a big impact on office design. As we look ahead to the workplace of 2023, technology will be a major driving factor in creating comfortable, productive, and efficient spaces. Here are just some of the ways that technology will be influencing office design in the coming year. 


Smart offices will allow for better connectivity between workers and the outside world, enabling remote collaboration and communication. This will be made possible through the use of smart devices as well as smart sensors which will monitor the environment and allow for greater control over air quality and temperature. 


Automation of everyday tasks such as data entry and filing will help reduce costs and save time. In addition, automation can help improve safety conditions, as machines can detect potential hazards in the workplace. 

Artificial Intelligence 

AI is set to play an even bigger role in office design over the next few years, and not just in the home office. AI-powered solutions can automate mundane tasks, provide smarter insights into customer trends, and increase accuracy and efficiency in decision-making. 

Smart Furniture 

Smart furniture is steadily becoming increasingly more common in offices around the world. It enables workers to create a space that suits their specific needs and comes with features such as adjustable desks, automated lighting and air conditioning, and voice control.  

As technology advances, so too does the potential for a more productive, comfortable, and efficient workplace. 

Offices Will be More Sustainable 

The office of 2023 will be a lot more sustainable than today’s offices. This is mainly because companies are increasingly aware of the need to reduce their environmental footprint and use resources more responsibly.  

Recycled & Non-Toxic Materials 

Eco-friendly building materials, such as bamboo and cork, are becoming increasingly popular, as they can help reduce energy costs. Recycled materials are also being used more frequently to reduce waste and conserve resources. Designers are creating more sustainable workspaces with materials such as recycled plastics, FSC-certified woods, and low-VOC paints. These materials produce fewer toxins and are better for the environment. Additionally, designers are incorporating energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems, and renewable energy sources into the office design.  

In-Office Recycling & Re-Use 

Businesses are also looking at ways to minimize waste within the office. This could include reducing paper consumption, cutting down on single-use plastics, or using reusables instead of disposables. To ensure that employees recycle and repurpose what they use, many businesses are making sure that there are separate bins for recycling and composting, as well as providing clear instructions on how to do so.  

Overall, by making sustainable changes to the office design and implementing green practices, businesses can ensure that they’re doing their part to reduce their environmental impact. 

Office Design Will Reflect Company Culture 

As the world of work continues to evolve, office design trends are also shifting to accommodate a more holistic approach to productivity. This is especially true for the offices of 2023, where design will be centered around fostering company culture. 

Touchdown Spaces 

In the office of 2023, workplace designs will prioritize flexible spaces that can easily be transformed from individual workspaces to collaborative meeting areas. These touchdown spaces will use adaptable furniture and technology to create an environment that supports both individual and team-based work. Colorful accent walls and pieces of artwork throughout the office will act as an extension of the company culture, reflecting its values and mission. 

The Communal Spaces 

To facilitate collaboration, the 2023 office design will also make more use of communal meeting areas, like lounges and break rooms. These areas will serve as hubs for conversation, creativity, and ideas to come together. In addition to communal spaces, larger conference rooms with interactive projection walls and high-tech audio/visual equipment will allow teams to collaborate on projects more effectively.  

In a time when remote work has become increasingly popular, the office of 2023 will provide an inviting atmosphere for workers who come into the office. By utilizing unique and flexible designs, companies can create an atmosphere that encourages collaboration and creativity. 

Employees Will Have More Input on Office Design 

As the office of the future begins to take shape, employees have a larger role to play in designing their workspaces. Companies are recognizing that creating an office environment tailored to their employees’ needs helps drive productivity and enhance collaboration.  


The modern office design will be highly individualized, with adjustable desks, furniture, and lighting for each employee. Adjustable desks can be raised or lowered to suit different postures and provide a more ergonomic environment. Flexible furniture will also allow for dynamic changes in how people use the space, allowing for collaboration between departments. Not only that, but having personalized, private spaces for employees is on the rise again. Think the old cubicles of the 90’s but updated and modern, with adjustable and stackable panels and partitions.  

Lighting & Biophilia 

Biophilic design is also being used to make offices more conducive to creativity and productivity. Natural light is becoming increasingly important, as it’s believed to reduce eye strain and improve morale. Smart lighting systems can also be used to adjust the color temperature and intensity of the lights throughout the day, depending on the task at hand. By incorporating plants, natural textures and textiles, and more natural light, you are helping keep your employees healthy and happy.  

The workplace of 2023 is designed with employee comfort and engagement in mind. Companies are recognizing that employee satisfaction is essential for a productive workforce, and they’re incorporating these elements into their office design plans. As technology continues to evolve, offices will continue to be transformed to meet the changing needs of businesses, their employees, and the modern office.  

Get in with Gateway to ensure modernity, efficiency, and comfort in your offices in 2023!

Creating Touchdown Spaces for Your Workplace

When it comes to collaboration in the workplace, you can’t afford to skimp on anything if you want to get the best possible results. While we all know that teamwork makes the dream work, it also requires some smart thinking when it comes to establishing spaces where you can all be comfortable and efficient. One of the most overlooked aspects of office design is touchdown spaces- dynamic workspace areas designated just for discussion and collaboration between coworkers. If your company doesn’t have any, or they aren’t up to par, check out our guide on how to create touchdown spaces in your office!

What is a Touchdown Space?

Fast paced work environment in a open office setting.

A touchdown space is a collaborative space that allows people from different departments and teams to come together and seamlessly collaborate. Touchdowns are designed with specific activities in mind, such as brainstorming, ideation sessions, or project management. They are often set up with a large table that can be used as a whiteboard or breakout area where people can gather around together. They may also be filled with couches and chairs, so they feel more like lounges. The purpose of touchdown spaces is to make any type of collaboration easier, more natural, and more enjoyable.

The Benefits of Collaboration

Team working together on a work project.

Touchdown spaces are the perfect opportunity to foster creativity, collaboration, and just good old-fashioned fun. They provide a space where employees can work on their own projects or collaborate with their teams. Plus, they’re a great way to increase employee engagement and morale, which can be beneficial for your business. By improving someone’s ability to collaborate in an encouraging space, you are creating more opportunities for people to learn from one another, to find what could improve a product or project, and improving overall efficiency. We all know that often two heads are better than one, so when someone needs an extra set of eyes on a project, there can now be dedicated space for that.

Where to Begin?

Office room sketch.

Before you get started with creating your touchdown spaces, here are some things you’ll want to consider in the planning and design stages:

  1. What kinds of activities do you want employees to engage in? Some ideas might include brainstorming sessions, team meetings, or working on individual assignments.
  2. How many people should be able to be in the touchdown space at one time? You’ll want enough room for everyone but not too much that it becomes overcrowded.
  3. What furniture works best for your aesthetic? You may prefer traditional furniture over modern furniture. Or perhaps you like modular furniture that can be repurposed elsewhere.
  4. Where do you have or want to put electrical outlets? Having accessibility to charging stations is imperative to efficiency. Anticipate the need to “plug and play”.

Time to Build It!

Once it’s time to create it, remember these important aspects. Be sure to introduce different areas such as breakout rooms or common areas for people to take time away from their desk and chat about what they’re working on that day. You may also be able to dedicate specific days of the week or times of day when people could come together. Encourage everyone to come together during these windows – it will get others outside of their comfort zones. You can also put up artwork, displays, sculptures etc., so that this space is visually stimulating to inspire people to create.

Make the Most of the Space

Office common area.

Find a place where employees can comfortably gather, like conference rooms or common areas. Power outlets are a must, as many people will have their laptops on the table and need access to power. Coffee is also a great addition, as it encourages socialization, fuels brainstorming, and provides an easy break from work. Natural light is important if you’re going to be working all day, as it helps people stay energized and alert. Biophilic Design is also key, as it mirrors the natural environment of humans and can help them feel more at ease. The space should have a variety of furniture available including chairs, couches, desks and coffee tables so it’s easy for different people to find what suits them best at any given moment.

Finding the Balance Between Privacy and Community in the Workplace

As more workers have moved back to the office many of them are wondering how to access the privacy they felt in their home offices inside their corporate offices. It seems that hot-desking is out, and personal space is in. This doesn’t mean collaborative spaces or touchdown spaces have been shunned; quite the opposite is true. People want duality in their office layouts: collaborative spaces for meetings or those employees that thrive in a more populated environment, and quiet, personal spaces for those who prefer otherwise.

Privacy and Collaboration: Can You Have Both?

Two people working in modern cubical office setting.

Open concept workplaces were designed with the best of intentions: to break down both the physical and social barriers among employees. This might have allowed for a senior level manager to be working at a desk next to a junior sales associate. And while this did not always make the most logistical sense, it meant that collaboration was always possible. Quick meetings could happen right across the table, without needing to book time in a conference room.

One of the key elements of office workplaces is the ability to create a sense of community among your co-workers in order to increase and encourage collaboration. However, it’s important to find balance between co-worker collaboration and personal privacy in order to keep morale high, bodies healthy, and productivity optimal in your workplace.

Workplaces for All

Many offices are shifting back from remote to in-office work, with the assumption that this will lead to increased productivity, better communication, higher quality of work, and more collaboration. However, there are also several risks involved with this change. With the increasing popularity of open office spaces over the past two decades, employees who need privacy to focus may be at a disadvantage or not get enough work done because their environment isn’t conducive to their way of working.

Additionally, research has shown that staying healthy in the office can help you stay healthy outside of the office, and tightly packed open spaces can potentially incubate and transfer sickness. The lack of private spaces in the workplace can make it difficult for people to take care of themselves, even by getting things like proper meal breaks, which can drastically improve both physical and mental health in the long run.

Balancing Privacy and Collaboration

Collaboration can be more effective when there are spaces dedicated to it and separate spaces dedicated to privacy. Touchdown spaces, namely larger conference rooms, lounges, small meeting spaces, etc., can be used for easy and accessible collaboration. However, creating dynamic workspaces with cubicles can offer a level privacy to them by having dividers that are tall enough so you can’t see over them. Open space should also be an option to promote creativity for those who wish to work in a more collective environment, which can create a collaborative vibe while still maintaining a sense of personal space. In this way, the three types of workplaces have been accounted for: personal workspace (i.e., cubicles), team workspace (i.e., touchdown spaces), and communal workspace (i.e., open spaces).

You Can Still Have Your Own Space

Privacy is a necessary aspect of a healthy, happy office environment. Many people have become accustomed to a home office, with privacy and personal space being paramount. Not having personal space can result in increased stress levels due to a lack of privacy and increased stress can lead to lower sales, decreased morale, and a plummet in productivity. Having a dedicated personal space prevents hot-desking, when several people share one workspace while the others are away. It keeps your desk as your own all day, every day, which makes coming to work more peaceful because you have a space that’s yours, as opposed to a desk in the open area where anyone can take it over. With personal spaces, employees can store personal items at their desks like snacks, family photos, goal charts, and more to improve their daily efficiency.

Tips for Creating an Office Environment That Supports Both Privacy and Collaboration

As businesses continue to grow, office space can become a commodity. When that happens, it’s important to find a way to balance privacy with collaboration. Having spaces designated for both makes it easier for employees to work together while still having their own space, which improves not only productivity, but also morale. When you give your employees what they need, they feel appreciated. Offering cubicles, having separate spaces, offering quiet rooms, touchdown spaces, and small meeting rooms, are all ways you can create an environment that supports both privacy and collaboration in the modern workplace.

Health in the Workplace Through Biophilic Design

All healthy offices should be designed in such a way as to promote the health and well-being of their employees, but what exactly does that entail? Biophilic design aims to create spaces, whether in the corporate, education, or hospitality markets, which mirror the principles found in nature—from lighting and temperature control to the positioning of furniture and elements like windows, plants, and water features. Here are some examples of biophilic design in the workplace, as well as information about how it promotes work-life balance, productivity, employee satisfaction, and more. 

What is Biophilic Design? 

Biophilia is the innate tendency to seek out natural environments. The term was coined by Erich Fromm in 1964. Today, biophilic design is a growing design trend being used to create buildings and workplaces that mimic nature and provide opportunities for people to connect with the natural world. Biophilic design can involve anything from green roofs, plant walls, plants on desks, etc. With more and more research showing the benefits of an indoor environment that incorporates nature, it seems there’s never been a better time for designing buildings with our natural surroundings in mind. 

What Does It Have To Do With The Workplace? 

Nature has many benefits including reduced stress levels and increased productivity and creativity. A workplace that incorporates plants, green spaces or natural elements can help create a healthier and more productive work environment. Biophilic design has been shown to reduce the amount of stress in the workspace and promote creative thinking and collaboration among co-workers. They also improve employee mental health by providing access to nature through walking paths and window views in office buildings. Employees have reported an increase in focus, better moods, and enhanced creativity due to exposure to nature and natural elements. Employees have noted that this kind of exposure at work resulted in improved sleep quality and reduced fatigue.

Direct and Indirect Exposure

Exposure to elements has been shown to improve mood and productivity. Studies have found that workers exposed to indirect natural light slept better and reported less stress than those exposed to artificial light. Indirect natural light can be created by adding windows or skylights to your workplace. Plants, a more direct exposure, have also been shown to make people happier, healthier, and more productive. Adding plants not only gives you an opportunity for direct exposure but also improves air quality and reduces airborne dust particles. 

Natural Light Sources

Biophilic design encourages the use of natural light sources like skylights or floor to ceiling windows. Natural daylight exposure has been shown to increase productivity by up to 37% with sunlight exposure playing a significant role in regulating an individual’s circadian rhythm. The blue wavelength of the light is also important for mood regulation, and it helps suppress melatonin release, which helps people stay alert. Studies have shown that when employees are exposed to natural light during daytime hours they are more productive than those who work in artificial lighting. 

Portrait of nice attractive stylish entrepreneur with folded arms on roof outside outdoor sunny day.

Outdoor Spaces

Natural materials work well for both indoor and outdoor environments, and outdoor spaces are valuable in the modern workplace. Not only can employees, clients, and customers use these outdoor areas as break spaces, but they can also be used as workspaces. Regular exposure to Vitamin D can help stay healthy and focused. Remember to work with a representative to find the best furniture for the outdoors, as having rugged, strong outdoor furniture is imperative. It must be able to stand up to rain, wind, sun, and snow.  

Water Features and Plants

Plants create an environment that inspires creativity and supports better health because they provide fresh air and reduce stress levels by stimulating the senses of smell and sight. The benefits don’t stop there – plants also improve productivity as they can improve concentration and offer alternative resting areas to keep people from sitting for prolonged periods of time. Studies show that more plants in the workplace could be worth over $400 million dollars in productivity gains each year! To help make your office greener, water features like fountains or waterfalls are great for adding natural sounds and cool air during warm months to lower overall indoor temperatures. By choosing plants that are native to your region, you can also save money on HVAC costs by decreasing energy use. For example, ferns do well in cooler climates while cacti do well in warmer climates! 

Gateway works with you to find commercial furniture and fixtures to complement your Biophilic Office Design!

Design Trends for the Modern Workplace 

First impressions matter. Your workplace design is a reflection of your business, your goals and your company culture. You want your design aesthetic to impress visitors, encourage customers and enhance employee productivity. Believe it or not, workplace design can have quite the impact on employee engagement, morale and even retention. We’ll review a few of our favorite modern workplace design trends like ergonomic office furniture, biophilic design, flexible spaces and inclusivity.  

Ergonomic Office Furniture 

Whether you prefer to sit at a desk, stand at a desk, walk on a treadmill while you’re working or lounge on a couch, having an ergonomic setup is imperative. When our spines are aligned, we stay focused longer, have improved physical health, breathe better, and lower our risks for strain or injury. Ergonomic furniture can look like adjustable sit-stand desks, well supported seating, floor mats for standing and more.  

Biophilic Design 

If the past few years have taught us anything about our workspaces, it’s that often some plant life can greatly improve both the environment and workplace morale. Biophilic design is a concept used to increase connectivity to nature, whether direct or indirect. If you have the space for it, consider building a plant wall across from a large window. This way the plants get direct sunlight, and your employees will have plants on one side and natural light on the other. If a plant wall is not available to you, bring in a few small plants. Many plants improve the air quality indoors and can even help minimize humidity. Great options for indoor plants are: 

  1. Snake Plants 
  1. Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants 
  1. Boston Ferns 
  1. English Ivy 
  1. Peace Lilies 

Before you create a large indoor garden, be sure to consider the allergies and sensitivities of the people in your workplace. A few plants around the space should be fine if allergies are present. And don’t forget to water them!  

Flexible Spaces 

While many offices and workplaces had been designed to be fixed use, that doesn’t work in most modern-day work environments. Workplaces can be flexible, outfitted with furniture that can be moved and adjusted to suit the individual needs of employees, visitors, and customers. Being able to pick up a few cubes and turn them into a table or extra seating allows meetings and collaborative sessions to happen on the fly. Having the ability to find your own optimal work environment is key and a great solution to modern workplace problems.  


Inclusive design is about accommodation for need, choice, or flexibility. Designing a breakroom, for example, with a wheelchair bound person in mind will likely not affect anyone who isn’t in a wheelchair but can dramatically improve the workplace experience for any person who is. The same goes for seating—having inclusive seating available can allow a pregnant person to feel both welcome and comfortable. And for neurodivergent persons, providing dedicated quiet spaces to employees who need auditory or sensory deprivation can allow those employees to know they are valued, and that their needs are respected in the workplace.  

Contact Gateway to incorporate modern workplace design trends into your new office!