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Six Most Common Office Design Mistakes & How to Fix Them
Workplace Inspiration

Six Most Common Office Design Mistakes & How to Fix Them

|May 13, 2021

When you spend most of your day at the office, you must pay attention what kind of design and layout you have. Many studies have shown the impact of an ergonomic office and other important design choices on productivity and motivation. There are still many office design mistakes that are all too common. Today, you get to find out what they are and how to address them with our office design tips.

Crowded Offices

crowed offices

If your office has space limitations, there's little you can do about the area available, unless there's another empty office to spread your belongings into. Even with limited area, there is no good reason to pack more into an office than it can contain.

There are a few issues that can arise when a space is too cramped. This common home office design mistake encroaches into people's personal spaces and leaves no breathing room in the case of shared offices. All the clutter and distractions can also make you less focused.

You can fix a crowded space using several office design for small business space ideas. Some of these tips are:

  • Choose a minimalist design with only the necessary furniture items to clear the floor space.
  • Transfer items you don't use often to another room.
  • Make use of the vertical space in your office, and invest in taller cabinets and shelves.

Insufficient Storage Space

insufficient storege space

When redesigning an office, you shouldn't overlook the need for adequate storage space. You may need this space for office supplies, equipment, and paperwork. It depends on what you have to store. When there isn't enough space to store these items, challenges you might run into include a cluttered office, difficulty in locating items, as well as fire and tripping hazards.

To solve this common mistake, you can do a full assessment of your storage needs and create a plan to adjust the layout of your office accordingly.

Outdated Furniture

outdated furniture

Nothing takes the life out of an office more than outdated furniture. There are always new office style trends coming out. This is not to say you must follow them all. However, if your office furniture is outdated and needs repairs often, it could be time to make a change.

You can fix this work or home office design mistake by refurnishing your office. Plan what you want it to look like, and get office design trend inspiration from a range of sources.

No Ergonomic Design

no ergonomic design

Ergonomics is all about optimizing the fit between a worker, the tools used, and the work environment. If you want to be the most productive and motivated in your workspace, you need to think about your typical activities and processes in the office and design it with these in mind.

Another very important element of ergonomics is in office furniture design. One common work and home office design mistake we see is the use of standard furniture pieces. The desk and chair are the two most essential furniture items in any office.

If you spend hours sitting in a chair that is uncomfortable and rigid, you could end up with back and neck aches. When your chair and desk do not allow you to adjust their height and orientation to your build and preferences, you lose out on an opportunity to optimize your work environment for success.

The best kind of office furniture has comfortable designs and adjustable settings. You can fix this issue by replacing your rigid chair with an ergonomic chair. There are many options to choose from, and most of these allow you to customize the chair height, tilt, and other features for your comfort.

You can also look into replacing your current desk with a standing desk, which offers many benefits to your health, posture, and overall productivity.

Open-plan Office

open-plan office

Why should or shouldn't you have an open-plan office? There are many people on either side of this debate, but here is a look at some of the potential pros and cons of this design.


  • All team members and their managers are easily accessible.
  • It’s easy to collaborate and get input in a project when you are all in the same space.
  • An open-plan design builds camaraderie and team spirit.


  • Not all types of work call for a high level of collaboration.
  • Many projects require deep work and focus, which can be challenging to achieve in an open office.
  • Some personality types work best with space boundaries and a limit of interpersonal interactions.

An open-plan office can be one of the worst office design mistakes, especially if there is not complete buy-in from the team when the changes are made.

If you want to fix this common work and home office design mistake, you can work on putting in cubicles in the open office so that people have a greater level and privacy and control of their own space.

Overlooked Reception and Break Room Areas

overlooked reception

Besides the actual office where you sit, there are other areas that you might need to spend time in. The reception area is very important because it is the place where visitors are received and accommodated. Very often, this place can be overlooked when changes are made to the actual offices.

Another similar work and home office design mistake is looking past the break area. When you need a break or to get away from your desk, it’s refreshing to have a great place to just breathe and relax. At the office, the break room should be open and conducive to the said relaxation. If you work from home, you also need a space where you can forget about your work for a moment and just be.

One of the key ways to address these challenges is to improve the décor and layout of the rest and reception areas.


Whether you are looking for a modern office design concept or just want to make a few improvements, the design tips in this article can help. There are many common layout mistakes, but you can fix them with a little work and creativity.

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