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Banke Ajagunna: 4 Ways Your Office Design Is Dampening Everyone’s Work Morale



Workspace design and work output aren’t mutually exclusive. Your work environment can positively influence innovation, passion, effectiveness, creativity, and also provide for a fun atmosphere. As we know, all work and no play makes jack a dull boy and Jill even duller- yes, pun intended.

All thanks to Silicon Valley for showing us what offices could look like with the likes of Google, Facebook, Uber… etc. championing this ‘revolution’. Employers often times do not place a lot of emphasis on the mental wellbeing of their employees.

For them, as long as the staff gets paid at the end of the month, what else is there to worry about? This might have held true in the past, but times are changing and so are the needs of the people we work with. An investment in a cool work environment is imperative, because it reflects the company culture, emphasizes the management’s ability to adapt to change… and not being stuck in their old ways.

Workers spend the most part of their day within the four walls of the office and it only makes sense to inject life into the space. This post might not be for everyone, but if you are an employer struggling with motivating the team, then your office redesign should be right up your alley. Here are four reasons why your millennial employees/colleagues are not excited to come to work.

First impression matters
Not only does a well designed and functional work environment improve productivity, it also leaves a lasting impression on potential clients or would-be employees. Spoiler alert!!! You know how you meet some potential business partner but anytime you suggest coming over to their office, they opt out and ask to meet at yours or a nice bar? Well, they just don’t want you to getting discouraged from the look of their office. Everyone wants an office they can show-off.

You don’t have an interesting wall for selfies
You might not know this, but beautiful, unconventional spaces keep people coming back for more selfies. Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat has everyone hooked and you will do well for yourself if you can tap into that craze. It’s no mistake new restaurants know this secret and put in the needed resource to make sure their space is selfie-worthy. More return customers equal more sales and less spending on advertisement. The exciting thing is this trend is also applicable in a serious work environment.

No outdoor space
Maybe you thought a selfie wall was a joke but when it comes to outdoor spaces, it is as serious as it gets. We all need a breather from time to time and it’s better off outside. Providing an outdoor space encourages the team to go out for a stretch from time to time and this helps foster team bonding activities. You even get extra points if you have smokers on the team; they would thank you for this.

Employees don’t have a sense of privacy
We all know with the good comes the bad and same is the case for open plan office designs. The downside of this design style is that you have absolutely no room for privacy. Everyone in the office listens in on your phone conversations, clients work cannot be treated with confidentiality, there’s a lot of distraction going on here and there and thus dampening work efficiency. Our coping level differs, while some can function perfectly well in such an environment, others would struggle with it. It is essential to have secluded rooms for times when employees want to get away from all the noise to get work done.

If this resonates with you, and you want a better office layout for yourself/colleagues/employees, but need some guidance with how to go about it, here are my personal top 5 immediate improvement ideas:
1. Update your walls with inspiring art and/or quotes from successful business owners
2. Create breakout areas for relaxation and camaraderie
3. Carve out private rooms for quiet work
4. Light up the rooms for some extra sparkle
5. Use light colours in rooms especially white and introduce accent colours smartly.

So don’t dull and let’s go up the ante in our respective spaces. For more check out

Photo Credit: .shock | Dreamstime

Banke Ajagunna is the Lead Interior Designer at with a previous work background in the Nigerian technology ecosystem. Banke's design style is Modern and Contemporary with Scandanavian fusion and executes project with a keen eye for detail. View more details about her work at


  1. "Changing Moniker"

    September 20, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Good article. I like the selfie wall idea best.


    September 20, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    True but most Nigeria employers, particularly small organisations are less bothered about the design of work environment. What’s topmost on their minds is making profit and spending it on trips outside the country and buying the newest editions of whatever automobile brand that tickles their fancy. Some even do this without putting thoughts into increasing staff remuneration despite making good profits.

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