4 Design Mistakes your Employees will Resent you for

You’ve heard the urban adage, ” the true test of a person’s patience is a bad internet connection.” We’d like to think this applies to furniture as well, in some form or the other.

To be clear, we’re talking about design, offices and furniture that, aren’t necessarily just bad in quality but are counterproductive to what they’re meant to do. Like buying task chairs without castors – why would someone do that ?!

While you won’t find someone throwing a laptop out the window ( worst case scenario ), you’ll definitely find some disgruntled employees struggling to focus on their work. Productivity takes a big hit, and facilities and HR departments will have their suggestion boxes overflowing with complaints.

Below are some of the mistakes we’ve seen decision makers make over the years. Keep them in mind the next time you’re deciding what to buy: 


1) Assuming there are one size fits all furniture solutions

Never a good idea. It may make the decision process shorter and easier, but it’s a bad long-term solution. For example, Short desks or Hot-desking don’t suit users or teams that are predominantly on their computer. Those in design or finance require far more space and storage, and would need bigger desks. Privacy screens are also mandatory for upper management when they need to hide sensitive information.

Make sure you’re planning based on the role and number of people. It may take longer, but at least you’ll get it right. 

2) Bad cable management and Electrics

OE - Electrics and Cable Management
If you wanted people to work around cables and wires, working out of a server room may make sense. In no other scenario are cables lying loosely around the place acceptable. Make sure you invest in good cable management to conceal wires to make the place look tidy and organized.Another mistake is to not have dedicated and easily accessible power points for each desk or workstation. Our partner Orangebox even speaks of studies that point to a condition called ‘Low Battery Anxiety’, something that affects a large part of the millennial generation. You’ll want to avoid this by making sure each user has access to power points and not taking turns using the same one. 

3) Noise ( Lack of Acoustic Treatment )

Gaber Ceiling Acoustic Panels

The bane of productivity in the modern office. It’s not a rare sight to find someone working with headphones on to block out the unnecessary sound and random conversations. The open plan might be popular due to its cost saving design but isn’t ideal for a complete productive working environment. In fact, it takes around an average of 20 minutes to refocus on work after being distracted. Controlling noise levels is critical to employee well-being, and acoustic planning should be an integral part of any office design.

If you’re wondering how to get this done without having to ask a consultant, check out our awesome solutions.


4) Lack of Private Spaces

Another consequence of the open-office plan. Lack of quiet zones and privacy to work on can be a source of frustration when you want to work on important or sensitive work. This doesn’t necessarily mean to include closed offices or more meeting rooms, but make you include certain areas or workstations that are away from the office buzz, with a greater degree of acoustic quality to block out any distractions. Maybe even invest in one of these?


The Total Office provides work space solutions focusing on ergonomic and collaborative products that meet global environmental standards.

“Creating your work experience using ours”