An employees work environment is just as important to consider as the layout of an assembly line. A well engineered work environment can improve employee productivity by as much as 32%-- various aspects need to be taken into consideration before the first employee is expected to produce in a working environment.
I've worked with a number of professional production environments (software development, health care services), here is what I've found works to increase office productivity:
Provide each person with individual space to perform key duties. Each employee should be able to close off their outside environment, this is important even in cubicles. Individual space lets employees prepare a workspace without concern someone else will come along and change it. It helps them start the day faster, and focus on their job at hand.
Keep paperwork moving in a linear fashion. Your physical work environment should model virtual processes, and be easy to follow as far as work flow is concerned. Simply put, your people should spend more time processing work than running around the building routing papers. Even in a paperless office, employees still need to interact with each other-- make this easy for them.
Move shared equipment just outside of office spaces. Cluster shared office resources (like printers, copiers, office supplies) just outside of group work spaces. These places tend to be gathering areas and produce machine noise that distracts employees. Separating these resources allows them to be more easily shared with more functional groups.
Provide quiet group space near primary work area. This doesn't need to be a formal conference room, just somewhere people can brainstorm and verbalize work related issues. While meetings should have objectives, spontaneous meetings in the middle of a shared office space tends to interrupt other employees.
Accommodate work place preferences that reduce injury. Repetitive strain injuries in professional environments are costing companies more money each year. It costs less to provide an ergonomic environment than to settle a claim, both emotionally and financially. Educate your people about taking proper breaks and to be aware of how they work.
Consider ambient noise levels and other outside distractions. High noise levels increase the level of stress humans experience in any environment. Use sound barriers to reduce background noise like air conditioners, larger computers, hallway traffic, and reception areas. Reducing distractions will increase productivity.