An article in the September/October 2010 Scientific American Mind discussed why some office spaces alienate office workers, while others make them happier and more efficient.
The bottom line: Let your employees have input in “decorating” their environment. According to survey responses, giving workers a say in the physical aspects of their workspace reduced the negative effects of noise and distractions. The article also warned employers that efforts at making “hangout rooms,” etc. will fail if you don’t include employees in designing these environments.