If your office is not expressing the identity of your organization, then that’s a problem.
Because it conflicts with one of the top motivators and indicator of happiness of an employee, which is purpose and trust.
Fostering a healthy company culture is one of the best ways of establishing an identity, which involves values, mission, the reason you all wake up in the morning to come to work. Your workspace is the hub where connections are made, ideas are shared, or where customer trust is won.
For this reason, using your office to help define your culture is smart, and can improve your company’s performance, morale, and retention drastically. Here’s our design advice for turning a generic workspace into one that expresses the identity of your company and propels enthusiasm and productivity.
Where to start?
In order to come up with the right company culture design, there are a few things that need to be evaluated. Asking the right questions will reveal the personality of your company, how employees tend to work and how they interact. These questions can help you determine what kind of culture you’re already working with, or what your culture goals are.
- What about your entry areas let staff, clients, or other visitors know they’ve arrived at your company?
- What are the core values of your company?
- What factors really motivate your team to do their best?
Here are some office design considerations depending on the kind of culture you think most fits yours. These labels are rather general and somewhat limiting, chances are your workspaces will have characteristics of more than one.
Office design for results-driven culture
A culture that is very results-driven tends to be competitive and work long hours, but that doesn’t mean the atmosphere has to be rigid. For this kind of workspace, technology can really improve communication and help tear down barriers among your team. Cloud sharing, group chats, as well as implement docking stations, ergonomic furniture and charging poles will help your team comfortably work and easily connect to their platforms.
Results driven cultures tend to be full of task masters and long periods of concentration. Create a fluid office that allows staff to work in different areas or “on the go” rather than feeling chained to their desktop computer. This will help break up the day, and benefit different activities that require different working conditions and access various devices to help complete their tasks. Quality break rooms with a full kitchen and plenty of tables and seating can really help your team break away from work when they need to.
Office design for creative work cultures
Whether a design firm or advertising agency, many creative companies rely heavily on their environment and team members for inspiration.
- Design your workspace to feature tools that encourage innovation and facilitate brainstorming and creativity, such as magnetic whiteboards, glass partitions, or a really inspirational meeting area.
- Private spaces with good acoustics matter too. While creative cultures need good quality spaces for coming together and sharing ideas, it shouldn’t interfere with those who need to work away from the noise and distractions. Booths, movable partitions, or strategically placed bookcases and high-back furniture are some ways to keep the noise levels down in an open plan office design.
- It’s not easy being creative when you feel boxed in, so bring some of the outside in. Adding plants, an atrium, a garden, or big scenic windows can boost creativity by preventing a closed-in feeling.
Office design for conventional or “traditionalist” culture
Conventional cultures have a more defined hierarchy and tend to have stricter dress codes. Though customer and employee satisfaction are high priorities, there is still a bottom line that has to be met. Many financial institutions, car dealerships, or healthcare facilities fall in this group.
A conventional company culture design doesn’t have to be lined with cubicles, in fact, many traditionalist workplaces are becoming more progressive in their design. Glass walls, trendy lounge areas, and more open floor plans are just some of the ways a conventional workspace can create a unique identity. While many conventional workspaces have a more formal atmosphere, break rooms or other group meeting areas can be used to create a unique breakout space where employees can recharge.
It’s entirely possible that your company is a blend of these culture labels, and there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach. If space allows, you can have multiple areas designed that will cater to the different groups while still following the collective goal of your business. When done correctly, this can promote a culture that accentuates your company’s character by showcasing its values and personality.
Your company culture has the potential to nurture your employee’s confidence and trust, which means they’ll come out of their comfort zone in order to do their best work. When people feel fulfilled, they are more likely to stay motivated and loyal to the company for which they work.