Office Design Impacts
Company culture sets out your vision, values, systems, beliefs, and habits. It can be influenced in many ways, from higher management, to dress code, but office design also makes a major statement.
But how can it change your company culture? Most workers spend up to 40 hours a week in your workplace, so changes in design can have a notable result on the way your staff behaves and thinks. Want to make that push towards greater productivity? Here are a few ideas from industry-leaders.
Offices have been around since antiquity, when the Romans had flamboyant workplaces. In the 20th century, they’d become synonymous with a dreary environment—the antithesis of fun. Somewhere to dread going to every day.
Many modern businesses are shaking this up with new workplace designs in an attempt to help with improving staff retention. The importance of a galvanized workforce has been recognised by many industry thought leaders, but it’s also important to convey your company values to customers, investors, partners, and staff.
Bring your office to life
Architecture and design magazine Dezeen hosted an online seminar for how to “create workplaces that foster innovation” with retailer Haworth– that was live from New York, a city that’s instrumental in influencing global trends.
In a white paper by Haworth, who Dezeen collaborated with, the company argues “Optimising the Workplace for Innovation” by using “brain science for smart design” will make your staff happier and more productive. “Companies with low employee engagement suffer from a 32% decrease in operating income” they tell us.
How do you get started to overcome this deficit? Make changes that appeal to people—shift away from the soulless corporate grey of the past to embrace the individuals of your workforce.
It does, of course, depend on what type of business you run, so consider a change carefully. Cubicle culture is about conformity, control, and hierarchy. Efficiency and a goal orientated workplace are what’s expected.
It’s not particularly popular with many workers, though. According to Yahoo!, 93% of workers despise this culture. In Nikil Saval’s book Cubed he says it creates “dread, hatred, the terrible white collar life.”
Shifting away from this can open up your communication channels, encourage innovation, and create a more sociable workplace. By removing drab colours, or relying on themed spaces or an open desk culture, your staff can communicate to a greater extent, while being able to work in relative peace and quiet and still achieve your goals.
Businesses in a creative industry want their staff to be inspired! But it’s more difficult to find much needed inspiration if everything around you is grey concrete.
Open offices help achieve this as staff find it easier to communicate—this makes it easier to create. Instead of sending endless emails across the office, there’s a culture of getting together to finalise projects.
This can create clutter and hectic working environments as people move around the office, but with the emphasis on collaboration there’s greater chance for new ideas. Think of Google’s various offices for an examples for how it’s achieved this.
A few extras
Limit external noise, keep air conditioning levels at a comfortable point, keep your office clean, and consider having a few real plants about! In an upbeat environment, your workers will be more productive—it’s as simple as that.
There is, of course, the chance to add in the increasingly ubiquitous office pet—this is usually a dog. The office pet dog has been used to reduce stress levels and can be a welcome occasional distraction during a hectic moment, leading to a burst of productivity after a worker’s mind has cleared.
Due to the evolution of the office, construction companies can be expected to experience some outlandish projects—this is certainly likely to increase over the coming years as more brands capitalise on current trends for greater productivity. Add in your expertise to help brands realise their creative visions.