Your office’s design is a powerful element that shapes your work relationships, processes and overall company culture. A poorly designed office can lead to decreased morale and productivity, while a good layout can enhance your brand image and employee satisfaction.
When designing your office, it’s important to examine how the choices you make send a message to your team and clients. An office’s layout reflects its mission and values. For example, your office design can communicate:
- Is your office based on transparency?
- Do you have environmental goals, such as receiving your green certification?
- Do you support local businesses and artists?
Every organization is unique. An office’s design features like glass walls, plants or paintings can exemplify the company’s priorities to employees and clients.
Here are three crucial ways office design impacts your company culture.
Privacy and collaboration
Designing an office that strikes the right balance between privacy and collaboration can unite your company.
Certain tasks may require employees to focus and work in silence. Other situations, however, may require multiple employees from different departments to collaborate on a project. Providing a blend of quiet spaces and shared communal areas is key to creating an office layout that works for everyone.
It’s also important to consider the relationship between how a space is used and the overall vision of your company. For example, would your business benefit most from an open floor plan or private offices?
Open spaces can promote a culture of transparency and collaboration, while executive corner offices may reflect a more hierarchical organization with a need for privacy. In a law firm, offices are private so that clients are comfortable speaking about personal matters and reviewing confidential documents. In contrast, a start-up tech company may use open benching desks to eliminate a sense of hierarchy, along with a lot of open spaces where teams can meet and throw around ideas.
Flexibility and inclusivity
So how can you ensure that your office design is inclusive for all personalities and business needs?
If your office has an open layout, establish enclaves where employees are free to have private meetings or phone calls in a quiet space within the office where they can get work done, along with conference rooms where different teams can meet and work together.
Another option worth considering is hoteling. Instead of assigning employees a specific seat, they can decide where they want to sit based on what sort of work they’ll be doing and reserve their seat through desk booking software.
Designing office spaces with flexibility in mind will naturally foster an inclusive work environment. For example, let your employees personalize their spaces with family photos, live plants and other decorations as they please. Not only will it brighten up your space, it’ll help your employees express their individuality, which supports creativity and team cohesion.
Creativity and inspiration
Every company wants their office to be a place that inspires employees. But what sort of elements can you use that will spark the creative flame?
Break up the monotony with various workstations and meeting spaces. Give different regions of the office different themes.
For example, Dropbox’s office is split into distinct “districts” inspired by a city layout, where departments can create their own subcultures. This reflects DropBox’s mission around the endless creative possibilities of storage and space, and promotes this in their company culture.
Modern office design is introducing many ways of improving the working lives of employees who spend more than half their waking hours at the office. Features like water fountains, meditation/yoga rooms, massage spas, sleep pods, bookstores, billiard rooms and mountain climbing walls can inspire creative ideas. They can also kick off conversations between colleagues, and offer a place to escape to where employees can reset their minds.
Get creative with your office design. These are just a few ideas you can adopt, but there are numerous ways you can make your office feel more inspiring, and supportive of creative productivity.
While every company has slightly different business needs, intentionally designing an office layout to support and reflect your company culture can help promote shared values with your entire team and lead to a more unified workplace overall.
If you need help with office design and planning or furniture relocation and decommissioning, contact our experienced team today. We’re here to keep your office on track.