What your office says about you
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What your office says about you

Creating vibrant and playful offices is a tactic often employed by the likes of Google to recruit and retain talent and there’s no doubt that Google manages to maintain this consistency through other strands of its workplace strategy.

But many companies make the mistake of just following the Google approach blindly and creating a space that not only might not work for their employees but can also give the wrong impression to their customers. There’s no point filling your boardroom walls with wall art if this doesn’t say anything about or to your staff and company culture.

Having a Company Vision for the Design of an Office

It’s important that the culture and vision of a company are well integrated into any office design, says Harsha Kotak, design manager at K2 Space. A great example of this is K2 Space’s recent News UK building, whose graphics incorporating the organisation’s brand values cover internal walls and glass. Says Kotak, “When we completed the refurbishment of their new office the feedback we got from the client was ‘our staff feel proud to work in our new space’.”

A good office design can reinforce the qualities of a company’s products or services to their customer as well as their employees. Visitors should be able to understand what your company is all about from the second they set foot in the building.

“Not only does the office design reflect the culture of a company but also shows the direction in which the company is heading,” says Kotak, “attracting and retaining suitable staff is a challenge which every company faces today and a lot of this has to do with brand perception.”

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Be Flexible with Your Workplace Design

It’s really crucial that a workplace design isn’t set in stone. “Design should support an ever-changing work landscape,” says Kotak, “otherwise it can become stagnant and this can similarly create a bad impression, not to mention have an impact on growth and productivity.”

The fact is that a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t acceptable and a more flexible space that can mould itself to staff is preferable. Your bright green foyer might have the wow factor and create an immediate good impression but, says Kotak,

“Employees can build or break the reputation of any company, so their wellbeing and comfort should be of utmost importance.”

As well as demonstrating to your staff and clients that you’re not looking to the future, by embracing, or not moving on from, last year’s office trends you are in danger of making yourself look out of touch than if you’d never even bothered to have a refurb in the first place.

For example, says Kotak, “Open-plan fixed benching systems will soon become redundant as more and more companies are adapting to the concept of ‘non-assigned’ desking and hot-desking. As the trend to ‘work from anywhere’ grows, many workplaces are starting to exhibit characteristics of a domicile – a more relaxed and more congenial space.”

What your office says about you

Key Takeaways

  1. Integration of Company Vision: It’s important to embed the company’s culture and vision into office design.
  2. Pride in Workspace: A well-designed office can make employees feel proud and engaged in your office, in turn boosting morale and productivity.
  3. Reinforcing Company Values: Your office environment should be an embodiment of the company’s values, giving visitors an immediate understanding of what the company represents.
  4. Reflecting Forward Movement: Office design should not only mirror the company’s status quo but also hint at its future direction. This can aid in attracting and retaining the right talent.
  5. Brand Perception and Talent Acquisition: There’s a positive correlation exists between a company’s brand perception (partly shaped by office design) and its ability to attract suitable employees.
  6. Design Flexibility: It’s imperative that office design remains adaptable. A static office design can hinder growth, and productivity, and leave a poor impression.
  7. Rejecting One-Size-Fits-All: Understand that different employees have different needs. Flexibility in design caters to these varying needs of employees, ensuring their well-being and comfort.
  8. Staying Updated with Trends: Companies risk appearing outdated if they cling to older office design trends, potentially undermining their brand image.
  9. Employee well-being is Paramount: Employees play a vital role in shaping a company’s reputation. Their comfort and well-being should be a top priority when considering office design.
  10. Shift to Flexible Workspaces: Traditional, fixed seating arrangements like open-plan benching systems are giving way to more adaptable solutions like hot-desking. This shift caters to the growing trend of hybrid working and the desire for more relaxed and congenial office spaces.

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