It’s important that the culture and vision of a company is well integrated into any office design.
Read the below to see if the traits apply to you. If they reflect your company correctly, all well and good but if not, maybe some changes would keep your company image consistent, helping to give customers the right impression as well as attracting the best people to your organisation.
Are there offices on the perimeter?
Perimeter offices signal that the company values upper management – these offices often have the best views. If there are a lot of different office sizes, you probably have a hierarchical culture. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing; staff will know that following a chain of command is how things get done in this office. Most likely, they won’t be walking into the MD’s office to talk about an issue.
Are people in conference rooms? Are there a lot of meeting spaces?
If so, collaboration is part of the culture, staff are more likely to receive regular feedback and plenty of opportunity to network. This can be good and bad – some organizations are so meeting-heavy that the only time actual work gets done is late at night.
Are there places to hide, or is it open with good visibility?
If there is an open office environment with good visibility between departments, generally trust is high within the organization. Transparency builds trust, as conversations and decision-making are out in the open and not happening behind layers of walls and closed doors. However, if you’re in an industry that places a high value on privacy and confidentiality, perhaps individual offices with closable doors make sense. One strategy for offering both privacy and a sense of teamwork is the use of glass-walled offices, blinds and conference spaces as Accolade installed for Biocomposites as a bespoke solution.
What sort of furniture is there?
If your company is a little more conservative than a cutting-edge tech firm, you may not see employees skateboarding across a room full of bean bags – especially attired in the suit and tie specified on the company’s handbook. Oak is one of the most enduring shades of furniture and always been there in many different guises – this shade portrays a longevity about your company – Accolade have been working with NFU Mutual who specify oak for all their offices.
On the other hand, if you see bright colours and graffiti, you are probably trying to relate to Generation X like risual ltd.
What’s on the walls?
Your wall decoration is paramount in setting the tone for your company. Credentials and certificates displayed on the walls convey trust which is important in fields where dependability and expertise are particularly important – think medicine, law, and the like. Caution: when a leader displays too many personal certificates on the wall, they might not look the best collaborators. Values and motivational words on the wall suggest strong company culture; so long as they’re all consistent, of course! EU Automation have incorporated their company logo onto their wall to emphasise their brand as well as their high flying aspirations and achievements!
Is there a gym or sit-stand desks?
This indicates that the employer cares about health and well-being, it sends out a message to prospective employees that they wouldn’t be just another cog in the machine. It shows an understanding that a balanced workplace helps to foster well-rounded employees who love what they do and come to work happy every day.
Is the break room well-equipped?
A well-stocked break room shows that you appreciate your employees and want them to feel at home. If the environment is fairly stale, then lunchtime probably is as well. Think about how good it feels when you walk into the home of a friend, one with an amazing kitchen. A first impression is no different in an office. Look around: are there any tables? is it inviting? Does it make you want to take a break and recharge?
What’s the technology like?
Could you work anywhere in the space and be untethered from your desk? Laptops are a good sign, as they’re essential for being able to smoothly transition from a private client call to a group brainstorm or to a meeting at the coffee shop next door. It also suggests that your company is embracing new ideas and trends.
Always remember thought that it’s crucial that a workplace design isn’t set in stone otherwise you will seem stagnant. While many companies won’t want to forget a record of achievements to be proud of, the key to any success is remaining ahead of the game!