If you had to assign your office personality traits, would they be happy and fun, or gloomy and dull? It's important to give your office personality to keep your clients impressed and staff engaged.
It's time to pull the door open to see what outfit will make the perfect impression. Okay, maybe your wardrobe isn't quite as never-ending as Carrie Bradshaw's, but what your wardrobe showcases remains the same: personality, style and colour. You've carefully selected these pieces because they make you feel confident, stand out and they reflect who you are. Now, translate this back to your office and take a look around the canvas that's been created. Does it reflect your brand's values and personality? Do your staff feel confident to deliver their best work?
Tailoring your fit out to reflect company culture sends out a strong message of what you value. To make that lasting impression and turn your office into a destination your staff love take the following into consideration and give your office the personality it deserves.
Your employees are at the centre stage of your business. For your employees to execute show-stopping performances, create them a stage that allows them to shine.
According to a 2014 survey, there is a strong correlation between employee satisfaction and their work environment. Only 11% responded to being highly satisfied with their workplace conditions.
Your office design can directly impact productivity and happiness in the workplace. The modern office needs to be somewhere that allows your teams to carry out their professional function, but more and more often it also needs to support their mixed lifestyles. While most companies don't have the excessive budgets of Google and Apple to create a sprawling campus that includes bars, cinemas or gyms; just by having a few well thought out spaces (such as a kitchen or breakout area), you can promote wellbeing on a smaller scale.
When most companies develop their brands, rarely do they consider the fit out at the same time as the logo, website or shopfront. By not having their office design in sync with their brand, they fail to reinforce their company’s personality, values or attitude. Branding the office creates a visual theme and allows for clients and staff to live your full brand experience.
Branding in the workplace gives employees a sense of identity and encourages engagement with the company. Giving your office a brand can reinforce the company’s characteristics through emotive experiences that can ultimately increase productivity and add a positive aura to the office. A common trend is for workplaces (and especially breakout areas) to reflect a particular lifestyle, which helps to make employees feel valued, respected and connected to their organisation.
An inspiration board can be a whiteboard, cork board or simply a designated spot where employees can share with one another can increase collaboration and bring staff together for a common cause. You can also reflect your values with multi functional walls that can be written on directly, or used as a designated area for Post-It notes. Thoughtworks wanted their fit out to reflect the collaborative nature of their business, so we ensured that every piece of furniture was movable, and that the walls could be written on directly. This meant that teams could come together to collaborate in any area of the office. They also respect the mantra of work hard, play hard so a ping pong table and high-spec kitchen space were a natural fit to complete the fit out.
You can also say adios to the old-school isolated cubicle set up, as the workplace is no longer just a desk and computer! Your office set up should facilitate whatever activity your staff are carrying out at the current point in time; whether that is performing team activities, collaborating on a project or working solo. We successfully implemented activity based working with The Alan Turing Institute by providing a mix of traditional workstations, breakout areas, standing desks and collaboration zones. This allowed their staff to work wherever they felt comfortable for their current task; highlighting their respect of individual research and innovation.
Just remember that your workplace design should reflect on the overall company values and attitudes that you want to project to your customers.
If you have a steady flow of clients walking through the doors of your office, it's worth putting extra thought into what impression you would like your office to leave of your brand. Quirky and unusual workplace additions (such as Fusbal or ping pong tables) are excellent for breakout areas and employee downtime; just make sure they don't deter confidence from your company’s professional output.
Developing an office fit out that reflects company culture can be immensely valuable, as it creates both an engaging and unique environment for staff and clients. So, make sure that your office reflects who you are to leave a lasting impression.