What Your Office Interiors Say About Your Company Culture02 May 2023
We’ll paint you two pictures:
First - A busy, bustling office. Old desks with those rickety office chairs that creek a little when you lean back in them. Wallpaper peeling. People hurrying past each other, bumping shoulders, with not so much as a smile at each other. Harsh white lighting - because the dusty windows aren’t letting in much natural light.
Second - A busy, bustling office. Sleek workstations with adjustable screens that you can pull up for privacy if you need it. Breakout areas with sofas you can sink into. Vertical gardens all around. Busy people passing each other at a quick clip, but not forgetting a quick smile and a ‘Morning, Joe!’ Sunlight streaming in through the windows.
Don’t you feel like you just ‘know’ what it’s like to work at each of those companies? Doesn’t the second place sound like a better place to work, or a better company to work with?
That’s exactly the story that your office space tells when someone walks into it. It is, of course, just a surface story - rickety chairs could seat some of the best, most productive teams. And vice versa - a team in a sleek, shiny office could be running a company into the ground.
But that is usually the exception. A well-thought-out workspace encourages productivity, and creativity and attracts all the right kinds of people - talent, clients, and other stakeholders. It tells a story about your company culture.
The good news is that you don’t need a complete workspace transformation to take control of that story. You just need to start getting mindful of the one that you are telling.
Here are a few important messages that your office furniture is giving about your company culture:
Your ability to keep up with the times.
Keeping up with rapidly evolving workplace trends can be a daunting and expensive feat. However, your ability to adapt to the dynamic needs of today's workforce is a crucial factor in your organization's people and culture strategy.
This isn’t just limited to technology: Think along other lines. Does your office space encourage collaboration? Have you thought about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion? Is there a way that you can bring attention to your sustainability goals using your office interiors?
Clients and potential employees are looking for companies that go above and beyond merely providing a job or paycheck. Your office interiors can help send the message that you meet and exceed these expectations.
How much you care about your people.
Switching out workstations, or giving the conference room that much-needed facelift might slip to the bottom of a growing company’s priority list. You’ve got bigger fires to put out, after all!
But the truth is that skipping out on that upgrade too many quarters in a row sends a subtle message to the employees working there.
A well-designed work environment indicates that you care about the people in it. A team that feels cared for is more likely to provide quality services to clients.
So the next time ‘upgrading office chairs’ slips to the bottom of your list, think about the repercussions of that decision. Long hours in uncomfortable chairs? More sore backs and sick days?
The work culture you want to build.
Consider your company's values, culture, and ethos when creating your workspace.
For instance, if your company values creativity and collaboration, high-screen workstations that discourage conversation will hinder your team's potential.
On the other hand, an office of a fitness brand may incorporate active workstations and spaces for yoga or stretching.
It's crucial to be mindful of the work culture you want to establish and determine if your office reflects it. Even small changes like moving the printers away from desks or cordoning off an area of ‘quiet reflection’ can help put those tiny blocks in place to build the bigger company culture picture.
The brand you want to reflect.
The design of your office space has a significant impact on how people perceive your brand. The colors in your space, the design and furniture in your reception, the way you use space – all of it creates a strong impact on anyone that walks into the space – the first time or the fiftieth time.
It's important to consider whether your office design aligns with your brand and its current values. Has your brand evolved to represent something different or more than it did in the past?
Your office design can be an effective way to convey your brand's personality, whether it's quirky, fun, serious, or no-frills, and communicate it to both internal and external stakeholders.
The energy and experience of your organisation.
The way an office feels when you walk into it can be a strong indicator of the energy you'll experience while working there. Even if you're not consciously aware of it, you can sense if the space is high-energy or low-energy, stressful or hopeful.
Every detail of the interior design of an office holds that energy and communicates it to visitors, whether subtly or not. This energy should align with your company’s mission and story.
Your office interiors can reveal a lot about your company's energy, values, and culture.
It's not necessary for furniture to be expensive to demonstrate care for employee well-being. Consider if the office layout encourages collaboration and productivity, including soft and hard focus areas.
Other details, like sustainability efforts, can also communicate the company's values. For example, proper garbage disposal and having a water filter in the staff cafeteria are small steps that make a big difference.
So, take a look around: What story is your office telling people that walk through those doors?
Is your space hinting at possibility, success, and abundance? Is it spelling out the company culture you want to build?
About The Total Office
As a provider of workspace solutions, The Total Office helps its clients with tools for collaboration, acoustics, environmental sustainability and well being, by providing quality products from international brands. The company is headquartered in Dubai, and serves the UAE and the wider Middle East region. All press enquiries can be directed at [email protected], +971.4.450.8700. For more information, visit www.thetotaloffice.com