Up Your Company’s Culture by Rethinking Your Physical Office Space

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Company culture is more important than ever for businesses of all stripes. That’s largely because the values and attitudes of employees are often set from the top, permeating the entire organization. For this reason, a healthy office culture is essential for lasting success.

“Every organization, from small businesses to large corporations, has a culture,” the Houston Chronicle proclaims. “In a business with an unhealthy culture, employees act as individuals, performing their duties to meet their own needs. … A healthy corporate culture values each employee in the organization regardless of his job duties, which results in employees working as a team to meet the company’s and their own personal needs.”

Here’s a question to ask yourself: How does your physical office space impact your company’s culture? Do you need to up your game?

  • If the answer is yes, here are a few ways of doing just that.
  • Start off by giving some thought to the process and what you want to achieve with it. What is your company’s culture? List the most important elements and then think about how those may be mirrored with office design. For example, if you’re seeking a collaborative environment, cubicles or any sort of partitioned-off desks are out.
  • Your new physical office space is an opportunity to brand your corporate culture in a more subtle and positive way than you might previously have imagined. Use a blend of visuals and words here to create a positive, collaborative feeling of teamwork and connection. The message: you as an employee are important, both as an individual and as part of our team. You matter.
  • Get nature in as part of your design. No one wants to work in a cube farm blasted by fluorescent lights. By pulling in greenery – succulents are particularly good to reflect today’s environmentally friendly values – you are making the air fresh both literally and figuratively. This, in turn, leads to a healthier office environment. One idea: try a living wall to capture employees’ imaginations and spur creativity.
  • Leave room for workers to personalize their own spaces. A few ideas for doing this: a wall to which an employee can tack his or her own images, personal pictures, quotes, whatever makes them feel happy, comfortable, and creative; create a faux window if there isn’t already one; offer ideas and options for accessories such as a custom name board; give options for different lighting ideas. Funky mood lighting can put an employee in a creative state of mind and give visitors a bit of a laugh to boot.
  • Offer blended workspaces where employees can meet, collaborate, grab a bite to eat, work, and just hang out. Not many people will mistake work for their own living room, but you can certainly make the workspace feel as comfortable as a second home. After all, it often is.

Get creative in establishing your company culture with your workspace! A fun and smart use of design goes a long way.

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