Business owners invest heavily in the design of their office for a whole range of reasons. After all, the workplace itself can have a huge impact on the health, morale and performance of your staff members. Yet, it can also influence the way they perceive your organisation, how they behave at work and the way they carry out their roles.
Ultimately, all of this means that factors like your interior design and office space planning can affect the very culture of your business. With many owners placing a focus on creating a positive corporate culture, this highlights the importance of designing a creative and inspiring office space.
The actual layout of your office is perhaps the most obvious design element, and it can shape the way work takes place within your organisation. For example, a layout which separates employees through the use of walls and prioritises privacy is likely to lead to a culture grounded in consistent, efficient output, with a clear hierarchy.
By contrast, the open plan design, which has become so widespread over the past two decades, facilitates collaboration. If you work with an office design company to create this layout, you are more likely to end up with a culture based on teamwork and cohesion, with less clear divides between leaders and their subordinates.
In recent years, more relaxed office layouts have emerged as a growing trend and these workplaces may prioritise flexibility and choice, giving employees the option of moving freely around the office and perhaps even working from home. This type of design is likely to generate a culture centred on individual inspiration and creativity.
With that said, office space planning is far from the only factor that can influence culture and decorative elements have a role. According to the Harvard Business Review, companies that require challenging mental work should be decorated in relaxing colours, while more stimulating colours are good for when complacency is a consideration.
Meanwhile, a survey carried out by the British Council for Offices and International Art Consultants, published in a report entitled Making Art Work in the Workplace, found that more than 60 percent of participants believe artwork can help to stimulate the creativity of a workforce.
However, decorative elements can be more subtle and still have an impact. For instance, if your business depends on steady, reliable results, you could do worse than include a lot of natural elements. Indeed, studies from both the University of Queensland and Human Spaces found that the presence of plants boosts concentration and productivity.
Finally, some of the world’s most successful businesses, including the likes of Google, Yahoo and Uber, have challenged conventional wisdom and embraced non-traditional design elements – from slides and sports areas, to snack bars and sleeping pods – resulting in truly creative and inspirational work environments.
Organisations that work with their chosen office design company to create something original and unique often end up with a positive culture, with high levels of employee engagement.
One BCO study, which polled thousands of British workers, found that well over half of the respondents reported improvements to their own productivity in non-traditional environments. Moreover, businesses that break the mould in terms of design create a culture that encourages innovation, risk-taking and thinking outside the box.
Reno is a founder and director of a leading exhibition and office design company Enigma Visual Solutions, specialising in retail designs, interiors, graphic productions, signage systems, office space planning, event branding, conference set design and much more. He specialises in experiential marketing and event productions. He enjoys sharing his thoughts on upcoming marketing ideas and design trends. Feel free to follow him on twitter.