Boost Company Branding and Culture with Interior Design
Since offices have begun to embrace activity-based working, office interior design has come into its own with features such as lighting, décor, furniture and technology all helping employees succeed in the workplace. On this page we look at how office interior design can impact on:
The ultimate aim of office interior design should be to enhance company culture and create a productive and motivational workspace, while reflecting the company’s brand values. Creative office design can help to bolster company culture by reflecting an organisation’s ethos, values and behaviours. It’s vital then that the design of the office is not at cross purposes with what your company culture is. According to one report, effective interior design and furnishings:
“Provide a tangible way to support – or even change- the culture of an organisation”.
It’s clear then that there is much more to office interiors than simply adding a lick of paint to the walls.
The physical, digital and human office
The three main aspects to consider when redesigning an office are how the design will impact and incorporate the physical, digital and human elements of the workplace. Below, we take a look at these in more detail:
Not every employee will like or benefit from open-plan office design, whereas some will embrace the chance to collaborate with colleagues. Incorporating interior design which utilises activity-based working in the office means employees have the freedom to hot desk at different work stations if they choose. Not only can this be empowering, it can alsoincrease productivity by giving employees a choice of where they work. A good interior design company will guide you through the options and help ensure that the design you want is coherent with your company culture and brand values and that it will work for your employees.
Outdoor activity retailers Go Outdoors wanted an office redesign to boost brand culture. As well as creating a café-style environment for informal meetings, the redesign also incorporated a striking reception area which perfectly encapsulates the Go Outdoors brand.
If the infrastructure in the building can’t support the redesign, then it’s not going to be a success as employees won’t have the technology they need in order to do their job properly. One survey reported that 85% of employees believe they could do their job better with the right technology and only 13% of employees have access to tablet computers at work, tools that are vital for versatile working. For a successful office redesign that embraces activity-based working, the appropriate technology needs to be integrated into the design. Technology can actually enhance an office’s interior with wireless charging pads, integrated touch screens, cable management and in-desk power solutions all working to make the office look sleek and provide practical power solutions.
Communication with your employees is the key to a successful office redesign, as leaving employees in the dark about what’s happening with their workplace will soon lead to disengagement or resentment. You may want to create a stimulating working environment, with ‘fun’ features such as a slide, fully open workplaces or walls covered in loud primary colours. However, if your team just want somewhere quiet to work, then all these bells and whistles are likely to go unused or, worse, end up creating resentment in your team. Before you begin your redesign project, speak to your team and ask them what they want, whether this is something as simple as a survey or asking them to draw their ideal office. Incorporating everything that everyone wants will be impossible of course, but employees will appreciate being given the opportunity to contribute.
US footwear brand Zappos gave their employees free-reign when it came to fitting out areas of the company’s 11 storey Las Vegas HQ. The results are an eclectic, vibrant mix of workspaces designed to promote creativity and collaboration.
4 interior design features to implement in your office redesign
Lighting can have a huge impact on how people use the available space in an office. More often than not, it is overlooked, as many offices simply stick to the traditional set up of overhead fluorescent tubes and nothing else. Harnessing as much natural light as possible in an office will help to create a bright and welcoming space. As one study shows, workspaces with good levels of daylight experienced gains in productivity and sales between 3% – 40%and even proved to help employees sleep better. There are a few simple ways to boost natural light in a workspace:
Position work and relaxation areas near windows
Adopting an activity-based working approach to your office layout means that you can position work and relaxation areas near sources of natural light to enable employees to reap the benefits of daylight. Better still, if the furniture you choose is versatile enough, employees will be able to reposition it throughout the day to follow the natural light around the office.
Install lighting control systems
These systems automatically adjust artificial light levels to complement the levels of natural light in a space. Backing up these systems with dimmer switchers and blinds can give employees greater control over how they choose to use light in the workplace.
Zone areas with lighting
Using lighting to create zones within the workplace is not only a practical way to bring different light levels to a workspace, for example task lighting for desk-based work, but it can also help to strengthen brand values with stylish lighting solutions. You can read more about how to approach lighting design in the office with our piece 5 Tips for Better Office Lighting.
Décor is one of the key elements that allows businesses to showcase their brand values and reflect the company culture of the workplace. Although whitewashed office walls are cheaper to paint and easier to keep clean, they are unlikely to inspire creativity in employees or create excitement about your company’s brand. One study revealed that 80% of UK office workers believed the colour of the workspace significantly impacted on their emotions and performance. The interior design of an office should incorporate a variety of furniture and colour schemes to help define certain areas such as collaborative spaces, relaxation areas or more traditional desk and chair workspaces. It’s important to note that there should be a balance between minimalist and creative styles as Sally Augustin points out writing in Harvard Business Review: “We’re relaxed in the presence of colours that aren’t very saturated but are relatively bright and that aren’t cluttered. Moderate visual complexity is best. That means the space should include only a few colours and patterns, and that decorative objects be carefully curated, for example. Stark is to be avoided; it’s alien to the environments in which we developed as a species and makes us tense.” Using corporate colours throughout the décor is a classic way to integrate branding into a workspace. However, you can go beyond this by adding bespoke graphics to glass and wall surfaces. This could be in the form of wall and window graphics, digital wallpaper or vinyl lettering, incorporating elements of your brand such as your logo, mission statement or an inspiring quote.
The interiors at Sheffield-based ZOO Digital reflect the company’s brand perfectly as the lead colour of lime green is taken directly from the company’s brand logo.
3. Wellbeing and health
Happy employees are more productive, which is one reason why so many companies are now taking employee wellbeing and health in the workplace more seriously. Employee wellbeing in the workplace should look beyond benefits packages and focus on how the physical workplace impacts on employee’s health and wellbeing. This could include:
Onsite showers, gyms and changing facilities
Access to healthy snacks and meals and somewhere appropriate to eat them
Outside space to relax or hold meetings
Areas for play and relaxation, such as games rooms
Natural elements such as natural light, water features and plants
Quiet areas to retreat to for peace and privacy
What you implement will depend on your budget and the space and facilities you have available. However, all offices can make simple changes such as introducing ergonomic furniture and plant life into the work environment.
Versatile, ergonomic furniture is crucial if you want to embrace activity-based working in your office, as we explore in our piece How to Furnish Your Office to Enable Activity-Based Working. Office furniture also presents the ideal opportunity to reflect your company’s brand with your office décor. From basic design such as choosing soft furnishing or wall art in corporate colours to entire themed areas, as often seen in Google’s creative offices, furniture and accessories are a key way to highlight your company’s brand and culture.
The offices of dynamic fashion brand Missguided feature furniture and accessories which reflect their brand perfectly, such as a selfie tunnel, a meeting room featuring swings rather than chairs, neon signs and even sleep cabins.
If you’re ready to update your offices and want to do more than freshen up the paintwork then speak to the expert team at Dale Office Interiors today on 0114 2331115 or contact us here.
Many organisations don’t budget for art in their commercial interiors projects. Yet some feel “art is a critical component – on par with light, air, ergonomics and quiet spaces” in a well considered office design. We think the tide is turning and more businesses are starting to feel that art is a necessity for their workspace.