In addition to being practical, functional and engaging, your physical workspace also needs to reflect your overall business values and reinforce your brand identity. This doesn’t mean it necessarily needs to be all dull beige and crème as it’s not just a place where people sit and work. It’s more of a blank canvas that allows you to shape it so it shows your business values and embraces your company culture.
Here are several ideas that can help you create an office space that will inspire both your visitors and your employees.
Identify your brand values
A practical first step to take is to identify and list your business values. Designing an office gives you a great chance to revisit your principles and remind yourself of what your initial motivation and drive were. Once you have them laid out in front of you, you can start thinking about ways of translating them into interior design. It could simply be decorative items, motivational posters, art pieces or a family-friendly space for visiting kids and nursing employees. As long as it conveys the message, it will work.
Plan your office layout
Office layout plays an important part in how both your workers and clients perceive your values. For instance, an open floor plan reflects a focus on communication and collaboration and amenities such as game rooms, gyms and bowling alleys indicate a company that is playful, innovative and creative.
However, there is no universal design formula that works for everyone so don’t follow modern trends blindly. If your company is more conservative and your employees value confidentiality and privacy than it’s a better option to go with individual offices with doors.
Unleash the power of colour
Colour is an important part of a branding strategy and most likely that your company already has a colour scheme chosen for that purpose. Use the same palette to reflect the same message in your office space but don’t be afraid to take it further. Colours have always been linked to emotions, so think about what emotions you’d want your workspace to evoke – it could be calming and soothing so you might go with muted colours, greys and blues, or you’re aiming at an energetic and creative atmosphere so yellows, oranges and reds might be more suitable.
Pick the right furniture and furnishings
There are many ways you can use office decor to convey your company’s values and culture and the easiest way to do it is with furniture and furnishings. For instance, if you go with modern furniture, your office will be very elegant and forward-looking and if you incorporate greenery, it’ll be more earthy, relaxing and refreshing.
In fields such as law and medicine where expertise, trust and credibility matter a lot, you could opt for a more classic and traditional design and use darker leather furniture and display academic credentials on the walls.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate some fun and individuality into your office space. This is where you can get creative with colours and furnishings – bright and bold colours can evoke feelings that muted tones can’t and various textures and decorative objects can shift the mood of your office. Think about adding a natural rug to the lounge area and a few potted plants and stylish bamboo floor lamps so your visitors can enjoy the calming atmosphere while they wait for their appointment. If one of your company’s values is supporting sustainability and environmentally friendly production, this will send a very positive message to anyone who enters your office space.
Create an office experience
Think about how people should feel within your office space and design it so it meets those expectations. It’s not important just for your clients but also for your workers who spend there a large chunk of their time. You might decide to provide a small kitchen with refreshments and a lunchroom where people can have a break from work and chat over a snack.
If your employees express a need for a break room, you might consider designing a fun space with a pool table, ping pong, air hockey and a quiet reading nook – whatever helps your employees relax and recharge. A small gesture like this can go a long way in showing your appreciation for your employees’ effort and contribution to the business.
Your company values aren’t only represented by your logo and business cards. Your core values, beliefs and goals are also reflected in the products and services you offer, in the company culture you nourish and even in your office interior design.