Why Your Office Space Should Reflect Your Company Culture

by / ⠀Blog / July 25, 2023
business office space

Hopefully, you already have some kind of organizational culture in place. You understand your brand identity, you have a list of core values attached to the brand, and you know what types of people you want to hire and work with. Building and maintaining company culture can improve your business in several ways, boosting productivity, keeping your team members in alignment, and ultimately making your organization stronger.

However, many people neglect one of the most valuable elements of establishing and reinforcing a company culture: the physical workspace.

We live in an era of remote and hybrid work, so not everyone will benefit from redesigning the main office (and not everyone will have a main office to redesign). Even so, it’s possible to redesign your own workspace to better fit with the culture that you want to establish.

How an Office Space Can Reflect Culture

Installing a wood stove or a dartboard in the break room may not seem like moves that can dramatically reshape the mindsets and productivity levels of your staff – but they can.

These are some of the most important areas that you should focus on when making your office space reflect your organizational culture:

Location.

First, think about the location of the office. Is this going to be a relatively small location in a hip, artistic neighborhood? Or is it going to be a towering building in a sea of skyscrapers in the middle of a downtown urban area? Choosing the right neighborhood, and even the right street, can make a big difference.

Overall size and shape.

You’ll also need to think about the overall size and shape of the space. Working in a space with super high ceilings and so much empty space that you can hear the echo of your own voice is much different than working in a space designed for closer collaboration. What kind of mood do you want to establish? How do you want people to move around?

Furniture.

The placement and aesthetics of your furniture can also play a role in demonstrating your culture. Brightly colored, abstractly shaped, unusual furniture gives a sense of playfulness and creativity, while pristine, simple, black or white furniture could demonstrate more traditional levels of professionalism.

Paint.

Similarly, you’ll need to think about how you paint and accent the walls. Is this a bright, vibrant, colorful space that isn’t afraid of clashing? Or is this a more strait-laced, typical workplace environment?

Art and décor.

Did you know art has the power to boost productivity? It’s true. Almost any workspace can benefit from having more pieces of art; what’s important for your organizational culture is choosing the right art. An abstract sculpture sets a different mood than a landscape painting, and both of these things set a different mood than a black-and-white portrait. You’ll also need to think about décor and consider adding plants for a splash of lively greenery.

Break rooms and recreation.

How do you want to set up your break rooms and recreational options? Should your break room be in the middle of everything, or off in a corner somewhere?

Rules and restrictions.

You can also reshape your office environment through rules and restrictions – or explicit permissions. For example, you can give employees the liberty to decorate their desks however they want, or you can restrict them in following deliberate orders. You can even allow your employees to engage in their environments in different ways, such as bringing their pets on designated days.

The Benefits of an Office Space That Showcases Your Values

Why should you go through this trouble?

An office space that showcases your values and organizational culture can help you in several ways.

Recruiting.

When potential new hires visit your office for the first time, they’re going to form a first impression based on what they see and experience. Immediately, they may be able to tell whether this workspace is a good fit for their working philosophy and personality.

Onboarding.

When onboarding people, it’s important to make sure they understand the culture and are capable of fitting in. The environment can help shape this even when no one else is around.

Camaraderie and shared identity.

Over time, working together in the same defined space can create a sense of shared identity and build camaraderie. This, in turn, lends itself to higher productivity and much smoother collaboration.

Work mode.

In the modern era, it’s hard for some people to keep their personal and professional lives separate. But with a uniquely created workspace, the divide is much cleaner. When people set foot in the office, they’ll almost instinctively go into “work mode.”

Impressions with clients.

Having a unique office space can also make a better first impression on clients. When touring your workspace, they’ll get a feel for how your company operates – and it could make them feel better about moving forward with your brand.

Potential for organic growth.

Organizational culture doesn’t have to remain stagnant. As your culture changes, so too can your workspace.

There’s practically unlimited flexibility for what kind of organizational culture you want to establish. What’s really important is that you find a way to establish it and reinforce it consistently. Your office setup is one of your most indispensable tools in this pursuit, so don’t neglect it.

About The Author

Kimberly Zhang

Editor in Chief of Under30CEO. I have a passion for helping educate the next generation of leaders.

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