May 13, 2020

Office Design, Culture and Branding

In our most recent blog we reviewed the types of products that are available to aid office screening and shielding. As part of this, we recommend that rest and break-out areas for getting away from a noisy office, so it’s worth considering how to strike the right balance between open plan and more private break-out areas.

Branding

Let’s now take a look at some interior design concepts. Many people think of office design as ergonomic furniture and comfortable meeting rooms, for example. But it should be much more than this, as the company brand and values should be properly considered when designing an office. It’s of course expected that your brand should be recognisable and be consistent on your website, physical literature and across any electronic documents, such as quotations and proposals. Bringing the brand into the office design itself though is more than having the logo etched on the reception desk or painted on the walls. It’s important that your furniture aligns well with the culture and branding that you want to create. Through the interior design an unspoken story can be told about the brand and core values of the business. This is an opportunity to accentuate the unique character of the company.

Colour and Cohesive Design

We do get some customers wanting the colours of their chairs to in some way incorporate their company logo or brand colours and this is something that we can offer. Many customers though would like to incorporate more subtle use of colour, so they would opt to use contrasting colours that complement the company logo. We would certainly encourage the effective use of colour in the office design and this is something that we can work with you on to bring light and life into the office!

Though the choice of colour palette is important, this is only one aspect of the design. Through the use of furniture you should aim for a well thought out cohesive design. This of course relates to the way the furniture is laid out, but also the shapes and styles. As mentioned at the beginning, careful consideration should be given to how much of the office will be open-plan and how much break-out space there will be.

Create a Feeling Through Use of Furniture

What message do you want to Convey and what feeling do you want to create? As a starting point it would be useful to ask yourself some basic questions. These will centre-around the message you want to convey to clients and employees about the companies’ values. For example, do you want people to know that the environment is important to you? In which case, we can review the options for recyclable furniture. Sure, you want good quality furniture that looks good, but also think about how the furniture can be used to convey a subtle message and create the right feeling.

What Culture do you Want to Create?

Ensuring the design reflects the culture of your business may seem a bit daunting, but it’s something that can be worked on. Culture is everything to do with the company core values, its attitudes and goals. It can greatly influence staff retention and can be a great way to attract new clients and gain a competitive advantage, so it’s not something to be overlooked when designing an office.

Most companies like to emphasise to prospective customers and employees that they promote collaboration and openness and that the management team is eager to listen. However, it’s important that this goes beyond the words on the website and that the office design actually expresses this value. So you will want to think carefully about where the management is located in relation to the staff. Some will prefer a traditional set-up that bespeaks authority, but others would opt for a more contemporary arrangement. Ask yourself if individual offices are needed – if so they certainly should not be austere and unwelcoming. Perhaps alternatives, such as booths – that still provide privacy – could be considered.

If the industry you are in is particularly vibrant and informal in the way it presents itself, presumably then you will want the office design to be influenced by this. You will want to avoid dull colours and instead create a relaxed atmosphere and a feeling of openness.

Employee Satisfaction

There are numerous studies that highlight the importance of engaged employees for workplace satisfaction. We mentioned about striking the balance between open-plan and break-out areas. Getting this right will contribute to employee satisfaction. Encouraging employees to contribute their ideas and suggestions to the office design, will also help with the feeling of being engaged and being listened to.

Summary

These are some thoughts that you may find useful when planning your office. Why not get in contact to discuss your requirements? Even if you need a second opinion, we would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Whiteleys provides full space planning and design services and one of our friendly account managers will work you to get the right solution. We are available on 0208 313 3344 or email sales@whiteleys-office.co.uk

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