workspace design and company culture

 In better by design

workspace design and company cultureHere at Outline Design we think we’ve got a pretty good ‘culture’ within our company and our space design marries our visions and people. A company’s culture is defined by the collective values of an organisation, and is intrinsically linked to brand-driven design – the ways in which a workspace can express values, attract employees and engage with clients.

Harnessing a cultural identity throughout workspace design can be achieved in more ways than one. For example, you can strategically position communal spaces to encourage employees to spontaneously meet, you can apply artwork and wall decals to create visually striking features, you can implement unconventional designs throughout your workspace to encourage ‘out of the box’ innovative thinking, or simply change your colour palette to boost productivity and bolster engagement levels.

Ethos in the environment

However, communicating a vision goes much further than showcasing aesthetics, it underpins a company’s belief system and work-related expectations. “Many employees – particularly Millennials – weight the quality of their work environment against their performance expectations and earnings,” explains James Smith of Outline Design. “Which is why brand-driven workspace design is so attuned to a company’s sense of purpose and ethos.”

Thus, at the very heart of employee motivation lie cultural affirmations, which can unfold through successful brand-driven workspace design, and a clear brand strategy that aligns itself with a company’s ethos. Given that employees today are more in tune to the elements around them – including furnishings, textures, lighting – and where and how they spend their time at work, engaging meaningful branding isn’t just about good design – it’s about good business.

“Think of terms of congruence,” advises Smith. “You’ll build trust if your company clearly communicates the way they act, think and speak. A clear brand strategy will embrace and define this, ensuring the design work is as conversant as it can be.”

So how do we play into our cultural strengths and drive home our brand, simultaneously providing a functional workspace that accommodates a mixture of types and a free-flow of ideas? We look to foster creativity.

When addressing your workspace design wants and needs, question:

  • Does your spatial layout style marry with your working style? Comfortable and ergonomic workplace design will reinforce attitude and personality, thus impact productivity.
  • Consider how your choice of furniture enhances your brand identity and harnesses creative thought and engagement. For example, desks, chairs, tables with curved edges are said to inspire spontaneous conversation – and encourage more organic movement amongst employees.
  • Just like your furnishings, consider using a colour palette and a selection of finishes throughout your workspace that lift, strengthen and inspire – avoid restricting yourself to just the colours from your company logo, or assigning gloss to every wall.
  • Specifications, the quality of your fittings, plus special features, are all conducive to your overall market position, and can express your company culture and motivate employees.

Your workspace isn’t just a space, it’s an extension and reflection of your company visions, your personality and goals. Your environment represents what you stand for now and how you wish to be presented – to both employees and clients alike. Effective company branding will implicitly establish a visual language and create an immersive experience for everyone entering your workplace.


About Outline Design

Outline Design is an established commercial interior design firm based in Auckland, New Zealand offering the full range of interior design services. To find out more contact us.

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