By Lloyd Coldrick, Managing Director of Cobus
According to a study by the Association for Psychological Science, it takes just a tenth of a second for someone to form an impression of their surroundings.
If that’s the case, a potential new employee, customer or client walking into an office for the first time has been judging the business since the moment they stepped inside. Therefore, it’s important a company’s character and personality are reflected in its working environment.
Every office has its own unique purpose and the best office designs are focused on enhancing the productivity of the people using them. It’s a blueprint to maximise workflow and an opportunity to demonstrate brand identity, company values, and inclusive workplace culture.
In fact, an effective office design has the power to change a person’s state of mind. As humans, we are highly sensitive to the behavioural cues embedded in our environments and will unthinkingly adjust our mannerisms, mood and body language as we adapt to our surroundings.
First impressions, therefore, are hugely important, so careful thought and planning should always go into choosing the right colours, lighting and furniture to give off the right message.
Consider keeping the workspace light and bright and select a few key elements to provide a point of interest and express personality. Recycled office furniture, for example, may help to portray the business as an advocate for sustainability. In addition, ergonomic furniture such as sit-stand desks show a business is forward-thinking and values its staff’s health.
An office design not only needs to showcase what a company’s brand is all about, but also needs to be attractive to potential employees and customers, generating maximum interest and presenting the company as an exciting prospect they will want to be involved with.
Behemoth tech company Google incorporated slides in its headquarters to highlight its offices as a playful, fun and rewarding place to work, while Adobe Systems’ US headquarters houses an indoor rock climbing centre to keep staff active and engaged, showcasing it values its employees’ physical and mental wellbeing.
By utilising workspaces to portray a business’ identity, visitors to the office will understand exactly what its message is as soon as they enter the room.
If creating and building relationships are fundamental to a business, the ‘Resimercial’ office style with its homely atmosphere creates a warm, friendly and easily approachable environment.
Small additions to an office setting can go a long way in asserting brand awareness. Glass partitioning, for example, can be adorned with customisable glass manifestations to assert brand identity, while colourful desk dividers can enforce a company’s values.
An office can even by designed from scratch with the intention of promoting its brand. The aesthetically pleasing industrial office style with its stripped-back architecture and utilitarian surfaces can serve to highlight a sense of authenticity in an eco-friendly business.
But it’s not just themes and furniture that can affect businesses’ brand awareness. If a visitor walks into an office and it’s untidy, it will have a detrimental impact on how they perceive the business. Not only that, but a disorganised and cluttered space can have a negative effect on an employee’s productivity and the way they relate to their surroundings.
By investing in clever storage designs and space-saving solutions, employers can create a vibrant working environment that reflects the nature of their business. Additionally, if they present an image of reliability, an inherent sense of trust is built between the company and its employees and customers.
Creating a safe and comfortable office space demonstrates that a business cares about its employees’ overall wellbeing, which in turn boosts team morale and highlights the company as an attractive place to work. Ergonomic furniture such as adjustable chairs, keyboards and monitors are a great way to achieve this.
Overall, the role of portraying a company’s brand through its office design is pivotal in promoting its values, work styles, and an environment that caters to its success.
Word of mouth is a powerful tool and if an office is designed to be an inspiring space that reflects the businesses’ culture and personality, employee retention, recruitment applications, productivity and profitability will naturally increase.