“You can design and create and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” Walt Disney
Office design and office culture tend to be synonymous with each other, and yet it is undeniably peculiar that an office would be designed before a company moves in to it. In an ideal world, a company’s culture should be the impacting factor of its office design.
But what is OFFICE CULTURE? It is a combination of qualities in an organization and its employees that arise from what is generally regarded as appropriate ways to think and act. It is the product of its history, traditions, values, and vision. This can be 4 competing values, or points of view – Collaborate, Create, Control & Compete.
The notion of culture encompasses everything, interactions between teams, their processes and work practices. In today’s brand conscious society, it is important that a company’s cultural values are reflected in their environment. For example, if your teams are always communicating with each other, it makes little sense to partition your team’s stations with storage units. If you have an environment that just about fits your staff and their desks, but they have to leave the premises to engage with their teams more effectively, then you can quickly erode your office culture.
Manifesting a company’s culture through office design requires an understanding what your office culture looks like currently, and what your management and staff envision it to be in the future. It may seem obvious but it’s surprising how many companies don’t bear this in mind when choosing a new workplace for their staff. Of course, cost is a factor but designing a workplace based just on affordability can have enormous repercussions in the long term.
The work environment can affect employee wellbeing, staff retention, staff satisfaction and we know that staff satisfaction affects profits. Designing your workplace to reflect company culture, company vision and staff behaviour will not only make your life easier but will boost your bottom line.
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