5 easy steps to a new office design
In almost any company, the physical work environment has major effects on employees’ behaviour, wellbeing and work performance. The design of your office also says a lot about the company values and how those values are aligned with your business goals. And this is why it’s so important to make the right choices when it comes to workspace design and structure.
To get this right, an interior designer should start with proper research on company values, business goals and employees. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, scrolling through the latest office trends on Pinterest or heading to the local office furniture store for inspiration is usually not the way to go. Before you embark on the design of a new work environment, there are some fundamental things to consider. The following five points are a great place to start:
1. Establish your company values
First things first. Before the design process of any work environment can start, the company values need to be established and evaluated. It’s not only the values that are important, but also how everyone in the organisation feels about these values, which ones they feel are most important and how it influences their jobs.
If you’re in the investment banking industry and your brand essence is all about trust and professionalism, then having slides and nap pods all over the place won’t make sense. On the other hand, if you’re all about creativity and innovation, then tiny cubicles and run of the mill desks probably won’t work.
It’s all about establishing what employees and clients value most about your brand and finding the balance between incorporating them and creating a space that will work for your company culture.
2. Spaces aren’t creative, people are
For most businesses to be innovative and successful, a certain degree of creativity is needed andteams need to find a way to operate creatively at their best towards a common goal.
Companies often make the mistake of imitating other successful and creative companies, thinking that it will lead to the same success. It is important for any organisation to understand that an innovative and creative environment won’t automatically build a creative culture – the space needs to be adapted to work in favour of each team member’s capabilities.
3. The work environment is everyone’s responsibility
Because the work environment affects everyone, it makes sense that it should be everyone’s responsibility to maintain it. To create a sense of pride and ownership, the more involved employees are with the designing process, the better. However, to take every single person’s opinion into account may become a bit chaotic.
Department heads can start by discussing the process with their team to find out about their ideal environment and what their top priorities are. In that way, each department’s space is shaped by the employees working in it.
4. Evidence-based design is effective – assumption-based design, not so much
Someone once said: “assumption is the mother of all evil”, and they weren’t lying. To create the optimal space, we never start by saying “this is a financial firm so it needs X, this is a creative firm so it needs Y”. Each business has its own needs and designing a space is not a case of finding a competitor’s office you like and replicating that. For this reason, every design brief should be approached as a research project, supported with a significant amount of evidence.
5. Make it unique
Once all of the above points have been considered, the real fun starts. Even though there are many guidelines and rules on how a design project should be approached, remember that it should ultimately be a space that improves your employees work life. A space they enjoy being in, and can be proud of.
To conclude, good research with any design is crucial, and when you take all these factors into consideration, it should make a bit more sense why proper, professional design is one of the best investments a company can make. If you’re ready to take your company to the next level, contact us for a consultation.