An office fit out can offer your company a whole host of benefits, including increased engagement and motivation for your employees, but many don’t realise that it can be a great way to increase a company’s culture.
A great office should reflect the identity of a company. It should represent everything the company strives to be and needs to serve the personalities of the business’ individuals.
If you’re unsure what an office fit out might entail or you’re simply in need of some inspiration to boost your company’s culture, here are some ideas to think about…
1. Relaxation Spaces Are an Option
Your company culture could be suffering from failing to provide a balance between work and relaxation. It might seem absurd to suggest relaxing in the place we come to do our jobs, but there are compelling arguments which demonstrate how successful businesses are buying into this concept.
Of course, the nature of an office space dictates that your employees turn up to perform their duties. However, placing such an emphasis on their working roles, while offering little time for your employees to relax, might be the key to your failing company culture.
It might also surprise you that relaxation can actually increase productivity. It turns out that, according to the Britain's Healthiest Workplace findings by Vitality Health, 29.6% of employees sleep less than 7 hours per night and lose an equivalent of 4.7 productive days per year.
“More and more, we’re seeing how sleep disorders affect work productivity, healthcare costs and workplace accidents”, says Lawrence Epstein, a former president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Giving your employees a space to relax at the office isn’t just about making the working day more enjoyable, it can have a direct impact on their productivity too.
2. Breaking Down Walls
Take a look around your office. Does it promote the kind of company culture you want it to? That might be because you want to see your business as open and inclusive but the space in which you operate is anything but.
Solid partitions can act as metaphorical, as well as physical, walls between your employees. This can result in a breakdown of trust and communication - far from the type of company culture you want to instate. One idea is to strip away those partitions and give your office a more open feel, encouraging open and honest communication.
Whilst the open plan office isn’t a new concept, we are seeing ‘zoned’ spaces being created with the use of clever furniture pieces, such as Spacestor’s ‘Palisades Grid’ system. It offers, flexibility and function whilst retaining a feeling openness between teams.
If you look around and you can’t envisage the type of company you want to be, it might be down to the interior structure of the space. Bring down the walls and watch your culture become more open and inclusive.
3. Smart Storage Is the Way Forward
If you’re looking to transform your company into one that puts the word ‘organise’ in ‘organisation’, you need to seriously consider your storage options.
For decades, there has been talk of us moving towards the mythical ‘paperless office’. Whilst there are emerging business sectors, such as the digital marketing community, which use much less paper, there are long standing business sectors, such as legal, construction and financial which can’t avoid a heavy use of paper and documents.
Organising this volume of paper and the way it flows through an office is vital. High density storage solutions, such as Rackline’s Powertrack Electronic mobile shelving system, allow documents and files to be stored in an organised manner with increased efficiency, reducing the overall storage footprint.
4. Go For an Open Plan Layout
Perhaps the culture of your organisation is lacking some much-needed teamworking spirit. Guess what? An office fit out could just be the answer to your workplace culture issue.
As mentioned before, the more you open up your office space, the more opportunity you give for open and honest communication. Inclusivity thrives under this kind of system and the same can be said for teamwork. The more chance you give for your teams to work together, the more productive they can be as an organisation.
A closed off space doesn’t promote this kind of communal working that could see your employees productivity soar and your company culture become one that inspires every individual to work as a collective towards your business goals.
5. Multi-Purpose Offices Offer Flexibility
You should never want your company’s culture to be rigid - this goes hand in hand with the space that you work within.
Obviously, you should want your culture to be clearly defined and easily translated for all to see but it should never be immune to change. As your industry changes, your company will have to adapt and you need an office space that can keep up.
The demands you have of your office space are not the same today as they were six months ago, so it’s unrealistic to assume they won’t change in another six months. Make sure your office space gives you the freedom and flexibility to utilise areas in whatever way you wish and a multi-purpose design might be the way forward for your business.
6. Try a Unique Design
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that your business is like no other. It is made up of individuals who all have their own style and tastes. Your company culture is no different.
It’s important, when looking for an office fit out, to look for inspiration at similar companies to yours but not to copy. What works for them won’t necessarily work for you. You should gear the design of your space around your existing culture. If you do, you’ll only see that culture enhanced further.
Finding an office design that is unique to your identity can help to enhance the culture you’re looking to improve and show your company’s personality. Implementing a space that really shows off your personality is also more likely to inspire creativity than a generic office design ever would. Remember, no two companies are alike, and neither should their offices be.
7. You’ll Need an Industry Specialist Design
Just as your company is unique within your industry, so too is the industry unique when compared to other professions. This should be a determining factor when looking at ideas to improve your office space.
There are certain demands that your business will make of the office space and that needs to be factored into the design. For example, a legal practice will need to consider the space available to them form filing and storage due to the large amount of paperwork involved in that profession, whereas a marketing company often needs a dynamic, visceral workpsace to attract creative millennials and stimulate ideas.
By focusing on what you need in order to excel to the top of your company’s industry, you create a professional culture in your office that’s geared towards success. As organic as culture is, it needs to be appropriate for your industry and your office space should reflect that.
8. Think About Recreational Options
We’ve spoken about the importance of offering your employees relaxation spaces within the office, but what about recreational areas? Do they actually improve culture or are they simply another distraction?
Well, providing your employees with the chance to engage in recreational activities, such as gaming facilities, gives them the freedom to be creative while also offering the opportunity to build team relationships.
You might want to create a culture where your team are happy to work together. In order to do that, they need to be happy playing together and this idea can help to encourage that.
9. Implement Acoustic Seating
As much as you probably want to implement an office space that speaks to the culture of your organisation, you don’t want to create any unnecessary distractions in the workplace. This is where acoustic furniture comes in.
If you’re unaware, acoustic furniture is designed with sound in mind. It is a way of isolating certain areas of your office to help keep your employees from becoming distracted by other goings on in the office.
Recreational areas can be good for morale but, in reality, they can be noisy and if you implement an open plan design to improve communication in the office, you might run into problems without the help of acoustic furniture. This idea can help to promote a more focused culture within your company.
Your company culture is unique to your business and the people within it. Before embarking on any fit-out or refurbishment project, set up an internal project team who can represent the views and opinions of the whole company.
Then, look to hire a workplace design consultant who can help to make your vision of your company’s culture a reality and take your office design to the next level.
If you want to learn more about how to turn your office into the kind of space where your business can truly flourish, give us a call on 0161 402 3340 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.