Time To Upgrade The Office
The next time you step in to your office ask yourself if you really love it. Or even like it, for that matter. This space where you spend so many hours of your life – is it working for you and your company or is it bringing your team down? It may just be time to redesign.
The concept of “office” as a gathering place for individuals involved in like-minded business pursuits, otherwise known as making money, has obviously been around for millennia. From the court scribes of yore, clay tablet and stylus in hand, to modern electronic commerce, the overall agenda has hardly changed. What has seen heavy adaptation, though, is the environment in which the business of business takes place. Today’s office should be a place that inspires and invigorates, and not the spot you slog to on the mornings and can’t wait to escape from come late afternoon. Simple decor changes, like adding live plants and splashes of color with wall hangings and office art can immediately improve the vibe in any setting, and a light rearranging of furniture will do wonders to give your office space a facelift. Even getting a new set of colorful office mugs can help!
These days company culture is everything, and in the same way that employers sift through resumes to find the best applicants, it’s not uncommon for job hunters to search for their own version of an optimal fit. And office decor says volumes about the overall culture of a company. A dull undecorated working space is not only uninspiring, it also tells team members and potential new talent that the people in charge just don’t care enough to give their space some extra pop. A well-designed and decorated office, however, means there’s a management team willing to spend the time and effort to ensure their talent’s comfort and happiness. And a happy employee means a loyal employee, a feeling that spreads naturally out to clients, customers and product.
Big names in tech have lead the way in rethinking the office space and how employees interact with it and with each other. For example, in offices like Google’s many campuses around the world plastic, acrylic and plexiglass are used in super creative ways to lighten up working spaces. These translucent, malleable and colorful materials are not only used to define and divide spaces, they also to add that certain energy to otherwise potentially drab environs. A great example of the use of modern new materials is the colorful acrylic block wall at the Engine office in London. This kind of almost playground vibrancy appeals to the youthful creativity of team members and gives a bright energy that seems to translate directly into productivity. Other offices, like Facebook’s, have a more toned-down color scheme but opt still to use bespoke office art and youthful decor elements to help employees feel less like they are at work and more like it’s just another day of office-style play.
The benefits to a company in creating an identifiable office culture are undeniable. Feeling like you truly are part of a team is what most people want in their career these days. Collaboration and a sense of community, of being involved with others in creating and maintaining a unique product or service, are key words in just about any business setting. Commissioning an art consultant or interior designer to give an office a makeover, and maybe requesting some tailor-made acrylic art to create a theme piece for your space, is definitely the way to go. While your at it, move some furniture around. Add some live plants and a new set of cups and dishes for your office kitchen to the company budget and you’ll never regret it. You’ll not only be that much happier yourself when you get to work in the mornings, there’s a good chance you’ll be having such an inspired time that come time to go you won’t actually want to leave.
This is a guest post by Nick Levitan, a huge purponent of company culture, and a big believer that a nice working enviornment, with some office art, leads to possitive returns on many fronts.