There are a lot of different kinds of businesses, and as such, there are a lot of different kinds of workspaces. The way you organize your office says a lot about your company’s priorities.
Are you promoting creativity in your office space?
Does your workspace remind your clients that you’re a group of forward thinkers?
Office design influences your company’s culture, reflects your brand, and even has an impact on your overall productivity. Here are some common office design features and what they might be saying about you.
An offices divided neatly into cubicles conveys that structure, organization, and tradition are important. Employees are expected to separate into their individual workspaces and get their jobs done autonomously.
Cubicles are common for businesses that keep departments and business functions separate and distinct.
The downside of the cubicle culture is that it can feel controlling, stifle creativity, and create pushy micromanagers who never learn to be charismatic leaders.
Having a comfortable lounge area in your office is cozy and welcoming.
Some companies have a comfortable lounge instead of a formal waiting area for customers, which gives a homey feeling to your workspace as if you’ve invited your visitors into your home instead of your office.
Couches and recliners for employee sends a similar message – it’s like you’re saying “we’re all family here, so get comfortable.”
Then again, if you have a lounge area that nobody uses because they’re always at their desks, it’s just a waste of space. You may also notice that some employees are taking longer breaks and not giving their work tasks proper attention because you’re sending the wrong message.
Ever noticed that doctors and lawyers almost always have packed bookshelves in their offices? That’s because being surrounded by academic books gives the impression of education and intellectualism.
Make your library more practical by making it a lending library for employee use. Stock your shelves with professional development books, how-to guides, and useful courses that ambitious team members can use to build their skills.
Books take up a lot of room, though, so small offices may not have the space to use for a library.
You might also find that employees “borrow” books without returning them, which makes for an expensive office decoration if you have to replace the missing volumes.
4: Open Worktables
Open workspaces are the exact opposite of cubicles.
When your team shares an open workspace instead of dividing into closed cubicles, they make eye contact. They collaborate. They create together.
Many modern office spaces are moving towards open workspace design because it’s closer to the spunky startup culture in which people get things done without much regard for job description.
In companies that rely on a more rigid, top-down management structure, open workspaces can undermine the effectiveness of your leadership style. It can also be distracting for the types of employees who need regular supervision to be productive.
5: Tech Tools
The types of tech that occupy space on your office floor send a clear message.
If your office is dominated by old school filing cabinets and those gigantic printer-copier-scanner-fax-machine combos, you’re reinforcing the cubicle culture.
On the other hand, populating your office with modern tech like new computers at workstations shows that you’re forward-thinking.
Imagine you’re shopping for a marketing agency to handle your digital campaign.
You visit one office that looks pretty much like every generic workplace you’ve ever seen, right down to the same laser printers and clunky desktop computers you had at your first job. When you go into the meeting room, it’s a standard board room with a projector.
The next place you visit has nary a printer in sight. There’s a camera drone on one desk, and each employee has a sleek, modern laptop. Walking into the meeting room, you notice that they’re using a touchscreen display for their presentations, and the salesperson connects directly from their smartphone.
What might you think about each agency based on the tech they’re using?
Technology tools are expensive, and they become obsolete quickly. Stocking your office with snazzy tech that you’re never going to use is just an expensive waste, and letting it sit around until it’s irrelevant is even worse.
Use the technologies you need – just pay attention to the message they send, too.