DESIGN FOR CORPORATE SPACES
When designing workspaces, the first thing companies often consider is their bottom line. Why spend your budget on interior design when you could just bulk order chairs online? But, is penny-pinching really worth forsaking the comfort of employees?
Smart companies understand that workspaces are a business tool. An office environment reflects and reinforces a business’s core values, through the placement of different teams, functions and design elements that reflect culture, brand and values.
The design of a workspace has been shown to drastically effect employee productivity. Dingy cubicles with grey walls are not conducive to productivity. Investing in a vibrant, engaging office design will end up saving you money down the line. So, how can companies create vibrant, productive workspaces?
A great workspace makes employees feel like they belong.
Over the years, we’ve learned some significant lessons about how to create the best spaces for today’s workforce. As companies plan to grow and refresh their spaces – or perhaps decide to create brand new ones – here are a few tips to consider.
Build with flexibility in mind: Our corporate clients consistently ask for adaptable spaces that respond to changing business conditions. Whether a shift in occupancy, an organizational restructure, or a cultural evolution, our clients desire agile spaces that can easily adjust to meet their evolving needs and desires.
Organizational culture: Today’s executive suite has changed. Clients are moving away from a separated mahogany executive row to a more integrated model. In this model, leadership becomes more accessible and better team-based relationships are formed. However, that may not be the case at all times. A challenge we often face on corporate interior projects is making sure that our design is most appropriate and meaningful for the end user. Through a series of strategic yet open brainstorming sessions with clients early on, we are able to uncover the true needs of each client and design their workspaces accordingly.
Privacy needs: While open offices and communal work cultures are gaining popularity, people still have need for a variety of work zone types. Open floor models shouldn’t overlook the need for some private and small group collaboration spaces that mask sound. Increasingly, people are rediscovering the value of quiet and focus and asking for spaces where they can concentrate.
Carefully making use of every design element can help reinforce a company’s culture with existing and potential employees, attract fresh talent, and demonstrate the embodiment of the corporate philosophy to its constituency .
Small changes make a big impact: It is amazing what can be achieved with thoughtful color, and the least expensive way to freshen up any space is through color and texture. Additionally, in existing spaces that have high partitions, simply lowering cubicle walls can greatly change the dynamics of a space. Adding more natural light and improving artificial light quality can also significantly improve your work environment.
Branding: When it comes to branding, many companies often focus on external marketing elements such as website design, advertisements, or even something as simple as a business card. But the extension of the tenets of a company’s brand to its workplace can encourage employees to support and achieve corporate objectives. When determining how to brand the physical workplace, the first discussion between the organization and the design team needs to center on understanding the principles by which that organization works and lives. These principles will be used to guide how team members, clients and visitors experience the space and create the springboard for all aspects of design.
Architects and designers play an essential role in helping organizations maximize their brand expression opportunity in their physical facilities.
Balancing permanence and flexibility in brand expression is key as we create spaces that are meant to last for many years. When mapping a brand identity to a physical space, we must determine the unchangeable pieces, such as those aspects reflecting core principles, as opposed to the adaptable components, such as graphic elements or wall finishes. This careful balance enables the brand to remain fresh and relevant throughout its life.
Don’t forget the fun! The best clients are those that carefully consider how their new space will enhance their office culture. Some unique elements that have been added to enhance corporate cultures recently have included video game rooms, yoga/spin spaces, movie theaters, recording studios, “tinker” rooms, nap rooms, innovation hubs and community gardens.
Every space should tell a story, and the design team has a unique opportunity to mold the user experience in three dimensions. Successful environments are created when you are able to align an organization’s needs with a matching quality of space
Smart environments: Consider where you will incorporate access to modern workplace technologies throughout your new or refreshed office space – specifically, proximity to WIFI, virtual desktops, VR technology, adjustable desktops, ergonomic seating, temperature and lighting controls.
Long gone are the days of anonymous rows of cubicles and flickering fluorescent lights. Companies must adapt to the needs of their workforce in order to maintain morale and productivity. Comfortable, inviting workspaces are key. Branding can take place within design, reflecting the company’s aesthetics and values.
It takes excellent design to bring these features together. Collage Consultants W.L.L have what it takes to bring your office or corporate space to life, while respecting your bottom line. Contact us today for a consultation.
Written by : Zuraiz Munam
Zuraiz believes that architecture should inspire those who interact with it, it should be comfortable, compelling, and energizing, and above all else bring joy to those who experience it. It should engage the site and provide warmth through scale, texture, color, and materials.