In an ideal world, every office would be as unique as every company, and every company would be as unique as the individual employees who make up its staff. The best offices are as inspirational as they are functional. Not only do they look and feel great, but they also uniquely reflect the company’s brand, culture and specific personality; encouraging behaviour, attitudes and activities that reinforce and support those values.
For example, if your company is an organisation that values ideas from everyone; if it considers the opinion of the receptionist to be potentially as valuable as the opinion of the CEO, then the physical make-up of the office should suit this philosophy. The easiest way to achieve this kind of openness is to have an open-plan office space. An open-plan workspace with no private offices or closed cubicles helps to create the kind of environment where communication and ideas are free-flowing and there is no limiting hierarchy.
If collaboration is key to how your business functions, you’ll want to make sure your office includes plenty of spaces where employees can gather together and work as a team. You might also want to have areas where spontaneous encounters can take place between members of different teams.
Similarly, if creativity is key to your company, then you’re going to want this creativity to be reflected in the physical make-up of your office. You might, for example, have rooms or sections of your office where the walls are made up of floor-to-ceiling whiteboards or blackboards, so employees can share their ideas with one another the moment inspiration strikes. Or, you might want to incorporate inspirational artwork or extravagant indoor plants in your office — anything you feel might inspire your staff to greater creative heights.
The extent to which your office space is unique and personal is limited only by you and your employees’ imaginations. Remember that having a unique workspace doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money. In fact, on the contrary, often having a more playful and personal attitude to your space can prove much more economical. Many businesses, for example, encourage their employees to bring personal items from home to their office space. This makes work feel less like work and can boost both engagement and morale.
Your Unique Office Checklist
Follow these steps to make your office truly unique…
- Clarify your core values so you all know what you’re striving to reflect in your physical surroundings.
- Create spaces for spontaneous interaction such as lounges, game rooms and reading rooms.
- Create spaces for both open collaboration as well as focus and solitude.
- Make sure there’s some space for fun.
- Encourage your staff to personalise their own space.
- Show your staff you care. An easy way to do this is to have a great, well-stocked refreshments space.
- Encourage community and connectivity — the closer your employees are, the happier they are and the better they work.