Office Design Matters for More Than Just Looks


You may not believe it at first, but your employees are aware of how well your office reflects your company’s vision and ideals.

That’s according to Miami-based architecture and interior design firm Alvarez-Diaz & Villalon, whose post earlier this year about using your office space to enhance your workplace and attract talent is, in our opinion, an incredible analysis of the link between your office space and your employees.

In this post, we’ll reveal some of the numbers they shared and talk about the practical implications of the data.

The Link Between Office Design and Employee Perception

The current era of the workplace is a dynamic one – technology, creativity and productivity seem to be one massive buzzword that dictates how offices are designed, which cubicles are chosen and whether cubicles are even used.

Alvarez-Diaz and Villalon pointed out that the way you design your office should incorporate the ways our business world has changed.

“Office design trends reflect these changing times. Mobile technology has led to open floor plans and shared desks that allow employees to connect and bounce ideas off each other,” they wrote. “Trends create expectations and vice versa. Modern workers expect workplaces that are healthy, fun, inspiring, comfortable, urban yet green—that is, spaces that make them feel good.”

Now, we’ll be the first to say that open floor plans aren’t the infallible design concept they’ve been made out to be – privacy is important for productivity. However, the point is a valid one. Office spaces reflect the times and, more importantly, can have an impact on employees’ perception of inspiration and happiness.

The firm went on to reference a 2017 Capital One study about the link between inspiration and workplace design.

The Numbers Don’t Lie: Design Is Crucial

The study pointed out that 82% of employees felt like innovation wasn’t feasible if the actual workplace wasn’t innovative. In addition to that, “63% feel that innovation isn’t reflected at all in their current workplace’s design.”

These states reveal two important concepts. First, employees expect that who a company says they are is reflected in how they’ve designed their offices. Second, employees notice when there’s a discrepancy between who you say you are and how you’ve decided to design your office.

Don’t misread the trends here – innovation doesn’t automatically require an open office. But what it does mean is that the desks or cubicles you choose as well as the chairs and other pieces should reflect, in some way, the company culture.

Our team can help you discern which combinations of furniture most accurately reflects who you are – our catalog is teeming with the latest designs from respected manufacturers.

Another takeaway from the Capital One study is that the top three design elements employees want is natural light, artwork/creative imagery and “easily reconfigurable furniture and spaces”.

While we can’t help with the natural light and the artwork, we can certainly provide solutions for workspaces you can change and adapt.

Putting the Data into Action: Design Tips from Architects

As you consider how you want your office to reflect your company culture, remember that you have a virtually limitless palette of furniture, artwork and greenery to work with.

Here are a few tips from Alvarez-Diaz & Villalon:

  • Use unconventional workspaces like meditation rooms and lounges.
  • Incorporate greenery into your office (biophilic design).
  • Help your office feel like home, not work.

The company’s closing words in their post about office design are excellent:

“Back in the 80s, it was all about the paycheck and the clichéish five-year plan. Not anymore. The average employee today, especially millennials, can recite with ease a long list of things more important at work than the paycheck—office location, work-life balance, flexible hours, company culture, paid parental leave, social responsibility programs, etc., not to mention a well-designed, enjoyable, innovative and inspiring place to work.”

COE and Your Office Redesign

Our team are veterans of office design. We apply decades of expertise to your particular situation, tapping our extensive catalog of desks and cubicles to create workspaces that reflect who your company is and where you’re going.

Call us today at 760-684-4633 or contact us via email to set up a free space plan and design consultation.

 


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