Your company should seize the opportunity to tell its story in every interaction it has with your guests, clients and employees. You have the chance to show off your unique brand personality and company journey by the physical layout and design of your office.
Before you begin, think about how you would describe your company culture and the story you want to tell. Do your employees take pride in their work? What inspires them? What imagery and narrative do you want to convey throughout your office? While some companies choose to share their identity with a few logos here and there, telling your brand’s story goes beyond that.
Here are a few tips for putting modern office design to work to share your company’s unique legacy while also keeping your employees happy, excited and proud to represent you.
Your office’s story begins the moment someone opens the front door, and the reception area might be the first time a new client or employee has ever interacted with your brand. Hang photos or display a welcome video and other personalized media to give a friendly and welcoming introduction that they won’t forget.
Not only does this space need to be welcoming to strangers, it also needs to make your employees feel like they’re coming home each time they return to work. Create a showcase that displays your company’s mission in action, with pictures of smiling customers or from community engagement events you may have done.
Consider having a whiteboard in the lobby to invite guests to leave messages for your staff as they exit. Show off your awards, trophies and keepsake items in a stylish display case such as Waddell’s Vantage. If you want to get really fancy, a digital display board can show off your websites, social media channels and customer interaction in real-time.
Your employees are your greatest asset to your business and the most important characters in the story you're trying to tell. You should design your office workspace around what will make them perform at their peak.
Invite your employees into the decorating process by offering a survey to see what kind of space works best for them. Let them know that their voice matters! You might read online articles that say open workspaces and standing desks are all the rage... but do your employees want those features? Maybe they prefer a quiet work area and comfortable chairs.
Listening to what your employees want and delivering on that promise can go a long way to building trust and maintaining a healthy work environment. A happy team performs at a higher level. High morale can lower the likelihood of stress-related health issues and motivated, satisfied employees will choose to stick with the company longer. If you want your office's story to have a happy ending, you'll want to make sure it's full of happy people.
Creating a display that honors retired employees or congratulates employees for their accomplishments can instill a sense of pride - and even a little competitiveness. The sum of these accomplishments, big and small, will be how your story is measured!
Prominent walkways and corridors are, by nature, linear - take advantage of those spaces to keep your narrative running and to transition between spaces. What better way to have guests and employees experience your history than walking along a timeline that pays tribute to former leadership, important clients and key milestones.
Be sure to remember that your story doesn’t end with the present day. These linear timelines should also look into your company’s future, too. People will love to see how far you’ve come, but they’ll be equally impressed if you’re able to articulate the vision of where you’re headed. This is a chance to give your mission, values and core identity a prominent role in the story.
Some of your most important business likely happens within the setting of a meeting room. These rooms serve as the backdrop and set the scene for the drama that constitutes your story - make them memorable! Consider a thematic naming convention that ties all these spaces together. Each room could represent its own core value, for example, decorated with examples of that value that the company has demonstrated. Or you could name each room for past CEO’s or other company leaders, serving as a tribute to their accomplishments and how the story progressed under their stewardship.
No meeting space is complete without the tools for collaboration. Dry erase boards and digital displays are key to keep meetings running smoothly and keeping notes that carry into future meetings. Custom-designed whiteboards add visual flair to an otherwise unexciting component of a conference room.
Your company makes a difference in the world. Whether it’s satisfying customers with prompt shipping or providing for the livelihood of your employees’ families, your company story is interwoven into the fabric that ties everyone together. A drab, uninspiring work environment does a disservice to that story and your role in it. Let anyone who steps foot in your office know that you’re proud of where you’ve come from and excited for things yet to come!