We have all seen, or at least heard about, “off-the-charts” office design that is not only cool, but also inspires its work force. Companies such as Google, Pixar, Herman Miller, Red Bull, and even one blogger in her vintage trailer, have been recognized for their creativity in the workplace. These companies have shown us that designing an office that is “cool” is about embracing your company culture and projecting a contagious attitude.
Your corporate culture says a lot about the way your office should look and function. What do you want to project? What are your core values? What kind of clients do you want to attract? Cool office design is more than a flat panel TV and retro furniture in your lobby. It’s your company’s essence — its physical presence. And we all know what they say about first impressions.
Creating spaces that keep employees engaged and that support the way they live, work and play will stimulate productivity and result in a much happier staff. This will naturally lead to higher client satisfaction and greater return on your investment. So, how do you get started?
Keep in mind a few simple starting points:
Involve everyone in the office in a brainstorming session. What are employees looking for from their workspace? How do they want it to feel and function? Is privacy important? What do your employees wish for in their environment? Choose a point of contact to champion these ideas with your interior designer.
Be flexible, because it is the key to planning a successful work environment. Allowing people to have choices and variety in the way they work and collaborate enhances the experience of the workplace.
Provide opportunities for impromptu meeting and spaces that allow workers to get away from the monotony of sitting at their desks all day.
A connection to nature is an important factor in productivity. People need to be able to see the blue sky, get fresh air and soak up the sun. Oftentimes, we see offices that block the view by installing opaque high panels and storage above eye level, creating depressing “cubicle farms.”
Don’t forget about public and common areas. There are endless opportunities to bring out your company’s brand, culture and differentiation. These spaces also offer a place to relieve stress and to get away from the daily grind.
Creating a cool office in hot Arizona is not as difficult (or as expensive) as it may seem. It all revolves around defining who you are and having fun with it. You’ll know that you’ve achieved “office nirvana” when your clients start asking to have their meetings in your office.