Impacting Your Culture Through Workspace Design

Passion April 5, 2018

Impacting Your Culture Through Workspace Design

Jason Richmond
Jason is passionate about helping large companies embrace outstanding culture. He engages with clients by sharing his passion for learning and instilling a sense of leadership and confidence with everyone.

Think your culture isn’t impacted by the layout and design of your workspace?

Think again.

From closed off cubicles to poorly lit halls, the way your company’s offices are designed can truly stifle the overall success. Christine Torres, Vice President at Colliers International who specializes in commercial real estate, sees how the workspace plays a major role in culture on a daily basis—and ultimately how it impacts morale and motivation in more ways than you might imagine.

workplace culture and lookReinvigorating the Culture

“When clients come to me for a new space, I can clearly differentiate between the companies with leaders that care, and those that haven’t quite figured it out yet. When the higher-up’s acknowledge that the workspace helps to enhance the culture, you can feel the trickle down into the employee base,” Torres explains.

It’s more than just hanging pretty pictures and choosing attractive furniture, however. “Recently, I had a client call after we moved their office from their previous location—that was dark and dingy—to an open space with more windows and a view just to tell me how energized everyone was to be in this new environment. Hands down, I’ve seen culture shift when the space has been redesigned.”

Space to Brainstorm

Up until about 10 years ago, most offices were comprised of multiple cubicles row after row, secluding employees from one another. While the intent may have been to allow for privacy and concentration, it also resulted in an inability to freely collaborate with co-workers.

“Offices should have communal spaces to brainstorm and share information if they value a collaborative culture,” Torres insists—and from the look of things, many companies agree.

coworkers collaborating

Now, it’s commonplace to see expansive areas designed primarily to bring co-workers together rather than isolated. Natural lighting, ample table space to work cohesively and a cleaner finish all goes into creating a design that inspires.

Sharing of Tools

It’s more than just sharing information and great ideas, however. The ease of access to necessary equipment and tools is essential for productivity as well. Setting up workspaces with plug-and-play abilities, as well as ensuring that all of the fundamental tools for success are available in-house makes all the difference when employees are expected to strategize, create and implement on a daily basis.

If there’s one thing that every company can agree on, it’s that efficiency is key for productivity and growth. By taking the time to discuss the most effective layout of an office, CEO’s are finding that their employees are more inclined to take leadership on projects, work with their peers and achieve—or surpass—their goals.

To ensure all of this, Torres says that some companies are now “hiring ‘workplace strategy consultants’ to study how their current environment will impact communication, collaboration, and productivity. It’s all about designing for the future and driving a healthy culture.”