How to Mix Culture and Innovation in Your Office Interior Design

Category: Office Design

Office Space Design

It is easy for a company to write an inspiring and ambitious culture statement based on innovation, creativity, teamwork, and growth. The hard part is to then live it out. While it is true that the people make the company and the culture, there are tangible ways in which you can aid your staff as they bring your company culture to life. Among them, office interior design stands out as the one key ingredient upon which your company's daily operation, from effective problem-solving to social lubrication, depends. Here are some proven directions and tips to guide you into your quest for creating the best interior design - culture fit for your business.

Set your heart on a clear culture and build it - literally

Before you get into the nuts and bolts of designing your office space, be very clear in your mind about the kind of culture you want to promote. Of course, innovation is a given, but by what means and in what working conditions and styles? An informative brochure by working space designer company Haworth identifies four distinct company cultures, and each requires different spatial solutions.

Control and hierarchy

In a control culture, there are strict working processes embodied by individual, compartmentalised working spaces. There is a distinct sense of hierarchy and almost religious devotion to established protocol. This culture is low on innovation due to its focus on routine and constancy. If this is what you are going for, create an office space with walled cubicles or drywall to define clear areas. Privacy will tend to be high on the agenda so you’ll also need meeting rooms and booths for those who need them.

Collaboration and team spirit

A collaborate culture emphasises team-building, and it naturally lets more innovation trickle into your company's everyday operations. The way your office fit out will support this culture is through vast open spaces and a clear emphasis on community areas for work and recreation alike. Such an open innovation and collaboration culture takes longer to develop, compared to the others on the list, but if you build it, they will come indeed.

Creativity and innovation

To foster a create culture, keep the space open and easy to modify to actively stimulate experimentation and ad hoc teamwork. Set aside a few corners where your creative drivers can isolate themselves temporarily in order to hash out ideas solo before they bring them back to the group. For the teamwork stage of innovation, make sure the space remains flexible - think furniture and appliances on wheels, remote controlled smart boards and displays, and anything else your line of work requires to support bursts of innovation.

Competition and goal attainment

Finally, a compete culture implies a strong drive for results and achievement. Regardless of your line of work, this necessitates a more or less even ratio of individual and collaborative working spaces: some tasks are best tackled alone, while others lend themselves to teamwork much more easily. Therefore, innovation here happens in various ways and with varying participation from the team, so the office interior design has to allow for each eventuality. Compete culture also comes with high stress, so a recreational space for temporary decongestion is a must.

Take the guesswork out of it!

A whole new industry is growing around intelligent office space design which adds empirical rigour to the exercise of embodying your desired company culture. While we encourage you to make your own experiences and experiment, it is also perfectly fine to let the pros sweat the details for you.

Posted 18th October, 2017

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