Why You Need to Improve Your Office Culture to Achieve (Even) Better Results

Category: Office Design

Office Culture Design

As a concept, office culture is somewhat complicated, because many of the aspects that go into creating it are completely intangible. Nevertheless, workplace culture is an important consideration for business owners and should be at the heart of any design or office space planning project.

Indeed, office design has the potential to both reflect and alter company culture and can go a long way towards influencing how employees feel about a place of work and an organisation. In this post, we explain why you need to improve your office culture in order to boost overall business results.

The Importance of Culture

First, it is important to understand the impact culture can have on a workforce and on business results. Various pieces of research compiled by the Harvard Business Review show that health care expenditure in high-pressure environments is 50 percent greater, while more than 80 percent of doctor visits are caused by stress.

However, this impact extends beyond health and well-being. According to Josh Bersin in an article for Forbes, recognition-rich cultures can benefit from staff turnover rates being reduced by as much as 31 percent.

Issues with workplace culture are also one of the contributing factors to levels of employee disengagement. A 2011-12 study from Gallup found that 24 percent of employees globally were "actively disengaged", leading to problems with productivity and motivation and contributing to the spread of negativity throughout a workplace.

The Role of Design

A workplace culture relies on a number of factors, including company values, procedures, marketing efforts and goals. However, according to a white paper published by Haworth, the work of commercial interior designers can "provide a tangible way to support - or even change - the culture of an organisation."

The precise way that design can influence culture will depend on the nature of the organisation itself, its processes and so forth. However, to provide an obvious office space planning example, companies that want to create a collaboration culture should provide open plan spaces, where collaboration is easy.

"Interior design, layout and furnishings are tangible methods of supporting corporate culture," explains Jonathan Milner, writing for Interactive Space. "In short, by expressing the personality of your company through office design, you can influence everything from productivity to brand perception."

Tips For Improving Culture

With this understanding in mind, there are certain things you can do to reinforce existing company culture, or improve your office culture, so that you achieve better business results. For instance, using corporate colours within the office can reinforce a sense of identity among staff, helping to keep their head in the game.

Adding office luxuries, like a gym, can help staff to feel happier, while a well-placed inspirational quote can help to improve employees' motivation and sense of worth. If privacy is important, pay careful attention to acoustics, and if you want a culture based on creativity, you might want to include things like bespoke IdeaPaint walls in designated rooms and even break out areas where employees can recharge their batteries.

However, adding value to an office with features or elements staff really want is the key to a more positive culture. "It is vital to listen to the staff before implementing changes to your workplace," says Lee Parsons in an article for Business.com. "While slides and bean bags may sound exciting to have, some people find them gimmicky, distracting, and they might not fit in with your company spirit and the image you're trying to get across."

Posted 27th November, 2017

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