Business is evolving. As it moves closer to a digital realm, many companies are struggling with how to express their culture in a physical arena. Telecommuting has created a revolving door and people are losing focus on the value of an office space.
The culture of business and the way you work should be evident from the moment someone enters your office. If a company is following the rules, they have developed their digital footprint first and have an idea of their branding guidelines.
Continuing these thoughts, ideas, fonts, graphics, colors, goals, personal stories, etc., into a physical environment is the first step to universally representing your brand.
It’s fine to hire a marketer to help brainstorm and establish the idea of a brand, but your company culture is what will sell it in a physical space. The following are a few concepts behind building one:
Company culture is about openly communicating with customers and employees. It’s about empowering them with the freedom to make decisions based on the greater good of the brand. Creating a strong company culture is the first step to establishing brand continuity in an office. It will also help define other material elements that represent a brand and create advocates out of employees.
Branding is about creating an image greater than the parts. Brand continuity is the only way to ensure continued profitability and success. It is that important. In order to push the company message into a physical office, brand continuity must happen from the second you walk in.
A 2016 U.S. Workplace survey of 4,000 office workers in 11 industries by research company Gensler, found that innovators have twice as much access to amenities. That means that people are happier when you take the time to make them comfortable, and they work harder to show for it. The following are a few ways to ensure your brand carries over into your office space:
Every brand should have at least two definitive colors that best represent their message. Decorating the office in different hues should be easy. You’ve probably already designed the site and other marketing materials with these same colors in mind. Creating a color palette is an excellent way to continue a brand from the digital to the physical space and subsequently develop a company culture.
Using the same fonts online, the signage around an office space can also help shout out to the goals and messages the company is trying to convey. Also known as visual management, it’s a great way to infuse colors, brand, and logo designs into a productive work environment. Prior to designing signage, it’s best to think about each audience that will be viewing them and where.
Is the actual layout of the office representing your brand? In the Gensler survey it was discovered that top performers are five times more likely to have workplaces that prioritize both individual and group work. The social space style of design has been developed to encourage people to work together but also respect their individuality. This includes both places for people to congregate and seek privacy. Consider whether your office layout needs to be changed to spur creativity.
Facebook is bringing everyone back into the office, recently designing a mile-long space specifically intended for meeting and collaborating. The concept behind these types of designs is that creativity comes from discussions, not monitors. Samsung has plans to design an office space with vast outdoor areas intended for engineers and office workers to “collide.” These offices are built on the concept that innovation only comes from spontaneous collaboration.
One of the most striking examples of a company that has created an office environment that reflects their brand, not only visually but the nature of the organization’s work space as well, is the U.S. Headquarters of ReWalk Robotics, a client with whom R.W. Holmes Realty worked closely.
“The visual environment that Maugel Architects created at ReWalk Robotics headquarters was modern and energizing which certainly reflects the nature of the company and their products,” noted Mike Ogasapian, Assistant Vice President of R.W. Holmes Realty. “Working with architects and interior designers on the layout and finishes of our clients’ office space is an important part of the services we provide to our clients.,” he added.
– Mike Ogasapian |Assistant Vice President
If you are trying to represent your brand in a physical space, consider how you want the employees to feel and behave. If the space is a source for collaboration and innovation, then areas with comfortable furniture, lounges for leisure, games, and healthy foods are all ways of giving back to employees.
If you are unsure whether your office space represents your brand, ask yourself “do people understand our message from the second they walk in the door?” Using color schemes, signage, staying organized, and listening to employees will help define a company culture that will carry through to brand continuity. Help other people understand the mission of your business, by making it a mission to brand your office space.