How Does Office Furniture Influence Corporate Culture?
It’s a common proverb many are taught from an early age: “Appearances aren’t everything.” It’s generally considered good practice not to form judgments solely on appearances as there’s usually more to something than meets the eye.
But when it comes to the design of your office space—and the furniture in it—your employees and customers are making these sorts of judgments daily.
Our belief is that the look of your office space should have less to do with personal style and more to do with how that space reflects your corporate culture—the beliefs that guide a company’s decisions and operations on a day-to-day basis.
You see, as it turns out, customers care about more than just a company’s products and services (though both are clearly important). A company’s identity—the principles that drive the organization—are just as crucial. If your company’s beliefs don’t align with those of your customer, it’s all too easy for that customer to decide to do business elsewhere. After all, there are certainly plenty of other options in today’s competitive market.
So, how can you create a workspace that reflects your company’s corporate culture and values?
Choose office furniture that speaks to your corporate culture
First, ask yourself this: What’s my company’s unique corporate culture? Only after you’ve defined your company’s values and beliefs can you create an office space that truly reflects your identity. Once your vision is crystal clear, a great place to start making your statement is with your choice in office furniture.
Yes, your office furniture can really affect your environment.
Not convinced office furniture can affect the corporate environment?
Let’s say open collaboration and well-being are ideas that you and your team value highly and have identified as central to your identity and infrastructure. Traditional office layouts tend to promote a hierarchical environment. Those higher up might have their own private offices, while others are relegated to cubicles. And even those aren’t all created equally, with some team members getting a naturally lit spot by a window, while others are stuck in a dark corner next to a restroom. Some employees might enjoy cushy adjustable chairs, while others get hard plastic seats or wobbly wheels.
This kind of pecking order in the office can cause unrest within your company. No one is going to give their best if they feel unappreciated or overlooked. And invisible walls built with status symbols (or lack thereof) work against the goals of open collaboration and well-being, which we defined as central to your corporate identity and values.
However, if you’re serious about creating a space that fosters a more collaborative relationship between all team members, regardless of position, start by ditching the doors, cubicles and office chairs and instead go for a more responsive and inviting office layout. In addition, ergonomic workstations or standing desks can reinforce your emphasis on employee well-being.
Consider the nature of your business
Not all companies are the same, and so each one will have different office space needs. It’s important that you consider the kind of business you have when choosing your office furniture. Consider these three kinds of companies:
- Creative: A traditional office setup simply won’t do. You need unique furniture to complement a creative atmosphere. Find a balance between cooperative and private areas, and let your employees have a say in the type of furniture they require or would find most helpful to their needs.
- Traditional: Your company will want a standard, more formal office layout that also promotes teamwork. Traditional corporate office furniture generally calls for set groupings and adaptive cubicles, but styles may still vary from classic to modern, from statement to chic.
- Technology: Your furniture should reflect and inspire your innovative tasks at hand. Choose modern, original and forward-thinking pieces and layouts.
Choose furniture that’s functional
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing office furniture to complement your corporate culture. How do you decide which chairs and desks to purchase? How much space do you have? How will you arrange the furniture? And how often will the furnishings need to be moved or rearranged? The key is functionality.
When choosing office chairs, consider what will work best for your employees (i.e., the people who will be sitting in those chairs most of their work day). If comfort and wellness are priorities, for example, go with ergonomic office chairs. A creative space may call for casual seating, while a traditional workspace may require formal chairs.
Cubicles or modular office furniture
Likewise, when deciding between cubicles or a shared space, consider how your company will work best. If your employees work individually and require more privacy, cubicles may be the answer. The kinds of desks you use and how you arrange them is all contingent on the kind of work atmosphere you want to create and how your employees can be most productive.
If you have a more creative and collaborative team, casual sitting areas create a space for short, impromptu meetings. And to further facilitate the creative process, try adorning your break room with comfortable furniture and warm colors.
Ready to give your office space a makeover?
Creating a workspace that’s stylish, comfortable and conducive to your company’s corporate culture doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be revitalizing. Let Connecting Elements help you discover the right furniture solutions and design for your business needs.
Send us an email or call to make an appointment at one of our three convenient locations:
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