Company culture is what binds employees together for a common purpose. Research from Deloitte shows that 88% of employees see maintaining a distinctive corporate culture as integral to business success, with this number rising to 94% among senior management. For most organisations, company culture starts and ends with day-to-day office life. But how do you build the kind of office community that sustains this distinctive corporate culture?
50% of building an office community is about physically constructing the right brick and mortar (or concrete and glass) environment for employees. The second half is permeating this space with the right people and working practices. Here are some great starting tips.
Build A Workspace That Employees Want to Be In
What do all the best private offices London has ever produced have in common? They all understand that space is a tremendous lever for creating the kind of modern forward-facing working culture beloved by innovative businesses.
The three c’s of comfort, collaboration, and changeability form an important baseline for any modern office design. Comfort is all about the basics: ensuring the building has plenty of natural light, climate control and fresh air are all pre-requisites, along with comfortable desks and premium office chairs with proper lumbar support. Communal working spaces and open-plan offices have increasingly found favour as the gold standard of workplace productivity. As well as offering opportunities for collaboration, they also offer scope for flexibility. In a nimble office space that can be quickly rotated, there’s always the option to try something slightly different and, therefore, the capacity to grow and improve.
Steep Your Workplace in Company Culture
As ergonomic office designer Mona Parker points out: “for a brief that’s truly aligned with a company’s cultural aspirations, we need to engage with that company’s behaviour.” Every company has a different culture, and the office community should be an organic outgrowth of that. What makes a good company great is a workspace steeped in positive company culture.
What do the most productive office communities of today have in common? They’re inclusive, breaking down traditional hierarchies, whether this means management structures or identity-based glass ceilings. They encourage everyone to speak up no matter who they are and where they come from both inside and outside the organisation. The best communities encourage collaboration but never at the expense of individual reflection. They eliminate fatalism by fomenting positive thinking, even in the most difficult situations. Above all, the best office communities are well-connected. Employees go to one another with problems and emerge together with solutions.
An Office Community Is an Ongoing Process, Not an Endpoint
Building the perfect office community is a synthesis of abstract principles and concrete materials. It’s a complicated process that requires research, resources and, ultimately, refinement. You’ll probably never quite reach perfection. Nonetheless, you can come a little closer to perfection each time, by keeping up with trends and always being prepared to try doing things differently.
Each minor alteration you make could improve anything from workplace productivity to employee retention, motivation and innovation. For this reason alone, it’s worth keeping up the great experiment.