Workspaces play key roles in the employee experience, giving the company’s people pride in where they work and how they work. When the employee experience is positive, workers are more engaged and collaborative. They feel invested in the company and are more willing to provide leadership with their feedback on how to address weaknesses and achieve goals. Here’s how to use workspaces to promote culture and enhance engagement:
Manifest culture through design
When organizations strategically design the workplace environment to align with their culture, they improve their ability to attract talent that supports their core values and is more likely to thrive within their company. Your people need to walk into the office and feel that they’re not just in any office but “their” office.
Consider painting the walls in a color scheme that represents your brand. Make design choices that reflect your brand personality and capture your culture. Think about your company culture as a personality with its unique sense of style or fashion choices, which can be expressed through the design of the workspaces. If your company culture promotes creativity, the exchange of ideas, collaboration, and transparency, it wouldn’t make sense to have workstations that physically separate colleagues and create a silo mentality. It also wouldn’t align with your culture if your color choices are drab and lifeless and don’t promote creative thinking.
Enhance engagement by allowing individual employees to express their unique personalities. If your people have designated workstations, allow them the choice to personalize their spaces. Create guidelines on what employees can bring to the office to avoid over-cluttering. Encourage employees to decorate their spaces without going overboard.
Alternatively, you can design your workspaces so that people can choose where to work – from communal workspaces to available meeting rooms and even remotely from the nearby café. For some companies, this may even involve encouraging schedule flexibility and the option to work from home and promoting virtual and shared workspaces.
More and more companies are recognizing the importance of designing workspaces that support mental health and wellness. Employees need workspaces that make them feel safe, welcomed, and respected. This is a priority for most organizations regardless of their unique culture as all companies should value their employees’ mental and physical health.
Existing offices can make small changes that can have a big impact on the overall feel of a work environment, such as changing color schemes and lighting. Consider rearranging furniture to improve the flow of the office and better match working styles. Incorporating environmental elements such as plants can enhance physical comfort by improving air quality. Anxiety-inducing distractions can be minimized by improving acoustics. In some cases, it may be as simple as opening the blinds to allow natural sunlight in.
If you have more questions on aligning workspaces with culture, I can help you.
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