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Office Design for the Culture You Want to Have

It’s the old nature vs. nurture debate - are organizations born with great company culture, or is it cultivated over time?

The truth is, it’s both. And your workspace probably contributes to your company culture a lot more than you think it does.

Culture is a tricky thing to explain, but we like to think of it as the filling of an organization - what it’s really made of. The employee handbook might serve as the foundational crust of your organization, but company culture is the good stuff lathered on top and baked to perfection. It’s hard to define, but immediately tangible when you enter the office.

So before we create a space, we get to know you first. What’s your organization really like?

More than the things we can glean from your website, we want to know what goes on around the watercooler. Your company culture encompasses everything from your dress code to your calendar, your out-of-office replies to your organizational structure. And your workspace should reflect all of those things - or move your company in the direction of the company culture you want to have.

What kind of workplace details contribute to company culture? We’re glad you asked.

  • Color - contributes to the moods and attitudes of your team

  • Is your organization best represented by bright or subdued shades? Is color uniform throughout or spontaneous? Do you want to inspire hunger in the kitchen (red), creativity in the office (orange), and rest in the breakroom (blue)?

  • Materials - often portrays the values of an organization

  • Does your company subscribe to the sleek lines of polished steel or the rustic charm of reclaimed wood? Do you want to emphasize being rooted in the past or pushing forward into the future?

  • Space - communicates the personality of your organization

  • Will your organization embody an open office layout, or does your team need more divided space to work? Are the ceilings tall and spacious or comfortably low? Do your employees want to rest their eyes on a floor-to-ceiling window or a renaissance painting?

Honor Construction recently completed an office renovation for Action Point Financial, a retirement planning and investment management agency in Grand Rapids. Here is what Ben VerWys, co-founder and senior financial advisor, had to say about the job:

Honor Construction built our new office space and did a wonderful job. They communicated clearly through the entire process which I found to be refreshing in contrast with our other contractor experiences. They finished the job on time and on schedule which allowed our team to move in and continue work without any added disruption.

As the co-founder of a fast growing business, an evolving culture is a natural part of the business and something we remain cognizant of. We want to foster a unique but productive environment to work in and office design was part of that for us.

Your office is much more than simply a building. It has the power to establish routines, encourage values, set the tone, and influence everyone who walks inside. Want to learn more about design with company culture in mind? Get in touch.

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