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Office culture should create a community that makes staff feel appreciated and that enables them to enjoy their workplace. Office design can support this and by engaging staff in the design process, their office will be a destination designed around their requirements and behaviours. Whether it is more collaborative spaces, more private booths or even facilities such as showers and bicycle storage, the office should inspire an exciting, developed culture that makes staff happier, promotes higher engagement and drives a productivity.
An article from Inc.com explains that some of the best office cultures encourage both teamwork and competition. This idea is based on creating an environment that your people want to work in that they can relate to and make their own without feeling isolated. The office is becoming more and more like a home and this intentional disruption to the corporate, rigid environment is an attempt to remove boundaries and encourage staff to be more comfortable in their own environment.
Making sure that your company culture is a tangible concept in your office design breeds a more engaged happier work force. Research from the University of Warwick suggests that happiness increased productivity by 12% in workers.
Allowing flexibility in the workplace is important to building a culture with your office design. Technology is an enabler in the workplace and can encourage a more dynamic office culture. Staff are activated with the freedom of being able to move through the office space, interacting with different colleagues and sitting in new environments on a day to day basis. Since switching to an activity based environment, the Kantar TNS office in More London has seen an improvement in staff engagement and productivity levels. A good workplace is about choice and balancing design elements with the behaviours of your people and responding to how they work best.
Extend this flexibility to give staff the opportunity for more freedom outside of the office. While it has been proven that staff are happier and more productive when working in the office, These kind of initiatives help to develop a culture at work and research by CIPD suggests that 83% of staff, that had adopted flexible working, had seen an improvement in their productivity. By allowing staff this benefit, you are instilling trust and responsibility in them which can contribute towards increased productivity and positivity in the workplace.
Going beyond office design, culture is built by people. It needs to be nurtured by the business to ensure staff, and the company, reap the greatest benefits of it. Social spaces like kitchens and breakout spaces are an easy way to bring staff into one central space to encourage integration.
Staff events that everyone can take part in are a very effective way to bring people together and relax outside of the work environment. Events can be anything and increasingly, companies are doing more to integrate staff with fitness and wellbeing classes, like yoga or running clubs, are becoming more popular as there is a larger focus on staff wellbeing at work and it is a fun, stress-relieving activity that involves people from across the business.
Working culture isn’t just born; it must be developed and integrated into the day to day working lives of your company. Culture is more than just socials and expressing core values, it is about trust, knowledge sharing, communication and engagement with the office.