The greatest companies in the world are known for different achievements, but they all have one thing in common: they care about their workplace and office design. Contemporary design is currently driven by three factors, and ideally, your company should be practicing all three. Take a tip from these successful brands to make improvements in your own office.
Individuality - They recognize the office as a unique brand asset.
First impressions are everything, and if a guest or stakeholder can't recognize the brand upon immediately walking through the office doors, it may be a subconscious signal to the public that your brand isn't poised for longevity. The office is an extension of the brand and should confidently embody the experience and spirit of the company.
Kickstarter's Brooklyn office was once an old pencil factory. This piece of background information alone is a great conversation-starter around the crowdfunding platform's brand and its vision to support innovation and pioneers whose products can change the world. But inside, Kickstarter fully lives its brand promise with visual reminders: their offices feature many pieces from past funded projects.
For a lesson in fun yet stylishly branded offices, take a tip or two from Onefootball, the popular football app company. Their headquarters feature a three-lane running track that runs the length of the office, culminating in a goal. The green turf aesthetic is used as a refreshing and energetic contrast to clean white desks and stadium seating. Guests know exactly where they are when they enter the doors.
Generosity - They invest in employee wellness, including environment.
From standing desks to in-office childcare, relocation bonuses to gyms and yoga rooms, the most successful companies know it's more important than ever to invest in their office environment for optimal employee wellness and satisfaction. This applies especially in areas such as Silicon Valley where the recruitment competition is fierce and where the "most bonus perks offered" approach in talent acquisition often wins.
Company culture isn't just about people but the daily environment in which they spend 8-10 hours, and sometimes more. Kickstarter's Brooklyn office implements biophilic elements with a tree-filled courtyard for relaxing, fresh air rooftop patio spaces to breathe and work, and a garden that directly provides fresh fruits and vegetables for employee meals.
Popular shoe company (and shining example of company culture) Zappos goes beyond the simple gym membership to provide nap rooms, fitness classes and "wellness adventures:" optional game times to blow off steam through laser tag, trampolines and basketball. They also encourage Recess Tuesdays, where they fill the office plaza with playground toys. And we can't talk about employee wellness without mentioning Google, which offers free bikes for moving around campus as well as massage therapy, on-call doctors and nurses, and a color-coded healthy cafeteria.
Inspiration - They understand the need to create inspiring work spaces.
It's not just enough to provide the top of the line billiards table; your office must possess the ability to keep employees inspired, through highs and lows. By introducing new technology, ways to connect, and methods to foster deeper and meaningful experiences between staff, your brand can keep moving the company forward while strengthening its crew.
Facebook's office expansion in the South Lake Union area of Seattle is improving collaboration and a feeling of openness and possibility by reflecting these approaches in its workplace design. The offices are designed to feel completely open, with unwalled spaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, glass separations, and open staircases. Meanwhile, the social media giant's offices in Tel Aviv feature blackboards on which employees can write fun messages to inspire their co-workers.
Elsewhere, Shopify's Canadian offices offer themed floors and plenty of nooks to constantly change up the workflow, and AirBnB keeps it vibrant in San Francisco with "neighborhoods" connected throughout the office. And if employees want to improve their project rooms or spaces, they are free to decorate them.
By practicing generosity, keeping individual and group spaces inspired through design, and making sure your brand is reflected in a unique aesthetic layout, your company's workplace is poised to foster the growth and breakthroughs it will need to succeed.