On-Brand Office Design
As a company leader, are you aware that your staff engagement is low, but aren’t sure how to improve it? Perhaps you are struggling to get staff back into the office as much as you would like? An office redesign can be a catalyst to improve the performance of your people. It immerses them in an environment that brings your brand and culture to life. On-brand office design can also help ensure staff in different locations are aligned, and help you attract top talent.
Every week we speak to numerous companies about their upcoming office redesign projects. In recent years, one of the top concerns of these companies has been bringing their brand identity into their office(s). We’ve had 15 years of experience working with a wide variety of brands all over the UK. During that time, we’ve learned the importance of making sure an office design matches the brand identity of the company, as well as how to do it.
No two brands are the same, so the process of creating an on-brand office design looks different for every company. However, there are several factors that need to be considered for every company. In this article, we’ll explain why on-brand office design is so important to your company. We’ll also go through how you can work with an office designer or design & build company to create an office that reflects and enhances your brand.
The Importance of Brand Identity and Office Design
Brand identity is a crucial part of office design. Because it’s hard to define, it can be easy to overlook. However, ensuring your office design is on-brand will reap huge rewards for your company. It's important to clarify what we mean by on-brand. Your brand is much more than your logo and colours. It's not even something you own. Your brand is how you are perceived by the different people involved in your company – including staff, clients, investors and regulators. Managing your brand effectively, so that you are seen as you want to be is essential in all aspects of business. Your real estate and office design is no different.
If your office doesn’t reflect your brand, it risks becoming very similar to the millions of bland, lifeless office designs out there. This will make it much harder for you to attract and retain talent. 81% of job hunters say that the office design and workplace environment are important in deciding whether they want to work at a company. Even more importantly, 43% of candidates have rejected a job offer because of the office environment. An office that matches your brand identity will set you apart from the competition in the battle for top talent.
An on-brand office design is also a crucial driver of staff engagement. Staff engagement is the level of intellectual and emotional investment your people have in your company. If your office design is generic and dull, their investment and commitment to your company will not be as good as it could be. The impact of staff engagement on performance is huge. Engaged employees are 45% more productive than satisfied workers, and companies with engaged workers have 23% higher profit than those with workers who felt “miserable”. An on-brand workspace will help increase the commitment of your people to your company. This will create significant performance improvements.
Keeping all your teams aligned is a huge challenge. If you have multiple offices in different locations, this is even more difficult. There is a high chance that they will develop their own mini-culture, reducing collaboration across the company. One unified, on-brand office design can help keep your teams aligned by surrounding them with an environment that brings your brand to life.
As well as improving staff productivity via engagement, your office design has a direct impact on the ability of your people to perform. If they are working in a restrictive environment that doesn’t match the way they work, they will be unable to fulfil their potential for your company. Design features such as biophilia and lighting have also been proven to affect the productivity of workers by 20% or more. Creating an on-brand office that maximises your staff productivity will be an excellent investment for your company.
Many people think of office branding as a logo in the reception and a few walls in the brand colours. However, on-brand office design is so much more than that. It starts with the location of your office itself. Especially in large cities, certain areas are well-known as hubs for certain industries. For example, creative companies in Soho, or financial companies in Aldgate. Even for companies outside of London, which city and district your office is located in is important.
Where your company is located will be part of your brand, for staff and clients alike. By ensuring your office is in a location that matches your brand, you are helping to make sure your company is perceived in the way you want it to be. The building that your office is in should also be considered – iconic and well-known buildings will help build your brand, while a shabby or outdated building will detract from it.
The layout of your office itself is also a crucial component of your brand. A spacious layout will create a very different perception from a compact design. The level of partitioning should also be considered, as an open plan layout will create a very different culture to an office with many individual offices.
The types of environments in your office will also have an impact on your brand, as well as how much of your office is devoted to each environment. Collaboration and breakout spaces are especially important. As areas that bring your people together, designing these spaces in a way that helps build culture correctly is essential.
You should also consider how your brand personality can be reflected in the other types of environments you have in your space, such as client reception areas and meeting rooms. Ensuring your office is laid out in a way that matches your brand identity will help give your people a workplace experience that matches your brand.
Finishes & Furniture
Finishes are what people most often think of when it comes to on-brand office design, and they do have a huge role to play. It goes further than just wall finishes. It includes all of the finishes throughout your space – the floors and ceilings, as well as the joinery and furniture.
When working with your designer on your finishes package, it’s important that you consider the overall atmosphere of the space. Making sure your office is on brand is important, but you also need to consider what effect your brand colours may have. For example, an entire office in a red and black colour scheme could be very overpowering and create the wrong atmosphere
Colour psychology is a hugely important part of office design that is often underestimated. Blues evoke calmness, best for focussed spaces. Greens boost creativity and reduce anxiety, so they’re good for collaboration. Yellows and reds boost energy and urgency, but can increase stress, so they are best used sparingly. Each colour has a different impact on performance, so you should work with your designer to choose the best colours for your space. With a finishes package that embodies your company’s brand identity, you will be well on the way to creating an office design that brings your brand to life.
As well as the finishes within your space, you should also consider the role of design features. Design features are the talking points of your office - a signature space or an item that is the highlight of your space. However, there is more to a design feature than simply being eye-catching. By choosing an on-brand design feature that has meaning for your company, you can further integrate your company personality into your office.
If your company sells products, then showcasing these throughout your space can be a good option. If you are a services company or your products are not suitable for your office, then you could include design features that showcase the heritage of your company or the impact that your services have.
Designing An Experience: Making Your Office On-Brand
Creating an on-brand office is much more than a collection of techniques and styles. To make sure your office truly communicates your brand identity, you must design a wholistic workspace experience. A workspace experience is more than the sum of its parts. It includes everything that impacts your people throughout the day, from the location of your office to the quality of the coffee.
By creating an office that reflects and enhances your brand, you are setting your company up for success. An on-brand workspace will improve your staff engagement, which will have a huge impact on your overall company performance. Staff alignment will increase, which will improve consistency and communication across your different business locations. It will also help you attract and retain the best staff possible to help grow your business.
If you’re thinking about improving your office design to bring it in line with your brand identity, we’d love to hear from you. Our office design process is centred around the people that use the space. We spend time understanding your business in detail and the needs and the requirements of your brand and people. By getting a thorough understanding of your culture and objectives, we are able to creatively design a workspace that reflects and enhances your brand. Reach out to one of our workspace design experts today.