Kentwood Commercial


New from our Team: Aligning Business, Culture & Space

Mar 25, 2019 | Articles

Check out this article written by our very own Solveig Tschudi Lawrence and find out how to best align your business culture with your space!

When you think about office space design in today’s world, you hear conflicting advice. Some people tout that open plans and “benching,” or bench-like desks that accommodate multiple people, help employees collaborate more. Others espouse private offices due to having fewer distractions.

Breaking It Down

With different generations working side-by-side in the same space and different ideas on what works best, making the decision on how to accommodate people and office space is a complicated challenge that companies need to overcome.

When it comes down to it, every company needs to think about designing a space that works for the following needs:

1. Who their people are

2. How they work most productively

3. What tasks they do throughout the day

4. What the company culture is

3 Best Practices for Culturally Sensitive Office Space Design

My clients who have had the best success in designing effective office spaces and tackling the challenges associated with it, follow these steps:

1. Ensure your employees feel ownership in the decision-making. People are much more willing to listen if you listen to them. Whether you are moving into a new space or you are simply renewing and revamping your current space, there are many ways to accomplish bringing your employees into the decision-making fold. You can host townhall meetings or small focus groups, or you can send out anonymous questionnaires. Any one or a combination thereof will help you understand your employees and how they function best.

2. Brainstorm and re-evaluate your company and the culture for which you are striving every few years. The original vision of your company and why you are in business will most likely remain somewhat constant over the years. However, as you grow, your culture, while still aligning with the vision, can morph. Your culture is defined by your people, just as much as your people help define your culture. So, as you look to attract new people and retain the people you have, it is important to have a focused vision and to ensure your space is a clear representation of your culture.

3. Consider the human sustainability of your space. While there’s a lot of talk about space sustainability, being green and LEED certified, we also need to strongly consider human sustainability in our office space. What will help your team stay healthy, happy, motivated and productive? The answer to this question is important since high employee turnover can be a huge expense to your business.

A Sense of Meaning and Purpose

I recently read the book Man’s Search for Meaning in which Austrian psychologist Viktor Frankl discusses how each person’s sense of purpose affected their survival outcome in World War II concentration camps. This theory also rings true with employees. If you help them find purpose and a sense of meaning in their roles, they will stay with you, continue to be successful, and grow as employees and human beings.

On a regular basis, share what the C-Suite is working on for the overall strategy of the company and also stay “tuned in” to your people. Listen to them, and they will listen to you.

See the original article, at LinkedIn.