Tags: factor

Giving Your Office the X-Factor: What You Need for an Incredibly Cool Workspace

Beyond • March 6, 2015

Quite possibly the saddest thing in the world is a company that looks great online but rather dilapidated in person. Unfortunately, this is most companies – and here’s why. Today’s cultural currency means that your value as a company is derived from not only what you can offer your clients, but the cultural value they receive. The same holds true for recruitment when trying to hold your company as superior to the competition in order to attract the most innovative recruits. So what does that cultural currency really mean? First, it’s beyond what your digital presence may be. It’s quite easy to create a glossy website and some excellently branded marketing materials – but does that ‘vibe’ carry over to your in-person presence? Answering that question involves taking one brief glance at your work environment and asking what your office (and your employees) look like. If there are only light traces of innovative spirt and bright, enthusiastic employees, then you’re missing what I call the “x-factor” of company culture. You can fix this though and I’ve provided some super quick and easy ways to do it. And, as I’m sure you’ll find, adding these hacks to your office will have a positive effect on your employees, inspiring them to be more innovative and imaginative – and excited about coming to work every day. Chalkboard Walls Though you may have seen this idea on Pinterest, it works really great in a corporate environment. Having multiple chalkboard walls is a really dynamically way to speak out loud. Try having one wall reserved for guests and visitors, and another for employees to doodle on. Punching Bags Aside from being just incredibly cool-looking, having a punching bag promotes mental and physical fitness, and gives the company a gritty feel that says “we’re not afraid to work hard and break a sweat.” For extra measure, add a speed bag too. For a lot of people, a working a speed bag is like stretching out on a yoga mat. It’s calming and stress-relieving. A Wellness Room You can find a better name for it than that, but this room should really be well-decorated in soothing hues with dim lights and comfortable couches. It can be a place for employees to go to catch a quick lunch-time nap, de-stress, having a more intimate meeting or chat, or simply to catch a quick breather in-between projects. If you can’t have a wellness room, have wellness “tents.” Two or three floor to ceiling canopy tents anchored with comfortable rugs and pillows is a stunning (and useful) office statement – and a great place to have a quick 10 minute brainstorm or meeting. Toys Who doesn’t love toys? Toys remind us to play, experiment and not take ourselves too seriously. I recommend having a lot of toys laying around – on desks, on breakout tables, conference tables. Some really great ideas include kinetic sand, brain teaser puzzles, smaller sensory gadgets that you’d find at specialty stores, and even Legos. In fact, having a very large tray or pit of kinetic sand running through your conference table is not only super creative, but also gives people something to do during all those long meetings. A Proper Kitchen Though not all companies have the space for this, having a proper kitchen is a really communal piece that brings people together. You see these more in co-working spaces. Perhaps that’s something to keep in mind as you outgrow your current space. A kitchen gives you a chance to host a weekly lunch for your work family, and even create team building opportunities around cooking challenges that pair people up that may otherwise not work together. Branding Your Workspace You see this often in companies that are dominated by one aesthetic, and usually it’s either a more masculine aesthetic or it’s overly generic of what you imagine a typical agency to look like. Try this: give each employees $100 to “brand” their workspace with things that reflect them. Of course, create guidelines, but encourage them to spend half a work day to go out, get what they want, and really make their space their own. Not only is it a quick way to bring a space to live, it also creates a feeling of ownership which often translates to better work output. The theory being that you’re more inclined to offer higher quality work if it’s something you truly feel is yours.


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