Designing a collaborative office space packed with personality can feel like a daunting task—especially when it means convincing stakeholders that your workplace needs an update. But the connection between an engaging, creative workplace and a thriving culture that successfully attracts and retains is well documented.
A turnstone Omnibus survey of over 500 small business owners or managers reports that 80% feel their physical space directly impacts their culture. And Aron Susman, Co-Founder and CFO of TheSquareFoot writes that office space effects not only culture, but team output, too—something with direct ties to your bottom line.
So how can you add personality to your space? Try these 5 things:
1. Encourage personal artifacts in the office:
People love to show off their significant others, kids, dogs and the occasional trophy fish. Bringing personal items to the workplace adds a layer of humanity, injecting it with authenticity and a sense of friendship. Whether your space feels more corporate or exudes startup culture, the simple act of bringing home to work blurs the lines that keep us apart, making it easier to bring people together.
2. Choose colors that put your personality or brand on display:
Color is a powerful and relatively easy way to inject your office with personality. Painting a focus wall, splashing your logo or mission statement behind the welcome center, using colored or patterned rugs and carpets, and selecting fabrics, window treatments and upholstery that complement your color story are integral parts of giving your space personality. Remember to select one central color theme to tie everything together for a professional, cohesive look.
3.Select furniture that allows you to work authentically:
Selecting the right furniture that allows you to work in postures and positions that feel comfortable and authentic to you is a great starting point, but it doesn’t stop there. Furniture makes a bold, instant statement to workers and guests, so be sure to select designs, rich finish and surface materials, and colors that convey what you’re all about and that feel natural to you and your team. Choose items that can be customized so that your personality is on display—not the manufacturer’s.
4. Give your team choice + control with work zones:
Your office personality will shine when you not only offer your team a range of workplaces from which to choose, but also communicate the freedom to work wherever they want. That means offering lounge posture settings, traditional desking, standing height tables, cafe spaces and small touchdown zones for impromptu meetings. Providing a variety of zones recognizes that one size does not fit all, highlighting that your office personality is all about authenticity and trust.
5.Showcase + celebrate team moments:
Fostering a culture of celebration and promotion tells the world that your team is at the heart of all you do. So plan a potluck, happy hour or lunch gathering to recognize how far you’ve come. Celebrate the contribution of great ideas and key players. Take this one step further by photographing these shared moments and displaying the pictures in your space. Seeing vibrant relationships, joy and mutual admiration on display is a great way to define who you are and call attention to what you value. And that’s what personality is all about.