Why is workplace design so important? Think of the stereotypical office. Largely, we think of office space as being devoid of personality and pizazz. Maybe you’re visualizing a sea of beige, or an endless cubicle maze.
But what a difference it makes if the workplace is somewhere that you want to be. Beautiful, interesting, motivating — these are all words which do not have to be mutually exclusive with your office space.
The last ten years have seen a revolution in workplace design. The aesthetics of the office are now undeniably relevant. Sleek, innovative companies have sleek and innovative offices, and they’ll continue to after Covid-19. We’ve seen the images of the uber-cool tech offices in Silicon Valley, but that’s only one approach toward workplace design. The atmosphere of your office is infinitely customizable to the kind of work that you do, and the sort of values that your company holds. That’s why color palettes, art, and space are all important factors in determining the right solution.
So, how can these abstract concepts be communicated through workplace design? There are many ways to think about office design, but three crucial pillars are color, culture, and branding.
This is perhaps the easiest concept to think about in this sense, after all, it is a basic dimension of art and design. Combinations of colors evoke strong responses, and can shift or elevate moods. This understanding of color has been around for a long time, and is broadly known as color theory. It veers into the realm of physics and the scientific, but even if you have no idea about color theory, we all have an innate sense of color being tied to mood and atmosphere. Some colors can relax, others can motivate, still others create warmth and connection.
The choice of color in a workplace can influence the kind of work that goes on there. Many bright or primary colors stimulate an active, engaged, and playful tone for work. Cool earth tones provoke the meticulous, understated, and classic. Reserved background colors with bright pops of saturated color mixed in suggests a pragmatic and innovative approach to work. Color can become a statement about the intention of a space and the philosophy of a company. It is a visual and highly emotive manifestation of a workplace’s mission and methodology, and is a crucial point at which to start thinking about design.
A visually represented company culture is just as important as color and palettes. Branding and culture can form a cohesive sense of workplace camaraderie and unity. These visual bonds tie office inhabitants together, and imbue them with a sense of a shared purpose and teamwork. Identifying with the visual branding and culture of a company fosters employee motivation. It can remind office workers what they are striving for and what their work means. As an example, if a company has a social activism focus, the visual representation of this aspect of the company mission can be inspiring and reinvigorating.
A great office space improves the standard of work that is done there. It can strengthen employee bonds, and enrich the quality of life of each office inhabitant. But, let’s face it, a total office rehaul isn’t feasible for most. So how can you start small with workplace design?
Culture & The Power of Art
Art! Art can be a fantastic tool to facilitate the expression of each of these aspects of workplace design. Color, culture, and branding can all be present in a single art work, and bring a workplace to life.
Take the Linkedin office in Detroit, for example. Pat Perry’s mural “Beekeepers” is a central focus point of the office which draws in the history of the city, the company’s culture, and a peaceful, serene scene of Detroit’s urban beekeepers. This mural ties Linkedin to the city of Detroit and embraces the powerful history and active community that live on in the city. Linkedin has been intentional and explicit about their office culture at the Detroit building. Over 80% of their employees are Detroit natives, and Linkedin works hard to ensure that their presence in Detroit is authentic, knowledgeable, and an active part of the city.
They want to give back to Detroit, through several non-profits and initiatives, as well as creating jobs and professional opportunities. Perry’s mural speaks to who Linkedin Detroit is, what they believe, and what drives them to do what they do. The effect of this piece is striking. In a single image, the workplace is visually and symbolically represented. Anyone who enters the space engages with the piece, and by extension, Linkedin’s culture, brand, and mission in their Detroit office.
A piece of art can make a world of difference in an office. It can provoke conversation, bring people together, and make the workday miles more enjoyable. With such a simple gateway into the world of workplace design, it’s easy to start thinking about the kind of office that you want to be a part of. Remember to focus on color, branding, and culture.
Adding art to your office will set you down this path, beginning the process of making your office work for you and your co-workers.
Learn more about IPaintMyMind’s Art Rental services for corporate offices that also give back by providing art programs to underfunded schools! Get art, give back!
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