Growing, Innovating and Styling: Designing Offices That Reflect Who We Are
You may have heard - we recently expanded into a second suite, growing our office and further digging in our roots! With some of the work on it still in progress, we are pulling inspiration to design an office that supports the way we work and helps nurture the culture we strive for.
Office environments and workplace culture across the globe are in rapid flux, totally breaking up the way businesses were not only run, but also thought of in the past. Working away in rows of cubicles, aspiring to a private space and eventually a corner office doesn’t stand up to the younger and growing workforce any longer. Much of the way we work now is more collaborative, open, and focused on sparking inspiration, transparency, and balance.
As stated in the Hightower Blog linked above, companies “want a space that reflects their brand, operations style, and business objectives.” The considerations around designing an office have to include a wealth of factors like function vs. fashion (but not too fashionable), layout and flow of traffic, music, colors, lighting, branding, supplies, and on and on. It’s key to think about who will using the space, how that space will be used, the volume of foot traffic, etc. And, of course, the very valid concerns to take into account about the continuing-to-grow-in-popularity open office environments like lack of privacy and frequent disruptions.
How do you take all of that and marry it into something that will be workable? Well, I don’t know what the right answer is, but we decided to keep our nimble nature and the necessity of rapid change and movement in our work at the forefront. We have laptops on lightweight, bamboo desks. We have a sleek conference area that highlights the windows that look over the beautiful town that we have our roots in. We have several breakout areas, be it comfy lounge chairs or the stools at our kitchen counter, or the square worktable ripe for brainstorms. We found it to be paramount that we could swap seats at any minute to get a new perspective or rearrange the room to invite a new crowd for an event. One suite is usually quieter and better for meetings with clients, conference calls, or events, and the other suite is usually allows for more movement, open conversation, brainstorms and long work sessions.
For me, personally, it has also been a particular joy in choosing the finer details from the fabric on the chairs, to the color scheme to the office supplies, all of which really define our style identity and help bring warmth and personality to the rooms that we spend so much of our lives in. Who we are and who are comprised of are reflected in the music we play (Sigur Ros and Christine and the Queens are favorites), the conversations we have about what we’re reading (this week it’s been Hillbilly Elegy, Vogue, and Number Nine Dream), and the ways we are innovating as a company (more on this soon!). Nurturing that culture and making the culture tangible through the aesthetic choices we make helps show value in the diversity of our team and helps us each bring our best to the table.
While many details are being worked out in the new space, we are so excited and inspired looking at all the ways the traditional office environment is being disrupted and elevated to something that truly suits the company’s mission, culture, and style. Then there are the crazy, out-there ones that obviously give design-envy, but are entirely impractical for most businesses.