[This article was written by Dawn Castell.]
When people hear the word corporate, they initially think about paperwork, loads of calculation and an endless stream of business jargon. In short, people think of corporate work and everything related to it, as boring. However, that is not always the case. As we have seen from the offices of Google, there are ways to keep corporate work alive and well and that is through interior design. Whether it be through hallways of fauna and painting, interior design is a must for the biggest brands both big and small.
First off, what is interior design? The concept is not just about how we design the insides of establishments, it is also about how “we experience spaces.” It adds that interior design is an essential part of our lives as it affects various aspects such as how we work, plays, live—just to name a few. Interior design is also not limited to homes or recreational spaces as it could be implemented in corporate offices too.
It should go without saying that interior design is not a free service. In fact, large companies could spend hundreds of thousands on sprucing up their place. It is an extra piece of an expense that they will have to shoulder. When CEOs think of that fee as an expense though, they are most likely to consider interior design as a burden and not a much-needed upgrade. Instead of thinking as just another line on the monthly audit, CEOs should instead think of it as an investment that could lead to growth. Before looking for the next great interior designer, it is vital to first understand why interior design is important.
It Keeps Employees Happy
Employees spend a huge chunk of their day inside the office. The usual time they spend would be around 8-10 hours. Partner that with heavy loads of paperwork or unruly customers, and they could end up being very unhappy with their current job. The employees are the lifeline and backbone of a company and once their mood is bad and their morale is down, they are not going to perform at their best.
Every CEO knows that keeping their employees satisfied is one of the pathways to immediate market success. Employees are not going to be satisfied when all they see around them are walls and grey paint. If their office environment is far different from what they see at home, chances are that they will be rushing to get home, sidelining quality work in the process. The main idea is to make the office a place where the employee wants to be.
Aside from maintaining good performance all throughout, happy employees promote synergy and teamwork in the workplace as well. As an added bonus, they will consider their current job as a position that they may never want to leave. In short, happy employees develop loyalty to their company.
Great interior design will keep workers up and running most of the time. Whether it be through vividly colored walls or an upgraded recreational room, it does not take much to keep an employee satisfied with his current office. But of course, it is not just the employee that gets gleeful when his environment is uplifting.
It Keeps Customers Happy
Interior design is not only meant to satisfy the people that work in the office, but it is also meant to satisfy the people the company caters too. If the employees are the lifeline and the backbone of the company, then the customers are its saving grace. They are that in a sense that without them, a company is most likely going to topple over.
Regardless of what business the company delves itself into, there is a good chance that their customers are going to set foot in their office one way or the other. Imagine how disappointed they would be if the company they revered and kept loyal to all this time turned out to be boring people that had nothing but business in mind. Customers are most likely going to spend a few minutes or hours in an office and it is the company’s job to keep them entertained during this time. It is not enough to keep them a stack of magazines at the lobby like what dentists do to their patients.
Aside from this, the way an office looks also tells a customer a lot about the company that he or she is invested in, a cluttered and unorganized office speaks a ton of negative thoughts about the company. Of course, why would the customer trust a brand that cannot keep their own office clean and tidy? In this age when customers are more opinionated than ever, it is very easy to expose a company’s shortcomings to its employees and property.
Now let us think of the opposite. A customer walks through a company’s doors and sees that its property is just as amazing as its products and services. There are paintings left and right. There is a perfect amount of greenery. The corners of the ceiling are not lined with a speck of mold but are instead decorated with fancy hardwood moulding. If there is one word that customer will think of, it will be “success.” He or she will immediately associate the brand with positivity and progress. This could, of course, result in a more loyal customer base.
It Keeps The Company’s Image Clear
When people think of Apple, they immediately think about modernistic and sleek designs. Upon stepping into an Apple Store, that is what they are able to see upfront. When people think of Shakey’s they think of fun times with the family. Again, upon stepping into a branch of the restaurant, that is what they are able to see upfront as well.
The interior design of a company tells us something about the brand’s identity already. Whether we want to or not, we immediately judge the values and appeal that a company is going for upon seeing what is inside their property. All things considered, Apple would not be Apple without the aesthetic it is associated with.
The same concept is applicable to corporate offices. Brands can easily project the image they want to convey using a smart interior design. In hindsight, interior design is somewhat a form of advertising in itself already. This clear image and identity go a long way as people will most likely find it easier to associate themselves with a brand that they identify with.
Of course, CEOs should also understand that there are certain interior design themes that are applicable to their brand and there are those that are not as well. For instance, law offices should have a serious yet sophisticated feel to it. On the other hand, health care companies should look clean and modern. Finding this fine distinction is just one of the many reasons why it is always important to hire the hands and mind of a professional interior designer.
It Keeps A Company Efficient
Let us now look at the practical aspect of interior designing. When professional designers are tasked with keeping a corporate office pretty and uplifting, they are most likely going to consider space and efficiency as well. If there is one thing we have learned from Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up, it is that people tend to keep useless items in their vicinity even if it means having to live in a tight space.
Companies with poor interior design and organization skills have offices that do not only look cluttered, but their offices are also actually cluttered. Interior designers can also help create a ton of space in the office, and this, in turn, makes it easier to move around. CEOs should take note that bulky cabinets, tables and other huge pieces of furniture are just a waste of space that they could do away with.
Space efficiency is also important if a company wants to maximize the workable area it wants to allow within the premises. Some CEOs get surprised by the amount of wasted space there is in their offices and it is not just practical to have these. Professional interior designers have the knack to make more with less which make them perfect for creating more space within a cluttered office.
Is It Time To Tidy Up With Interior Design?
These key points considered, it is finally time to start finding a good interior designer? The short answer is yes, of course, it is time.
The long answer is this: corporate offices are places strictly for business and transactions. However, it is a huge mistake to make it feel that way for the employees and the customers. Sprucing up an office with a great interior design does wonders for the company’s image, performance, and growth. Sure, they are most likely going to shell out hard-earned money for an interior designer but they should also think of the long-run and how that drastic change can turn their brand around.