The saying goes “It’s what’s on the inside that counts” and that’s as true with a company’s office interior design as it is in valuing a person. Your interior branding could be the best thing you do to make your staff happy and create a space everyone’s proud of.
Interior branding – last in line
After creating a fantastic brand that blows your competitors away, applying it to all your collateral and shiny new website, you might think the job’s done. Why does it matter if the office is floor to ceiling magnolia with those tatty old magenta chairs? Clients rarely visit and can be ushered quickly through reception, past miserable Annabelle in accounts and into the nearest meeting room, which has one wall painted in crushed olive for added interest.
If you think Annabelle is the biggest problem and the crushed olive was a stroke of genius, you’re wrong. In the past it might have been the case, but these days Annabelle is less likely to want a pay rise and more likely to want to feel part of something.
Your staff spend nearly half their waking hours at work. Your walls, floors, ceilings and screens are the best place to advertise to them that they’re working in a great place. What they do counts for something and is valued. If they’re sitting for several hours a day in a drab uninspiring environment that says nothing about the company they work for, it’s going to have an effect. Transforming the way they feel about the space they work in could transform their productivity.
A report on employees in the US says that the difference in how millennials view work, as opposed to baby boomers, means there are things they value more than a pay rise “The need for belonging, connection and contributing to a greater good (and a sense of meaning in work) is very important to this highly collaborative generation.”
Interior branding speaks volumes
Using spaces to utilise the company’s colour palette (blue is seen as professional, yellow and pink as calming, and red gets pulses racing), display their values and understand the history is a good way to start connecting better with employees and catch a visitor’s eye.
This isn’t an excuse to roll out the same old boring facts, find something genuinely interesting. As long as it’s appropriate, anything goes.
The Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company started out mining corundum before discovering its adhesive qualities could be very useful. And so could a shorter name, leading to the ‘3M’ we’re more familiar with today. Samsung sold noodles and Hasbro school supplies. These unusual facts show personality and build a sense of character.
Branding an interior in the right way is win win. Employees feel better and they also learn about the company, understanding its history, its vision, its outputs and what they mean in the real world.
Facts like ’70% of the cars world-wide use our spark plugs’, ‘we produce enough popcorn each year that laid end to end would go to the moon and back’, ‘our industrial hoses help firefighters save 30,000 lives a year’ are more engaging and fun than churning out standard numbers and facts.
Employees and visitors alike will warm more to this than having the company’s increased number of employees or turnover displayed, particularly if they’ve had an increased workload or no pay rise.
These things not only help employees feel they are contributing to something – it gives them easy to remember pieces of information they are more likely to pass on. Feeling part of something and having a better understanding of the company will aid productivity more than any gimmick will.
It’s a small world
If the budget’s tight, it’s still no excuse to ignore the interior. Start with one area by changing the colour or introducing some interesting prints on the wall.
Don’t view things like a screen as being too expensive, see it as a picture frame that’s more engaging and something that can be updated quickly and easily. Staff can be kept informed of up-to-date information in a more fun way than the traditional newsletter.
Clearly defined social areas are just as important as working areas. Having somewhere to go that looks and feels more relaxed means there’s a place to refresh and reset before tackling the rest of the day. Staff areas are as important as corporate spaces.
If you have multiple offices utilising the brand well, it gives those visiting the feeling of unity, seeing the same values and goals. They get the same experience in each space.
Putting it into practice
Everything we do is a well refined process and interior branding is no different. Getting to know your place of work is central to understanding what changes are going to benefit the space the most, particularly if the budget is tight.
- We visit, photograph and assess the area, completing an internal branding exercise over multiple locations at your offices.
- We consider areas like receptions and meeting rooms and we don’t forget areas that can be overlooked like break out areas, social spaces and corridors.
- We work with you to establish which areas are used for what and identify if there’s anywhere being overlooked. Standing by the copier could be a more sociable place than you thought.
- We can produce files to suit the needs of those engaged for the implementation. But we don’t stop there! We are always on hand to support your production partners when needed so we see the project to success.
Photographing and documenting the space means it really comes to life as the designs are created, showing what could be implemented where.
Even a few small changes can make a difference to how it feels to visit and work in these environments. And if it feels daunting and too large a project, all it could need is a little help with where to start. From a small site to a multi-site corporate, ask us how we can enhance your office space with a bit of intelligent interior branding!