03 Aug Five Office Design Tips to Make Your Brand Stand Out
In October 2016, Action PR moved to our current home at the Chocolate Studios in Old Street – a very apt space for a health and fitness company! At the time, the office was nothing more than an empty shell. It would need a total fit-out – everything from lights to lavatories before it was move-in ready. It was our new home and it was truly a blank canvas.
Recognising the importance that good branding can have on both the team and clients who visit, Director Dawn Tuckwell went to work designing the new space. The result is an inspiring, on-brand space that perfectly represents our team.
Here, she shares her five office design tips to ensure your brand stands out.
Consult Your Team
Before we started the design process, we invited the whole team to provide input. Because we have a team of fitness enthusiasts, a lot of those requests involved a similar theme. For example, they requested a shower, standing desks, and a workout space. The intention was that everyone felt they had been a part of the process. The result reflects this feedback. We now have a dedicated area of the office with a variety of fitness kit including an Auster Flex suspension trainer, yoga matts, free weights, paralettes and foam rollers. The main office space therefore has a gym floor to allow the space to be used as such and for an added touch, we incorporated a running track that runs from the door through to the back of the office.
Define Your Brand Values
Something we did before we started was to look at our brand values and what we stand for as a company, so this could be reflected in the design. One of our brand values is that we have “big balls.” On a day-to-day basis, this means that we’re constantly trying to push the boundaries of our thinking and take calculated risks to create big results. However, when it came to the design of the office, we decided to represent this by having Wellness Active Sitting Balls instead of chairs in our meeting room. This decision has become one of the defining features of our office and a real talking point for any visitors. It’s also a great way to ensure meetings are productive and don’t drag as there’s a limit to how long most people can sit properly on the balls!
Have a variety of workspaces
We also wanted us to have lots of different work spaces: windowsill, round table, sofas, desks, standing desks, meeting room, a bench outside. We know we all need a change of space to remain productive and hopefully help to channel the creativity. We also included an AstroTurf floor in the meeting room to assist with this concept. The idea is to take your shoes off and walk around to get the ideas flowing.
This consideration has helped create a multi-purpose work environment and an office space in which everyone has a suitable place to work within their own comfort zones. Some prefer to stand all day, others like to sit on the sofa and some people move around and when the meeting room isn’t in use, it doubles as quiet space for concentration.
Showcase and think long term
We thought very hard about ensuring we had shelving space to showcase our client’s products. This was a key part of the design so we incorporated several reinforced walls with shelving, so we can add hooks to hang clothing or other products like weights, rollers, and kettlebells. The shelving in the meeting room was designed with this in mind too. It is both product showcase space and storage for the many client products we house.
The space is also an opportunity for us to showcase our team’s skills and as such we have a magnetic wall with one of our favourite brand photos taken from one of our shoots across one wall. Knowing that we’ll be here for a while we decided to make this magnetic so it can be easily changed at any time and allows us to put things up easily when we use the space for events we host.
Pay Attention to Colour Schemes
We had the Action PR colour as a key theme. This is represented boldly on the pillars in the office, but even in the small details like the blue speckles in the floor and the blue tiles and grouting. This helps tie everything together making the space feel like it has a consistent look and feel. Consider your own colour schemes when you design your office. If creativity is at the heart of your brand, plain white walls will not suffice.
A few final suggestions…
Finally, have patience during the design process. Always check internet connectivity and accessibility first as this can take a while to install if fibre optic isn’t already available. You don’t want to be stuck with a finished space and no Wi-Fi! Also, make sure you understand the regulations associated with your space and seek advice if you’re not sure. We worked with a great architect and firm of builders whom we’d worked with before and trust and who have exceptional attention to detail. Regardless of what you’re doing, be prepared for a few hiccups along the way, it’s never completely smooth sailing. We ran into several!
Remember: your workplace is more than walls, desks and computers. It’s a second home for some employees. It’s a recruitment tool for hiring and most importantly, a place to inspire your team. When done right, it can have a huge impact on motivating people to work hard in shaping and growing your brand.