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In the 1950’s, Jonas Salk, the world famous biologist and inventor of the polio vaccine, traveled to Assisi, Italy to clear his head after working in the dank recesses of his Pittsburgh laboratory. During the trip, he found new insights and inspiration amongst the columns and cloistered courtyards of the monastery. The dramatic change in environment made him strongly believe in the power of architecture and design and how they affect behavior and encourage creativity.
Upon his return, Salk made the dramatic breakthroughs leading to development of the polio vaccine. Human history would have been tragically altered if this trip did not occur. This is just one example of how environmental design affects behavior, productivity and ultimately culture.
What is corporate culture anyway?
Corporate culture is the collective values of an organization. It is the belief system held by the company’s principals, management and employees. Culture is defined by many factors, including the company history, products, market placement, technology and strategy and, of course, the working environment for employees. The corporate culture dictates the corporate ethics, strategy, management style and vision.
What are the basic types of corporate culture?
- Mentoring and nurturing culture: is more like family than traditional work settings. Hallmarks of this culture emphasize teamwork.
- Entrepreneurial culture: encourages risk taking in order to achieve innovation. These companies are known as visionaries and for bringing new products to market first.
- “Get it done” culture: focuses on competition, achievement and getting the job done quickly and efficiently.
- Structured culture: provides organization in a controlled environment. Efficiency, stability and “doing the right thing” are highly prized.
So how does layout and design affect corporate culture?
- The layout of workspace is a critical issue when trying to set a mood. For example, spaces that offer employees the opportunity to spontaneously meet and gather foster a sense of community. Open spaces encourage employees to interact and fuel each other’s creativity. Interior designs that are unconventional such as those found at Google and Apple offer a culture that is conducive to flexibility, collaboration and the generation of ideas.
- Design affects mood, which affects productivity and employee engagement. Offices with old yellowed dingy antiquated decor cast a dreary pallor on the entire outlook of each employee, and negatively affect corporate culture. This type of oppressive environment is a death knell for the impending corporate funeral that is to come. Old style cubicles promote feelings of isolation, but are useful when privacy is needed.
In short, the layout and design of you workspace must support the mission of the organization by providing workspaces that are conducive to the task at hand as well as positively influencing the mood of the staff.
Click here to see our gallery and view some different types of workplace layouts and designs!
Are you looking to build or upgrade your workspace design?
The question of workspace design can be fairly complex. If you’re looking for a commercial flooring provider who is experienced working with commercial designers, don’t hesitate to contact our flooring professionals at Commercial Flooring & Interior Concepts, Inc.! Our experienced staff will ask all the right questions to arrive at all the right answers.