The way we work has evolved over the past two decades. The long-standing economy of the production of “things” has been replaced by the sharing of knowledge, information, and ideas. This paradigm shift has been sparked by the rapid advances in technology and the vast amounts of information available. The way in which we work has changed, and workplace design needs to change along with it!
Many of us still work environments designed to accommodate the “old” way of doing things. For many of these organizations, still rooted in the past, their spaces are working against new visions, strategies, and goals for the future. Our office environments often keep us from reaching higher potential. But design has the power to drive change, and organizations looking to gain an advantage are turning to design to help move them forward. We see many new exciting trends out there in workplace design, but before you get started on your transformation look inside!
There is no one design idea that solves the challenges for every organization, there is no need to follow a trend (think cafes, game rooms, focus pods, and even slides) if it does not make sense for your organization. Good design aligns your organizations space with your organizations strategy.
Research at Point One Architects has shown that there are three main components to workplace design that help transforms organizations. When combined, these components identify the essence of an organization, their DNA. Point One Architects believes that designs that address these 3 components has the power to drive change.
PURPOSE – Organizations that have a clear, larger purpose (that is shared by the team) tend to have higher performance results. Teams working together to reach shared goals perform better. Design can help tell the story of the organizations larger reason for being, their vision for the future, and the overall strategy to reach goals.
CULTURE – The core of any organization is its people. The shared beliefs and traditions of these people is what makes a culture. High preforming organizations shape their culture by instilling the right traditions. However, many companies do not understand culture and let it form organically, sometimes to its own detriment. We’ve all witnessed cultures of gossip, back-stabbing, and worse. Take control, design can help define organizational culture by providing the resources (spaces) to promote desired beliefs and actions.
PROCESS – Every organization performs a unique set of functions in accomplishing work. High performing organizations are optimizing their processes and using space to reinforce them. With the knowledge based economy, we find the desire for more collaboration and the need to be innovative. Space design can offer areas to promote these activities while at the same time offering areas to focus on heads down tasks. Design space to enhance your process, not hinder it.
The two images above represent the same type of functioning space – a bank headquarters lobby. However, the way in which they are designed evoke very different feeling – Design transforms the space into an emotion. By understanding your organizations DNA you can make sure that the designed emotional response (by employees and visitors) is in alignment with your goals, strategy, and vision for the future.
Design DNA, a strategic design consulting service, helps organization define their unique qualities and provides a plan to transform space into a working asset. For more information regarding Design DNA please feel free to contact Point One Architects.