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How Office Fit Out Can Enhance Company Culture?

4 ways fit out can optimise health, wellbeing and happiness in your office

Company culture is formed by each and every member of a workforce. It’s the shared ethos of an organisation, the collective behaviour of a company and its employees.

Unsurprisingly, it’s intrinsically linked to productivity, with 86% of employees* believing that it directly impacts their work ethic. Essentially, a strong and healthy culture creates a workplace with higher job satisfaction and deeper employee engagement. This can, in turn, lead to lower absentee rates, improved retention and a positive company reputation.

Take millennials, for example, who represent about 35% of the global workforce*. 75% of professionals from this generation* prioritise people and culture-fit above all else. Evidently, competitive salaries alone no longer suffice. It is company culture that gives organisations a competitive edge.

Furthermore, as the end of the pandemic draws ever nearer, companies are transitioning back into full-time office life. But the two years spent in semi-isolation have impacted us all. We’re amidst a mindset shift where people are actively seeking a more health-conscious way of life. This doesn’t just include physical wellbeing, but mental too.

Employers are feeling more pressure to create spaces that are optimised for health and wellbeing. As a result, the fit out market is currently presented with a unique opportunity to meet the increasing demand for office spaces that support a positive company culture.

2. Achieve Acoustic Comfort:
The rise of more open and collaborative office design can also present challenges when it comes to acoustics. It’s not about creating a silent workplace but creating one void of unwanted noise pollution and disturbances.

Acoustic comfort refers to a space in which noise levels are effectively controlled. Strategic planning of layout, furniture and materials can all help to manage this and ensure a more comfortable environment for employees to focus.

A simple solution to providing acoustic comfort in the workplace is to create zones within office layouts. Integrating partitions or separator screens can ease surrounding noise levels without
isolating entire areas of the workplace. The use of glass or transparent materials can maintain an ‘open’ aesthetic in the workspace.

Treatment of the walls, ceilings and floors can also enhance acoustic comfort. For example, devices called bass traps can be placed in the corner of office spaces. Acoustic panels or ceiling clouds can also be inconspicuously integrated into these surfaces, while simultaneously delivering sound absorption properties to reduce excessive reverberation.

4 ways to support company culture through purposeful office design and fit out:

1. Consider Social Ergonomics:
Social ergonomics is the concept that everything around us in the workplace, from design to people, affects our behaviour.

That’s why social spaces play such a key role in office design and fit out. By integrating communal and open areas into our workplace, we can increase the likelihood of ‘casual collision’, which encourages a positive atmosphere and strengthens relationships between co-workers. An open-plan workplace design has, in many ways, become a symbol for progressive and proactive organisations.

Designing dedicated areas for recreation and collaboration, such as breakout rooms and comfortable kitchen areas, allow for a healthy balance between work and relaxation. This, in turn, helps to reduce ‘burn out’ and boost productivity. In fact, 91% of employees* say it’s important to have spaces where they can recharge and re-energise.

When designing a workspace, it’s also important to consider privacy. Providing private spaces where employees can make a personal phone call or work uninterrupted is just as important as building relationships. Incorporating nooks or quiet rooms into office design can help employees to feel supported, safe and comfortable.


3. Reflect Your Values:

Workspaces can also benefit from integrating a company’s core values. These values can be then be reflected at different touch points throughout the office design and fitout. It’s an opportunity to communicate company values at an external level.

For example, if a company values sustainability, then the organisation can express this in many aspects of the fit out, from material selection right through to energy consumption. If it values creativity, then the office design can incorporate vibrant colours, innovative architectural choices, artworks and engaging brainstorm areas to boost creative thinking.

A workspace enjoyed by all employees helps to unite them with a common purpose, a joint goal and a shared value system – all necessary to create a thriving company culture.

At Barker, we build inspiring spaces for the future. Offices are no longer just a space where people come to work, they are a cornerstone for companies to express and share their culture and values. Our approach to office fit-out is deeply rooted in combining visionary form with professional functionality. To create spaces that aren’t just attractive, but created specifically to support the company culture that you’d like to build.

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