Office Design is changing, There are a ton of businesses and industries which clearly benchmark their evolution in pre-Google and post-Google terms.
Ecommerce, social media, advertising and whatnot. One often overlooked area, where Google had a very deep impact, is furniture design.
Before Google, things were quite black and white in the workspace. Especially for bigger companies, the bigger you were, the more hierarchies you had and the more ‘structured’ your offices looked.
Google just came in a started giving in sleeping pods, collaborative spaces and splashes of colours all over the place to employees.
So, if you are working on office space planning and want to emulate what Google did, here is the guide for you:
Start with a collaborative workspace, that accommodates everyone.
Read that line again. Done? Now read it again. Majority of the businesses focus only on one aspect of it – the collaborative part; hence they end up with the open office plan.
Now, if you work at Google, you will know – Google has a dynamic work culture, which accommodates every employee’s needs.
Hence, even though there is an open office plan in place, you can go and sit in a special corner to have your privacy in a dedicated area, when you need it the most.
Hence, before straightaway getting on the wagon and going ahead with open office design, map out the work that your employees are doing and then see the requirements they will have for their daily needs.
Plan an office space around this and you will see the productivity numbers going off the roofs.
The best part – you wouldn’t even have to deliberately aim for maximum productivity with office design; it will be a by-product of your office plan.
Pay attention to employer branding.
What is one recurring theme in all Google offices, apart from the available freebies?
You can recognize that they are Google offices by just looking at them. Because this is a company that takes its internal customers pretty seriously.
This would include having the right colours in place throughout the interiors. At the same time, if there are any unique company policies you have in place, integrate them in your office plan.
For instance, if you want to showcase that you are an equal opportunity employer and want to highlight that female employee is given great maternity benefits, why not have a small children’s play area in a corner of the office?
It is a set of small, relevant perquisites like these, that boost employee morale.
Don’t focus just on technology; create an experience.
Google’s interior designers have a singular opinion when it comes to designing their offices – it is more about sensory experience than about the high-tech nature of the place.
Beyond a conference room, a meeting area and generally available WiFi, what other major tech do you need!
Instead, focus on creating visual experiences by focusing on theme-based interiors. It does not mean you have to shed a whole lot of capital, just to keep the office running.
If you are creative enough, there are a ton of things you can do at a shoestring budget.
For instance – a meditation room just requires a few mats, soft lighting and some sound-proofing, and can result in increased productivity by several percentage points.
The succinct office furniture consultation here would be – understand the needs of your employees and plan interiors around them, make sure there is a differentiated visual identity across your offices and finally – try to create experiences, instead of focusing only on the furniture.