Creating Workplace Culture Part Two: How to Design for the Culture You Want

Every company has a culture. Whether it’s done intentionally or happens organically, the people and spaces that make it what it is. But the most successful company cultures don’t happen by accident. They’re purposefully designed and nurtured. 

The design, appearance, and functionality of your office space directly impact your culture. So aligning your goals and values with your workspace design is the only way it can inspire and motivate the people in it.

When you look around your workplace, what do you see? Are people engaged? Are they smiling?

Too many companies don’t value the impact of their work environment enough when talking about culture. But in reality, it not only affects employee performance, turnover rates, and recruiting new talent, but it also affects external business too.  In fact, companies that actively develop their culture return 516% higher revenue and 755% higher income than those that do not (Harvard Business). That’s huge.

In Part One of our company culture series, we busted some popular myths about culture to help you avoid falling into the trap while defining your own company’s culture. Now in Part Two, we’re offering tips on designing spaces that truly reflect YOUR company values.

Why Does Company Culture Matter?

If you don’t actively create your company culture, something will.  And you may not like how it turns out when you’re not in control. Developing a strong culture will keep employees engaged and excited to help the company succeed. Successful cultures are strategically designed, and it’s up to you and your company to not only create one but to continually nurture it through behaviors and actions.


  • Involve Your Employees

    Company culture truly thrives when you design around your most important assets: your people. Because a culture can’t exist if no one is living it. When you define your culture around what only the leadership believes it should be, you’re missing this crucial piece. While it’s extremely important to set the tone and lead by example, you must have a team who whole heartedly believes in it too. Involve your employees in the process of defining these values and philosophies. In turn, it will give them a greater sense of responsibility to see them through.


    And this isn’t a once-and-done thing. Allow your employees to constantly introduce new ideas to add into your culture. Having a dynamic company will show your employees that you’re willing to adapt to their needs, which helps them feel valued and heard. If employees feel they are an important part of your organization’s journey, they’ll be more likely to want to work hard to achieve your goals.

  • Focus on the Day-to-Day

    Encouraging your employees to work together is a simple way to bring fresh ideas to your company. There are a few simple ways to do this, such as creating open and flexible work areas, in addition to private spaces. When your employees feel like they have more options to work and share ideas, they’ll spend less time isolated behind a desk.


    And that goes for non-working activities too. We know we told you ping pong tables won’t define your culture, but opportunities to come together and have conversations can. Get employees away from their desk for lunch with a nice café space or an outdoor patio with tables and seating.  Investing in furniture that can make routine tasks more enjoyable. Large tables to gather, lounges, comfortable seating options, and technology-equipped huddle spaces will make even their least favorite tasks feel less like a chore — and help them feel appreciated.

  • Treat Your Spaces Equally

    Embracing your company culture in your workplace isn’t as surface level as painting the walls in your company colors or slapping a logo or an inspiration quote in the lobby. Every area your employees use can have an impact. Whether it’s the men’s bathroom, an employee’s storage solution, a call room, invest in each space and furniture equally.


    If you really want to instill your values in a meaningful way, think of the workday as more of a journey than a destination. Consider décor that reflect your individual employees. Maybe it’s a personalized artwork created by a team member or valued client or a space for unique celebrations that recognize team member talents and interests. Getting creative doesn’t have to be difficult; recruit the people who do that best: your team. Polls, surveys, brainstorming sessions — their feedback can be a win, win for both of you.   

  • Get a Little Trendy

    Trends and objectives are constantly changing, and your company should keep up.  There is always new research regarding what works in office designs and what workers are looking for, so be attentive and make sure you aren’t falling behind. Ask your employees how you can improve their experience and make sure you follow through.


    For example, after month of working at home, many employees now value more comfortable workspaces, and that goes for hybrid work models where employees are going back and forth. So maybe that means incorporating more relaxed workspaces with lounge seating and pillows. Utilizing reconfigurations and sustainable furniture as a more cost-effective way to update furniture and spaces more regularly to keep your environment fresh and employee morale high. Whatever the solution may be, continuously checking in with what’s new with both the industry and your employees will keep everyone happy.

If you’re looking for ways to make sure your company’s culture resonates through your workspace design, contact Ethosource to speak with our project management and design experts to lean more.