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Thinking Beyond the Cubicle – How To Improve Office Culture By Design

Thinking beyond the cubicle has enabled many companies to engage and motivate their employees, while focusing on them, with their design lead approach.

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An office space is now looked at as a business tool. The design itself of a workspace, transcends its elementary meaning. And this thought process of thinking 'outside the cubicle' has lead to a greater representation of core values and culture by design in an office. 

The bubbling startup culture in India has shed light on the importance of design in an office. Previously, a modern office was synonymous with numbing uniformity, where the individual was not the focus. In fact, 'better design,' for any workspace was a cause and effect phenomenon, wherein corporations had to counter the rise of white-collar unions, preventing them from threatening their company. Today, 'better design' is a result of so much more. With the new wave of startups, each workspace is designed to project its individuality and work as a space where employees feel included and motivated. 

The heart of an office is its team and within the team each individual has a singular preference when it comes to their work environment. Traditionally a designer would create a standard workspace basis a template and employees were expected to adjust to the same. Today, every nook of an office is personalised primarily on the basis of its employees and image or message the company would like to portray. 

To sum it up - design goes beyond the cubicle today! And the design concept is what shapes the culture of the workspace. While each space has its own DNA, an inclusive structure and set up leads to qualitative and quantitative ideas and actions. And here are a few tricks to work towards this goal.

Do Away With The Cubicle

The 'Cubicle Culture' was implemented long ago to create a space where employees only leaned on technology provided. Now, an office space is open to all, to bounce ideas off each other, grow while interacting and bring teams together. 

Create Creative Spaces

This could be restricted to one space or an array of corners interspersed in the office. The creation of creatively challenging or appealing spaces push team members to get inspired by the multiple moods and connect with their creative side. Be it lush green walls in a conference room, interesting lighting installations or a graffiti wall. Creativity is key.

Light It Up

Placing work stations near or under a bright light or near the window for natural light, can increase the mood of a person and their willingness to work. 

Managers Should Mingle

A manager is looked up to by every employee, regardless of their position. It's pertinent that one is in touch with almost all of its employees, if not each employee. They should be familiar with the pulse of their space and the team.

Be Flexible

With agile working coming to power, a popular concept is having makeshift meeting or brainstorming rooms. Both inside and outside office.

A Sense Of Personal Belonging

Even if employees share a common space, they should have their own corner to add their personal touch to. Be it a soft or cork pin-up board to put pictures or a planter on a table, each employee should get a personal space.

To facilitate a better work culture and environment it is essential to understand your environment and its needs. And thinking beyond the cubicle has enabled many companies to engage and motivate their employees, while focusing on them, with their design lead approach.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Radeesh Shetty

The author is Founder and Director, The Purple Turtles

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