BUILDING CORPORATE CULTURE THROUGH OFFICE DESIGN

In a simple sense, company culture reflects how every individual in a company treats and works with each other and their customers. Assuming a company is an individual, company culture would be its personality, which is imbued in the company’s vision, values and ideals. Every enterprise has its own culture. On the threshold of a new decade in the 21st century, nevertheless, the vogue of corporate culture towards openness and inter-personal connection has emerged and gained the loudest depiction in office design.

Despite its intangibility and poor quantifiability, corporate culture as an important influencer to business has been well documented by researchers on some aspects as follow:

– Work performance: corporate culture is related to staff’s work performance. A study of IZA World of Labor and Dr. Eugenio Proto from the Department of Economics, University of Warwick, found that those who frequently experience contentment, enthusiasm and excitement have better work performance. In a company with healthy culture and office design that conveys the company’s spirits, it is easier for employees to define the core values of their work, bolster their excitement and excellently accomplish.
– Staff’s commitment to company: When corporate culture is powerful enough and positively affects staff members, they will be more content, company-engaged and work-dedicated. This favours talent retention and more than that, an invisible emotional linkage between the company and employees. This linkage strengthens the solidarity and promotes efforts for a durable organization.
– Enhanced recruitment advantages: In addition to salary and incentive policies, company culture is a big driver of enterprise’s competitiveness. A company with positive culture, engaging office design and human-centered working environment will essentially draw more prospective candidates.

How to create company culture?

Company culture can be built in various ways, such as team building activities which help connect organization members, internal communications, and creation of working environment or office layout, especially office design.

Receptionist area of SPG Land company
A corner of SPG Land office – Saigon Center

– Building a productive working environment: Working environment is the most convenient and effective tool to create and express company culture. For a productive working environment, Office design is paramount. Proper office design directly affects employees’ perceptions and behaviour toward their company.

In bottom line, company culture is chiefly constructed and depicted through working environment and it is essential that workspace design can help convey corporate culture. Office design, depending on the culture therein integrated, should be varied from enterprise to enterprise and can be divided into two styles: Cubicle Culture and Creative Culture.

Cubicle Culture typically has a traditional office design that focuses on task accomplishment. The workspace is divided into separate cubicles with partitions that increase concentration and restrict interaction. There is virtually no dining room, interactive space and brainstorming area other than old- fashioned meeting rooms and reception as the common areas.
This traditional design heads for privacy, increased concentration and hence improved productivity. The traditional office design isolates employees from each others and from managers.

Open space in office design
A work cubicle at SPG Land office – Saigon Center

For businesses requiring privacy and information security like real estate, the blend of Cubicle Culture and auxiliary spaces such as dining and interactive spaces will be a nice modification that helps ensure work performance while building culture and improving staff’s experiences. SPG Land office design is a good example of such combination of Cubicle and Creative cultures.

SPG Land office design blends Cubicle and Creative cultures
SPG Land office design blends Cubicle and Creative cultures – Saigon Center
Open workspace of SPG land office
Open workspace of SPG Land office – Saigon Center

Creative Culture is an open culture that promotes employees’ communication, collaboration and creativity. It is often seen in pioneering innovative enterprises such as IT enterprises and FMCGs.

Masan office aims to build an office that encourages members to interact, communicate and collaborate in work. Its open-style Office Design inspires the company’s creative culture orientation: driving interaction and collaboration while upholding teamwork spirit.

Massan's office design
A corner of Masan office – M PLaza

Common workspaces are available for employees to freely discuss and co-work. Small meeting rooms or tables for 2-4 people are also employed to encourage interaction, instant communication and brainstorming.

co-working space in Masan's office design
Masan office with abundant co-working space – M PLaza

There are auxiliary areas including dining room, rest room, reading room, mother’s room, among others, for employees to relax and refresh their work-and-life balance. These recreational areas are furnished with bookshelf, table football and bar.

Recreational space for a better work-and-life balance – M PLaza
Recreational space in office design
Recreational space for a better work-and-life balance – M PLaza

Despite its intangibility, corporate culture brings tangible benefits that directly affect the business performance of a company. Positioning corporate culture and building a cultural foundation should be the very premise for a company to thrive and succeed viably.