Why do some of the world’s biggest online businesses have the funkiest offices? Facebook’s 150,000 square foot Palo Alto headquarters were redesigned almost as a funky warehouse a few years ago by contemporary interior designers Studio O+A, while the Googleplex (no prizes for guessing which company that office belongs to!) in Mountain View (also California) also has some pretty quirky design ideas going on, including Rubix Cubes, a spiral slide, and a boat!
So why do these online companies bother with all this designer office furniture and interior design when customers don’t see those offices? Surely the money would be better spent on redesigning the website? Well, it would be fair to say that neither Google nor Facebook’s websites suffer too much on the design front, and why? Because their employees stay pretty motivated thanks to their fabulous surroundings.
Yes, funky office furniture isn’t just there to impress customers, but can be a real motivator for employees too. A company’s two most important assets are its customers and also its staff, and without the latter it’s highly unlikely you’ll achieve the former. Keeping staff happy is one of the best ways of increasing business, and one way of keeping them happy is to enhance their surroundings.
It’s not just about contemporary office furniture either; the whole interior design and the building itself can also have an effect. Low ceilings and the constant hum of air conditioning can create high stress levels, while individual colours can also affect performance. Psychologists have discovered that those surrounded by red tend to perform better on tasks requiring accuracy and attention to detail, while blue helps to stimulate creativity and imagination.
The theory behind Facebook’s office design came directly from the staff, who wanted more interaction and opportunities to communicate. Likewise, many of Google’s office design ideas came from the staff that work there. Therefore, gone are the standard issue office cubicles in favour of a more open plan design, and certainly lots of variety. Taking advice from your staff when coming up with a redesign is actually a good idea, as they are perhaps best placed to know what they want or need. However, do make sure that the overall effect of your design concept reflects what you want your business to promote. The design should tie in with your company’s objectives, goals and vision, and this should then be projected onto your employees. For example, Google pride themselves on having an unconventional approach to business, and therefore want their office to reflect that.
Another consideration is to make sure that your design idea doesn’t overtake the purpose of the office. Don’t go for über contemporary desks and chairs which are then uncomfortable, as this certainly won’t help to increase productivity! Likewise, don’t encourage the minimalist look or an open plan space if this means staff can’t then do their job properly or get distracted.
Having decided on your design, look no further for your funky office furniture – come to us here at Pash contemporary living for all your quality, stylish furniture needs.