How Your Workplace Performs: Brand & Culture

Workplace issue #4: Building the Company Brand

Build the Company Brand and Culture

“Go into any office in any part of the world and within minutes you can sense what that company is all about,” says Steelcase’s John Hughes. “Everyone who comes into the work environment — customers, vendors, board members, new recruits, the media — the people a company most wants to influence, get a clear impression about the company." 

Nothing manifests a company’s brand and organizational culture like the workplace. When your space reflects the aspects of your brand, it helps those who experience it walk away understanding how you deliver on your brand promises. This is a huge opportunity to show employees and vital business relationships your most deeply-held values. If your space doesn't include collaborative areas, then you won't be seen as a collaborative business. Without space for focused, heads-down work, employees won't sense that work is valued and others won't see its importance to your organization. A polished, well designed office space will communicate how you attend to details and stand for quality. 

What are some things you can do to connect your space with your company's brand and culture? Here are 5 tips from turnstone, who creates interiors products that support and inspire entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs:

  1. Encourage personal artifacts in the office:
    People love to show off their significant others, kids, dogs and the occasional trophy fish. Bringing personal items to the workplace adds a layer of humanity, injecting it with authenticity and a sense of friendship. Whether your space feels more corporate or exudes startup culture, the simple act of bringing home to work blurs the lines that keep us apart, making it easier to bring people together.
  2. Choose colors that put your personality or brand on display:
    Color is a powerful and relatively easy way to inject your office with personality. Painting a focus wall, splashing your logo or mission statement behind the welcome center, using colored or patterned rugs and carpets, and selecting fabrics, window treatments and upholstery that complement your color story are integral parts of giving your space personality. Remember to select one central color theme to tie everything together for a professional, cohesive look.
  3. Select furniture that allows you to work authentically:
    Selecting the right furniture that allows you to work in postures and positions that feel comfortable and authentic to you is a great starting point, but it doesn’t stop there. Furniture makes a bold, instant statement to workers and guests, so be sure to select designs, rich finish and surface materials, and colors that convey what you’re all about and that feel natural to you and your team. Choose items that can be customized so that your personality is on display—not the manufacturer’s.
  4. Give your team choice + control with work zones:
    Your office personality will shine when you not only offer your team a range of workplaces from which to choose, but also communicate the freedom to work wherever they want. That means offering lounge posture settings, traditional desking, standing height tables, cafe spaces and small touchdown zones for impromptu meetings. Providing a variety of zones recognizes that one size does not fit all, highlighting that your office personality is all about authenticity and trust.
  5. Showcase + celebrate team moments:
    Fostering a culture of celebration and promotion tells the world that your team is at the heart of all you do. So plan a potluck, happy hour or lunch gathering to recognize how far you’ve come. Celebrate the contribution of great ideas and key players. Take this one step further by photographing these shared moments and displaying the pictures in your space. Seeing vibrant relationships, joy and mutual admiration on display is a great way to define who you are and call attention to what you value. And that’s what personality is all about.

This article contains information from Steelcase's paper on the Interconnected Workplace. You can read the entire research paper by clicking here or on the image below:


About the Workplace Performance series (see links to the whole series below):

Performance reviews are an expectation for today's workers. It's common for employees to meet with a supervisor and review pre-set goals, results and feedback regarding performance on at least an annual basis. This is good for keeping your people accountable, but there's another performer in your office that may be flying under the radar... your workplace. Do you know how well (or how poorly) your work environment is performing for you? Most managers wouldn't hire an employee without setting expectations for their performance, but very few set goals for their new workspace. The likely reason is they don't know what goals to set or how to measure them. Today, we're going to share one of these secrets with you below.


Based on research by Steelcase, the leading manufacturer of furniture for offices, hospitals, and classrooms, there are five common issues in the workplace that can be addressed by the design of your space. 

  1. Real Estate Optimization
  2. Enhancing Collaboration
  3. Attracting, Developing and Engaging Talent
  4. Building the Company Brand
  5. Improving Wellbeing

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