The location, look and feel of a business say a lot about a company, its brand and its culture. First impressions are lasting and companies are increasingly recognising the importance of dressing up their offices for success.
So says Hugh Norval, Design Director at human.kind advertising, a leading South African branding and advertising company.
"Even professional trades such as law firms, doctors and architects are jazzing up their waiting areas and offices because it indicates a level of professionalism and offers customers a reflection of who they are dealing with and the type of service they can expect," says Norval, adding that companies should aim to create an office space that reflects the brand and personality of their business.
"If you can use décor and design to enhance the experience of your brand, it will certainly uplift the attitude your customers, staff, and anyone else who enters your office, have towards it."
He explains that because most people respond to visual elements, office design should ignite excitement with interesting combinations of colour, texture and lines. At the same time, the design of an office interior must be functional and user-friendly.
For instance, human.kind advertising, which operates in a notoriously fast-paced, highly pressurised and chaotic industry, has taken great care to create an office space that not only conveys the company's brand, but also provides a comfortable and stimulating environment for staff who are required to be creative against typically tight deadlines. The look and feel of the office is aligned to human.kind's ethos of "being responsible citizens" and this concept is followed right through to the smallest details.
Within this inspiring environment, there is a dedicated and inviting area for employees to relax and eat in peace, a creative space in the studio where people can play with ideas, and even a punch bag where people can take some of their frustrations out without taking it out on their colleagues.
"In our business there is stress and chaos at times, with everyone rushing to meet their deadlines. So, if the environment can assist even in the smallest way to help people feel more positive, stay energetic and keep them motivated, there is return on investment. It is also extremely refreshing and rewarding when people visit and they get blown away by the interesting interior, and it certainly adds energy and fun to our working day. It also means that we get to live our brand, which is awesome.
"And isn't that what companies want their employees to be - brand ambassadors?" he concludes.