Office culture is a hot topic for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). As millennials become an increasingly large part of the work force, businesses need to evaluate their workspace to meet the needs of different age groups. Many business leaders have noticed the power of office space to set the tone for a company’s culture.
In October, TriNet hosted a panel discussion on office space and its effect on productivity. Attendees walked away with a greater understanding of how office space impacts company culture. Among the attendees were business leaders from Bay Area SMBs, entrepreneurs and HR experts. The panelists included:
According to Bru, collaboration drives the culture – and the office design - at Galvanize: “When we hire people, we also see if they will be a good fit for our open and collaborative culture. It is important that they are comfortable working in an open space,” she says. “At Galvanize we win by creating a community and a culture of collaboration.”
However, how open space is best used really depends on the team and their work style. Engineers may need more stretches of time during their workday to focus on important tasks so an open work space may be too distracting for them. However, a marketing or sales organization may thrive in an open space. Ultimately, open communication and transparency will help you decide what works best for your team.
Justin felt that it was really important for business owners to assess the space they would require to meet their current needs.
For Justin, it was a chess board at one of his former companies. Mihir mentioned that Drobo, at one time, had a swimming pool in the middle of their workspace. Now Drobo has a ping pong table and Nerf gun wall where employees can hang out and recharge. One of Galvanize’s New York clients boasts a really fancy nursing room for mothers.
All panelists agreed that it is essentially the core company values that define the culture and not the office space alone.
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