It’s no secret to the working class (especially those in the tech/social world) that companies are falling in love with brilliant office space. Forget the cubicles, fluorescent lighting structures, and dismal working areas. Today, it’s all about creating social work space that fits your image.
Take Twitter for example. Their brand new San Francisco headquarters were built with the employee in mind. From their lounge areas, to open floor workspace plan, Twitter has taken the social work space concept and given it their own ultra stylized twist. Their belief that creating an environment that not only supports productivity, but infuses the best of culture within it, has put a ton of companies into redesign mode.
The Race for Social Space.
Whether you work at an ad agency, a tech start up, or even a magazine, the new social office blueprint has become a must for building a young, energetic, progressive company. No longer can you stuff your employees into a out of date, boring, work envoirment. Those days have sailed far far away thanks to the tremendously strong trade winds we call social media. Now, companies have become extremely focused on building a place where communities can be developed, and social signals play a huge role in creative development, and company progress.
Because of this new way of thinking, it’s become essential to build or find yourself this type of work place. The perception this type of space generates is a Hollywood type buzz. It creates a feeling that clients want and employee’s can’t shake. They want to be a part of this thriving social culture. They want to stay involved with what happens on a daily basis inside of these firms.
When they say everything is cyclical, they aren’t lying. Work spaces in the 1960s (during the Mad Men era) became the foundation for what has transpired today. Offices with dynamic art, drinking stations, couches, and lounge areas, helped shake up a culture and remove the public from “factory” conditions.
Today, this theory has resurfaced once again and the business world has felt this seismic shift. The goal for businesses now is to create a space that rivals your home life. A space where employees can be proud to work, and come to every morning (or night) without hesitation. Just imagine if the place you work at currently shifted to embrace this social work phenomenal. Complete with a game center, a cafe, a drinking station (we wish), a media room, and gadgets laying around the office for free use. This is the culture that we eat, sleep, and breath. Having it at our disposable when we enter the doors on Monday morning alleviates the stress, and the unnecsicary pressures of the everyday grind.
Creating this new space isn’t just a cool idea, it’s damn good business. It’s damn good business for a few reasons, and as you probably could guess, I am about to tell you those reasons in just a second.
Having that type of work space is extremely lucrative to landing high quality employees. If you are in the position to hire a solid amount of people in an ultra competitive industry, you already have a one up on your rivals because of your place of business. Most of the quality candiates who walk through the door will be blown away by the visuals you present them with. Instantly their minds will be launched into a “wow this is where I want to be” state of mind, and it becomes a matter of closing the deal to secure your companies future.
Take Zappos for example. Zappos created one of the original amazing work spaces that embraced culture, and gave it’s employees a place of zen. A working area dedicated with popcorn machines, segways, game rooms, nap quarters (fancy), and much more. What Zappos built essentially was a culture that people wanted to be a part of. So when they started hiring, and business began to boom, employees lined the streets hoping for a chance to be involved with a company that built this so called Rome of the office world.
Outside of building a place to lure in the high profile employees, creating this environment can also give you leverage when it comes the hiring process in a totally different manner. A space built to social perfection gives you as the employer the ability to sign start up talent for a bargain. Why you ask? Easy. Because having a place where work doesn’t feel like work everyday will draw in the masses who want to be a part of a “Google” or “Twitter” culture. Sure another company can offer more money, but you can offer them a lifestyle.
Even with a slow economy, and money being tight across the states, you will be stunned when you see the quality of people you can get for less money because of your culture. Let the culture dictate the salary, and build a real community, instead of relying on a bloated salary plan and a chain of miserable employees.
Quality control. In business one of the hardest factors to drive growth is creating a quality, progressive company, where all the pieces move together like a well oiled machine. Quality control is super important, and can become critical to a companies success during periods of growth. If you can give your team something to look forward to each day, whether that is the culture, or incentive based goals, you can creative a brilliantly productive brand. Embrace these ideologies, and give your brand a blended cocktail of goodness, that will not only inspire hard work and growth, but will inspire a desire. A desire to remain part of the team. A desire to feel like the company is a part of them. A desire to do better.
So before I beat your attention span to death with more words, I want to get one final point across. Culture is the driving factor to embrace anything. Products, companies, people, you name it, culture dictates it. So why not create a work space that fits the mold? Don’t worry about costs, in this day and age there are plenty of low cost solutions to create an awesome space. In the end, you will thank yourself for building something special. A place employees can call home, and clients can escape to when they feel the pressures of their work beaming down on some Star Trek shit.