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The Silent Killer of Company Culture

Blog The Silent Killer of Company Culture

Eryka Chowaniec

Written by Eryka Chowaniec

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You might think your office layout is just about fitting desks and chairs into a room. But guess what? It's a lot more than that! The way your office is set up can make or break your company culture. Yes, really. Your office layout could be silently killing your company culture—and you might not even realise it. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you turn things around!

The Surprising Ways Office Layout Affects Your Team

An office layout isn't just a design choice. It impacts how people communicate, collaborate, and feel at work. Here’s how your current setup might be sabotaging your company culture:

  • Cubicle chaos: Remember the old days of endless rows of cubicles? If your office still looks like a maze of partitions, it's time for a change. Isolated workstations can make employees feel like they’re working in silos, reducing spontaneous interactions and a sense of community.

  • Open-plan overwhelm: On the flip side, while open-plan offices are meant to boost collaboration, they often backfire. Noise, distractions, and a lack of privacy can stress employees out. A Harvard Business Review study found that open offices can actually reduce face-to-face interactions by 70%. Yes, you read that right!

  • No space for collaboration: If your office lacks dedicated spaces for teamwork and brainstorming, you’re stifling innovation. Without these areas, employees might feel they have nowhere to share ideas or work together effectively. Gensler’s Workplace Survey found that innovative companies are five times more likely to have collaborative workspaces.

  • Ergonomic nightmares: Uncomfortable chairs, poorly placed desks, and bad lighting can lead to physical discomfort and health issues. No one can do their best work if they're constantly shifting in their seat or squinting at their screen.

  • Sterile environment: An impersonal office can make employees feel like they’re just a number. If your space lacks personal touches, it can feel cold and uninviting. Human Spaces research shows that adding natural elements boosts employee well-being and creativity by 15%.

Why Should You Care?

Ignoring your office layout can have some serious consequences:

  • Low morale: A disconnected, uncomfortable workspace leads to unhappy employees and stressed. And such employees aren’t going to stick around for long.

  • Decreased productivity: Constant distractions and discomfort mean employees can’t focus. The University of California, Irvine found it takes an average of 23 minutes to refocus after an interruption. Multiply that by all the daily distractions in an open office, and you’ve got a productivity disaster.

  • Weak communication: An office layout that doesn’t encourage interaction weakens communication. McKinsey found that effective communication can improve productivity by up to 25%.


How to Fix Your Office Layout and Boost Company Culture

Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. In one of our previous articles, we covered some ideas on how you can transform your office into a culture-boosting powerhouse.

Your office layout is more than just a floor plan—it’s a crucial element of your company culture. By thoughtfully designing your workspace, you can create an environment where employees feel valued, motivated, and connected. It’s not just about making the office look good; it’s about creating a space where everyone loves to work!

So, take a look around your office. What changes can you make to improve the space and, in turn, boost your company culture?

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