Design Matters

by Lorenzo Piccoli

On vacation, would you ever choose a hotel with fluorescent lighting and drab grey rooms? The answer is obvious. But plenty of small-business owners forget simple things when it comes to office design. Exactly how do the smartest, most collaborative small companies use office design to reinforce their culture and inspire creativity? Furniture-maker Turnstone recently visited 19 of America’s coolest small businesses to find out. Here are some tips – and clicking on this link you’ll find more, along with pictures.

  • play anthropologist: forget asking your employees how they would like to furnish it and try watching them instead;
  • allow your employees to bring in personal items, family photos;
  • let your team pick personalized coffee mugs, items on their desks;
  • think you need one desk per team member? Think again;
  • like a good city or a good restaurant, have thematic zones;
  • cultivate density – and buzz;
  • set a space for concentrated thinking;
  • brand your space with iconic objects;
  • add plants, as well as natural materials, light, and games (ie. ping pong tables) is another small change that pays big dividends.