When it comes to workplace interiors, there are many reasons to update your image.
If you find that your company is no longer as stimulating or productive as it used to be, maybe it’s time to re-imagine your workplace. The real estate cost of your facility is the second highest overhead cost that a business incurs next to labor. Combining labor and real estate makes the planning and design of your work environment the most important series of decisions that you can undertake . . . so don’t skimp on the time or effort it takes to design your workplace environment. Your investment can make the difference between success and failure. Hire an experienced interior architect and plan carefully.
There can be many reasons for change.
1) Your company may have updated your work processes or procedures, but your physical space no longer supports the new mission. You may need new furniture or a rearrangement of existing furniture within your existing space. Adjacencies between and among departments can be critical. Workflow needs to be understood. Make sure your consultant understands how you work. You’ve heard of efficiency experts? That’s what a good interior architect does.
2) You company has made changes that affect your capacity and employee count, and that directly affects the amount of space you need (larger or smaller). You may need to relocate, expand or downsize. This is an excellent opportunity to redefine your look. Careful planning of the new workspace is more than selecting carpet and picking paint colors — it’s creating a three-dimensional space that includes light, texture color and furnishings.
3) You may have recently integrated new technologies into the work environment, and the old furniture no longer supports or accommodates the equipment. Shrinking workstations allows for more common area in a workplace and creates ancillary spaces for collaboration, enhanced creativity and promotes out-of-the-box thinking.
4) You need to attract new clientele. As you update your branding, your physical space needs to reflect who you are and what you do. Image is everything, and your look should tell your story and reflect your values to your customers. Your space should be inviting, appealing and comfortable.
5) You need to recruit new talent and retain the talent you have. First impressions are important. Your environment should reflect the professionalism and culture of your organization. Tired, old finishes and materials don’t exactly project success. A well-designed workplace can improve employee morale and enhance productivity. Give them the workspace that they need to be successful in your organization.
6) You want to provide a green, healthy and sustainable environment for your employees. More and more employees are sensitive to the impact you have on our society. Use of renewable and recyclable materials tells your staff that you are committed to their health and welfare.
A typical interior lasts between 7-10 years, but only with good maintenance. If you haven’t updated in that timeframe, it’s probably time. Let’s take the example of Aspire CPA’s, LLC. After ten years, it was time for a new image.
When Aspire contacted Brenner Design ten years after BDI had designed their original space, they requested a change from a traditional design aesthetic to a more contemporary, cosmopolitan look that would appeal to a younger client base. Being CPAs they, of course, had a fixed budget in mind.
Aspire’s request for a new image was primarily motivated by reason #4 above — the desire to attract new clientele — but it was an excellent time to also address productivity and creating an environment where employees thrive. First, we carefully evaluated areas to be renovated in order minimize construction costs and maximize impact. The concept included changes to the color palette, floor and wall finishes, accent lighting and furniture. The reception desk was redesigned using new materials to create a light, airy feel. New pendant lighting and furniture in the lobby and conference room were selected to complete the look.
In order to accommodate additional employees, large, drab, out-of-date cubicles were replaced with more efficiently sized components that incorporated glass, metals and brightly colored fabric and finishes. The staff work area was redesigned to create an open collaborative space fostering interaction between the staff. New low height workstations allowed more light into the space.
“At Aspire CPAs, we often think in terms of the William Shakespeare metaphor that “All the world’s a stage,” says Aspire’s Thomas Comisso. “Our office is our stage in a sense . . . our “front stage” is how we visually present ourselves to and interface with our clients and prospects. And while the “back stage” isn’t quite as visible, it’s equally important because that’s where our staff spends the majority of their time. For good reason, we’ve always placed a very high emphasis on feeling good about our overall office surroundings.
“On two separate occasions within the past ten years, we’ve been very fortunate to have engaged Brenner Design to help us with a comprehensive “front and back stage” redesign of our entire office space,” Comisso continues. “Brenner has provided comprehensive A-Z style design, construction supervision and furniture procurement services that have made each makeover relatively easy and hassle free. The office makeovers have helped create a culture that keeps us feeling fresh and rejuvenated as a firm.”
Working together to achieve the desired effect while staying within the specified budget, we were able to help Aspire make an investment that will pay off for years to come — and that makes a CPA’s day!