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How to Build a Better Workplace Brand & Culture in 2021 (5 Design Tips)

By Brett Baltz on Apr 1, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Now more than ever, workplace brand and culture go hand-in-hand. Business leaders often view these concepts as a one-or-the-other undertaking, but that's a mistake for one simple reason.  

Your company's workplace brand and culture are permanently linked. Your company culture can drive your brand, and your brand can reinforce the culture. One doesn't change without the other. They can only evolve together in the workplace. 

At Egyptian Workspace Partners, we believe a better brand and culture are key to building a more human workplace. It's also critical to employee satisfaction and fostering a welcoming work environment where people can thrive. 

In this article, we'll help you understand the connection between brand and culture. We'll also show you how to use your space to cultivate a culture, engage your workforce and, over time, build a brand. 

Workplace Brand and Culture: What's the Difference?

What is Brand? 

In the past, the connection between the workplace and its brand was often overlooked beyond a logo or a catchy tagline. People may talk about brand more than ever, but they're still confused as to how it correlates to their workplace culture.

Brand is more than just a logo plastered on the wall or a certain color of paint. It's no longer something you can just apply to the surface of an organization. Brand is who your organization is and most importantly, what others think of you. 

What is Culture? 

Culture is the environment that surrounds you at work all the time. It's how people act when no one is looking. To put it simply, culture is the way your organization gets things done. 

In many ways, culture is the personality of your business, except it encompasses an entire group of people instead of a single person. Culture consists of a collection of qualities that indicate what is important to an organization: 

  • Behaviors are visible. They are what you see people doing or hear them saying. Being on time for meetings is a behavior. 
  • Values are invisible. Transparency accountability are values. If an organization frequently schedules meetings after 5 pm, that's a sign they may not value personal time. 
  • Norms are unwritten rules of conduct. If the organizational norm is to gather in-person for conference calls, the colleague who routinely joins remotely is straying away from the norm.
  • Rituals are patterns of behavior with personal meaning. When an entire team wears the same color each Friday to show camaraderie, that's a ritual. 
  • Artifacts are physical objects and most prominent in the workplace itself. Historical company images in the lobby speak to tradition, while an open work area with no private offices sends a signal that collaboration is valued more than hierarchy. 

Culture is how you attract and retain talent by respecting their needs, supporting their dreams and sharing their values. When employees feel as though they fit in, they're naturally more likely to be happy, satisfied and productive at work. 

5 Ways to build a better brand and workplace culture

1. Offer a Palette of Place, Posture and Presence

Workplace wellbeing is a bottom-line issue. In today's business world, it's more important than ever to create a holistic culture that prioritizes the physical, cognitive and emotional wellbeing of its employees. 

A workplace that offers a palette of place, posture and presence can help boost wellbeing. When employees have more choices, they have a sense of control that helps them feel more empowered, engaged and less stressed. 

To foster wellbeing, employees need an ecosystem of spaces to choose the right kind of setting for the work they need to do. They can choose where and how they want to work, based on the environment they need to be most successful. 

People also need a balance between sitting, standing and walking every day. They should have access to solutions that encourage all-day movement, like sit-stand desks or office seating that encourages active sitting

On top of that, employees need a variety of mixed-presence experiences in workplace destinations to augment interaction. That way, they can collaborate effectively, whether in-person or remotely, without compromising their wellbeing. 

Design Considerations 

  • Offer a variety of settings to help employees feel supported in their work
  • Provide easy-to-adjust furniture to fit a range of sizes, needs and preferences to promote all-day movement
  • Design for physical and emotional comfort through a variety of posture options, including lounge or standing height
  • Create owned and shared spaces that make use of vertical surfaces, so people can make work visible, connect with remote team members via videoconferencing or work alone 
  • Position key work areas close to windows and install glass partitions to increase the amount of natural light within your office

2. Create Spaces that cultivate a collaborative culture

A great company culture results in a collaborative environment where employees can come together to solve problems and generate new ideas in ways that are truly creative and inspiring. 

Topics: Brand & Culture