Design, staff turnover and creativity

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As a small business, it can sometimes be difficult to compete with large companies in terms of wages – so for me, investing in new offices and staff canteen to attract staff while looking great for our clients was something I had to explore. There’s always challenges in finding the right people for the right positions and for us, we feel it’s important to do everything we can to reduce employee turnover once we’ve got the right people.

I read a great article in Dezeen a while ago explaining how offices can be designed to help attract staff, retain them and make them more innovative and productive. Office furniture brand Haworth developed a living lab as a testing ground to measure how interior design can affect productivity and impact on employee behaviour. The results? For them it was one of the best recruiting tools they had.

So about two years ago, we went ahead with our staff canteen. Over the years, I’ve heard from a lot of different sources that a company culture can get in the way of innovation and stifle creativity. And with design being such an important element of our offering, we had to make sure we facilitated collaboration and the sharing of new ideas.

In our experience, each project and design must support the organisations culture – the brand values, its type of work, staff attitudes and the physical surroundings. And if done right, a clever design can kickstart a positive attitude towards change by disrupting any existing culture and habits you don’t want while helping create ones you do want.

We integrated a meeting pod for our clients in our canteen to reflect our values and create sense of openness and transparency – and if I’m honest it’s changed how we work.

There’s a better atmosphere between teams and better communication between them. We’re holding more better-quality meetings now – something that’s had a really positive effect on our project management and fitout delivery. Because we fitted it out ourselves, it’s also a great opportunity for us to showcase our quality joinery and show our clients how our design translates into the finished product.

We’ve got plans in place for the near future to inject a similar amount of thought and design into our offices as we grow and move towards creating a fitout company that’s a design destination – we can’t wait!

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