Your Working Environment–the holistic approach to branding your workplace!
Article by http://www.elementalsholisticliving.co.uk
I was walking to the bus station on my way home a few weeks ago with a lot on my mind. We’d been working on a project with some employees to develop a scheme that they felt represented their company when what appeared to be the worst thing happened – we got ‘branded’.
Don’t get me wrong - brand is important – it’s the lifeblood of any company and helps us identify and distinguish between the thousands of different organisations out there. We’re surrounded by branding all the time via the internet, mailings, magazines, billboards, TV, mobile phones, etc. but do we really need it within our work places as well? Most of us spend at least a third of our lives at work and the design and layout of our workplace has a massive impact on our performance as well as our relationship with our company and customers.
So how does branding a commercial interior work? The most common way is to replicate the company brochure using pantone references to form the interior colour palette which is then used for wall coverings, seating, screening, etc. This is then combined with standard corporate graphics such as posters, etc. to help communicate the company’s products, services and ideals. Colour schemes developed in this way don’t usually work where company logos and brand palettes comprise of strong graphical colour and not the muted tones which are more suitable for interior schemes. Where employees are concerned, the poster solutions are generally so familiar to them that they filter them out and the messages are lost.
So how can you get the brand message across while still keeping the energy and vibrancy of the space? You can use imagery to represent your core company values and introduce subtle references to logos, colour, products, services, etc. and you can work with your staff to come up with ideas that they can really own and feel proud of. The key is you have to be innovative and find non obvious ways of linking into your brand and the products you sell.
The way you use space and the products you specify also say a lot about your brand and your culture. Is it an open area, full of plants, break-out spaces and different work settings with lots of air and energy giving the feeling of empowerment and organisation or is it designed around silos and hierarchy with managers keeping a close eye on their staff? Both scenarios give a very different feel to visitors to your business. Are environmental issues important to your staff and your clients? If the answer is yes, have you considered the full lifecycle of the furnishings and fittings that you have selected as these choices makes a very important statement about your company.
You should feel proud of your workplace and the key with any successful interior scheme is to gain the perfect balance between the amazing range of tints, tones and shades of colour that are available. Depending on which country you are based in, there are cultural associations with colour and these also need be investigated and considered as part of your scheme-especially if your business is located in more than one country.
Neutral tones are generally supporting and grounding but need to be enlivened with touches of stronger colour. Hot russet reds, rich oranges and bright yellows raise the body temperature and are excellent in spaces where you need to interact and communicate or where activity is to take place. Luscious greens are calming on the eye, give a feeling of abundance and growth while providing links to nature and inspiring creativity. Cool blues and lavenders lower the perceived temperature of the room, are calming and encourage introspection.
When choosing your colour scheme you need to look at your brand, your culture, your building and your processes to come up with a collective palette which works holistically on every level. There should be nothing more exciting than developing something which you feel fully encompasses the feelings that you and your staff have towards your company – and your brand.
To finish my story, as I waited in the bus station, I picked up a brochure for a local tour company, flicking it open at an image of a beautiful sunset in bright oranges and fiery reds - a quotation in the bottom right corner read ‘Only the soul can comprehend what the eye sees’. For me, that sums it up.
Elementals… provide training and consultancy in Holistic Interior Design which works with people to produce environmentally sound and soulful interior environments for both domestic and commercial applications.
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