Office design and company culture

Modern office design isn’t only focused on workflow optimization. Workplace design is deeply rooted in the science of improving employee experience.

Published on 1 June, 2016 | Last modified on 1 November, 2022

How Inventive Office Design Invigorates Company Culture

It’s never encouraged to judge a book by it’s cover, but does the same apply to an office? You can’t tell the quality of a book’s contents just by looking at the material used to hold it together. While the metaphor can be extended to most situations in life, you can typically render how a company functions and how it fosters culture judging by its office layout and design.

It sounds superficial, but modern office design simply isn’t focused on just process and workflow optimization. Today’s workplace design is deeply rooted in the science of improving an employee’s experience. Quite frankly, the happier and more open your employees are, the better the company productivity. Mimeo is certainly a testament to this. In the past year, we’ve moved our headquarters to help fulfill our mission and support employee collaboration.

Mimeo has certainly seen and felt the positive effects that the new office, and its tech-loft aesthetic environment, has prompted. Here are some inventive design elements incorporated in Mimeo’s New York City headquarters that helps foster our collaborative company culture:

Boost Natural Lighting

Few, if any, people prefer artificial or fluorescent alternatives over natural lighting. If seated more than 25 feet away from windows, daylight nearly diminishes and requires more lighting fixtures. Artificial lighting alternatives cause eye strain and are believed to have a number of physical effects like drowsiness, lack of focus and even migraine headaches. In contrast, a study conducted by WebMD found that employees regularly exposed to natural light actually slept better, exercised more and had a better quality of life.
Boost Natural Lighting

When designing the new headquarters, Mimeo incorporated as much natural lighting possible into the design elements. The office has a minimal amount of interior walls and wrap-around exterior windows that offer 360 degree views of Manhattan. Employees work at benching desks in substitution for the enclosed office cubicle which widens the amount of natural light streaming from the windows. Meeting rooms and executive offices are also a product of this design initiative, constructed of glass doors and glass walls.

Create Open Areas for Breakout Sessions

Benching desks have led to to the elimination of walled cubicles and encourages ongoing collaboration and interaction among colleagues. Workers in the United States tend to exhibit more individualistic work styles and will opt for more flexible office layouts where they can choose the spaces that best suit their current tasks, according to Harvard Business Review. A change of scenery can help an employee relax and refocus. Open layout design also encourages fast and flexible work styles for quick toggling between individual and group work.

Create Open Areas for Breakout Sessions

Mimeo’s open areas for breakout sessions encourage employees to pivot between individual and group contribution on-the-fly. If meeting rooms are booked, the office’s large social space serves as a great alternative for impromptu meetings. This takes away the formality of meetings to spur collaboration and creativity when exchanging ideas.

Add the Right Touches of Color

Since we’re a print and digital content distribution company, it would be out-of-place to have our walls vacant of color and art. The core walls are painted white and are complemented by exposed waffle concrete ceilings, polished concrete floors, exposed concrete columns and blackened steel frame counters. Digital monitors are strategically installed on columns and walls throughout the office, streaming company developments and live broadcast news. Employee designed posters and flow charts are placed in view of workstations.

Add the Right Touches of Color

There are pops of colors throughout the office that contrast against its concrete, industrial finishes. In particular, Mimeo’s lounge and kitchen is spotted with red bar stools and lounge chairs along with orange and white privacy booths. These colors are known to impact moods and increase productivity. Red has been shown to increase heart rate, blood flow and invokes passion, points out Entrepreneur. Likewise, colors with a warm hue, like orange, are known to stimulate creativity and foster a sense of optimism.

Take Control of Background Noise

Having an open office with high energy is awesome, but sometimes there’s a need for peace and quiet. Fast Company found that certain degrees of background noise can actually spur creativity, but too much environmental noise can decrease in performance for most people.

Mimeo’s office is designed to absorb sound. Concrete waffle and drop ceilings mitigate noise within open sections and high traffic pathways. Likewise, the carpeting installed beneath work stations reduces sound variances. We also took into consideration noisey office equipment, like printers. These have been placed in less distracting places, like alcoves along the inner core. Every Mimiac is given a bluetooth headset where they can step away from their desks and take calls in privacy booths or small huddle rooms.

Design for the Employee Experience

The corporate culture at Mimeo is democratic, open and energetic. The design reflects our culture, but in a comfortable way. Uncomfortable work environments can lead to lower job satisfaction and increase illness symptoms. Herman Miller suggests applying comfort in the work environment to improve work effectiveness, satisfaction and physical and psychological well-being. A functional way of braiding comfort into the workplace is constructing locations where people can meet and interact.

Design for the Employee Experience
All of Mimeo’s employees are encouraged to decorate their desks with items that make them feel at home, like plants, pictures or gadgets. Away from desks, the heart of the Mimeo office is our social area which is constructed around the coffee bar and lounge. When you enter the social area you don’t feel like you’re ducking into an office break room, it’s a place for multiple functions. We host events and clients there, and is also used for social entertainment. The social area merges Mimeo culture with the outside world – placing the focus on our employees’ experiences.

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Mimeo is a global online print provider with a mission to give customers back their time. By combining front and back-end technology with a lean production model, Mimeo is the only company in the industry to guarantee your late-night print order will be produced, shipped, and delivered by 8 am the next morning. For more information, visit mimeo.com and see how Mimeo’s solutions can help you save time today.

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