In the past several years, there has been a growing trend taking place in workspace environments. Employers are placing greater significance on communicating the company brand within the office work environment, and using the office space to create a specific and distinct company culture. As real estate project managers, we have witnessed this trend over and over again, with increasing importance.
Creating culture through the physical work environment can play a significant role in helping employees to fully understand and embody the company values. This is a powerful strategy that immerses the internal audience in the organization’s messaging so that employees learn to live it every day. The goal is for the brand to become part of the company culture, for employees feel a positive association with the company brand, and to personally identify with it. Consequently, employees are better able to deliver the brand experience.
Company culture impacts employee morale, hiring, productivity and ultimately, the bottom line. Employers are making a larger effort to benefit not just their shareholders, but those who work every day to make it happen.
So what does this look like?
In order to effectively communicate brand and culture within an office, the design must capitalize on opportunities for communicating that brand and cultivating company culture. An optimal space for doing this is in office amenities like a cafe.
Food offerings is not a new workspace amenity, but many companies are placing greater importance on providing fresh, healthy and locally sourced food options, rather than traditional vending machines. Space is being set-aside during the design process to create aesthetically pleasing cafes that encourage employees to eat together as co-workers, rather than working in isolation through the lunch hour. Some employers are even subsidizing meals and snacks for employees, encouraging a healthy lifestyle and diet.
When space is not available, employers are finding new ways to offer lunch inside the office, rather than sending employees out. The advantage to a food service is that employers are able to offer a fresh, hot meal everyday with essentially no overheard. These services keep employees on site, which encourages more time in the office, and more productive and collaborative employees.
There has been a shift in the past several years in which companies want to take care of their employees by creating a happy and healthy company culture. Food is one of many steps employers take to drive a positive company culture. After all, food is the ingredient that binds us together.