The Key to Workplace Success: Unlocking the Benefits of Creating a Sense of Place
Cultivating a sense of place in the workplace goes deeper than design and layout. The overall concept of a “sense of place” is at the center of having a place of identity, a place of dependence, place of attachment. Let’s explore incorporating this into the workplace, why it’s important, and the benefits it brings.
What Does a Sense of Place Mean in the Office Space?
Think about why you chose where you live. From the city to the neighborhood, down to the street, and building or home. Think about your friends and the social groups you belong to. This creates your sense of home and belonging. Similar to how one might choose an office building, in a specific part of the city, and even the state it’s located – these elements all create the overall sense of place.
“A sense of place is a unique collection of qualities and characteristics – visual, cultural, social, and environmental – that provide meaning to a location. Sense of place is what makes one city or town different from another, but sense of place is also what makes our physical surroundings worth caring about.” – planetizen.com
For the office, prioritizing how the space feels and looks can help to inspire employees, while making a captivating space. This boosts office morale and makes people feel more comfortable to create and express themselves. It also creates purpose, and deeper care, and connects to the mission of the organization – making people want to be in the space. Taking a mindful approach to how any office area is designed and handled can cultivate this sense of place. Specific design elements that encourage the uniqueness of the space give it its own personality. Let’s get into more detail.
Ways to Create a Sense of Place
One of the first steps into creating a sense of space has, oddly enough, nothing to do with the space itself. It has to do with listening to the needs and desires of the employees. They are the ones who inhabit the space on a daily basis, and hearing what they want in the workspace can provide impactful insights.
Then, consider where you are in the world. Go back to those initial elements of the building, state, city, and environment the office is located. Pick and choose some qualities of the surroundings to highlight. These can be historical elements of the city, or maybe your office is located in a historic building. Keeping period hardware, exposed brick, original wood flooring or wood beams incorporated into the rest of the design adds warmth and character. You may have access to vintage artwork or collections that can enhance office decor.
Is there a great view of a river or park outside your office? How can you bring those naturalistic elements into the workspace? Include environmental features such as repurposed furniture pieces that use material from in and around the city. It could also be as easy as having a large window with working spaces overlooking the outdoor view. Go a step deeper – the wall frames, shape of the furniture, or decor inside could match the waves and flowing movement of the water seen outside.
By highlighting these unique qualities, you can capture and connect to the overall energy of your location. It also supports local vendors and the economy and is a more sustainable way to renovate. You will notice the difference it makes walking off the street and into the office.
Try experimenting with different areas of the office. Some materials may be easier to come by than others. Certain themes may simply fit better with the design and layout of the space. If you need inspiration on where to begin, look at upcoming trends and make a connection to how you can incorporate them into your unique surroundings.
Like variety? Employees do too! Some offices create themes for each room or workspace within the office. This also supports the flexibility and options that coworkers are wanting more and more in the modern-day office space. Remember that you can start small by experimenting and renovating. Discovering one piece or element may inspire the rest of the theme you run with. The more you explore, the more you will learn!
wilsonbauhaus loves this concept. Let our experts help you create an irresistible sense of place at your office. Contact us today or visit our website and let’s chat about what makes you and your office unique.