Evolution Of The Office

Office Evolution

When a company is in start-up mode it’s novel to have overcrowded offices, loose wires hanging, and desks made of old doors and garbage cans.

While I miss those days, there is something to be said about how an office evolves as its company grows. Right now, we’re having a bit of a growth spurt and are caught in the awkward teenage years. Some parts of our office have brand new workstations while other parts are cluttered with hand-me-down folding tables.

Some employees don’t notice the chaos. Others despise it daily. It’s my opinion that culture can really be hindered if the office space doesn’t match up to the stage of life the company is going through as well as the culture it’s trying to foster.

One of my new projects is to re-think and re-design our current space so it’s more conducive to the type of culture we’re trying to maintain and build (collaborative, fun, passionate) .

I’m going to be visiting companies that “just get it” and will be gathering ideas that we can implement in our own office.

The project is kicking off with a trip to Kahler Slater in Milwaukee and I couldn’t be more excited. Not only are they a holistic design and architecture firm but they have a proven track record for designing some of the countries most well designed office buildings.


3 thoughts on “Evolution Of The Office

    • Employees personal organization/work styles don’t hinder a re-design but certainly make it more challenging. Part of the solution is to talk to employees, do research and figure out which environment/equipment they need to be most productive. Once you have that information (which will probably vary with every employee) you have to create flexible work areas that can be manipulated by the the employee inhabiting it. For example, wall space should be able to accommodate a whiteboard, filing system or cork board. Then employees can pick which of those they hang based on their needs. The good news is that office furniture is becoming much more interactive to meet these demands.

  1. Awesome project Marisa! You should visit IDEO or Google 🙂 Those are the workspaces I dream of working in…

    We’re kind of still in that start-up phase where we work on hand me down folding tables. I’m almost not looking forward to upgrading in the next yr or two because then we’ll be focusing on the color of the walls or the size of our desks and not on our customers. It’s a tough transition to get right without losing focus.

    Keep us posted on how it goes!


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