Be Careful: design says a lot

In an office environment, it’s always great to add some colour, and variety. Looking at grey walls with grey cubicles can make for some grey faces. So, when my company decided it was time our office got a make over, I was looking forward to it.

Given almost a year later, they are finishing off the cafe and elevator hallways. The “office” area turned out nicely. My desk has more surface area, the new flat screens give more space to work. Even the colours they’ve added are nice in highlights: some mustard and burgundy.

However, as the rest is being completed, the nice highlights are going terrible wrong. My beef, especially is with the elevator hallways. They are huge walls of dry wall bubbles.

Now, the first thing I think in the morning is that I’m in Logan’s Run or 2001: A Space Odyssey. I’m thinking I should be wearing polyester winged collars and bell bottoms that are dated, and yet still supposed to look like the future.

Corporate culture is a tricky balance, especially if you are trying to bring smaller foreign cultures into the fold of larger corporations. There are loads of signals that the employee’s are looking for. Yes, a redesigns are powerful statements. But, with powerful statements come double edged swords. Because of our overhaul, I’m seeing the company very differently.

What a take for the new interior is the company is “trying” to be cooler then they really are. The design tells me, we are trying to be “hip” and “with-it”. Give this and my previous post about the secret office, and it’s clear that they aren’t.

Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. It always comes through loud and clear when the signals are mixed.

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