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Every company knows its customer-facing brand is important. But many, surprisingly, forget how their brand can elevate their own workspace. Bringing your brand into the office can reinforce what your company does and believes, and provide clients and prospects a sense of stability and alignment. And at a time when it’s harder than ever to hold onto employees, encouraging a stronger sense of identity and connection could help you keep them longer. It can be a daily reminder of the company’s ethos and mission.

When you brand a space, it becomes wholly your own,” says Carolyn Price, experience design manager for WSA Studios, a leading work environment design firm. “It’s a way to express not only the visual representation of your brand but also the culture and intangibles.” Using elements like color, texture, words and the corporate logo, she says, helps connect employees to the company identity. “Especially if they’re not coming into the office every day,” she adds. “It’s vital to have a place that reiterates the brand and culture.

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Put Brand Graphics to Work

“Large-scale art draws your employees, partners and visiting clients’ attention and extends an invitation to explore and discover,” writes Martha Weidman in WorkDesign Magazine. Virtually every wall—and even the floors—can be used to express your brand. Consider the interior of your elevator: cover that fake wood paneling with visuals or stylized messages to create an entirely different feel. Brand expressions in uncommon areas tell both employees and clients that this is a company that values creativity, imagination and innovation. And it doesn’t have to only be your logo or brand language—use photos or illustrations of your products or vintage photos showing your company’s history.

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“I’ve always looked at it as a way of storytelling that doesn’t involve a person speaking,” says Kirsten Sheely, an interior designer with WSA Studios. “It’s all about visual cues: who you are, why you do what you do, where you came from and where you’re going.”

 

Experiment With Color

It may seem like a no-brainer to pull your company colors into your workspace…but it also depends on the individual brand palette. If the hues are bold and bright, too much of it could overpower employees on a large scale. Instead, select more neutral tones overall with pops of your company colors interspersed in the furnishings, décor and graphics. HON offers a multitude of colorful chair fabrics, panel fabrics and paint finishes to choose from that can be coordinated with your visual identity.

“The application of color really speaks to the brand personality,” says Sheely of WSA. “Some people might use color in small doses because they aren’t looking to be loud and bold, they’re looking to be more sophisticated.”

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Choose the Right Furniture

“The style of furniture can define a company’s culture,” says Lauren Miller, design manager at WSA. “If you walk into a space and there’s a lot of lounge furniture, it gives you a very definite cultural vibe. But if you go into an office and it’s a more of a hoteling setup or a little more formal seating arrangement, a different brand identity is reinforced very quickly.”

An insurance company, for example, might feature cubicles allowing for more individual “heads down” work and client privacy, such as HON’s Abound® collection for mix-and-match spaces. A tech startup might opt for a more open workspace that allows for transparency and easy collaboration, like HON’s Gravitational™ Beam workspace system paired with stationary or height-adjustable tables like Coordinate™ to meet individual needs.

As more and more workers return to the office or maintain a hybrid working schedule, companies are incorporating “resimercial” elements to their spaces. As we noted in this previous Think Space article, casual lounges aren’t just for lobbies anymore—companies are finding they’re just as useful for employees behind the scenes.

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Like home furniture, these pieces are softer and more comfortable than typical office options, with colors and design details you might expect in a store like West Elm or IKEA, but built for business use. Chosen with brand colors, products like these can help you bridge the two worlds where many workers now spend their time. Resimercial products, like HON’s West Hill™ casual lounge collection, pull off a tricky combo: they boast the design appeal of fine home furniture, but are built to withstand the rigors of the workplace.

Use Lighting More Intentionally

Don’t underestimate the power of lighting in defining your brand space. It can illuminate (pun intended) what your company is all about.

“Lighting can help evoke a feeling among your office visitors, which helps tell your brand story,” writes Lou Burton for workplace technology provider SwipedOn. “If you’re a wellness company that promotes relaxation, soft lighting reinforces a state of calmness. If you’re a high-end fashion brand, using elegant light fixtures enhances an environment of sophistication.”

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Of course, employees need the correct lighting to do their jobs, too. HON offers LED and fluorescent under-cabinet lighting, as well as LED desktop task lights. Your local HON dealer can help you explore the different lighting options to best suit your office needs.

Armed with these four ideas, walk through your office and see which spaces could be brought to life through your brand imagery, color, furniture or lighting. Even just one or two of these options can bring new energy to your work world.

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