2019 Office Design Trends That Attract and Retain Top Talent

by Shannon Callarman

This article was first featured in the Daily Herald Business Ledger.

Companies like Google, Nike, and Amazon are known for their iconic office designs that reflect who they are, attracting some of the best talent to work for them. Fortunately, you don't need to be a Fortune 500 company to design a workspace that attracts and retains high-performance employees.

Red Caffeine, a growth consultancy in Lombard, recently underwent an office redesign to implement new trends in the workplace. Here are some of the latest office design trends and examples of how we implemented them.'

Take advantage of multifunctional furniture design

Thanks to multifunctional furniture design, any space, small or large, can be transformed to meet your team's unique needs. With a smaller office space like ours, we didn't want to compensate fun to make room for more meeting space. Our front office is enhanced with high-top tables that double as whiteboards and a conference table that transforms into both a whiteboard and a game of Ping-Pong, always ready for an impromptu match.

Design for both collaboration and deep focus

Some companies argue that open-space design has helped increase collaboration while other companies have seen it damper productivity. Solution? Design for both. Both personality (introvert versus extrovert) and the type of tasks being performed are factors in how a work environment impacts an employee's performance.

Our main office area reflects an open-space layout with desks separated by small dividers to provide privacy while still maintaining a highly collaborative work environment. Our office also includes separate rooms for individuals who require a quiet space to get into a mental flow, take a private phone call, or hammer down on a task to reach a tight deadline.

Use brand standards to tells your company's story

Your company's visual identity should be the primary design palette. It's important to incorporate brand standards throughout your entire office. For us, the color red (which stands for "passion" in our name) is used in every room in unexpected ways from shelves to soundboards.

If you were a candidate coming in for a job interview, the first thing you'll notice is an array of framed portfolio work and red shelves displaying awards and recognition that showcase the type of work we do and why we do it. Think about what your company stands for -- who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Office design that pulls through brand standards to tell a unique story has the power to draw candidates in like the cover of a good book.

Display your company's mission, vision, and values boldly

mission vision values artwork

Even after a strong organizational strategy (mission, vision, and values) has been established, it can still be a challenge to keep them top of mind. One simple solution is to transform your mission, vision, and values into office artwork.

One of our clients, Ergoseal, a leader in custom seal solutions, wanted to improve their company culture, boost morale, and remind employees of the company's rich history during a time of growth. We helped them design large office signage with their mission, vision, value statements, and founder's story printed in branded colors to display throughout the office.

"We wanted to frame our core values to improve our culture and remind our employees what we stand for," states Tom Hilaris, president and CEO of Ergoseal. "We talk about our core values all the time but visually seeing them on display keeps them on top of mind."

Not sure what your employees want in an office space design? Before you spend your entire office design budget, ask your employees want they want. The simplest way to do this is to conduct an employee survey with questions like "What type of work environment do you work best in?" and/or "What do you feel our office is lacking?"

As far as how to attract and retain top talent, employees want to work in an environment that sets employees up for success. Look around -- does your work environment align with your company's core values? If not, it's time for a makeover!

Ready to build a brand people want to work for? Download our Employer Branding Playbook