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Key Design & Culture Elements That Can Dramatically Affect Any Business

By Shay Hughes

Every workspace serves a much greater purpose than providing four walls to house your business. It is where people are inspired, where leaders grow and where your company’s culture thrives. From the size of your space to the design, layout and location, every choice you make about your office will have a lasting impact on your team, your clients and your future. If utilized in the right way, workspace can play a critical role in the success and culture for any business.

As President & COO of a commercial real estate company that is on a mission to disrupt our antiquated industry, we are always looking for ways to stand out as a thought leader in the world of corporate real estate. We have the opportunity to work with thousands of companies and have learned a lot over the years both with our own company, as well as helping others thrive, and love sharing these insights with clients to help them succeed.

With national-recognition of our culture from Fortune, Entrepreneur and Inc., in addition to numerous local publications, companies are constantly reaching out to us for guidance on how to improve their own offices and company cultures. In addition to our Culture Consulting services, we recently launched our Planning + Design service line to help our clients build and design their workspaces focused around enhancing productivity, communication and company culture.

Here’s a sneak peek into five of our favorite ways that design and culture have shaped our award-winning company, that can dramatically affect the success of your business!

Comfortable Home Furnishings

Believe it or not, adding touches of home to the workspace can positively affect company culture and bring welcoming vibes to the office. By adding familiar home furnishings like plush couches, leather seating, coffee tables with intriguing books, a gourmet kitchen and fresh flower bouquets, our teammates and guests instantly feel at home and love coming to our offices! Each of our spaces feature family photo gallery walls, which have become warming focal points, and are a great way for businesses to incorporate a family atmosphere. You can instantly put your team at ease by providing a pleasant workspace that your team is proud to call a second home!

Inspiring Art

We like to keep our offices as colorful, energizing and playful as possible! Our collections include oversized candy sculptures, retro mixed-media pieces, neon signs and gallery walls packed with cute phrases, photos and iconic figures. Each office features an oversized, glamorous piece by Anja Van Herle, which adds a feminine, stylish flair that we love! Art has the power to inspire your team, and also serves as a great conversation starter for clients too. We always recommend choosing pieces that speak to you and your team, so anyone who steps into your space can instantly get a glimpse inside your culture!

Playful Décor

No matter if you run a marketing agency, a life science company or a law firm, it’s important to have playful décor to add charm and inspire anyone who steps into your space. We feature one-of-a-kind trinkets, beautiful coffee table books and whimsical chandeliers to remind our team to have fun and always enjoy the journey. Our coffee table books have inspired our own marketing team and our décor provides for wonderful Instagram-able opportunities!

Binding Core Values

Above everything else, the ten Core Values we developed as a team at the very beginning have had the most monumental impact on every aspect of our business–from hiring new teammates, to the amazing company culture we’ve been able to grow and nurture, to the way we treat our clients. Since developing our Core Values and sharing them with the world, we have been able to convey what means the most to us, and companies and job candidates want to work with us and join our team knowing the values we are committed to. They bind our team as a family. Developing Core Values are a critical factor to the success of any business, and they have taken Hughes Marino to successes beyond our wildest dreams!

Uplifting Team Communication

Clear and proactive communication is a tremendous aspect of any successful company, so it might as well be uplifting, too! We heavily encourage appreciation and gratitude on a daily basis and in team meetings through our signature WOW cards, where team members recognize each other for going above and beyond. If anyone on our team comes across an insightful or inspiring article or quote, we share it with the team to spread the positive vibes! Our Core Value #9 is to proactively communicate with everyone, including to work to resolve problems, not avoid them. By living this Core Value, our team has become so much closer, and we are also experts at solving challenges together. By encouraging your team to engage in open and uplifting conversations, and by embracing appreciation, you can empower them to take pride in their work and their relationships with their teammates.

While some of these aspects are easier to implement than others, we have found that these five elements of design and culture have played a huge part in our success as a company.

Office design and company culture work hand-in-hand to inspire and invigorate teams, and have the ability to dramatically affect businesses in many ways, and nothing is more fulfilling than helping our clients build their dream spaces to cultivate positive environments for their teams to grow and thrive.

This article originally appeared in CSQ Magazine.

Shay Hughes is president, COO, and owner of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices across the nation. Shay writes about business leadership and company culture on her blog, Lead from Within. Contact Shay at 1-844-662-6635 or shay@hughesmarino.com to learn more.



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