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IMAGE CREDIT: James John Jetel

Fostering Company Culture With Your Space

Make the most of a workplace by creating an environment that engages everyone who uses it

You’ve probably heard time and again that having a great culture is one of the most important drivers of success for an organization. For proof you don’t have to look any further than some of the biggest companies in the world. Apple. Amazon. Tesla. All of these companies are wildly successful and are known for having a great workplace culture. It’s no coincidence. They’re inherently connected. But how do they do it? 

The power of culture

Culture revolves around the attitude and values embodied by a group of people. These can vary a lot, but they all play a part in shaping the way people interact with one another at work. In most organizations, strong workplace culture comes from leadership, but employees and the physical space are equally important. They’re what brings that culture to life. If you want to truly stand out these three pieces are essential. 

Share spaces spark collaboration


Culture doesn’t just create a great place for employees to work. It also has a big impact on the bottom line. Employees at a company with an excellent culture are more likely to feel connected and valued. This increases employee retention. Drastically. In fact, great culture and engagement results in a 59% drop in employee turnover. Employees working in these types of environments are also more productive. They feel they are an important part of building their businesses and creating something special. This is how Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk built companies that define their markets today. 

Culture creates a positive work environment

IMAGE CREDIT: Latitude Photography

Culture and the built environment

The physical space plays a powerful role in shaping the perception people have about something. You know this. Think about that last time you went to store. If the physical space looks like it was built 30 years ago and hasn’t seen a fresh coat of paint since, there’s a good chance you’d have a lousy experience. At the very least you would get a bad vibe from the place. In contrast, when you walk into a brand-new, high-tech space that looks as though it was built specifically to meet your needs, you’re probably more into it. And you’re going to have a much easier time forking over your hard-earned money. Just think of the last time you visited an Apple store. 

Shared spaces spark collaboration

IMAGE CREDIT: James John Jetel

Space is the catalyst to disrupt and transform culture.

Rex Miller, author of Change your Space, Change your Culture

This is also true when talking about the culture in offices, hospitals, and schools. When a prospective employee first walks into your space, the built environment shapes the way they view your business. If they’re hired, this first impression will probably hold on for their entire time at your organization. Why is this? 

It’s simple. Culture needs to be holistic. If your executives simply say, “We have a great culture,” it can feel hollow. If they actually show employees they’re committed to culture by building a great space, it feels genuine. The built environment is the best way to show the world that you are serious about fostering a great workplace culture. 

So, what can you do to foster your corporate culture? 



Your culture, shaped in DIRTT

Your space shouldn’t be limiting your organization’s potential. With DIRTT, it isn’t. Using our proprietary design integration software ICE®, you can design, price, and build the perfect space that will represent your brand and build talent for years to come. Like these. 

Nulli Identity Management

Nulli is at the forefront of online identity management. Ensuring their employees are doing their best work each day is paramount. Their high-profile clients depend on Nulli to keep their identities secure in an ever-changing online space. Nulli’s physical space lets them do that. It gives employees the tools and inspiration they need to meet their mission of making the internet a safe place. 

In-house cafes create community and culture

Their vibrant office space is flexibility for future growth. A massive mural of the Rocky Mountains was commissioned and printed on DIRTT wall panels, bringing a touch of inspiration and local culture to their space. Communal workspaces encourage collaboration and engagement as employees build software to secure their clients identities. An in-house café keeps employees in the office over lunch, which allows them to really get to know each other, fostering a sense of community. Keeping employees in the office during breaks also cuts down on wasted time and improves operational efficiency for Nulli. 

Mennonite Economic Development Associates

Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) had a vibrant vision for their new headquarters. As an organization that’s been creating business opportunities for people living in poverty across the globe for over 65 years, they wanted their office to embody a global-village theme. The goal was to weave their unique mission and purpose into the space to create a sense of purpose by showing some of their projects. Just walking into the office elevates the drive of the people working there. Seeing the difference you’re making every day while you’re working? Now that’s inspiring. 

Graphic panels shows the change MEDA is making in the world

IMAGE CREDIT: Kristen Clancy 2017

Tech company’s Detroit office

This tech giant recognizes that people are their biggest asset. They wanted to channel this core value when building out their new office space in Detroit. This meant crafting a space that was comfortable and empowering for employees and clients alike. To achieve this, their design has a residential and hospitality influence. Home-style communal kitchens. Boardrooms that resemble living rooms. Custom hidden bookcases. These types of elements humanize their workspace, helping people connect with one another by creating a sense of home. 

Resimercial design in action


Their primary goal was to increase employee retention and engagement by creating a space that allowed them to work in the way that best suited them. Using a blend of commercial and residential design let them do that. They created a space their employees wanted be. Blending communal workspaces, private offices, and call rooms increases comfort and empowers their team. 

So, be the leader you know you can be. Let culture flow down from the top and build an environment that serves as a conduit to inspire your people to create amazing outcomes. 

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