Office culture in Russia has started developing not long ago. The growth of the IT-industry urged the need for open co-working spaces and well-equipped working areas. At first, companies aspired to offices like in Google, Apple Park and Microsoft where working conditions for the staff are perfect. Now office design is mostly aimed at a particular task completion — individuality is coming to the foreground.
Case 1. Creating Comfortable Working Conditions for the Current Staff
The staff is the major value for Sever Minerals, an official Russian representative of Metso, a Finnish mining company. Sever Minerals believes that a healthy working atmosphere helps to avoid staff turnover and to keep the team together. Its Saint-Petersburg office initially occupied 150 square metres. Since 2013 the company staff has been increasing, therefore the main goal of the design project was to zone the new premises of 1200 square metres. Main guidelines were to have as few walls as possible and to create a large open space.
Cool office design
DESIGNIC specialists divided the whole office space into several zones:
- separate cabinets for those who need concentration;
- open space for effective cooperation within the team;
- office recreation zone in the central part for informal communication, meetings, and presentations.
Sofas with high acoustic sides in the recreation zone are comfortable for telephone negotiations or chatting with colleagues. To have a snack one may go to the company cafeteria equipped with poofs or to the coffee station area with backless bar stools. Homelike furniture smoothens the traditional office austerity, plants and succulents add to the homely atmosphere, too.
Creative office design
The concept centers around Scandi style and natural materials. Grey and white colours match the wood, bright green and orange are used as accent details. Exclusive mountain prints on the cupboards in the cafeteria correlate with the company’s profile.
Open space office design
In design, you need to consider the industry and the corporate identity of the company while interpreting it in a non-trivial and creative way. To avoid stereotypes and find unusual solutions it’s good to work more with images and imagery.
Acoustics was paid special attention to: marmoleum flooring with sound absorption was used in the open space; soft acoustic screens were installed between working spaces; acoustic panels with built-in LED lights were placed in the of private communication zone.
Best company office designs
Case 2: Hiring the Best Staff for Your Company
Office interior design might help to recruit the best specialists, which is one of the major concerns of HR departments in IT and other industries.
The task of a designer is to create an office that will make a job seeker want to stay in this very company the moment they walk from the reception to the meeting room.
Designer office is an unbeatable advantage of any employer. Office space pictures are often published on the company’s website or in online job announcements. A good example is DESIGNIC project for Fortis Online.
Open space office design
The office of this young and advanced company with over 100 IT specialists is located in a modern business center. The area of 1200 square meters accommodates an open space, a meeting room, a kitchen with a cafeteria, and a green field with a swing and poofs. One may take a break in a gaming zone, a little library or a mini-football pitch.
Aesthetic office design
Employees need an opportunity to have a break, change the focus, and chat with their co-workers in a friendly atmosphere – this is what lounge areas, coffee stations and kitchens are for. Sports facilities are getting more and more popular these days, so it’s important to provide shower rooms too. A good idea is to make a special zone for company meetings or an area which can be transformed into a lecture hall, thus not staying empty and unused most of the time.
Glass walls let natural light pass easily, textile and wooden surfaces with moss elements inside cabinets make them cozy. Blue and grey are the leading colours, the accents are red bionic lamps, bright green decorative elements on the walls and floor, and multicolour ropes for hanging swings and bookshelves.
Aesthetic company office design
As the IT industry in Russia develops and Russian IT specialists get more valued in the world labour market, companies understand that with good office design they can win the battle for the best staff. They want to hire top employees and do their best to keep up with the trends, but very often lack creativity and use labels. For example, if Yandex uses Herman Miller chairs, everyone goes after the same chairs, too.
Case 3: Showing the Company’s Values and Mission
The office interior can reflect major values of the company and build its corporate image. Some companies care about the history of the business and its development, others value international activity, its openness and flexibility. Working at Jotun Paints’s office DESIGNIC’s designers paid special attention to the corporate identity. Norwegian company Jotun is a leading manufacturer of indoor paints and outdoor coatings. Its main Russian office is located in Saint Petersburg.
The starting point for the design project was Jotun’s brand book. Designers used it to make graphics and ordered framed posters. The wall behind the reception desk is split into three parts using corporate colours: a blue background with the logo and a grey-and-white background with the slogan.
Cool office design
One wall is decorated with posters bearing graphical images of the company’s major values, such as courage, care, loyalty and respect. Laconic furniture, reserved decor and natural materials emphasize the Scandinavian origin of the brand.
Aesthetic office design
The entrance area should set the right mood for both the staff and visitors, reflect the company’s activity and values. In the waiting hall it is good to have space for catalogues and booklets to make the visitor interested. There are rules on how to organize the reception area in accordance with visitors’ expected behavior: one should enter, make an inquiry, take off warm clothes, have a seat, wait, have a coffee and proceed to the meeting room.
Similar solutions of expressing a company’s image were used by DESIGNIC designers when working for Kemira, a world leader in manufacturing chemical agents. The entrance zone is in greyish beige colours, the wall is decorated with brand graphics elements, and right opposite the entrance there is the company’s logo and a rack with handouts.
The walls of the meeting room are painted warm beige, the focus is on the photos of the major moments in the company’s history. Its key values — efficient resource usage and environmental sustainability — are echoed in the interior concept: the accent on natural materials, calm colours, and plenty of plants which help effectively zone the space.
Company office design
The base of the design project should be the philosophy and values of the company. Some prioritize innovations or value natural materials, others believe that the most important technological point is being eco-friendly, and such companies are ready to spend their resources on sorting rubbish, saving water and electricity.
It is clear that to emphasize the corporate unique character and competitiveness, one needs to keep in mind the industry and a whole set of business tasks. A well thought design concept can help to form and support the company’s image, reflect its mission and values, create comfortable conditions for productive work, recruit and keep the best staff, and increase its loyalty.
Planning an area that would reflect the company’s ideas and needs is a challenging and complex task, which only qualified specialists can cope with.