Despite the move to remote-/hybrid-working, the office is still alive and well. It’s just largely taken on a new function as a place to meet rather than a place to do tasks. This means that now is the perfect time to review how it functions. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to office signage and how it benefits staff and clients.
The most obvious use for office signage is simply to convey practical information. This could include identifying specific locations (reception, bathrooms, meeting rooms), directions to specific locations and details of where to find key items (e.g. safety equipment).
In the modern world of hot-desking, one potential use for office signage is to give each employee their own nameplate. They can carry this with them as they move from desk to desk so people can always be confident they know who they’re talking to. You might even want to add extra information such as a person’s team.
Now might also be a good time to review your exterior signage too. You may not have paid all that much attention to it when everyone was coming to the office all the time. If, however, employees are only coming in part of the time, it may be helpful to make your exterior signage more visible.
A welcoming environment
Traditional offices were notoriously unwelcoming, visually at least. Cubicles may have been replaced by pods and even open-plan workspaces. Overall, however, the general effect has tended to be one of functional, neutral uniformity.
In recent years, businesses were starting to make more of an effort to address this. The main problem, especially in the UK, was often lack of space. Employers generally needed to squeeze maximum functionality into minimum floor-space. The obvious (in fact usually the only) way to do this was with space-saving furniture and neutral decor.
Post COVID19, employees are more likely to be doing task-based work from home. This means that employers have the opportunity to rework their offices into collaborative spaces. The term “collaborative spaces” has a slightly different meaning to just “meeting space”. It refers to a space where people actively engage with each other.
Office signage can be used as a way to make employees feel welcomed and comfortable. This in turn encourages them to engage fully with their work. The type of signage used might depend on the nature of the space and its usage. For example, you might have some spaces with motivational quotes, others with inspirational quotes and others with general information about your company and its history.
Maximizing brand equity
Even though an office is, fundamentally, a practical building, it’s also a showcase for your company. Make the most of it by investing in signage that reflects your brand. This shows that you take your brand identity seriously and hence it encourages other people to do likewise.
At a basic level, having your brand identity clearly stamped in your office helps employees to make the transition between being out of the office and being in the office. This is just as important at the end of the day as at the start. If you’re encouraging your employees to do certain work in the office then, by extension, you’re also encouraging them not to do that work outside of it.
Having a cohesive brand identity also sends a clear and consistent message to new employees, temporary staff and visitors. Furthermore, it also looks good in photographs (and video footage). This may seem like a minor point, indeed it may still be a minor point. It may, however, be more important than you realize and its importance is set to grow.
Remember, if you’re doing any sort of social media activity, then your office is probably going to be featured in it at some point. Even if your note, your employees may be taking their own photos and posting them to their personal social media so your office will still be seen.
Team building and collaborative spaces are becoming increasingly crucial in agile working environments. These working spaces encourage experts from different disciplines to work together to create innovative solutions to novel problems.
This glossary has been created and will be regularly updated to include and explain the meaning of any new and emerging keywords that we use regularly so that you can talk to us with the confidence you deserve.
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