As we say at Catalyst Ranch, it all starts with the environment, and our creative Chicago meeting venue is an environment like no other!  With bright colors and an eclectic collection of art from around the world, the Ranch vibe reflects the diverse, imaginative, artistic staff and the incredible ideas that are generated and developed in our meeting rooms every day.  Visitors at the Ranch often say, “Oh, my grandmother had this exact same tea cup!” or “I had that board game!” or “This is just like the kitchen table I grew up with!”  The vintage decor does more than give the Ranch its unique style, it triggers memories of childhood, which opens up the imaginations of meeting participants to brainstorm and problem solve as they never have before!

Reflect the Culture of your Company

The sky is the limit for innovation in workplace design!  Companies that are infusing color and personality into their workspaces create a physical environment that reflects and conveys the culture the company represents. Companies can set themselves apart, making their offices more interesting and welcoming to clients, staff, and qualified job-seekers who may perceive such companies to be more innovative than others.   A well-designed work place can improve employee satisfaction and productivity.  Check out this cutting-edge office at the fabulous Selgas Cano Architecture Studio in Madrid!

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Consider & Support Staff Needs

workplace choice graph

A workplace should reflect the culture of the company, but what about the individual employees?  Design by committee can turn into a hot mess, but if employees are offered a variety of choices within the boundaries of an established design aesthetic, that can elevate the environment and employee morale.  Simply allowing an employee to select configuration of his workspace, including the height of his desk, chair, and computer monitor (as Facebook and many other companies do) can improve employee performance and make employees feel valued.

The design and architectural firm, Gensler, obviously has an eye for design and conducts an annual Workplace Survey in addition to exploring the wealth of research on this workplace satisfaction and productivity.  Diane Hoskins, one of Gensler’s co-Chief Executive Officers, says it is clear that the “power of choice and autonomy to drive not only employee happiness, but also motivation and performance. ”  For Hoskins’s complete article on workplace design and employee performance, click here!

Flexible Workspaces

My Grandfather always said, “Find the right tool for the task!” That pearl of wisdom certainly applies in the office, as there no one-size fits all work station.  Sometimes, you need to work at a traditional desk with a computer; other projects require more space to spread out or collaborate with a team.  Many offices are now providing employees with more flexibility to use a variety of spaces that accommodate different needs from comfy couches to funky conference rooms.   One trend in particular is more playful, unconventional staff break rooms.  Some of the best break rooms include pool tables, games like foosball and Guitar Hero, and, my personal favorite, massage chairs!  Check out this relaxing haven at the Google office in Zurich!  For more photos of 38 inspired workspaces, click here!

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Cubicle Makeovers

Need a little help personalizing your work station or home office?  Check out our previous post, 10 Cures for Cubicle Blues, for some practical tips to add whimsy and comfort to your workday!  Need help remaining your whole office?  The Catalyst Ranch Design Team can transform your space into a place where employees flourish.  Add the creative play and energy of the Ranch to your every day!

Just a heads up!  The Catalyst Ranch will launch our annual Cubicle Makeover Contest  in April, (right around Administrative Professionals’ Day which is April 23!)  Stay tuned for more info on past and future Catalyst Ranch Cubicle Makeovers!

What is your favorite thing about the decor in your workplace?  Let us know in the comments!!