The Strat: Does Your Office Space Reflect Your Brand?

The Strat
By Valerie Sokolosky

A Reach-certified Personal Brand Strategist offers tips and advice on our favorite topic – personal branding!

Does Your Office Space Reflect Your Brand?

When you think about personal branding, most of the time, you consider things like, what does my personal appearance say about my professionalism? Or, what does my web site say about my innovation? Or what does my speech say about my work ethic? What gets forgotten, or not even considered, is what does my office say about my company?

And I mean physical office. Not your wonderful co-workers and superiors, but rather the four walls, dozens of cubicles and computers, carpets and wallpaper. What do these things say about your company’s unique brand?

I recently worked with a Fortune 500 company in their office space. They were great! What was remarkable about this experience is exploring the different offices. All of them were exactly the same size. From top dog to the bottom, all the managerial employees had the same office space. It was very disctinctive. Not something that I see every day. It sends a strong message of equal respect in the workplace. The physical building reminds all of them that all of their voices are worthy of being heard. It discourages favoritism and shifts the focus away from power struggles.

Another great example of a distinctive workplace is Pixar Animation Studios. The Pixar Story, a documentary about this film studio, showcased its creative, mind-simulating set-up. With scooters and Hawaiian decorations, it looks just like the sort of place that would be filled with cartoonists and grown-up kids. It also offers a lot of space for collaboration, which, as said in the film, is a necessary component for successful films. It’s a space that provides natural opportunities for employees to run into each other, so they can stay connected and unified. More than anything, it’s a creative space that allows each artist room to make his or her own mark. There’s no surprise that Pixar is consistently turning out great, creative films!

So what does your office say about your company’s professional brand? Or even what does your cubicle say about you?

Valerie Sokolosky is an author of 8 books, a speaker and the owner of Valerie and Company, a firm that focuses on people skills through training programs and executive coaching. She contributes regularly to Success Magazine, SW Airlines Spirit Magazine and Dallas Business Journal.

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