The most debated question doing rounds is Design or Culture, what makes a smart workspace? The answer to this question can not be a single word. Design and culture are interdependent and integrated. They are not two independent topics that we can segregate them and evaluate
which one contributes to a smarter workspace. It is to be understood that design and culture
equally influence a workspace, whether towards a smarter one or not can only be answered if you read till the end.
For us to determine which one is the more significant influencer, let us be clear with what is a smart and modern workspace. Gone are the days where cubicles marked the spaces of employees, cabinets used to be full of snacks, and there was only black coffee available in the office kitchen. Those are days we left behind not too long ago. Now it is all about large windows, natural light coming in that energize employees, large spaces so that you don’t feel confined and open spaces to refresh your mind and break the monotony.
As estimated, workers of 2018-19 have a workspace of about 60 to 150sq.ft, but just a few years ago it was measured about 225sq.ft per employee. This is where design becomes a determining factor, the design of a modern workspace is ever evolving companies are trying to fit in more employees in a less amount of space to increase productivity. It is because the big MNCs are more concerned about profit than actually looking after the employees. The design here is a determining factor of the welfare of the employees.
We often come across the term ‘corporate culture’. This refers to the culture of the corporate sector, and yes, it also a huge determining factor for a smarter workspace. Millennial are not very comfortable with the 9 to 5 culture as they feel suffocated, and this reduces their productivity. This culture is not suitable for them as they can be more productive working from a coffee shop or in their home. This not only gives them their desired environment, but also the company gets its desired outcome. Another cultural aspect is collaboration. Everyone can perform well individually, but working in a team needs certain skill sets. This way, partnerships are made by various departments so that there are intermixing of office culture.
Both design and culture play an equal roll in making a smarter workspace as they are complementary to each other. Hence, it is not about Design Vs. Culture is all about blending in the right amount of Design and Culture.