Blog | 4 Ways Your Commercial Space Influences Social Capital

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Blog | 4 Ways Your Commercial Space Influences Social Capital


4 Ways Your Commercial Space Influences Social Capital


Workplace culture and the social capital of a company are becoming more and more popular in today’s workplaces. Often attributed to the Millennial generation, today’s companies are taking a deeper look at their cultures —often in an effort to attract the best talent and to foster a live, work, play environment that resonates with today’s workforce.


Interestingly, the physical commercial space can often play a large role in the culture of an organization. So, whether you’re a developer or investor, startup or long-standing company, here are just a few of the ways that your commercial space can influence social capital:


#1. Cubicles Limit Inclusion


The old cubicle. According to a recent WSJ article, the irony is that the open office was exactly what the creator of the cubicle was trying to save us all from. That inventor was Robert Propst, a brilliant designer working in the 1960s for the office-furniture firm Herman Miller. He called the U.S. office “a wasteland” in 1960. “It saps vitality, blocks talent, frustrates accomplishment. It is the daily scene of unfulfilled intentions and failed effort.”


Today, many argue that the cubicle limits communication and makes team members feel as if they are not included in the day-to-day of the business. They are, in effect, left to their own work inside their cubicle. If you want to foster communication and give employees the feeling that they are a vital part of an organization …. See #2.


#2. Open Workspaces Boost Communication


Open workspaces are all the rage, but there’s varying opinions on their effectiveness. Some believe that they foster incredible communication and give employees the sense that they are truly involved in something bigger than themselves. On the other hand, some argue that they create a workplace filled with distractions.


The solution here is a workplace that combines the two: an open workspace that fosters communication, but that also offers quiet places to retreat to when the employee needs time to focus.


#3. Paint Matters, Too


Don’t underestimate the importance of paint color. There are numerous studies that look at which paint colors are most effective for workspaces. In fact, certain colors are directly tied to productivity.


If you’re trying to foster a culture of communication, you might even consider whiteboard paint in common areas where employees can gather, take notes, and explore ideas together.


#4. Speak to the Generation


The generational upbringing of your workforce should also be considered. While Millennials typically want flexibility inside the workplace —such as the combination of open and private workspaces mentioned before. On the other hand, Gen Xers are big on flexibility outside the office —such as working at home and having an office that makes a live/work/play lifestyle more conducive.


Whether you’re looking for new office space or want an expert’s opinion on what layout and design features are trending best with today’s companies, connect with our team at today.


By Micah McCullough, CCIM

Vice President | NAI UCR Properties

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