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How Office Culture Influences Design

According to the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI), there are four different types of office culture; Create, Collaborate, Control and Compete. Each of these cultures makes for a different atmosphere and different style of working, and atmospheres and working styles dictate the aesthetics of an office more than people think.


creative office space

A workplace with a ‘create’ culture needs an office with space for groups to get together and get creative. These spaces are open, with aesthetics that reflect the creative nature of the company and the people working within it. The features of ‘create culture’ include:

– Freedom of thought and action

– Experimentation

– A willingness to accept mistakes and learn from them

– Forward-thinking


Arc Business Interiors - designing an office space

– Teamwork

– Personal development

– Mentor/coach relationships

– Advocation of cohesion, partnerships

– Aversion to conflicts

Collaborative environments are similar to creative ones in that there should be plenty of space for people to get together to share ideas, but a collaborative office should also have some enclosed areas for individual working. A few desks dotted about will aid the individual working as well as the collaboration sessions, but the focus should once again be on spaces for people to work together. Key features of ‘collaborate culture’:


– A focus on efficiency

– Cost-cutting

– Routines

– More linear processes

– A focus on eliminating errors

With a strong focus on the individual, ‘control’ workspaces are more about enclosed spaces and less about open areas for people to collaborate. There may be areas such as meeting rooms and board rooms, but in the ‘main’ office area, people will likely have their own cubicles or desks.

commercial interior design

– A ‘compete’ culture is centred around these features:

– All about results

– Value for shareholders

– Trying to overtake or even acquire competitors

– Demanding leaders

– Goal-oriented processes

This is the most balanced layout in terms of the ratio of individual spaces to group areas. Individual desks coexist with open meeting and collaboration spaces where people can present, practice and be productive either on their own or in groups. Whiteboard walls, for example, can often be found in ‘compete’ spaces, along with more formal desking.

Your office may have its own unique culture, centred around an atmosphere you want to create or a working process that you feel is most effective for your business. Whatever your culture, whether it’s create or compete, control or collaborate, your office needs to be properly fitted out in order to provide the best working environment for you and your staff.

ARC Business Interiors are experts in commercial interior design, transforming workplaces both small and large to ensure your business has the premises to match its ambition. For more information, please contact us today.

For more information, Call us on 0800 6122 107


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COVID-19 update

The health and safety of our staff, contractors and clients is at the forefront of our business and something we take very seriously.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our staff, contractors and clients.

We are still busy designing offices that will make getting back to work that bit more exciting.

We are keeping a close eye on the situation and will update you should anything change.

From all of us at Arc Business Interiors, thank you for your continued support and take care.