February 12th, 2017

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By the time someone walks through the door to the time we’ve already made a judgement, a quick seven seconds has passed, and some would argue that’s too long. 

It’s ingrained in our society that first impressions are everything, whether it’s the landing page on a website or the way someone shakes your hand. Jumping to conclusions is just what we do, and that’s not going to change.

In the modern world, businesses place so much emphasis on visual identity, from a slick website to a bold campaign.

Yet, when it comes to the office, the workspace is often left behind. Typically not seen as an investment, but rather a sunk cost.

It’s about having a brand that speaks across all aspects of your business

You wouldn’t rock up to a job interview in your favourite shorts and sneakers, you would do all you can to help those initial impressions. Yet bringing potential clients or future employees to a space that is far from your brand vision is acceptable?

It’s about having a voice that speaks across all aspects of your business, from your website to the way you write your emails and of course your physical workspace. They all play their part in creating a strong employer brand.

Recently we made a visit to Paperkite, a world-class mobile app development agency hidden in the back streets of Wellington tucked up in a building that speaks true character.

The moment you step through the bold blue door you feel a sense of their character, raw brick walls, meeting rooms that are more like an artist’s studio than a place of boardroom strategy and hidden in the corner, a sound system that would put any student flat to shame.

CEO Nic Gibbens wanted the space to be a reflection of who they are, their personalities. As cliche as it sounds there is a true sense of the phrase “work hard play hard.” It was about creating a place where people want to come and spend time, where they can have fun and enjoy themselves while working hard and meeting deadlines all at the same time.


A few take aways after sitting down and talking to Paperkite

  1. Stay true to who you are – Find out what is important to you and your team and let that dictate change. Whether it’s lots of little break-out zones or larger open space is something your team should decide, not the fact that Airbnb or Facebook have recently rolled it out.
  2. You don’t have to break the bank – Focusing on a few key areas that are going to make a difference, can go a long way. This could be anything from a chill out zone, to a stand up meeting table.
  3. Treat your workspace like you treat your brand, it evolves – Change is normal across all aspects of business. Your workspace should allow for this change too, shifting as your organisation changes and grows. This could be anything from desk layout to the art on your walls, try not to get stuck in your ways.

We know the physical workspace has a big impact on employee experience. Does your space reflect your employer brand? When was the last time you discussed how it is working with your team?


Tweet us at @HumankindNZ or let us know what’s special about your workplace in the comments below.

Special thanks to Paperkite for letting us into your great space! If you want to find out more head along to the Spaceworks blog, the interior designers involved in the project, for an insight into their process.

Paperkite - Office Shot 2 Paperkite - Meeting Terraces Shot 4 Paperkite - Meeting Room 1 Shot 2 Paperkite - Meeting Room 2 Shot 1 Paperkite - Detail Shot 6Paperkite - Meeting Terraces Shot 2 Paperkite - Branding Shot 2 Paperkite - Breakout Area Shot 2 Paperkite - Breakout Area Shot 6

Photos taken by Allen Nicholson

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