Pick a topic

Differentiate Your Company With a Great Workspace

Ring Central Blog


URL copied
2 min read

There are no two ways about it: where you work affects how you work. Research has found that one’s surroundings have a measurable impact on level of achievement – this study found, for example, that natural light and views of the outdoors correlate with higher test scores among children. Another study (PDF) determined that office design has a “substantial impact” on worker productivity.

Several forward-thinking companies are taking workplace design very seriously. Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters offer one example of enlightened design, while Google’s new London offices present another.

While RingCentral’s offices aren’t quite as visually arresting as Google’s or Twitter’s (we don’t have a rooftop garden full of succulents), we do value good design. When we migrated to a new building earlier this year, we made efforts to imbue character, color, workspace collaboration, and fun into our office.

We knew, for example, that the kitchen tends to be a nexus of activity. So, when designing our suite’s kitchen/dining area, we spec’d an open floor plan and employed a bright color palette. Coffee and espresso machines are available for those needing coffee breaks, and employees never go hungry with an array of food and beverages. The RingCentral team congregates in the kitchen for small team meetings, company presentations, and catered lunches every Wednesday.

The design touches in our office extend beyond the kitchen. Our “cubes” are boomerang-shaped with low dividers, resulting in an airy workspace that encourages collaboration. Everyone sits on an ergonomic chair, and conference room seats are orange, the official RingCentral color. There are also a dozen medicine balls bouncing around the office.

Little design details abound, too: some walls are painted orange, some are navy blue (the other official RingCentral color); “Kill PBX” signboards are displayed throughout the office; and comfortable sofas and bean bags provide employees a respite from desk work. And we’re serious about play – we’re equipped with a ping-pong table, Nerf guns and a mini basketball hoop.

Last but not least, the entire perimeter of our office is lined with windows that look towards San Francisco Bay to the east, Silicon Valley to the south and San Francisco to the north.

With all these niceties around, are we able to do any actual work? Absolutely. In fact, we see a fun, colorful office as a competitive advantage.

Our space keeps us social, active and engaged (a quick game of ping-pong does wonders for one’s focus and creativity) – and it looks attractive to prospective employees, as well.

Moreover, having an office in which people want to spend time just makes sense. If we’re excited to come here each day, we’ll be more likely to do good work and commit to building a great company.

That lesson may be the key takeaway from our experience. Design does affect how an office works. And even a single design tweak (like a new coffeemaker or a different color scheme) can make an office more livable, boosting employee engagement, happiness and productivity along the way.

Any examples of good design to share? Post them in the comments section!

Originally published Aug 23, 2012, updated Aug 07, 2020

Up next

Communication and collaboration, RingCentral updates

Amp Up Your Brand's Engagement With Google+ Events

Google+ introduced Events – which work well for inviting people to a get-together at a physical location – about two months ago. Now, Social Media Examiner reports, Google+ is moving in front of Facebook by combining Events with its Hangouts service (which enables live, multi-person video chats). What’s great about Hangouts is that they’re location-agnostic. ...


URL copied

Related content

Communication and collaboration

5 Top Trends for Small Business Communications in 2018

Communication and collaboration

Five Video Meeting Practices to Fuel Collaboration Among Remote Teams

Communication and collaboration

Knowing When to Upgrade to a VoIP Phone Service for Business When You’ve Been ...

Before you go...
Get our very best content for free and start working better from anywhere
You’re in! Thanks for signing up. Keep an eye out for our emails in your inbox.
Get the Remote Work Playbook
Everything you need to know in one place
Get the 2021 State of Hybrid Work Report
Learn how businesses are managing a partially remote workforce
You’re in! Thanks for signing up. Enjoy your copy of the Remote Work Playbook.