Jul 22, 2019, Design, inside iteo

How Office Space Impacts Our Workflow

Kamila Figura Senior Product Designer

First things first

Rebranding, particularly while scaling up rapidly, is almost never an effortless nor a breezy process. With iteo’s new visual identity creation, the case was no different. Especially when the assignment that needed to be covered was not exclusively the redesign of the company’s logo but its complete external communication. 

Facing this fact, iteo’s team of talented individuals raised to the challenge and managed to create a new identity that went along with our core values and slightly edgy character. This is how a new iteo sign came to life.

The perfect spot

The freshly designed logo became a solid foundation for a brand new identity that smoothly spread across our new corporate website, printables and digital marketing media.

Having a new sign, we genuinely related to, and a new website, that we were so proud of, the only question that remained was: why not go all the way and change the office space too? We were already jamming up as it was but needed to face this upcoming challenge with an open mind to ensure we created a space that iteo’s staff would enjoy coming back to on a daily basis.  

First, we had to set on the location. It turned out to be quite an obvious decision to rent space at a newly built office block at Mikołowska 51 in Katowice. Company’s roots lay in the nearby area which was iteo’s home for the past five years. Starting with only ten employees, now we faced accommodating over a hundred.

Finding the visual balance

As usual at iteo,  we were given a lot of decision making freedom and opportunity to create space that best suited our needs. In order to define them, like with any other project, we conducted our research first. That helped us to design both functional and creatively stimulating workplace.

We’ve discovered that a lot of speculations have been made in the past few years debating the pros and cons of open spaces. Gathered data suggest that open-plan offices push employees towards constant multitasking, having them focus both on their job and everything that surrounds them. After 8 hours of constant focus, they felt drained and their work product lacked efficiency. On the other hand, we’ve learned from working simultaneously in a few separate offices, that dividing space too much made us communicate less effectively and even stopped us from establishing natural workplace friendly relations.

The solution to this problem was to divide our open space into smaller team areas with only partly transparent walls. By doing so we managed to create a space that was both open and private, where staff could feel like a close-knit team and have secluded space as individuals. This way our office not only still felt very roomy and spacious but common noise pollution got reduced drastically.

Natural mobility

Humans by nature we are made to move around, which is why the standard 8-hour long system of working beside the desk seems counterintuitive.

At iteo, we encourage employees to change both their working positions and stations. From standing desks, that are proven to be a healthier alternative to regular ones, to work lounges where comfy sofas and bean bags are situated.

To avoid visual pollution, that impacts the team’s concentration abilities, we acquired modern yet simplistic furniture. Minimalistic adjustable chairs and quality gear undeniably increases employees’ comfort which is our top priority.  We also moderated the number of accessories in shades of iteo’s corporate colors of blue and orange in order to encourage teammates to fill the space with their personal stuff.  

Story drawn in a single line

Although this industrial building was a perfect personality fit, it definitely needed some warming up to reflect iteo’s spirit. We did not want to fill the space with common cultural references that could be purchased online when so many talented people at iteo could make our very own. 

As a result of our collaboration, we created dozens of gorgeous illustrations that now hang on our walls. Each one of them draws, using a single blue line, either a memory from company’s history or visually corresponds to things that make us laugh or simply inspire us.

Shared space and interests 

Iteo’s employees happen to be very versatile and to meet their diverse needs multiple spaces have been created to promote either social interactions or to respect their solitude rights. They can either fly solo or work face-to-face, whether they have individual status calls or shared conference meeting.

But it’s not just work and no fun at iteo. If you feel like crushing on the sofa and watching a game, the chill room is just a place for that. Having too much energy bottled up from all the sitting? How about a game of foosball or table tennis? 

Got all heated up? Take a moment outside and relax on the lounger at our terrace with a beautiful industrial view.

Green is the new orange

We’re huge fans of nature which is why we decided to surround ourselves with plenty of various plant life. As many studies show, they not only increase work productivity but overall human happiness. 

What can make plants even more beneficial is their noise-absorbing function. That’s why while walking through our office building there’s a feeling of growing a future urban jungle set in mind. 

Let it glow

We’re proud to have multiple locations all over Poland, one based at its heart, Warsaw, one among the stunning mountains of Bielsko-Biała, but since our HQ is based in Katowice we could not discard the fact that the city has been known for being the southern capital of neons. We wanted to be a part of this legacy and had custom made iteo neons made by a well-known Silesian company Neony Irsa

Room to grow

Our new workspace design positively influenced mostly our productivity and certainly benefited overall collaboration and communication. Crating a flexible place that is both transparent and makes room for self-management helped us to grow equally as a company and individuals. 

No symphony can be played by a single musician and iteo wouldn’t be the awesome place it is right now without the help of every teammate involved. Interior design co-created with the help and expertise of Architect Michał Malara.