Agency Décor: How Much Does It Matter?

Can Cool Chairs Make for Better Work?

By Published on .

Marc Brownstein Marc Brownstein
I have visited many agencies, large and small, on both coasts and in-between, over the years. It's always fun walking through other agencies, as our industry sure knows how to create unique brand personalities, beginning with an agency's interior design.

Marketing shops are expected to create an environment where creativity flourishes. As a result, clients have come to expect an agency's offices to be cool. Maybe that's why they like visiting their agencies.

I wonder, however, how much having cool offices impacts the work. I've seen more than my share of hip agencies that produce turgid work. It's like a trailer for a movie: looks good at quick glance, but when you sit through and experience it at greater length, you realize the best scenes were in the trailer. Conversely, one of the hottest creative shops in the country has spartan design, college dorm furniture, and non-descript, painted walls.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that agencies shouldn't look great. They should. I suppose the real debate is how far does an agency have to go to create an environment consistent with its culture? And what impact does that look have on the work?

Even in our Philly office, which is on three floors, one of the floors was recently redesigned, and makes a good impression. Naturally, that makes the other two floors look more like neglected stepchildren. And we have plans to remodel those floors soon. But even as we ready those plans, I wonder, will it impact the work?

Here's my take on agency décor:
  • Killer offices are fun to work in.
  • Working in an inspiring environment is good for morale.
  • It's a smart new business tactic.
  • Makes it fun for clients to visit.
  • Good way to nurture your culture.
  • Jury's still out on whether it makes the work better.
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