Which Unseen Elements Make Up Your Company Culture

by Mike Petrusky on January 11, 2019

As workplace managers we are often consumed with the physical properties of a workplace. Between assets, space and the workforce, most of what we deal with each day is tangible. However, what about the things we can’t see? We’re continuing to learn they have much more of an impact on our company’s overall success than we thought. I sat down with two experts to discuss culture’s impact and to shed light on the importance of the unseen elements of the office. 

“The Employee Experience Advantage” – Enhancing Workplace Technology & Elevating Culture

Jacob Morgan | Keynote & TED Speaker, Best-Selling Author & Founder of The Future of Work University

“Culture is ultimately, unlike technology and physical space, not necessarily something you can always see – its more of how you feel. And that’s really what culture comes down to, how you behave, how other people behave and how these things come to life.” 

As a three-time best seller and renowned futurist with compelling insight into where the world of work is headed, Jacob Morgan was the ideal individual to talk to about the importance of the employee experience and its impact on culture. While the topic of ‘workplace culture’ is often thrown around these days during discussions about the workplace, it still remains somewhat reclusive. Jacob helps break it down into a relatively simple concept.

Culture can be defined as “how you feel when you show up everyday”, how you feel working for your manager, or how you feel being part of an organization. 

While it’s not something we can see and point to, the effect of culture is very real, and it has a strong impact on your employees’ performance and turnover rates. And while we know culture is important to those who work for you, it also seeps into your organization’s relationship with your customers, how they see your company and your overall brand.

Jacob and I discuss that creating a culture employees can celebrate isn’t something that happens overnight, as many things go into its development. Culture is impacted by who you hire, how your managers manage, how your employees relate to each other, your physical workspace design and usefulness, technology that’s available to employees, the process of sharing ideas and the hierarchy of status. One way to think of culture is as the spirit of your workplace, who your employees are and what they do. The things that bring your company to life. 

“The Elemental Workplace” And Embracing The Spirit of Punk 

Neil Usher | Executive Consultant: Property & Workplace Change & Author of “The Elemental Workplace”

“If workplace is to remain important, and workplace itself is not just to be regarded as a fad, our thinking has to advance and our practice has to advance. Some of these things have to solidity into givens from which we can then build.”

Neil Usher is an experienced senior property, workplace, facilities and change management leader who is currently an executive consultant for Unispace and Workessence. His recent book, “The Elemental Workplace” details the 12 essential elements for creating a fantastic workplace for every type of employee. I couldn’t wait to get him talking about the importance of the workplace experience on the workforce.

We’re just now beginning to see that we can have an impact on the types of experiences people have, and how beneficial it can be to our organization. We also discussed some of the “laws of the workplace” and how even with this recent shift in focus towards improving the workplace experience, the idea itself isn’t an entirely new concept. 

“It’s always been an experience, it just hasn’t always been a good one.”

We live in a time where the workplace is finally being recognized as an influential contributor to our health, our productivity and as a serious component of an organization’s culture. We’ve been begging for this recognition for decades, but now that we have it, Neil says, there’s a bit of catching up to do. We discuss how it’s easy for people to simply talk about which tactics will foster a stronger culture and the types of spaces that work best and how to improve experiences at work. But what Neil is noticing is there isn’t enough action taking place. We as workplace leaders need to start establishing things as true, and not be afraid of failure. Neil believes we need to channel our inner “punk rockstars” and be compelled to take chances with the hopes of pinpointing something great. We have to take risks to truly uncover our workplace culture’s ultimate potential.  


Mike Petrusky

Mike Petrusky is host of the “Workplace Innovator Podcast” and Director of Events and Growth Marketing at iOFFICE. He joined iOFFICE in March of 2018 with a mission to energize the company’s live events. He is a dynamic speaker, podcaster, and seasoned marketer who has a passion for sharing iOFFICE’s unique brand of thought leadership to CRE & FM leaders in the digital workplace.

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