When confronted with an especially cool office space, the first question many people ask is, “How can I get this for my own company?”
The implication is that office design can change and enhance company culture.
According to Max Chopovsky, founder of Chicago Creative Space, it’s just the opposite: culture drives office space.
“For a company to be successful, you have to start with a founder who is passionate—one person who can galvanize a group of people to believe in an incredibly clear vision,” he said.
Next comes a strong set of values that extend from that vision, and they must be communicated clearly and concisely to employees.
“Once the company grows and the founder can’t interview every prospective employee, each new hire’s fit must be measured against these values,” he said. “If done properly, it will result in an organization where all employees are on board with the company’s mission. This is the kind of organization that can eventually afford to build out the kind of amazing space we feature.”
CCS is a web-based video production company that showcases some of Chicago’s young companies and their office spaces. Chopovsky is a real estate broker by trade; he’d observed the connection between culture and space, and wanted to use his talents as a videographer to help others understand the connection.
“We are at the crossroads of real estate, tech, design, and media,” he said.
His intentions with Chicago Creative Space are threefold. The videos make great recruiting tools for the companies that CCS profiles, they highlight Chicago as a great place to work, and they are a source of inspiration and information for startups looking at their first office space.
And in the age of remote working and changing demographics, he said, the role of the office must change.
“If you can work from home, why do you still come to the office?” he said. “Because that’s where people come together, build relationships, and solve problems. Companies that understand that will be more successful in recruitment and retention.”
And as for the trends he sees from his perspective of office connoisseur?
“The culture varies by organization, so the trends vary as well,” said Chopovsky. “Every space is going to be a reflection of that company’s culture and every company culture is different.”
He cited Red Frog’s zip-line, Braintree’s hammocks, and Tribeca Flashpoint’s recording studio as examples of various in-office amenities that match each company’s unique culture.
“The right space can amplify your culture, while the wrong space can set it back,” he said. “Your culture will be reflected in your space. I absolutely think there’s a big connection.”
The following video includes highlights of some of the spaces CCS has featured: