a young man working inside an office
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Office Design: Every Nation Has a Unique Approach

If you’ve ever traveled internationally, one thing you undoubtedly noticed is that things are different. Every county has its foods, practices, way of doing things, and a unique value system driven by the culture.

Office Design: Every Nation Has a Unique Approach

That shared perspective among the citizens carries over into trends that many of that society innately follows. That is how certain things become popular and ultimately help to shape the choices people make.

For businesses, it is important to acknowledge those influences and respect them. As companies seek to expand their offices in the global market, it is critical to understand the prevailing culture of the area where each new office is intended.

The office that services and supports its staff in one country could be seen as ill-equipped in another. Let’s take a look at some considerations to help drive the logistics for offices abroad.

Personal Space

The amount of culturally acceptable personal space varies depending on where you are in the world. Nations with high populations are more inclined to feel comfortable with a closer proximity workspace than those with less dense populations.

Join Our Small Business Community

Get the latest news, resources and tips to help you and your small business succeed.

For example, many countries in Asia have very limited to no expectation of personal space. So it stands that offices in a minimal personal space culture will tolerate a smaller workspace.

Businesses can take advantage of lower costs of square footage and smaller scale for the new office furniture.

Open Environment

Some employees live in countries that would celebrate an open, collaborative workspace across the striated levels of authority.

Employees of other countries revere those appointed over them and may find it uncomfortable to work in proximity with superiors.

If the office location doesn’t offer segregated workspaces, perhaps an office design that includes higher walls and partitions is in order.

Standards of Health

All employees desire a workspace that will not be harmful to their health. This includes air quality, safety standards, and appropriate lighting. These are the basics, but some cultures will expect more than the bare minimum.

New offices need to communicate to the workers that their health is important to the company as well. The best way to demonstrate that concern will broadly vary. Some locations may benefit significantly from an abundant source of clean drinking water.

Some locales may need to plan and incorporate some type of exercise opportunity throughout the workday, including the company providing the necessary equipment.

Other options may include policies that pledge support for family or personal health.


The environment within the office can be a significant influence on those who spend most of their day there. It may not be a bad idea to preview other offices within an area of the same industry.

A modern, sleek, high-tech office may sound cutting edge, but in a culture prone to honor the past or the traditional, it could be too much, too fast.

Many bright colors may inspire creativity among the workers based in one country but overstimulate their counterparts in another.


The goal of setting up an office space environment is to provide a place for the business to be done most productively and efficiently possible.

Balancing the budget with the local culture, norms, and expectations is key to making the right choices to create an atmosphere to bolster the best out of the workforce. Honoring the innate expectations of the workforce is a great first step for longevity.


Some other articles you might find of interest:

Marketing blogs you must follow as an entrepreneur:

29 Marketing Blogs Every Small Business Must Follow

Are you feeling cramped in your home office space? You might enjoy this article:

Home Office Design Ideas for Small Spaces

Join Our Small Business Community

Get the latest news, resources and tips to help you and your small business succeed.