office internal branding

Top 3 Office Internal Branding Ideas That Ignite Employee Motivation

Published on: January 2, 2020

A wise man once said, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” That wise man was Confucius, and while he may have loved his job as a traveling teacher, he never had to spend his days confined to a modern-day office. 

How can those of us who don’t have the pleasure of spending our days outdoors come to love our jobs? The workspace we inhabit plays a large part. The physical office environment affects job satisfaction, motivation, and performance. It can ease or cause stress. It can enable or hinder collaboration. It can unify workers under shared brand values—or it can divide them, making workers feel disconnected from the company.

One of the best ways to improve employee motivation—and retain top talent—is to communicate your company’s values through branded environmental graphics. This helps employees can feel aligned with your company’s vision and culture, leading to higher emotional investment and productivity. The best office internal branding ideas make the workday feel more rewarding, and less like “work.”

Office Internal Branding Ideas That Inspire Greater Productivity

Environmental branding is the art of expressing your company’s identity and values in the built environment through design. By branding the office environment, you can take advantage of the opportunity the workspace offers for immersing employees within the company culture, connecting them to your company’s higher purposes, and forging emotional bonds that drive engaged productivity. 

Curious about how all this is accomplished? Here are the top three office internal branding ideas you can learn from. 

#1: Energize employees with bold, branded graphics

Your office environmental design should offer reminders of the company’s culture and values to unite everyone as a team. This reminds employees of what they’re working to accomplish and helps them feel they’re participating in something important—by simply working hard at their jobs. Fostering this energy can be especially important in highly-competitive and deadline-driven workplaces, like the technology industry. 

One Silicon Valley tech company, for instance, leveraged environmental design to share its fast-paced culture of innovation and knowledge. Bold graphics are set against unique architectural elements to fill the 100k square-foot building with inspirational messages like, “Be legendary” and “It’s time to love work again.” Even the restrooms convey a few different supergraphic themes: the periodic table, the tree of life, and song lyrics. This stimulating architectural signage gives the walls an energetic feeling that reflects the brand’s growth mindset to empower employees toward ever-higher achievements.

#2: Show employees are valued with people-focused amenities 

Showing your employees that they are valued is perhaps the most motivational strategy you can take on. That’s why your workplace environment should be people-focused and human-friendly;  it generates greater employee satisfaction and, in turn, retention. Whether your office building provides a break area or an entire cafeteria, you should use that space to communicate that the company cares about employee well-being. 

office internal branding

Cadence Design Systems, an American multinational electronics design chain innovator, wanted to do just that at their California-based R&D campus. Alongside rebranding with wayfinding signage and retrofitted building monuments, Cadence gave special treatment to their two employee dining areas. Graphics for both the Bistro and the Wifi Cafe promote playfulness with oversized dining plates on the walls naming the lunch items available. This joyful environment encourages employee breaks as a time of rejuvenation in an otherwise driven work environment. 

#3: Motivate employees with inspirational symbolism

People are drawn to inspirational symbols; they give us a shared sense of meaning. Environmental graphics with symbolic elements can often convey purposes and emotions that are difficult to put into words, like the passage of time or a company vision. It can also be a powerful way to motivate your employees toward the future growth of the company. 

office internal branding

During a redesign of their downtown Austin, TX office building, the enterprise software company Atlassian wanted to integrate a symbolic focal point to reflect the unique local culture and reinforce workplace pride. Among the most prominent new environmental features, a kinetic wall made up of many rotating pillars featuring the city skyline and an interactive company timeline. This interactive mural was a hit with employees and has become a beloved inspirational symbol of how each individual is positioned in both time and place as an integral part of Atlassian’s growth.

A Branded Environment Makes the Workday More Fun

It doesn’t take a traveling Wiseman to spot a company that cares a lot about their employees; just one look at the workspace can tell you everything you need to know. With thoughtful office internal branding, employees will feel more aligned with your company’s vision and culture. When that happens, higher motivation and productivity will follow suit. 


GNU Group is a turnkey service that can spearhead your office internal branding projects, from inception to implementation. We specialize in environmental branding, architectural signage, wayfinding design that engages employees. To learn how we can help you motivate and inspire your employees, connect with our team today.