The office environments of professional service firms (accountants, lawyers, ad agencies, architects, etc…) are unique. Each has clients coming and going frequently, so the right impression is very important. The environment has to foster team collaboration and conference capabilities. The environment has to be comfortable and efficient for today’s dynamic workload. Spaces need to be flexible, too. Harding, Shymanski & Co., certified public accountants and consultants, hired Luckett & Farley to design a space with these considerations.
Trisha Johnson, Director of Interior Design and Procurement, spoke with Chairman of the Board Steve Titzer and Vice President Scott Olinger, both of Harding, Shymanski & Co., about their thoughts on the project, their new office and why it's best to leave interior design services to the professionals.
What led Harding, Shymanski to make a change from your previous office to your new Louisville location?
What led us to relocating our offices was that we kind of inherited our previous space after a merger. We had done a minor renovation, but it never felt truly like Harding, Shymanski & Company. We wanted a work environment that was a very efficient and effective workspace with an image of professionalism, yet very comfortable, especially during the long winter hours we put in. Our people need to feel good about being here and able to turn out a lot of work.
In the old space we had attempted to do some things to make the space as conducive as possible, like moving people more toward the light sources and things like that, but there was a limit to what we could do. When the time came to make the change, it was a unique opportunity to work with Luckett & Farley to design all the features we wanted and capture our culture within the space.
What I thought was interesting was that what we thought our culture was, in terms of the look, was visually different than what we originally thought it was. Trisha and L&F really helped to listen and connect who we perceived ourselves to be, who we actually were, and what that should look like inside our office. The result was a modern design that was more progressive than we would have originally done. I think you could probably look at our Evansville office and our new Louisville office and say they have a lot of similarities, but Evansville is probably behind. That’s interesting, because some of our staff who worked in Louisville were always wanting what they had in Evansville, and now I think we have just the reverse. I definitely think you guys helped us freshen our image and make it much more current while respecting our company brand.
Yes, trying to keep that original identity but just updating it a little. Good – I am glad it was a positive for you guys. What words would you use to describe your company?
You were able to sort it out and get to a conclusion effectively and efficiently. If we would have done any of this on our own, it would have taken us months because we didn’t really know what we wanted and we inevitably would have just put off doing it. - Scott Olinger
I think it is very open, especially in terms of how we can communicate. It’s also conducive to building better working relationships internally, which is important because we have to spend a lot of time here with one another. With that in mind we try to be cognizant and considerate of work life balance and create a family-friendly environment as best we can.
We’re professional, first and foremost, but we do have an open and laid back culture. The open space in our new office helps support that. When we have people in the office, they can look around and see exactly the type of firm we are.
By creating a more open workspace environment we eliminated the number of offices to just those within the firm who are typically interacting one-on-one with clients. The offices are not over-the-top. They are professional, but conservative and I think that is the image we want to have.
We don’t want to appear that we are spending lots of money on ourselves just so we can increase our rates. I think in other, more elaborate offices, prospective clients look around and think to themselves, “holy crap, this is going to be expensive!” We want people to walk into our firm with the impression we are an upscale firm of professionals, but not more than I need. I can tell by the way they have designed this space it’s going to be effective and it is going to be good sound advice.
I don’t think the office would look nearly as nice if it hadn’t been for you and Luckett & Farley. You know we teased you about coming to your office for a few meetings regarding color, but oh my gosh, you were able to guide us through our color blindness and you were able to sort through the different tastes of our crew and the committee. You were able to sort it out and get to a conclusion effectively and efficiently. If we would have done any of this on our own, it would have taken us months because we didn’t really know what we wanted and we inevitably would have just put off doing it.
We want people to walk into our firm with the impression we are an upscale firm of professionals, but not more than I need. I can tell by the way they have designed this space it’s going to be effective and it is going to be good sound advice. - Steve Titzer
That is great feedback. That is what we want to do with every client, so to hear that we were successful for you is a big win for us.
Somehow you were able to take into account no less than 20 people whose opinions and ideas were built into this. No doubt about it, you made our project a relatively painless process from start to finish, which I think is outstanding.
What could the right design do for your business? A few minutes with Trisha can reveal the potential inside your office. Contact her today to begin planning for 2013 at firstname.lastname@example.org or (502) 585-4181.