The Pitfalls of Office Standards
Beyond the meaning they ascribe to color, cultures have stylistic preferences. Americans tend to like furniture to match; Europeans tend to prefer the eclectic. Even the definitions of product benefits differ. The French think of flexibility as the ability to adjust individual pieces, whereas the British define it as ease of reconfiguration.
No wonder global companies sometimes have trouble developing one worldwide standard for offices. It might be more realistic to offer guidelines instead of insisting on standards. Guidelines reinforce an organization’s unique corporate culture while respecting and celebrating each global locale. Some refer to this happy medium as “glocal.” Vive la differénce!