The Office Ecosystem

The Office Ecosystem

Have you ever stopped to think about how many companies it takes to put together and run an office? Think about all the services you use as an individual on your way to the office. These might include: Public Transport

  •  Public TransportA taxi serviceYour local petrol stationThe corner shopA coffee shopA sandwich shop chain or independent bakery

These aren't services directly linked to the office but they are services you and I need to get us to the building we call work. Already you can see that we impact more business than we think according to whether we are or aren't travelling into our office building.

Then there are the services which get us ready for the office such as:

  • The cobblerThe dry cleanerThe Hairdresser

This is another tiny economy that relies on us needing those suits and dresses and relying on the fact that we want to look our best for meetings which are in person (and on zoom).

But what i really want to focus on is the ecosystem that actually keeps the gears of an office grinding. Many of you might not realise what it takes but any office manager will because it's their day to day job to make sure everyone the essentials like:

  • A roof over their heads, which means using a landlord or agent,Lighting and heating, which requires a building manager and an electricity and energy company, plus heating company.Toilets, which means ordering the soap and paperA clean space to work in (and toilet) which means contracting a cleaning company.Something to work on, which requires the skills of an office interior designer, a furniture manufacturer, furniture showroom, furniture dealer and all the people who make those fabrics and desks. Not to mention the company that delivered them.Office planting needs a specialist to come in to maintain and water the plants, and if they're fake there's still a shop involved with selling them.Internet connection, which requires a broadband provider and IT company.Telephones and mobile phones plus a Zoom or Teams connection.A receptionist and/or security guard who might come from an agency rather than be employed directly.Water, this needs the water company and also possibly the water delivery company to provide water coolers (for those water cooler moment), and therefore also the plastic cup company (or paper, if you're going sustainable).Refreshments in the kitchen like team and coffee, which needs the companies that make those and deliver them, the coffee machine makers and the clever people who invented the boiling water tap. Also the cup and mug manufacturers because staff need something to drink from.Health and safety and first aiders on site which requires a training company and first aid equipment suppliers.

That's the basics and essentials of making a workspace liveable for the people who are coming in to an office building. But so many offices provide more than just the basics, so in the office ecosystem we also have to include providing things like:

  • Office snacks, so that might mean a trip to the local shop or supermarket, or you might have a fruit basket and/or snack delivery company. That means bakers and suppliers and their modes of transport and packaging.Office treats: If it's someone's birthday or leaving do then there might be cakes and treats delivered from a local company. If you're hiring a new starter then there will be a recruitment agency potentially.Catering for meetings, like platters of sandwiches or cakes, or something more interesting. that requires an outside catering company.If your office has a break out space then there might be sofas and chairs, coffee tables, magazines and a TV, all of which would need to come from a supplier.Reception flowers and additional planting around the office, as well as a florist to provide flowers to people of special occasions.Office art to rent or buy, which might get changed which also needs art technician sand art logistics companies, not to mention the artists and framers.Wellness workshops like yoga and therapy dogs, or dancing and massage. That requires a company to organise those events plus the workshop facilitators themselves.Some offices have games stations that needs equipment and accessories like controllers and beanbags.Office gifting means companies who might be local and just around the corner, or something you have to order online.

So there we have everything an office manager has to think about providing for the office ecosystem to work - the essentials and the nice to haves. But don't forget you as an individual have an impact on the local ecosystem around your office building. you keep the clothes shops open and the food shops busy, the photocopiers copying and the pubs and activity centres open for those office socials and impromptu drinks after work.

Heading back to the office and using all of these services means you are (perhaps unbeknownst to you) keeping a whole ecosystem of businesses going. They rely on you being in the office and seeing each other to keep going.

If you want to know more about our part of the office ecosystem, and learn more about renting art for your office, please email me on