What a feeling! You just left a meeting with your attorney, realtor and maybe a landlord, and now you’re ready to move into your new office! Whether you own the building and everything from the roof to the front door is brand spanking new or your new landlord gutted the space and everything from walls to sinks are new or the owner has spruced up the interior of structure with fresh paint and new carpet, it is still your new office space.
Now, how do you turn this empty office into your vision of what you want your employees, clients and vendors to see and feel when they walk through your company doors? It will take planning, but you can design and outfit your office space so that it reflects your business culture, creates a space where clients and vendors can see an inspired and engaged staff while experiencing an office environment that instills a sense of comfort and confidence.
How to Convey Your Office Culture to the Rest of the World
Your office culture defines how you and your staff operate with each other and with your clients and community. When a client or visitor walks through your front door they should get a sense of your company ethics and values by the way the staff greets them, by the way your employees interact and by the furnishings and decor that emphasis your corporate attitude and unique take on life and work.
This is when an interior office-design team can be of help. These professionals can convey your company vision in any number of ways, such as:
- Your choices of furniture design, art work, type of office layout, lights, even the colors of your walls can suggest warmth, tradition, excitement and creativity or an element of modernity.
- Take the time to write down what makes your business unique. Use an interesting font to display that statement where everyone can see it. Some businesses paint their logos and corporate value statements with bold type and designs on walls in entry ways, conference rooms, halls, office cafes and even bathrooms. It’s hard for people to forget you when your office vision statement is wall art.
- Keep in mind, with any office design you can show a sense of playfulness and ingenuity, just by choosing a bright paint color, an unusual carpet design or fun art. If you believe your type of business benefits from the closed-office design and traditional decor, then add some contemporary touches. Placing sit-stand, adjustable-height desks in the offices or various locations, using glass walls and wide doorways, suggests a modern, open atmosphere. If you prefer an office plan that focuses on the open-space concept, then include a few enclosed areas or design quiet corners where staff, who need less activity and noise around them, can retreat and work alone. Use softer light and lamps to suggest a quiet, relaxed library space.
- Show your community support by displaying awards presented to your company and employees, as well as letters of appreciation for your company contributions of time and finances to various non profit organizations.
Creating a Comfortable, Engaging and Inspiring Work Environment
A company that maintains a talented pool of employees is a business that not only pays well, but offers a well-designed work environment where the staff feels respected and valued. Nirvana? Not really. The average American works far more than 40 hours a week, sitting in the same position, in the same chair hour after hour. This daily work position can cause back and leg problems, promote weight gain and provoke blood-flow issues. Providing your staff with ergonomic seating and flexible sitting/standing desks will let them know you have their comfort and health in mind.
If you’re a believer in the open-office concept, which is said to encourage employee engagement and inspiration, just be sure some of your staff has access to space where they can work alone and away from small-group discussions or chatty neighbors. The most important lesson that has evolved from the hot discussion between open-office and traditional office-space supporters, is not every employee works well in the same type of work environment. To retain your talent, you need to provide open areas where your staff is encouraged to exchange thoughts and ideas with others, plus include space for those employees who like to work without distractions.
What Does an Exciting and Confident Business Office Look Like?
A confident office is an inviting, friendly space where visitors are greeted with a smile and asked sincerely how they can be helped. The office is organized, with every desk and table dusted and the floors and carpets clean. Furniture upholstery doesn’t look worn or torn. Walls look bright and spotless and unique furniture items, whether modern, repurposed articles or antiques, work well with the rest of the decor. The office lighting is bright with natural light, but desk lamps offer a warm glow generating an inviting atmosphere. Appearance isn’t everything, but a business that takes its image seriously sends a message of self assurance, trust and dedication that isn’t missed by clients.
An office that sparks with an exciting atmosphere is a place where you can see and hear work in action. From the center of the space, you can observe two or three employees discussing issues and ideas near the coffee bar, you can view teams from different departments working on a project at communal work stations and you can see creative thoughts left on a white board following a meeting held in the corner of the room. You can’t miss the work process or the sense of confidence and inspiration, it is all around you.