Like how we make a first impression through our appearance, a company will also give an impression to its clientele through its office. That’s why company headquarters are often imposing structures, communicating their importance and power. It is important to plan the setup of your office to give this appearance of success.
If your company is still starting, it would be impractical to already have a building that probably costs more than your entire business. But from day one, you could already show an image of success. It’s a technique done even by companies that don’t have a real physical base, those whose transactions are all online. They buy a mailing address in a high-end business district. They use their website to give an impression of stability and competence.
For your physical base, hire an interior decorator to work with you. Here are also some basic suggestions from classic office setups.
Match your design with the vibe you wish to project.
Going for a fun and artsy look could be an option, but it has to suit your kind of business. If you have not yet made a name for yourself and people would be going to your office for the first time, you want to give off the correct atmosphere.
You might have special rooms like lounges for your VIP clientele. You could have overstuffed chairs and elaborately carved furniture there. But for your office, If you wish to communicate modernity, the best look is the steel and glass combination. They are simple and sophisticated, and they give off a sense of efficiency. Although glass walls are not advised for homes because people could see in and affect your privacy, an office in a high-rise would not be affected by this problem.
Dark wooden panels are classy and elegant, but they’re not often associated with modernity. They would be good if your company wishes to communicate a sense of history. For example, if you are an offshoot of another company that has already been in the industry for a long time and you wish to impress this association, wooden panels and those heavy wooden chairs would be the best furniture.
Splurge on full windows if your office has a great view of the city. As in the bird’s eye view in photography, there’s a power vibe from looking out over a busy city, seeing people rush around on the streets.
No matter what your furniture is made of, make them as comfortable as possible. You want your client to feel the opulence the moment they sit on a chair. Don’t make them feel like they’re sitting on those uncomfortable steel benches in bus stations meant for transient passengers.
Minimize the clutter.
A messy office is taken as a sign of inefficiency. If you couldn’t even sort out your documents or clear your table of piles of work, a client might get apprehensive you wouldn’t deliver your agreed outputs on time. You would give the image of a company that accepts more than what you could handle.
It’s of course normal to have so many files at your office but keep them out of sight. Hide your files in elegant paneled-cabinets. If you have enough space, have a storage room for them instead of allowing your clients to see your folders.
Clutter also includes obtrusive decorations. You might be tempted to hang all of your previous successful works. If you have a receiving hall, they could be placed there. But don’t place them around your work area. Also, choose a color palette so that your entire office looks composed and put together.
If you have multiple staff, cubicles that would hide their work clutter from clients would be the best workstations. It’s off-putting to see rows of desks full of scattered papers and folders. Even if they’re all part of normal office work, they still give off an atmosphere of disorganization and even incompetence.
Cleanliness is very important. And it’s not just about making your office free of dust and overflowing trash bins. You also need to remove coffee stains on tables, and the cigarette smell if you allow smoking in some rooms.
Use mellow lights.
Bright lights are preferred by some offices to properly illuminate the documents and files the staff would be looking at. But rather than a glaring overhead light, each workstation could have a lamp. For the overhead light, use subdued light that’s not harsh to the eyes. You could also use side panel lights to augment your overhead light.
The best lighting for your office, though is natural light. Your glass windows will not only give you and your clients a good view of the city but will also illuminate your workspaces without garish lighting.
Your office is representative of your business. You need to look at it as you would a permanent advertising campaign. Invest in it as part of your marketing strategy.