Are you at work so much that you feel like you live in your office? You are not alone, because recent statistics reveal that most Americans spend about 8.5 hours a day at work. Since your office is your “home away from home,” shouldn’t it have a warm, and inviting atmosphere? While your working space should be conducive to concentrating and doing a job, it need not be bland or sterile. When you come to work each day, do your surroundings make you feel happy and energized, or does the glum décor sink your spirits? What does your workspace say about you? If you are ready for a change, consider these innovative ideas to customize your office for the perfect ambiance.
1. Look Through the Eyes of Your Patrons
When you are in and out of your office every day, your mind gets used to the surroundings, and you stop noticing things. If you want to revitalize your workspace, pretend that you are a client visiting the office for the first time. What catches your eye as soon as you walk into the door? Is your entrance clean, welcoming, and organized, or do you feel like you have just walked into a cluttered thrift store? First impressions mean everything. Keep a pad of paper handy to write notes about your feelings and how a client may see them. Do you see peeling wallpaper, broken and outdated furniture, or poor housekeeping? Write down what needs to be fixed or changed and take action.
2. De-clutter the Space
Most offices in any profession are loaded down with correspondence, equipment, and supplies. It is easy to get busy and allow things to pile up over time. Businesses are usually required to store massive amounts of paperwork. Keep current documents neatly in filing cabinets and put the rest in storage. If you have a small closet, use it to organize and store office supplies. Equipment should be arranged and kept out of the way as much as possible. Get rid of excess clutter on your desk and in your workspace. If an object doesn’t serve a purpose, donate, recycle, or pitch it. Free yourself from unnecessary clutter and knickknacks, and you will have more space for work and creativity. Make sure that your reception area is clean, organized, and welcoming to clients.
3. What About Your Wall Colors?
Does your office look more like your grandmother’s dining room rather than a modern business? Outdated color schemes and decor may give your clients the impression that your goods and services are also obsolete. Consult with a Shop Fitter VeraCon for office designs that are inspiring and up to date. Consider warm, earthy tones for your walls and accents. These neutral colors work well in most business settings. Use hues to create a professional theme throughout your office. Maybe your profession calls for brighter, whimsical color schemes. Let your shopfitter help you determine what is appropriate. Your color choices set the mood for your staff and clients, so it is a crucial decision.
4. Personalize Your Artwork
Take a serious look around your workspace and notice what the artwork says about you. Could a client walk into your office and instantly recognize your profession and pride in your work? Your workspace should say something about you. An expert can help you find lovely, inspirational artwork within your budget. Sometimes, using one beautiful piece as a focal point is perfect. Get rid of the busy, outdated pictures and gold-toned accessories that make your office look like a funeral parlor from the ‘80s. Choose beautiful photographs and artwork that you would be proud of your clients to admire. Keep personal photographs to a minimum.
5. Update the Flooring
It doesn’t matter if your office floors are layered in antique Persian rugs if they are not clean. Your office represents your work, and you don’t want clients to assume that you are lazy and unkempt. Replace stained, outdated carpets with modern floor treatments like tile, hardwood, or a quality laminate. Choose neutral colors that will work with your office design. If you can’t afford to refurbish your floor, consider cleaning the carpets and maybe investing in colorful throw rugs. Your floors should act as a welcome mat for your clients.
6. Reconfigure the Furniture
No matter the size of your office, you need furniture that is both functional and attractive. Do you want your client to sink into an old chair with coffee stains all over it? Is your office furniture a modern, cohesive collection, or is it a stained, smelly eyesore that has seen better days? Get rid of that sunken, plaid love seat that has been in your reception area for eons. When you have bright, modern furniture in your office, you feel more comfortable and your clients will too.
7. Add A Touch of Nature
How do you feel when you walk in the park among the majestic trees, plants, and other wonders of nature? Replicate this tranquil spirit in your workspace and bring in some living plants. Not only do green plants provide oxygen and cleaner air, but their presence can reduce stress. Choose a simple variety of different heights and textures that are easy to care for and attractive. Even if you keep a vase of fresh flowers on your desk each day, they will boost the mood of everyone who sees them. If you must use artificial plants or flowers, do so sparingly.
8. Lighten the Corner Where You Are
Today’s offices are bombarded with a kaleidoscope of lights from computers, electronic equipment, and fluorescent fixtures. When you are sitting at your desk, do you feel like you are in the shadows of a cave? Are the glare and constant buzzing of your outdated fluorescent lights driving you mad? Proper lighting decreases eyestrain, encourages production, and gives the office a warm ambiance. Layered lighting can improve your workspace and eye comfort. Indirect, ambient light from a hanging fixture is ideal for an office. An attractive desk lamp can be the accent lighting you need for small-detailed work. You don’t have to spend a fortune to give your office a pleasant, welcoming ambiance. With a few changes, your office will look more professional and organized. It will catch your clients’ eyes and make them feel comfortable with you and your business.