The office. The place you spend the majority of your time. The place your valued clients come to seek your professional opinion and advice. As your home should reflect you, your office should reflect your industry. In addition to being welcoming, it should ooze capability. Here are a few suggestions to non-verbally express to your clients the thing you already know: you’re the best at what you do.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS If your office has a reception area make sure this area has the following items in place: Comfortable, tasteful seating, up-to-date magazines and pertinent professional literature.
KEEP IT CLEAN Sounds simple enough, but keeping a clean work surface is huge. If your clients are going to meet you at your desk, make sure that any pending paperwork is in its place.
Keep it organized and concealed with decorative “in” and “out” boxs’. Use high-tech, brushed-nickel metal styles for modern offices, darkly stained wood for traditional types. A wicker-metal combination will lend itself nicely to a more creative aesthetic. Whatever you choose, stay away from boring plastic. If your current file cabinets are full, invest in some good-looking individual file boxes. These can be had in topstitched leather, wicker, and even fabric-covered styles. Keep blotters, pencil holders and other desk accessories all in the same design scheme. Streamlined desks appear more professional to clients than the cluttered, messy counterparts.
JUST FOR KIDS If yours is a business where children may be in tow, consider a small area set aside for kid’s books and toys. If you don’t want to designate a permanent set-up for children, at least invest in a decorative “toy box” filled with items to keep the kiddos busy. When toys are not in use, they can be concealed tastefully.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX Instead of shopping at a specific office supply store for furniture, look around at more mainstream shops for less industrial styles. Just make sure the chair has a sturdy frame, generous seat, comfortable arms, a slight recline in the back and is easy to clean. If your reception area is more intimate, entertain the idea of a traditional residential furniture grouping such as a sofa, loveseat and set of club chairs. As long as you don’t have heavy traffic, this look will exude friendliness and comfort, and your clients may even enjoy the wait.
FINISHING TOUCHES Painting individual offices appropriate colors is essential. For example, if your business is of a conservative nature, such as financial, insurance or law firm, choose warm, soothing colors—nothing too wild or interpretive. If your industry is more design-based such as technology or architecture, consider cool, modern palettes bumped up with dramatic accents. Whether modern or traditional, accessories should be a bit larger scale, with simple subject matter being the best choice for a variety of tastes. Use halogen or xenon bulbs in light fixtures to create a crisp, modern atmosphere, or incandescent types for a warmer, cozier look. Introducing carefully chosen silk plants and floral arrangements will put the final personalized stamp on your professional space. io