Your business’ office is an integral part of your brand identity. It’s a calling card to present to visitors — clients, investors, and partners.
In addition, having a professional-looking office is also important for the dynamics of your team. According to a renowned survey, 97% of employees state that they regard the state of their workplace as a symbol of whether they are valued or not.
What exactly, though, can you do to add a touch of professionalism to your business’ office? Here are five actionable ways you can approach the issue.
To begin with, eliminate as much clutter as possible. Visitors – or video callers – won’t be impressed by an office where every available surface is overflowing with papers, folders, old tech equipment, and empty coffee cups.
Plus, science has proven that clutter impairs our ability to focus.
In order to eliminate clutter, sort through everything and categorize items into things you need to keep, and those that can go. Digitize physical files. Donate, sell and recycle as much as possible. Bin the rest. If necessary, hire an office removal company to dispose of bulky items or large volumes of waste.
Once you’ve cut back on chaos, provide designated storage space for team members and enforce a clean-desk policy.
Assign Areas for Interactions with Visitors
If you’re expecting frequent visits from clients, investors, or business partners, designate areas for serious social interactions.
You may not have enough room in your office to set up a separate conference room. But at the very least, you can create a comfortable corner to sit and interact with visitors.
Furnish this area with comfortable seating and a coffee table. Make sure to have a set of clean, chic drinking glasses, as well as tea- and coffee cups on hand, so that you can offer refreshments to important visitors.
For business meetings that require privacy, keep a few extra chairs in your office that you can set up on the other side of your desk if needs be. For such occasions, keep your desk tidy. Remove any barriers between you and your visitors, such as computer screens, or stacks of paper.
Provide Break Areas for Staff
Next, designate a separate area for your staff to kick back and let loose on their breaks – so that they won’t have to do it in the middle of the office.
Not only will this prevent distractions for other team members who are trying to work. It will also spare visitors the sight of someone playing Animal Crossing at their desk while slurping yesterday’s leftover spaghetti for lunch.
Up Your Lighting and Decor Game
Your office is part of your brand. As such you should consider its design carefully.
Pick colours and furniture styles in line with your brand image – be it open and quirky, or sleek and elegant.
Lighting provides an excellent opportunity to place design accents in your office space. Floor lamps, for example, are an easy way to add a touch of class.
Also consider adding design elements like artwork and greenery. Having plants in your office in particular adds to the atmosphere, and has positive effects on work performance. According to a recent study, office greenery causes a 37% fall in reported tension and anxiety; a 58% drop in depression or dejection; a 44% decrease in anger and hostility; and a 38% reduction in fatigue.
Set Up Dress Codes
Finally, you might consider introducing a dress code among your team – even if only on days you’re expecting visitors. In many industries, it’s hard to project an image of professionalism to potential investors if some people are slouching in ripped jeans and faded t-shirts.