It can be difficult to find the line between cozy and overstuffed or minimalistic and sparse. Here are three tips for creating an inviting yet professional atmosphere in your office space.
1. Work with the Space You Have
You may not have marble floors and vaulted ceilings in your office, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the space you do have welcoming and professional. Take stock of your office space. Capitalize on these strengths:
• Natural lighting
• Open wall space
• Natural wood furnishings
• Interesting architectural details
Then consider what could be improved. Replace florescent lighting, unattractive or worn out carpet, and mismatched window treatments. These elements are dated and can make your office look disorganized.
One of your biggest battles will be to make the space look unified. Do this by deciding which elements of the space you like and then matching the rest of the space to those elements. For example, if you’re in love with the dark wood of the front desk, paint the walls a light, neutral color and find office furniture with the same finish. Your furniture should fit together perfectly. Either order your furniture as a set or look for pieces that match what you already have.
2. Engineer Your Environment
Once you know the tone you would like to set in your office, decorate accordingly. If you run a natural healing facility, stick to calm nature scenes or locally-made art. Be careful of mixing too many styles together, however, as this can make your office look cluttered and unprofessional.
If your business creates software solutions for other small businesses, do a little research and decorate your office with the work of minimalists and innovative abstract artists. These contemporary paintings will give your office a modern, on-trend vibe that will appeal to your clientele. Steer clear of artwork that feels too generic, like the landscape paintings by unknown artists that are used in cheap hotel rooms and nursing homes. This kind of art will make your office look naively pretentious, instead of cutting edge. Choose a distinct style, or artist, and stick with it.
Make sure your office is kept clean: especially the public bathrooms. Be careful of the scents you choose for cleaning materials and air fresheners. Many people are sensitive to strong artificial scents, so use a light touch and stick to natural scents.
Provide magazines and a bookcase of reading material for your clients while they are waiting. Play ambient music that will appeal to a wide client demographic. Many offices choose a mixed local radio station that plays many eras and genres of music.
3. Employ Friendly Staff Members
Especially in your lobby or waiting room, staffing choices are vital to making the environment both inviting and professional. Your highest priority should be the level of customer service each employee can provide, but you may also want to consider these qualities in an employee:
• Professional appearance
• Personable attitude
• Expertise specific to your business
Your office workers can make all the difference when it comes to your clients’ impression of your office as a whole.
Paying attention to these three aspects can make your office a comfortable work environment that will bring your customers back to your business.