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Boardroom Blacklist | The Do’s and Don’ts of Workplace Design

workplace - people coffee tea meeting

What does your office say about your business?

Does it reflect the style and professionalism that you want to project as a company, or is it a dumping ground for your paperwork and coffee mugs? Sometimes we fail to see those things that are right in front of us. We aren’t always conscious of the impressions that we make on others and the image which we project. To simplify your job of making a great workplace, here’s a list of do’s and don’ts when turning your workspace into somewhere you can be proud of.

The Don’ts

Don’t try not to close off people in cubicles who need to be constantly communicating, or have open plans where people need quiet privacy. Dealing with clients or sensitive information can be made difficult when there are no places for workers to close themselves off when necessary.

Don’t have anything in your office that’s dated, tacky, worn, broken or unclean. Your environment is a reflection of your business, and of the product/service you provide.

Don’t have your desk/work space the first thing your visitors see when they walk in. You don’t want people greeted with a messy desk or food left out so make sure their first impression is a beautiful, clean reception area. Ensure that there is a division between the waiting area and the rest of your office. Plants and partitions are a cost effective and aesthetically pleasing way to achieve separation without completely closing the area off.

Don’t have tacky reading material, empty water coolers or overflowing bins. Pay special attention to your bathrooms, visitors may use them and they want to be in a clean, private, pleasantly scented and restocked environment to avoid any unwanted surprises. Cater to your most fussy visitors because some small things can put some people off.

What You Should Do

DO incorporate your company’s logo and company slogan/motto, not just at your entrance, but all through your office. This helps to remind visitors what you’re about, and reinforces to staff that they’re a part of a team.

DO pick colors and décor that reflect the mood that you want your company to project. Bright colors are great for fast paced offices, but choose more serene, classic shades if you deal with older clients or long term dealings and want to create trust. I can’t emphasize enough how much colors set a mood to excite, relax or even create confidence in your business.

DO choose bold waiting chairs that are sturdy, classy, and reflect the style of the rest of your office. Make sure your seating is for a commercial environment. One stop office stock a great variety. You should also ensure that the chairs are comfortable, and the visitor has access to fresh water and reading material (flyers are a great way to promote your business to a captive audience),  as you never know how long a visitor will be waiting.

DO have a reception area that’s free from clutter such as mail, papers, rubbish bins etc. First impressions about a business are made as soon as someone steps in, so make it a professional space. If you don’t have a receptionist have a bell or chime to alert you when guests enter, so no one is ever left waiting without being kindly greeted when they arrive.

DO incorporate well thought out lighting. Avoid harsh tube lights and try more gentle lights that make your visitors relaxed. It can set the mood and tone of your office taking it from harsh to homely.

By keeping in mind these few dos and don’ts, you’ll find it easier to make your office like a great second home. There’s not a one size fits all when it comes to office design, like a home every aspect must be carefully chosen to suit you as a brand, and the image you wish to create. Follow these guidelines but also have fun with your work place design. Above all enjoy the process of making your office somewhere you love to be, and others will love it too.

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