The appearance and design of an office space is a crucial component of a company’s business strategy. There exist professional service companies that dedicate their time to enhancing office spaces. The face of the business, the office establishes the first impression of a company for visitors – from existing clients to potential employees. A well-designed office is a worthy investment insomuch as it reaps financial reward through increased employee productivity and a strong first impression for prospective clients.
The First Impression
Let’s set the scene: you visit your dream client and make a convincing pitch. You’re successful and invite said client to your office in order to seal the deal. Your pitch may have been perfectly polished, but if your office doesn’t measure up, they may suddenly have doubts about signing on that all-important dotted line. Your office speaks volumes about your company: who you are, your stature, your company ethos and the work that you do. If you offer creative services then it makes sense for your office to reflect this sense of creativity: consider the office space as a blank canvas; it is an important opportunity to showcase your professional strengths.
Decor is also linked with employee productivity, with stimulating but relaxing spaces proving to be conducive to employee efficiency. A keen eye for detail makes all the difference, from furniture selection to colours: studies have shown that rounded furniture creates positive emotions and the right lighting can also enhance performance, as can a desk with a view – ideally of a natural setting. Obviously the latter is tricky for those who work in the heart of the city but, alternatively, pictures are also said to work well in creating comforting and stimulating environments. When looking for an office, keep an eye out for high ceilings – perfect for giving workers a sense of freedom and encouraging abstract thinking.
At the heart of every successful company is its workforce. If your staff members are happy and healthy, then their attitude to work will naturally improve. The same can be said of retention levels: fewer staff will leave. Many companies these days provide standing desks for those who don’t want to spend all day sitting at their desk. It’s also a good idea to provide space for colleagues to sit together (chairs positioned around a circle encourage collaboration) and it also helps to encourage walking meetings. We recommend peppering kitchen areas around an office and keeping them stocked with the healthiest treats – consider it brain food. Involving workers in decisions about office space is a sure-fire way to encourage interaction, not to mention helping them feel valued.
So why is this suddenly so important? Haven’t people been working 9-5, in uninspiring offices for decades and the world hasn’t stopped turning? This is true, but it’s also true that the world doesn’t work 9-5 anymore. What’s more, the millennials that are turning up to work today demand more. They want to spend their days somewhere that is inspiring and motivating; somewhere that immerses them in culture, promotes learning and encourages engagement. Ultimately, they want to work somewhere that’s fun. If you can build it, then the top talent is sure to come.
There is no single reason to invest in the design of your office space, there are many: from first impressions to employee productivity, health and happiness, to name but a few. Each is integral to build a strong reputation for your company. To be viewed as successful from those on the outside, you really must start from within.