Most people care about what their home looks like. But even though you don’t throw dinner parties in the workplace, what your office looks like is just as important – perhaps even more so. First impressions really do count, and a welcoming and professional environment will often say far more about you and your business than your best suit.
The Creative Office
Companies like Google have recently set a precedent for the cool creative office. Bean bags and pool tables are increasingly popular accessories, but many have a gone a step further. So if your visitors are greeted by a receptionist sitting in a beach hut and you have umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, then the chances are you’re in a creative industry. The creative office should be slightly out of the ordinary, but be careful of overdoing it. Will visitors really be happy sitting in an upturned boat while you make a presentation? Either way, all offices will benefit from a splash of colour and the odd quirky touch.
The Slacker Office
Messy desks are largely the responsibility of those working on them, but teetering piles of files across the floor, a dodgy stained carpet and scuffed magnolia paintwork is unlikely to inspire confidence in your business. Let alone be a pleasure to work in. If this sounds like your office, then you should really think about the impression this is giving and invest in redecoration and office filing systems and storage cabinets to keep everything in its place.
The Minimalist Office
Is an empty room a sign of an empty mind? Unfortunately, an office stripped of everything but the bare essentials may be just that. Research shows that office workers actually perform better in offices containing small touches such as plants and pictures, rather than being forced to work in a sterile environment.
The Cramped Office
Scores of studies show that office layout has a direct impact on productivity. Open plan offices often reduce productivity. However, a cramped office can be just as damaging, particularly when there is not enough space for each worker to have their own desk. Shared desks create conflict between colleagues when arguments about missing stationary and mug rings break out. They damage cohesion and communication within the workplace when workers are unable to develop a relationship with those sitting near them. Shared desks can even affect motivation. If your workplace suffers from lack of desks and space, then it’s worth considering more desks or a move to address the problem.
The Uncomfortable Office
Most office supply specialists would recommend evaluating the levels of comfort your office environment offers. Workers who are using poorly designed or mismatched office furniture suffer from more health problems resulting in more absenteeism. RSI and back pain are the most common, but overall health too can be affected. Investing in ergonomically designed office furniture can help minimise staff taking days off due to work related pain and sickness, as well as increase overall efficiency and productivity in the office.
Bill Turner is a writer and entrepreneur. He likes to walk his 2 Yorkies along the beachfront and hike mountains in the winter.