When a potential new client or employee walks into your office, what do they see? Here’s a clue, they don’t see what you see! You and your staff are used to looking at the same walls and desks every day – You’ve stopped seeing the old office chair that sits in a corner with no reason to be there and that broken printer that sits on table next to the new one.
All the unsightly messes have become invisible to you!
That’s not so for anyone new who visits your office. This may also become an issue with employees. Being in an office environment that doesn’t look modern and clean sends the message that the management doesn’t care about their employees and their customers.
Perception is reality. What is the perception of your office?
> A messy workspace – Wires everywhere, papers strewn and piled on desks, used coffees cups and plates around the place.
> Bad lighting – Poor lighting gives a dreary feel to an office and makes people feel uncomfortable. Can also cause eyestrain.
> Unfriendly staff – Rude and unprofessional staff will put off potential clients faster than chocolate melts in a hot sun.
> Shabby decor – Drab and shabby walls, outdated decor and a generally ‘uncared for’ look puts potential clients off.
> Lack of care and attention – Especially worrisome is when confidential papers are left out on desks. This does not install trust in your prospect.
> A badly designed office – Cramped spaces, lack of storage space leading to obstructions and mess.
> Stuffy offices – Lack of fresh air, bad smells and even very hot or cold rooms.
> Noisy environment with lots of distractions – Makes it very difficult to concentrate.
What Makes an Undesirable Office?
Messy and cluttered office entrances and workspaces give the impression that the business is not concerned about how people perceive them. They might be getting business done, but they don’t care how they look while doing it.
Other undesirable office traits include poor lighting, dated or broken furnishings, air temperature, and the noise level. Have you ever walked into a place of business and it looked like a teenager’s bedroom and felt like the tropics or the arctic? If you have, I’m sure you were concerned about what type of service and products this business provided.
Research is showing that the younger members of the workforce (ages 25-34) are turned off by outdated office decor. If you want to gain the best and brightest of the future workforce, then you’re going to need to be competitive not only with salary and benefits, but with the office environment they will be spending most of their weekdays in.
Does this mean having an X-box in the break area? No, but don’t totally discount the idea of what technology and trends can do to attract and keep the new generation of your workforce.
Even if a business had a clean and modern appearance, if the business operated with poor customer service and common sense, you wouldn’t want to give them your money or want to work for them. Other undesirable office traits are unprofessional personal appearance of staff,
carelessness of confidential conversations or information, and attention to detail.
When people sitting in a lobby or waiting area can overhear staff conversations or easily see confidential information on computer screens, the business is viewed poorly. Even simple things as old plants and outdated newspapers or magazines can send the message that the company doesn’t take pride in what their client see when they spend time in their office.
Solutions for a Desirable Office for Employees and Customers
If you think your office could use some cleaning and updating, there are some things you should do before you start ordering new office chairs or recycling piles of old customer files.
“You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been”. That’s pretty deep talk for an article about office workspaces. However, it’s true … the first thing to do before making any changes is to ask the employees what is bothering them. What issues do they have with the current office appearance and operation? Even consider asking your customers. They could have some insight that you and your employees aren’t aware of.
Next, de-clutter, tidy up and deep clean. You first have to create space before you can start designing your fabulous new office space.
At Paradigm Office Interiors, our team of workplace consultants, office designers and office fit-out experts have extensive and in-depth knowledge of how good office design and fit-out can substantially improve business performance, enhance your brand and help retain and attract key people.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you make the most of your office space and make a cracking first impression on potential new clients.