5 Tips for Designing an Office that Creates a Killer First Impression

Business.com / Business Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Getting your office wrong can have major consequences. Whether you’re leasing your first workspace, or redecorating an existing office.

Meeting with clients, investors and future employees is a mandatory part of building a business. Your company’s personality is communicated with both the bold and subtle nuances of your workspace.

Are you a free-thinking, creativity inspiring open office kind of company, or are you an elegant, high-brow financial services company?

Getting your office wrong can have major consequences. Whether you’re leasing your first workspace, or redecorating an existing office, here are some great tips for owning your space.

Decorate Smaller Spaces So That They Appear Larger

Nobody wants to feel like they’re working in a broom closet. You want your office to appear roomy, inviting and empowering. Your private office is a prize, considering that “…Just 32 percent of employees have private offices, down from 36 percent in 1997…” - WSJ

Take Action:

  • Pay careful attention to furniture choices. Go for laid-back, fun furniture in small spaces to set a fun vibe.
  • Use a table and small-desk combination to make the space more collaborative.
  • Lighter colors help to reflect light and open up a small space.
  • Liberal use of glass helps to minimize barriers and give the room a visual point of focus that’s further away, making the space feel larger.

Sacrifice Space for a Prestigious Office Location

According to Irving Singer, VP of Property Sourcing at Savoy Stewart, “Many companies, especially startups are opting to leverage telecommuting to minimize the amount of office space they require. As a result, they can afford a more expensive address; providing their team's more convenient access to major clients and validation from a prestigious address.” Your office should give your company credibility.

Take Action:

  • Work with employees to share office-space and encourage telecommuting to minimize floor plan requirements.
  • Forego the private office and create an open floor plan that combines workspaces.
  • Carefully consider where your office will be located in relation to your key market.

Minimize Physical Storage Requirements

Digitizing information is an important step in allowing your company to operate more efficiently. In addition to making the information, your team needs more accessible, reducing the amount of paper in your office allows for office space to be reclaimed from unnecessary file cabinets and closets. Just make sure that the information is stored in a file that’s backed up across multiple locations; cloud-based data storage is optimal but pay careful attention to the security of the locations where you save your files.

Take Action:

  • Create a digital file storage protocol for your company and eliminate hard copies whenever possible.
  • Repurpose storage space for decorative or functional purposes in your office.
  • Ensure proper access protocols are in place to protect the security of your company’s data.

Improve Office Connectivity

There are few things more embarrassing during a presentation than losing your internet connection, or suffering a major slowdown that buffers your entire meeting. Pitching and presenting is hard enough without technical difficulties. Ensure that your entire office is free of wireless dead zones. Work with your IT team, building supervisors and cellular data providers to ensure a strong signal is available in every part of your office.

Take Action:

  • When remodeling, ensure materials are used that will not block the signal.
  • Invest in data hardware throughout the office to ensure a reliable signal.
  • Encourage employees to report dead zones and work with data providers to eliminate them.

Secure Naming Rights Whenever Possible

When negotiating a new or renewed lease agreement, work with the landlord to increase the visibility of your company’s branding in the building. Many new developments will entice the initial occupants to sign a longer lease or rent additional space by offering them naming rights for sections of the building. These naming rights allow your company to place its brand on highly visible areas. This increases brand trust and recognition in the market.

Take Action:

  • Actively seek opportunities to establish your brand with naming rights outside of your office space.
  • Negotiate the placement and typeface of your company’s information in company directories.
  • Ensure uniformity in company branding across all mediums.

If you’re a startup, vying for legitimacy or an established company looking to expand into a new space, there are endless opportunities to refine and improve the office space your company.

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