When a client walks through your doors, they take a look around and quickly make a judgement call about the kind of experience they might have. So while you have a great business, your office decor might make a potential client take a seat and wait to be served or turn around and head for the hills. All this means you probably should put a little thought into decorating your offices because decor actually impacts your bottom line.
The Boss’s Office
Everyone who comes to your offices, from the mailman to the package delivery guy, sizes up the place, and clients are no different. They want to know about your workplace dynamics — What are you like as the boss? Does your team feel comfortable coming to you or do you stay closed off and communicate with your team through managers? What’s this company’s mission? Can this business solve my problem? Your office decor can actually answer a lot of these questions.
In your office, clear glass walls, with blinds for the occasional need for privacy, communicate that you want to see your team and you want them to see you. A small desk with rounded corners says you want the people around the desk closer to you. Adjustable office chairs communicate that you want clients to be comfortable. You could display one or two accolades on your office walls, but you might choose enlarged, framed photos of your team’s accomplishments or the people your product or service helps instead.
Where the Team Works
Collaboration is a proven pathway to success, and you want your clients to see your team collaborating in action. Workstations with adjustable walls bring teams of all sizes together. The lighting in your office’s main work area communicates whether you care about your team’s well-being. Natural light makes people feel good, but you can’t always control whether your office space has enough windows. So if you have lighting challenges, you might try design elements like painting the white walls, placing large works of art — which give the illusion of windows — and installing under-cabinet lighting to give offices that appealing sense of sunlight.
Many people love the smell of coffee, and the promise of a free cup of coffee has the power to make some people actually want to hang around. So when you’re decorating your reception area, instead of a run-of-the-mill coffee machine, consider placing a cappuccino or espresso machine and on tastefully-designed cabinet. And instead of cheap mints, you might consider filling the candy dish in the reception area with high-quality chocolates. You also want nice-quality, comfortable seating in your reception area — whether it’s a sofa or chairs — to make clients feel okay if someone can’t see them right away.
Outdoor Spaces Count, Too
If you’re fortunate enough to have an outdoor space, imagine how clients might feel if they stop by on a warm, sunny day and you invite them to join you to sip coffee or have lunch in an awesome-looking picnic area. You might go with large potted plants, outdoor furniture made by a local artisan, a water fountain or even a sculpture to give your clients a truly memorable experience every time.
Your office decor might be the last thing you want to think about, especially given everything else you have to do to keep your business running. But try not to shy away from it because decor helps clients see your company in a positive light, which means repeat business and lots of referrals.