People create their first impression at the moment they look around your office. Once this impression is made it’s hard to be changed. If your business requires customers or business clients to come to your office you need to make sure that they feel comfortable in it the minute they step through the doors. The look of your office can be one of the most important factors that will prevent customers from coming back and deciding to go somewhere else.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes
The best way to plan your space is to enter your office and think like a customer. Can you find your way around easily? Is the reception area friendly? Does the office have good lighting? Is there a business representative to welcome you to the office? Is the environment too loud? Ask yourself these questions to ensure your customer journey is satisfactory.
The reception area
First, make sure that the door of your office is presentable and branded with your company name and logo to make sure potential customers can easily find you. Keep the reception area as clutter-free as possible. Don’t overwhelm it with brochures and business cards. Place a coat hanger in a visible location, you can put some extra umbrellas in case of rain.
The waiting area
We all dread the wasted time in waiting areas sitting on uncomfortable chairs. If your business requires customers to wait, investing in quality chairs or sofas is the best solutions to avoid stressed clients. You can put pots with flowers and wall decor. You can put outlets so people can charge their phones and some kind of entertainment such as magazines and TV.
If you work with business clients, you need to create a conference room to host your meetings. Doing them in the waiting room or on a desk is not professional. Create a minimal conference room with comfortable chairs and a screen or whiteboard on the wall if you need. Display your company logo and values in the room. You can add pens and branded notebooks that your clients can use during the meetings. Add a water dispenser and some treats to make them feel welcomed.
Don’t ignore the lighting
You don’t want your customers to walk into a dark space, make sure that the area is bright and welcoming. Use natural light wherever possible. Make sure that you have a lot of windows and don’t shut the blinds if it’s not necessarily. Avoid yellow lighting and use LED lights. You can use lighting to draw attention to a focal point in your office such as the best-designed area, the comfortable waiting area or a feature that represents the values of your company.
Add some green plants
It’s proven that even a small engagement with nature can change your mood. If you have space, add some live plants in your space. You can put pots with bushes in the waiting area and smaller pots on tables and shelving. The green plant will not only make your office feel welcoming, but it will also clean the air. Plants produce oxygen and freshen up the air in your office. Not to mention that flowers will also boost the productivity of your employees.
Think about colours
It’s scientifically proven that colour can affect us emotionally and physically. Choose the colours of the furniture and the decor carefully. Have your branding colours in mind. Red and orange can make the room feel cluttered and stressful. Soft green and blue are balancing colours and can make your clients feel welcomed. Soft yellow will create a positive environment. The best way to combine colours is to paint your walls in neutral hues and incorporate colourful decor and furniture. Be mindful about how many colours you’re using because too many hues will distract.
Music will also have a positive effect on the impression of your customers. However, loud music is not recommended. Instead bet on a soft, delicate noise. Having music in the waiting area will make the stay of your customers more enjoyable.
If customers spent a lot of time in your office it’s important to provide a bathroom for them. Needless to say that the bathroom should be clean and shiny to avoid complaints and bad experience. Place the sign for the bathroom visible as most of the customers are not comfortable asking about it if they need to use it. The look of your bathroom will have a huge impact on whether your clients will want to return to your office.
These are just basic changes you can do to improve the first impression of your office. Next time you walk in the office, pay attention to the things that make you feel good and welcomed. What was the thing that had a negative effect on your experience? Take these impressions and incorporate them into your business. What is the first thing you’re going to improve in your office?
My name is Eva Bowker and I’m home improvement coordinator at Fantastic Handyman Australia. My passion is to help people build the home of their dreams by sharing home renovation and interior design tips with them. I love to think out of the box in order to create lovely spaces.