Clients always ask me: “Does it really pay to update my office?”
I ask them to think of the office in terms of being their home.
Would you prefer to live in an old run down house with appliances that are outdated and barely work, a bed that is sagging and uncomfortable causing back aches every morning, windows that are drafty and cold, facets that drip and pipes that bang, or … would you prefer to live in a newly renovated home with state of the art appliances, a bed that makes you feel like you visited heaven each and every night, a shower that feels like you visit the spa every morning before work, and floor to ceiling windows that not only let in the light, but cast a warm glow over the entire outdoors making the world an amazing place to wake up to?
Which one would you prefer to go home to at night? I think it’s pretty safe to say that MOST people would prefer the newer updated version … for reasons of basic comfort.
So why is it just as important to have an office that gives you that comfort level? Because you want your employees to WANT to come to work for you.
Employees are happier, more efficient and spend more time working and less time goofing off when they are in an office where they feel like a professional, are comfortable as well as have a sense of their own space. Those who work in an office that is aesthetically pleasing are more inclined to be more productive.
Yes, there are many reasons to update your office. And the truth is that you can either do it yourself, or you can hire someone to help you. It can be done quickly, with little chaos if done correctly.
I tell people I don’t know how to run their business, and I have a pretty good feeling that they don’t know how to run ours. A good design company should provide you with not only with office furniture, but they should create a total environment for you and your staff that is comfortable, relaxing, safe and yet still has the ability to invoke stimulation for the brain.
Tips on how to do it yourself:
Colors for furniture, walls and floors should be neutral to give your office update longevity. The main contents should be conservative and should have a focus on function for each of the users. Remember it is all about providing not just the comforts, but handling function while you are creating comfort.
Adding splashes of bold color like burnt reds, deep greens or caramel browns for accents on well selected accent walls will give your office the statement it needs to stand out from the neutral base tones. These bits of color will play a part in activating the brains creative side keeping the overall environment from going stale. But be careful if you are attempting to do this yourself, it can go horribly wrong if you don’t know what you are doing. I have seen some pretty interesting “home jobbies” that are what we call “failed”!
The other great thing about adding certain walls with lots of color is that if the selected walls are easy to access, they are easy and affordable to update … with just a coat of paint. Color trends change so if you aim to maintain your updated look, keep your options for a quick change easy and fast. You should plan on updating those walls every 5 to 7 years. Remember, a paint job is the fastest, and most cost effective way to update … giving the biggest bang for the interior design buck!
Another thing I tell my clients is to keep the modular office walls (partitions) low. You have to have the privacy, but at the same time, don’t create a maze! Your staff might like to build themselves a private sanctuary, (private office from modular walls) but it is a well known fact that by keeping your walls low, you will encourage open communication between your staff. We all know how nice it is to talk to someone at a company that actually knows who we are. It is only through open communication that your staff talks between themselves, discussing the accounts and how they should be handled. You would be surprised to find out how much information is passed along by keeping the “walls of communication” low!
Lastly, we don’t use the typewriter any longer, so why should we be using an old fashioned office desk? They are outdated and not made with the computer technology that we use in the office today. Speaking of old fashioned, bad or worn out chairs can give your employees back problems, wrist problems and aid in the number of sick days that you end up paying for! When it comes to using computer equipment, it is important that the furnishings be updated to accommodate the equipment.
So make the most of your space. Don’t cheap out, and try to do it yourself. Hire a professional. A professional will talk to your staff about their needs (tactfully) and make them feel like you care. A professional will give you an office that you can be proud of as well as an office that makes your staff happy to come to work. Soon you will notice that the dress code amoung your staff goes up a notch and the attitude starts to change to reflect a more professional environment.
Also most importantly, as the Boss, change YOUR outlook (no … not your email system) and how you view your office environment and the staff that works in it. The office staff follows your example on how you generally feel about the place. If you are proud of your office, chances are very good that your employees will be as well. That pride is what shines through from the top … right down to the bottom … and out the door to your clients.
Yes, it’s worth it to update your office … for many reasons!