Take a moment to look around your office. The week-old coffee mug on your desk, does it say you’re busy or lazy? The replica Barcelona chairs in the foyer, do they really fit your company ethos?
Everything – from the personalised desks of your employees, the carpet in your reception area and the lighting in the foyer impacts on how you’re perceived.
“Marry your brand ethos with the space of your office,” says Carli Popplewell of Australia’s renowned interior design practice, Geyer.
“Do everything that you can to tailor to their needs to create an end-to-end experience.”
But this doesn’t mean your brand should be represented too literally into your physical space. If your logo is blue, not everything in your office should be too. This might help you boost your presence but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are creating an ideal experience for your customers, advises Carli.
When it comes to looking at office spaces, think about how you can translate your brand ethos into the physical space. Ask yourself what message you want to send? How you want staff to feel? Should it be open and inviting or exclusive and separated?
“There are a lot of retail and corporate offices that have a brand by not having a brand, so it is more about the experience of coming into the space and feeling the offering it has,” says Carli.
Your staff are your ambassadors
According to research conducted by TAI, Australians on average spend about 42.8 hours of their weekly life at work – one of the highest figures in the developed world – so it’s vital your staff feel comfortable at work. The freedom to be flexible, happy and engaged impacts on what’s perceived about you because they’re the constant ambassodors of your company.
If your office space truly reflects what you stand for, your staff will live that philosophy. So when your clients or customers walk in and they’re greeted by staff members or reception, they’ll immediately recognise how you choose to operate.
An increasingly crucial aspect of today’s flexibility at work is the ability to connect, and how you connect people will let customers and clients know how digitally savvy you are.
"I think it's really important now to give not only clients but also employees and people coming through your space the ability to plug in,” says Carli.
Today, connectivity affects the end-to-end experience of your brand. And if you can provide a space that demonstrates productivity and possibility in addition to comfort, your customers and clients will associate that with your business.
“Time is money, so if clients are waiting and you can help facilitate their work while they do so, it’s going to be a more productive engagement that rubs off on your brand,” says Carli.
Making the office your own
- Know who’ll be coming through the door. If it’s high class clientele you’re going to be entertaining, then leather and wood might be worth investing in, but it’ll be different if you’re trying to speak to Gen Y
- Speak to a professional. Partnerships are important in business, and your décor is no exception. Having input from a designer can help ensure you get the message across
- Function over form. You might find desks that look amazing, but the wooden beam at foot level is going to be frustrating in the long run. Think about how your furniture will be used
- Maximise productivity. Spending a bit more on technology solutions like tablets or fast wireless internet might seem expensive at first, but can pay dividends in ensuring maximum uptime for staff