Whether you’re hoping to draw some positive attention from passers-by, make visiting clients feel more at home, or help boost staff morale and productivity, giving your offices a makeover can be a great way to start off the new year.
Office design has come a long way over the years, from a preference for separate walled offices to cubicles and finally large, light, open-plan spaces. Aside from encouraging collaboration and easy communication, open-plan spaces look airier and are inviting to your guests too. Here we take a look at some classic and more quirky ways to make your workplace a more welcoming space.
Repainting your entire office is time-consuming and expensive, but you can achieve just as fresh and new a look with a few bold accent walls in strategic locations. You might pick a shade that matches your logo, use a warm color to entice new visitors inside, or a cool, calm shade to give a more peaceful and focused atmosphere.
You can even get your employees involved, allowing them to make suggestions and vote on the shade they like best, reminding them that their input and ideas are welcome and valued at the same time.
Literally, roll out the red carpet
If you’re trying to make your entrance more impressive and include a sense of fun, laying down a strip of red carpet from the door to the reception area is a quirky and unique way to break the ice with guests and inject a little levity!
If your offices are on the small side, then getting rid of clutter can almost instantly create a sense of more space and order. Investing in clever, subtle storage that disappears into the background doesn’t just look better, it makes for a more productive working environment and encourages your employees to keep things tidy. Always opt for more storage than you think you need, as offices have a way of accumulating ‘stuff’ over time just like residential homes!
If you haven’t done so for a while, doing an office spring clean – getting rid of broken equipment and appliances, scanning old paper documents into electronic format so they can be recycled, reorganizing the stationery cupboard etc. – can have a dramatic effect. If you have a large storage area or warehouse with lots of heavy items to move, then it might be a good idea to rent a forklift from Forklift Guys to help with the heavy lifting and get everything shipshape.
Add some greenery
Having plants in the office has an absolutely amazing range of benefits – from improving air quality and removing pollutants, reducing noise and encouraging creativity, to invoking a sense of calm and reducing stress. Sadly, plants themselves aren’t always very happy indoors, so take the time to select them wisely and learn how to care for them properly.
If you have a bare wall that receives a lot of sunlight, this might be the perfect spot for a vertical garden right there in your office space! You can also encourage your employees to bring in a small potted plant, orchid or low-maintenance cactus to keep on their desks or give these around as thank you presents for hard work.
Make sure your waiting area is comfortable and relaxing
Whether it’s a client arriving for a meeting or a potentially nervous candidate coming in for a job interview, a welcoming waiting area can make a big difference. Ideally, position guest seating so that visitors can see people coming in from the front door as well as from the inner office space without feeling like they’re getting in the way.
Remember that guests aren’t familiar with your office layout, so make sure the path to the bathrooms is indicated clearly or that there’s a receptionist on hand to guide them. Have a water cooler or a jug with fresh water available within easy reach. It can also be a nice touch to place a mirror in a convenient position so they can check their appearance before the meeting starts if they wish.
Add decorative lighting
If your office space is short on natural light, adding some decorative lighting fixtures, lamps or pendant lighting can create a much more welcoming atmosphere. In spaces where people aren’t working all the time, use subtle lighting rather than glaring fluorescents.
Put your space to work for you
Most of us spend around 40 hours or more every week in the office, so investing in making space work for you and your employees can pay off handsomely. Do it right, and you’ll be happier, more productive, and look forward to arriving in the morning!