It probably says busy, right?
Whether that means mounds of paperwork, clusters of desks and phones or something else altogether, your office is your office.
It does what you need it to do, hopefully it’s comfortable and it doesn’t fill you with dread whenever you enter. Essentially, you get used to it. But what does it say to others?
When you walk into a classic, corporate lobby, you’re usually greeted by a large, open space, a grand reception desk and somewhere comfy to sit while you wait.
But what does that actually say, other than ‘we own a large reception area and some comfy leather’? Actually very little – which is why a growing trend in workplace and office design is to drop that altogether.
A more open office – as opposed to a giant, open entrance – is now known to stimulate trust between a business and their customers, or members of the general public. It is a trend adopted by many modern technology businesses.
Making a business look more approachable to every visitor could mean no reception altogether, or simply opening up the entire workplace with large, modern windows.
Specialist workplace designers, such as Maris, now focus on creating spaces that suit businesses, incorporating research into the right colours, materials and even individual items of furniture that reflect the true message behind a business.
Recent research has begun to shed light on how important office design can be in creating a desirable impression. According to one report, almost half of all respondents agreed that the room where they were interviewed for a job would influence their opinion of whether or not to work for an organisation – and that’s just one room!
But while you may well become accustomed to your workplace over time, anybody else who visits it for the first time, or only occasionally, will see it completely differently.
So ask yourself if your office reflects what it is you do, or the character of your workforce. Does it say ‘welcoming’ or ‘mysterious’, and does this reflect your brand or ethos?
Even the intensity of colour can play a part in office design. A neutral palette may seem a little like you’re taking a trip to Ikea, but do you really want to overwhelm visitors with bright pops of colour?
And what do you make of a concrete floor? Is it something that says sparse, industrial, or is it something that says: ‘These guys pay attention to what’s important – their work!’
The next time you’re in the process of an office redesign, stop to consider whether your workplace is really saying the right things, to the right people.