There’s no doubt about how many cars a dealership sells each month. But what’s more difficult to calculate is the number of missed opportunities to put someone in the driver’s seat in the first place – simply because the third-generation family-owned business is showing its age. Dingy and dated can signal to customers that they’re not important.
Doesn’t it make sense, then, to steer that critical first impression in a positive direction? A good first impression might not actually generate revenue, but it’s an indicator as to whether the company can.
Along with the right employees, good office interior design speaks volumes – and might even help attract the right employees in the first place.
There’s no second chance to make a first impression
The reception area introduces the business and makes the first impression to a potential client. Seize that moment with these interior design suggestions:
- Nothing warms up a room or offers reassurance like natural light. But if there aren’t any windows, be sure the artificial lighting is indirect and soft.
- Spotlighting can add sophistication – and don’t forget to light up the company logo, too.
- The overall space should not be overwhelming. If there’s a large sales floor or lobby, for example, the design should logically break up the space while encouraging the flow of visitors. A high desk can be intimidating as well; keep it to a suitable scale.
- The color scheme will convey a certain feel: creams and beiges are sophisticated; blues indicate honesty and greens, prestige.
- Choose durable office furniture with clean lines.
- Display tasteful artwork, which has a calming influence while conveying intellect.
- Display awards – as well as industry and company information – to assert your expertise in the field.
- Big, bold plants – not artificial ones – bring nature indoors and also indicate an ability to take care of all things.
Beyond the reception area
Because the office interior design communicates the corporate culture and mission to clients and employees, the design and furniture choices need to take into consideration just what the company does.
While the trend is away from cubicles toward more open work spaces, this is not a one-size-fits-all rule. A large law firm must have private offices, for example, for confidential conversations, while a young marketing agency might find a variety of flowing workstations more suitable to creativity.
Workplace stress is counterproductive to productivity. As delineated by Forbes, the basic design needs to address the top causes of a stressful work environment:
- Lack of privacy
- Poor lighting
- Poor ventilation
- Poor temperature control
- Inadequate sanitary facilities
Then customization can be factored in:
- A 2011 study by the British Psychological Society found that sitting in circles provokes a collaborative mindset, while sitting in lines was linked to individuality. For many, then, well-placed furniture with rounded edges will encourage brainstorming.
- A recent study by Working Mother Research Institute surveyed 1,000 men about flex time, and 66 percent said they were able use flex time as needed. Overwhelmingly they responded that flex time makes them happier and more productive in the office and at home.
- The ability to work from home – be it a day or afternoon – is a growing trend, which means that not every employee needs his or her own desk 24/7. This is one of the reasons behind the move toward flexible workstations. Flexible workstations include easily arranged and rearranged modular furniture on wheels, as well as the ability to plug in a laptop almost anywhere. Smart interior design will also anticipate tomorrow’s trends.
- Keeping employees healthy can also be a design consideration. Some companies are able to provide space for fitness classes or even massage therapy. While impossible for most, even the smallest business can consider a sit-stand desk or ergonomic ball chair.
With so many concerns to consider, why not contact the professionals at Beaux-Arts Group
to simplify the process? They’ll ask the right questions to hone in on the office interior design that will make the right first impression on you.