How To Design An Office You Love
Comfort. Peace. Beauty. These are all
positive words associated with quality of life, yet few
people can say they experience these things in the
workplace. You spend a large portion of your life working,
so why not make your office an enjoyable place to be, not
only for yourself, but also for your clients?
If you've ever walked into a poorly
lit, cluttered, stale room and noticed how it made you feel,
then you understand that all rooms have energy. When you
feel good in a room, you automatically attach a positive
emotion to the people associated with that room. It stands
to reason then, that when clients like your space and feel
good in your office environment, they also attach a positive
feeling to you, which is good for business. A comfortable
office environment is also great for helping you to enjoy
the time you spend working, which adds to your quality of
life and productivity.
Here are seven ways to make your
office more comfortable for both you and your clients.
1. If you own your building or have
permission from the landlord, paint the walls a
color other than white or off-white. Color, whether
it's soft or bold, is the least expensive and most
noticeable way to change the feel of a room. If your office
is naturally dark, brighten it up with a bold pumpkin or
bright gold accent wall with a contrasting lighter color on
the other walls. Use soft sage green, apricot or sky blue to
create a calm waiting area for clients. Wall color is a good
way to start brightening things up and makes a great canvas
on which to build.
2. Blank walls can be peaceful,
however, too much blankness is sterile. Strike a good
balance by adding art to make your office
feel inviting. Choose a few pieces that you really like for
your own space, and create continuity by having similar
pieces in the outer areas of your office. Instead of
spreading small pieces out across all your walls, group them
together on one wall for an interesting tableau. Save large
pieces to hang alone on larger walls, and remember less is
more. Don't be afraid to leave one wall completely blank.
3. Add live plants.
Nothing looks worse than an dusty old silk plant in the
corner. Live plants add their own energy and lushness to a
room and break that sterile feeling that some offices have.
Vary their heights for some interest. Hanging plants, floor
trees, and desk plants can all work together. However, be
sure to care for them properly so they don't die, because
dead plants don't project a positive image.
4. Add some additional
lighting, especially if you have fluorescent
overhead lighting in your office. Fluorescent lighting
throws a cool green cast and can be harsh, so adding
incandescent lights helps to warm up the space. An
attractive floor lamp or a nice desk lamp will do the trick
and you might find that you can turn off those overheads for
5. Awards and trophies
can add interest to your office if they are displayed
properly. Hang a nice shelf and use it to display a few
things that are special to you. Again, keep them grouped
together, so they aren't spread all over the space. Things
that are spread about and end up looking like accidental
clutter, whereas things grouped together look like a
6. The sound of running water
is peaceful and can also mask the sounds of traffic or a
working office outside your door. Tabletop fountains are
inexpensive to buy, take up very little space and they add a
wonderful auditory texture to an environment. Place one in
your waiting area and one in your personal office for quiet,
soothing white noise while you work or while your guests
wait to see you.
7. Last but definitely not least,
invest in some nice, comfortable pieces of furniture
for the waiting area as well as your private space.
In the waiting area, bigger, cozier pieces of furniture work
to set a comfortable frame of mind while guests are waiting.
In your private space where you conduct business, something
a bit less soft but still comfortable is more appropriate.
If you have space, consider adding a small table between two
chairs in front of your desk so that you can come out from
behind your desk to interact with clients. Even a small sofa
and a chair will work for those times you may meet with more
than one person at a time. A big desk between you and your
client may not create a feeling of trust and partnership,
whereas meeting around a smaller table will.
Work and play are no longer mutually
exclusive parts of life. Making your office environment as
comfortable as possible is a key element in your having an
enjoyable workday, as well as creating a positive, memorable
experience for your clients. The more inviting your office
is, the better it will serve you, and the better you can
serve your clients.
Monica Ricci has been an organizing and productivity
specialist since 1999. She offers onsite consulting, as well
as motivational seminars and workshops, which teach
effective organizing and simplifying and effectiveness
strategies for home and work. Reach Monica at