If you’ve ever wondered how to make employees and visitors feel more welcome in your office, we have the solution. Just follow these three simple steps.
When it comes to planning your office space, your first port of call will probably be to make your interior look as professional as possible. This is entirely understandable and assuredly a wise move, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is only the box you need to tick.
You see, although your workplace ought to show you take your role seriously, it should also create a vibe that makes your workers feel comfortable and your visitors feel welcome. Whether you regularly invite in members of the public or business clients, too much coldness and sterility could be really detrimental to helping you build the lasting relationships you need; rather, what you want is a space that people look forward to entering and feel instantly relaxed in.
So, want some top tips and tricks on how to build this commercial haven in your bricks-and-mortar base? Then we’re here to help…
Remember that first impressions count
First impressions make all the difference when it comes to people’s perceptions of you and your business, which is why the entrance to your interior is one area you should place a particular emphasis on improving. One of the easiest ways to create a sense of warmth and welcome is by physically marking the transition from inside to outside, and the right commercial flooring is your friend.
Entrance matting is one such way to not only keep your floors immaculate but also to give visitors a soft and springy surface when they step in from the street. You can also create zoning by using different colours or materials to demarcate specific areas, such as seating as well as your customer service or reception areas, which helps subconsciously direct visitors and help them feel at ease.
Choose the right colour palette
Colour is another medium through which you can influence the emotions of your employees, clients and visitors to your building. To encourage a warm and welcoming environment, select a palette that conjures up a sense of openness and energy, so bright and light shades and tones are ideal. The main aim is to be warm and welcoming, so soft creams and buttermilk yellows are ideal for entrance areas where you want to promote optimism and radiate light, particularly if your property has limited daylight. Meanwhile, a study by the University of Texas found blues and greens have also been linked to promoting feelings of calm, positivity and tranquility, potentially making them the perfect choice for working areas.
There are plenty of examples of colourful offices from around the world, with examples such as Lego, Google and Microsoft to name just a few. Your overall effect doesn’t have to be garish nor outlandish; in fact, many of these examples juxtapose bright feature walls or accents in the form of furniture with natural-looking flooring which can be achieved with vinyl.
Vibrant colours don’t just create a sense of modernity and well-being, they can also be used for practical reasons, such as colour-coding different levels in a building for easy navigation, as in the case of the combined Camden Council offices, community and leisure facilities.
Without a doubt colour psychology should not be underestimated, the lessons learnt from how it impacts on the way we feel about brands and the environments we work in has been extremely well researched and you might be surprised by some of the findings.
Pick out comfortable furnishings
If there’s one sure-fire way to immediately put a person on edge, it’s by seating them in a hard chair and leaving them there to stew. Unfortunately, a lot of office furniture is less than comfortable, which creates a vibe that’s the polar opposite of the one you’re going for. The simplest way to remedy this is by ensuring that all office work desks and chairs are ergonomic to provide comfort to employees during the working day, while also replacing stiff and old breakout area furnishings with softer, more comfortable alternatives such as beanbags, sofas and armchairs. You’ll see the impact immediately when your staff return from lunch feeling relaxed rather than tense. Your employees will transform from sitting ramrod straight in their seats to having softer, more relaxed postures.
For those visitors who find themselves sat in your office or building’s waiting areas, padded couches or reception seats complete with armrests can help make them feel comfortable.
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