The look and feel of an office fit-out can initiate a lasting first impression. Even before a client has met you, they have subconsciously made a preconceived judgement based on how your working environment is presented. Here are some questions clients seek to answer by analysing a professional office space.
1) Are You Professional?
Professionalism is a quality that is highly prized by clients of high-powered professionals. Your office has the power to speak volumes not only about your practice, but about your personal qualifications. A client wants to see a certain degree of separation between and personal and professional life. It can be beneficial for your office guests to understand your family ties based on your office décor; however, the office shouldn’t become a second living room.
Make hard decisions about the number of personal objects you have in your office. Sports team memorabilia and posters of your favorite bands might have been completely acceptable when plastered on the walls of your college dormitory, but in an office, only hints of these should exist. While such personal objects might help start conversations with clients and can make you seem more human, you want to appear professional and focused on your job above all else.
2) Are You Organized?
A client will tolerate a certain number of papers on your desk, but it shouldn’t be littered and disorganized. Your clients want to believe you’re a successful person in your personal and professional life. If they decide to stop by unexpectedly, they will want to see evidence of your success and will probably look for it in the organization and focus you display in your workspace.
3) Are You Successful?
Your office can show your success by displaying awards and thank-you letters from clients and coworkers. It’s important to understand, however, that a client won’t be able to see your success if he is distracted by the empty fast-food bags and soda cans falling out of your garbage. While it’s perfectly all right to enjoy a meal or two at work, your office should primarily be a place of business.
Like it or not, your clients will almost always make decisions about how comfortable they feel referring you to others, as well as how likely they are to continue buying your services based on the way you present yourself in your personal office space. By thinking carefully about the presentation of your office and arranging an organized and professional workspace, you can make your success and professionalism easily seen by all visitors.