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What Does Your Office Say About You?

by Rebecca Friedman
Do you want your office to be considered a Best Place to Work? It can all start by designing a unique office setting that will inspire your employees and get everyone’s creative juices flowing. By creating a great office space for people to work and clients to visit, projects will be getting done in no time at all.

Style Your Office to Fit Your Company
Look around your office. Is the furniture out of date? Are the colors drab? No one wants to work in a place where the furniture is 30 years old and the paint is chipping away. In today’s society, your office needs to have a more modern feel splashed with lots of color. Remember, a first impression goes a long way.

“It definitely has to be consistent with what’s going on in the world today,” says Steve Fink, owner of Cherry Hill’s Office Furniture Outlet.

Employers need to make their offices come to life through their color choices. According to Fink, the popular colors right now are sunburst yellow, orange and lime green. These are especially popular in high-tech companies and ad agencies. Another trend Fink points out is that cubicle heights are coming down, allowing “for a more open design.”

“The environment you work in should be a clean and happy one that employees can go to,” explains Marcy Dash Friedman, owner of Dashing Designs in Cherry Hill. “A current-looking space will make employees happier.”

Friedman suggests employers make sure all desks are cleaned off at the end of the day and that all trash cans are empty. “Nothing is worse than having an environment that is chaotic,” says Friedman.

For WebiMax in Mount Laurel (a winner in last year’s list of Best Places to Work), their office setup benefits the workplace because it is “set up as a team, all together. This offers good collaboration,” says John Borkowski, public relations manager.

This setup, which they refer to as pits, allows everyone to work together and leads to great job performance, he believes. He adds WebiMax’s office setting is all about creating camaraderie and open communication.

Hiring an Interior Designer
When sitting down to create a space that will benefit your employees and your business, you might want to think about hiring an interior designer.

“They have more vision,” says Friedman, adding interior designers are able to listen to clients and “create an environment that reflects what your business is about.”

When interior designers are not hired, you can end up with a “poorly designed and expensive space,” warns Friedman.

Tips to Creating the Perfect Office Setting
Not sure where to begin? Sometimes it is helpful to read some tips from professionals. “Have an idea of how the environment will be used,” suggests Fink. Here are some questions to think about: Do people need to be near one another? Do you need to build around electrical outlets? Do you need areas for privacy? All of these questions are helpful to think about when creating a plan for your office setting.

Friedman suggests “listening to what the employees need.” What are your employees looking for when they come into the office? Employers really have to look to know what’s going on, she says.

It is important to remember that your business is as unique as your employees, and your office setting should reflect that fact.

As Friedman puts it, “Each and every business has the same needs and each and every business has different needs.”

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 2, Issue 6 (June, 2012).
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