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Share the Love with a Welcoming Office Environment

Your office environment paints a picture of your style for clients, your boss, colleagues and employees. How they interpret your office surroundings plays a role in how they perceive you professionally, which can affect your success. It’s important to consider what sort of image your
office projects for yourself & your organization?

If you are going to have visitors in your office, make sure you have enough seating for everyone or request access to a nearby meeting room for scheduling meetings.

If you work from home and expect you will have clients & potential clients visiting, consider how you will set up your home office space and the way in which visitors will access your workspace. If you feel that having visitors is too intrusive on your personal space, you might consider renting space in an office suite for hosting meetings. One sales agent I know rents an office space one day per week & schedules clients to meet her there on that day. You can also meet at your customer’s location or schedule lunch somewhere convenient for your guest.

Be cognizant of meetings & conversations that require privacy & arrange for sufficient time without interruption as necessary. When you are conducting annual reviews, respect the employee being reviewed by securing a private area for the conversation.

An eclectic space certainly has its place in many industries, but keep in mind that your office is representative of your reputation and services. If you work in a conservative industry, you might find that holiday lights aren’t appropriate year-round & décor might need to be a little more understated than you would otherwise prefer.

If you are eating and a visitor arrives, stop eating until they leave. If you schedule a working lunch in your office, be sure to provide ample space for eating and do not forget utensils and beverages. Enlisting an assistant to help with serving & clean-up can be helpful in keeping your meeting on track.

Before you install blinking neon lights or blast the latest Bono track, be sure to check in with those with whom you share space, especially if there is a common area that you wish to rearrange or redecorate.

Consider the image you wish to portray to internal & external visitors alike. Your office tells a story that visitors will likely repeat. Welcome visitors with comfortable chairs & give them your full attention. Never let them wait uncomfortably while you make calls or prevent them from sitting because your visitor chairs are full of moving boxes and files.

Dressing your office is as important as dressing yourself for work. Taking the time to consider each of these suggestions & then thoughtfully appointing your office is important in establishing your work ethic & reputation. Setting up your office to be comfortable & welcoming while providing a space conducive to efficient & productive work is instrumental to your success.

Kelly Duggan is an Image Consultant specializing in executive and personal image development, etiquette and communication skills. She is a certified member of the Association of Image Consultants International. Contact Kelly at: www.kellyduggan.com.

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