If you think that your office is not a direct representation of your business, and of you as a person, you are sadly incorrect. There is a direct correlation between what clients and coworkers think of your office and how they perceive you as a person and as a professional. Though you might be comfortable in your little space and not pay much attention, you should be aware that your office might be sending these 5 messages to whoever comes your way.
- You’re your own first priority
One glass. One coffee mug. One chair. That’s fine if you work alone and never see people in your office. However, if you do at times collaborate with others or host meetings in your space, it is a nice gesture to have at least double of everything, to show that you can at least accommodate an offer to get something for the second person, whether that be a glass of water, or even an extra pen.
- You’re a Slob
The dust bunnies are the size of hamsters and your windows seem to be “tinted” with grime. Now that’s just unacceptable. Even if it doesn’t bother you, it may very well bother your colleagues and your clients. You might personally be the tidiest and cleanest person in the world and bathe three times a day, but if your office is dirty, how can anyone expect you to be responsible for anything- you clearly can’t take care of the office. If you struggle with keeping it all together on your own, find yourself a company that offers a complete range of janitorial services for all commercial and institutional establishments.
- You Live at the Office
Most of us understand that the perfect work/life balance is difficult to achieve. Having your couch equipped with a full-sized pillow and a duvet is not really something to be proud of. Most office workers can attest to having an extra sweater or pair of comfy shoes in a desk drawer, but keeping most of your closet in the office is unprofessional, even if you think that no one else notices. They do. There’s no way you could live out of your office and not have people notice. The “too comfy” décor and lost sock on the floor are not going to inspire confidence in prospective clients, that’s for sure.
- You Don’t Invest in Yourself
If your coworkers or clients know that you are making a significant amount of money, yet are living as if you were still a student- there’s going to be some talked behind the scenes. Just like your outfit, your office should be a reflection of how you see yourself- organized, confident, and capable. So if your business card holder is a makeshift affair made out of bent-out-of-shape paper clips or your name plate is sliding down your door, don’t expect people to take you serious. From their perspective, it doesn’t seem like you do either.
- You Have No Life
Though your office should have a professional appearance, it doesn’t mean that it has to be completely bare and sterile looking. This gives the impression that you have no life or interest outside of work. You must be one of “those” people whose job is their life and vice versa. While clients like to know that you take yourself and your career seriously, it can also scare them off and make them feel uncomfortable. Having a few tasteful photos from past travels, important family events or signs of a hobby are all great ways to show that along with your professional career, you enjoy a fulfilling life outside of the office. Shouldn’t we all?
None of these messages are ones that you should be sending to others, mostly because they devalue you as a person and as a worker. But as easy as it is to falsely signal these ideas, it’s easy to transform your office into a space that accurately reflects who you are.