An office makeover can revitalize your company, bringing in new energy and drive through branding, color schemes and accessories that bring your vision to life.
Dee Schlotter, senior color marketing manager for PPG Paints, says there is a movement away from the luxury office furniture of the past. Instead, "there is a move toward establishing an 'office personality' and a look that matches the company brand."
The decor should mimic what the company is selling or stands for or both, setting employees and customers in the right frame of mind from a visual standpoint, Schlotter said. Here are seven ways to accomplish that.
Choose the right color scheme
You can express your office personality using an appropriate color scheme. For example, banks are an almost academic setting, and the decor should inspire trust and reassurance. This can be done with the use of dark reds and greens – saturated colors – and accessorized with black and white flooring or granite.
More creative industries should look for color and pop, using murals and accent walls to entice creative thinking and innovation. You can still create a chaos-free environment with the use of warm gray or white walls.
Style your space like a coffee shop
Networking and collaboration are key to driving a business forward, and little coffee shop-type environments are a nurturing spot for creativity. With bench-style seating along a wall with desks in front, or small chairs and couches gathered around a low table, employers can offer their employees a comfortable place to sit with team members with laptops and brainstorm or strategize.
Play with textures
Introducing textures into the office environment offers another type of stimulant that engages the senses in a softer way. The feel of different types of fabric from the desk chair, the conference chair and the sofas in the waiting area can bring about a whole new way of thinking. The visual representation of texture can do the same, with bright colors to represent energy. A natural feel is also inspiring, which you can create with fur as a fabric and some greens to liven up the area.
Rearrange the office
Sometimes, the best way to freshen up the look of your office is to simply rearrange the furniture. This low-cost initiative can help you open up the space in your office and even encourage more teamwork and collaboration. Cathy Atkins, co-founder of public relations firm Metis Communications, said that her company's newsroom-style office promotes a culture of collaboration, ad hoc brainstorming and helping one another out. Instead of putting walls between workers as closed-off cubicles do, an open physical environment allows for a more open working environment as well.
Invest in modern furniture
Modern furniture is more rounded than traditional office furniture, said Schlotter, and gives a "softness around the technology." Use of fur, padded seating and pillowy accessories alleviate the feeling of urgency and pressure that ebbs from hard, pointed furniture and uncomfortable seats. Thoughts of a person at ease flow freer than those under pressure, and decor can do a lot to relieve that sense of pressure.
Bring in Mother Nature
There is a real focus now on incorporating nature into office environments. This can be done with green plants, sunlight, and natural hues like greens and blues. Studies have shown that sunlight and natural elements are emotionally soothing while encouraging thought processes.
Ask employees for help
If you are in the beginning stages of redesigning or redecorating your office space, consider asking your employees for their thoughts and suggestions, and offer the ability for them to customize their work area to their tastes. Today, people are really into personalization. Allowing this may be a great retention tool, as well as a way to show you appreciate them and are invested in having them be a part of your company in the long term.
Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.