Five Steps to a Professional Office Space

When a business first opens an office space, office decor is probably not the first thing that pops into the office manager’s head. However, the way an office looks can play a big part in leaving an impression on clients and in shaping the culture of the company. Of course, maintaining costs will also be an important factor when designing the work space.

For those concerned about making a professional space on a limited budget, here are some tips to remember.

1. Layout

Having a well thought out layout can go a long way in making an office space look professional and organized. When designing the layout of the office, think about creating an entrance way to capture the client’s attention, so the first thing they see isn’t the work area where the majority of the employees work. Be sure that there is a separate conference room or other meeting area where you can speak with clients. When designing the working area, think about weather your employees would prefer an open layout with lots of interaction or separate cubicles or working stations.

2. Furniture

When selecting furniture, consider the vibe of your company and what will be comfortable for employees. If your business tends to be a more conservative field, such as banking, investing or a law firm, consider using darker hues for desks, conservative colors such as blue, black, and brown for chairs, and keep the arrangements uncluttered. While wood desks and leather chairs often come to mind for this setting, these can be expensive, so consider purchasing gently used furniture or a good imitation of the real thing. For a more trendy company, vibrant colors and industrial shapes and materials, such as concrete and metal, can be appropriate. Go for a more boxy shape when selecting desks and chairs and throw in colors like orange, red or yellow.

3. Branding

The way your office is designed can be a huge branding opportunity for your company. Be sure the company name and logo is seen throughout the office in various ways. Have the company name and business card available at the entrance, include colors from the logo throughout the decor, have industry related pictures hung on the wall and place related books on the bookshelves. Coming up with something creative, such as a special order of M&Ms with the company’s name printed on them placed out for visitors, is a great way to welcome guests with a little reminder of who you are.

4. Decor

Once you have the layout and furniture in place, be sure to add some decor to make the space feel welcoming and lived-in. Place some accent pillows on the couch, add some pictures of the company’s product or even the employees. Place a vase of flowers on the receptionist’s desk and encourage employees to make their work space friendly and comfortable. When decorating, be sure to avoid clutter and drowning out the furniture with too many knickknacks.

5. Streamline

Be sure that all of your office elements are streamlined to meet their work function and that one area flows to the next. Be sure that walkways are created between areas and that all work products are organized and simplified with filing cabinets.

Harold Miller is an avid blogger and contributor to, a leading used office furniture company specializing in Herman Miller and Ethospace products.

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Mark Montoya has been working in personal branding for more than a decade for hundreds of online and offline companies, small businesses and individual service professionals. His focus has been toward improving the way jobseekers find employment on the Internet. He has synthesized his expertise by helping job seekers obtain their ideal choice of employment over the Internet on his sites and, and through his books 101 Tips Every Job Seeker Should Know and The Ultimate Online Job Search eBook.

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