What does your office says about you?

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If you have reached the dizzy heights of promotion, you may have been given your own personal office. Have you ever thought about what messages you are sending out through the subtle layout and design of your office? Our workspace says a lot about us, how we work and how we relate to others. We might be sending out messages subconsciously and these may not be the right messages.  This is really important when it comes to clients coming in as the first impression often lasts the longest. A great way to know how well the meeting has gone is getting a Visitor Management System from business including Ofec where the clients will sign in with their name, email, business and telephone number.  Sometimes these systems let you leave more information but if not you could always contact them after and ask for a review.

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Maybe you are a traditionalist and want the power lines firmly drawn in your office. Do you keep your door closed and sit behind a huge impressive desk? If your chair is elevated higher than the other chairs in your office, then you are sending out a clear message that you have the power and those entering your space, do not. Of course there is no right or wrong in your personal preferences but if you recognise this illustration and it’s not want what you want to portray, then maybe you have some changes to make.

Location and atmosphere can affect mood and behavior and the boss’s office is a powerful room. During a meeting, where do like to position yourself? You might want to consider opening up the dynamic of the room and moving out from behind your desk. If you want to adopt a more approachable and collaborative relationship with your staff then maybe incorporate a sofa or more informal area of seats around a small table. This will create a more relaxed feeling, which might be better for more sensitive matters and feel less like an interrogation.

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Think about the furniture in your office and try to design an environment that conveys exactly what you want to demonstrate about your abilities and methods.  The small items on your desk, photos, mugs and personal effects will also tell staff and clients little bits about you. Is your desk meticulously tidy or are you surrounded by post-its and empty cups? Be mindful about what you hang on your walls. If your company ethos is all about fostering shared values, team working and collaboration, then make sure your walls aren’t covered with your own personal success stories. Think about celebrating other team members’ achievements as well.

The boss’s office will send out important messages about your management style but remember it also needs to reflect the company you work for. You may need to incorporate some form of branding, mission statements or company theme. First impressions are crucial, so step outside and then enter your office again and try to see if it really reflects everything good about your leadership and that of your company.

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