A good office considers its employees. With spaces tailored to different work styles, areas optimised for different tasks and an overall uplifting style and vibe – a good office is an essential part of any business. However, there is something better than a good office; a great office. What separates a great office from a good office? Whilst a good office delivers everything employees need, a great office also considers those that don’t work in the building. Your office says a lot about you. It projects a message and is designed to send all the right signals to visitors be they clients, prospects, suppliers or anyone else that may be visiting.
Crafting a great visitor experience is an important part of any office design and we wanted to give you some help. Here are some considerations to make when designing an office optimised to delivering a fantastic visitor experience.
Part of the good visitor experience is being memorable. Don’t fall into the folder marked “bland and forgettable offices” residing in your visitor’s mind. Your office can say as much as you do to your visitors. You want it to communicate two main things; your brand and your brand personality.
Let’s look at them in turn;
First brand personality. What is your brand about? Are you a forward-thinking tech company? Or are you a creative business that likes to balance work and play? Whatever your company is about you can find a way to communicate it through your office design.
Secondly, branding. In this case, we are distinguishing between branding and your brand personality. Your brand is your name and your logo. It’s the thing you want people to attach your brand personality to. Instead of being “that fun creative company” you want to be remembered as “Company X, the fun creative company”. It’s a subtle difference but it matters.
Work Out The Logistics Of A Visitor Journey
A layout is fundamental to any office design. Where is the kitchen in relation to your office? How far is the coffee machine from the meeting room? These may seem trivial now, but what difference could it make if you must leave every visitor sat alone in a meeting room, while you go down three flights of stairs and wait in a queue in the kitchen to make them a coffee. Alternatively, you could not even offer them a drink. Neither of these are good options. Small details like this add up. Consider the visitor’s journey when planning an office fit out, the more seamless the better.
Consider Your Visitors’ Needs
Do you have many visitors? What are their typical needs? Do you usually require a meeting room, a training room that can seat 30 people or are you more likely to have a one-on-one meeting in your office? These questions are essential to planning out an office refurbishment. You don’t want to be left short on meeting rooms or be left trying to give a presentation in a room not designed to host so many people. These mistakes are a perfect way to ruin a visitor’s experience. By being cognisant of the types of space you need, how often you need them and how many you may need at one time, you can properly cater to your visitors’ needs. These considerations should expand outside of the office too. Parking sets the mood for a visitor before you even see them. Make sure that you have enough space to accommodate guests.
Don’t Overlook “Visitor-Only” Spaces
In addition to parking, your guests will also encounter your reception before they meet you. Of course, having a friendly helpful receptionist is beyond the scope of office design but a welcoming and comfortable waiting area isn’t. Hopefully, your visitors are not rushing through the doors last minute and are in fact showing up a few minutes early. In which case they will need somewhere to wait. This is an area you and your employees won’t frequent much but that is no excuse to overlook it. The front of house reception and waiting area sets the tone for your visitors before you’ve shaken their hand – so don’t cut corners, get it right.
Perhaps you’ve never thought about the distance between the coffee machine and your meeting rooms. Maybe you have never investigated the types of visitors you have and the spaces they most commonly use. Like many, you may have overlooked the areas your visitors frequent, but you don’t. Now, however, we hope you keep these areas in mind when refurbishing your office because the difference between a good office and a great office is an amazing visitor experience.