The Office Revamp | Bring Life to Your Public Office Space
Guest Post by Monique McHugh
There is a time in the lifespan of every business where you outgrow your little home office space and it is time to make the decision to move your work-base somewhere else. Your clients want to see a space that reflects the work you do, and your little home office just isn't cutting it anymore. When it comes to choosing an office space, the options are endless, but usually narrowed down by budget restrictions. Currently on the rise since the mid- 2000s is the use of co-working spaces in which each renter shares public spaces such as a conference room, gathering area, and bathrooms and each have a separate office or shared room with desks to use for their own purposes.
There are 53 million Americans (34% of the workforce) that work independently today, either choosing to freelance or start their own businesses, and many of them are now growing out of their startup home office spaces. This creates a challenge, as co-working and even rented small office spaces set restrictions on how you can decorate and make the space your own. Here are some tips for making your public office space reflect your business and helping you create a space you are proud to bring your clients into.
Bring in Pops of Color
Since co-working spaces are usually pre-filled with the necessary furniture (a desk, chair, and maybe one storage piece) and accompanied with plain white walls, a little bit of color will make a huge difference. Choose 2-3 accent colors for the space and stick to them. This can even be one color in three different shades. Next, bring in some bright chairs and artwork on the walls to bring the space to life. Don’t feel like you have to use the furniture provided. Sometimes it can be better to start from scratch, especially if you have furniture you love in your home office space.
Don’t Skip on Storage
Another very important thing to remember in your space is to have a lot of adequate storage. Try a bookcase with pretty storage bins or a filing system to keep clutter tucked away and out of sight. This will keep visitors from getting overwhelmed and will also keep you focused throughout the day. If things tend to pile up in your office, take an hour out each week to sort through it and place it back into its designated home.
Create Side Seating
If possible, create a separate seating area away from your desk. Contrary to popular office layouts, research shows that the best conversations happen where there is not a boundary between the two parties (like providing seating across from your desk). Take the above image for example. When sitting side by side with a client, you are creating an open flow of communication where each of you feels equal to the other. So move those two extra seats away from your desk and place a small table in between them. From now on, make it a point to get up from your desk and sit in one of those seats with your client instead of talking with them over your desk.
If you have an IKEA near you, use it!
I don’t think this will come as a surprise for most people, but when it comes to office decor on a budget IKEA is your best friend. They have a wide range of of styles to select from and some of the best prices around. So if you have an ikea take advantage of it! Their decorative storage bins are around $3.00 and most of the small items can be purchased for under $20. If you are one of the select few without access to an IKEA (like me), consider your local options and whether or not a trip to IKEA is worth it to you. In my case it was!
If you haven’t guessed already, my name is Monique McHugh. I am the interior designer and creative entrepreneur behind moniquemchugh.com, a blogging resource filled with design tips, inspiring spaces, fun travels, and a couple of passionate entrepreneurs who are discovering life one day at a time, together. Interested in reading more and taking a look into my office? Head over to the blog now and check it out!