One of the great things about having your own workspace is that you can set it up however you want.
When you’re working from home, you are constrained by the other functions of your living space. You can’t take over the entire dining room table because your family might need to eat dinner on it later.
When you work in a cubicle in an office environment, expressing your individuality is often limited to puncturing the neutral-toned fabric walls with pictures of your pets or your family and situating your bowling trophy so it gets the best of the unnatural light under your storage cabinets.
But when you have a space where all four walls are yours to conquer, your creativity knows no bounds.
What will your clients and others learn about you from your private office space?
Your Organizational Skills
If clients can smell your private office before they get to it, it’s time to take a no-nonsense Konmari approach to tidying. And no fudging — no one will believe that overripe bunch of bananas and the coffee cup you keep rinsing are things that spark your joy.
You may not be a surgeon, but presenting a tidy and organized workspace goes a long way toward impressing clients. No one wants to believe their business — whatever it may be — may be lost at the bottom of one of your many piles or blemished by careless coffee rings or grease stains left by errant popcorn kernels.
Your Level of Professionalism
Longstanding customers probably love seeing pictures of your grandchildren, or even your cat or your vacation to Machu Pichu. But to present a polished, successful appearance, put them in frames. There really is no excuse for a bulletin board covered with a rash of colored pushpins.
Remember to keep these photos and personal effects to a minimum. This is your private office, after all, not the mantel in your living room. Five pictures are enough. And don’t be in all of them, either. People will think you’re self-involved.
Along those lines, minimize decorations. Your diploma and some awards and the hand-carved statue you got on your trip to Africa are okay, but you should probably skip the mouse ears and cheesy wall decals.
More individuality is allowed when you express your personal taste, but be mindful of how certain leanings may affect your relationship with your clients.
Do you have a photo of yourself with President Donald Trump? You may be proud, but this can alienate some clients. Ditto with your cowhide rug or religious items. Keep it strictly business.
When you’re deciding how to festoon your office, also think about your brand. Include your logo in your design, and not just for decorating your walls. Have pencils or other useful items with your name or logo on them for clients to use or keep.
Consider your brand in your color scheme as well. For example, if you are a RE/MAX owner, stay with the red, white, and blue and avoid oranges, greens, yellows, and pinks in your private office space.