Guest Blogpost by Laura Wallace, Owner and Creative Director, Worx Graphic Design, based in Hagerstown MD. Laura is a branding expert, author and speaker.
As creatives, we thrive on things that inspire us. The right lighting, background sound and surroundings can take a ho-hum idea into a winning design with the spark of an idea. This is why where we work plays so heavily into how we work.
A few months ago, our team underwent a huge workplace transformation. With a business that started on a couch, we had several variations of office spaces including the kitchen table, a garage and a basement. All of which gave us productive spaces to do great things and continue to grow. But then we came to a fork in the road. We were telling our clients how important it was to bring their brand into the workplace yet we weren’t doing that ourselves. Six months later, we’re working in a loft office in an old warehouse building and it screams our brand.
Besides the new energy and excitement about moving, it’s really proven how your space can affect you and your clients. Here are a few things I’ve learned very quickly:
Use What You Currently Have Wisely
Everyone has to start somewhere and make the most out of what they have in the moment. Even if you’re not in your dream office, how can you transform your current space to reflect who you are and what you do? Adding color and a funky couch or opening up so there’s more light can make a world of a difference. And there’s always trusty IKEA to give your office furniture a facelift without breaking the bank.
Your Team Needs The Right Space
Providing a space that is not only visually pleasing, but functional is a staple to running a productive business. Your team is your most important asset and providing a comfortable work space that inspires them not only engages them but it inspires them to do more. Ask them what is important to them – you may think they want a whole new set up when really if all you did was give them a softer chair, they’d be happy as a clam.
When an office flows nicely, is well-organized and accessible, productivity shoots through the roof. Having dedicated areas for creative brainstorming, sketching, meetings and lounging in addition to well-designed workstations makes everything accessible and encourages use. If your surroundings support the company’s mission and branding, it reinforces the team’s purpose and goals. It also reminds the team of the bigger picture and unifies the company’s message.
Clients See What You’re Capable Of
What better way to solidify your abilities than to invite your client into a space that reflects who you are as a company? A well-branded meeting area reinforces who you are and what you’re capable of. Showing how creativity happens also helps the client to see the value in investing in their branding and marketing, especially when you’re doing it in your own space for yourself. It’s like walking into an installation of what you’re capable of!
Opportunity Is Everywhere
Success breeds success. When you show that you’re willing to invest in your own brand and overall business, it reinforces how committed you are to their success. Your community and your clients will get excited with you. Old relationships pop back up. New relationships are excited because they’re along for the journey. It creates a buzz that is exciting and people want to be part of it. It also breathes new life into your business and helps to kick off old ideas that you put to the side.
You spend an average of 2,000 hours in your office a year. That’s a lot of time to love or hate your space. While you’re building your empire, take advantage of low-cost ways to enhance your space. And when you’ve landed the dream space, invite people to be part of the process and allow it to take on a life of its own. We are creatives, after all. Let’s invite creativity to be part of our space.