Getting it Right: The Do’s and Don’ts of Office Decor

January 14, 2014 | By | Reply More

office decorIn a study conducted by COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, research showed that out of some 2000 polled professionals 89% stated that workplace design and décor was “very important” to them. Out of the 2000 that were pulled, a further 90% of the senior officials in the group said that an office that is effectively designed can increase employee productivity.

The office is where you spend the second most amount of your time throughout the week so naturally it makes sense to want to not only feel comfortable in this space but to get the most out of it. Look around at some of the top Fortune 500 companies, their corporate offices often seek to find the perfect balance of an atmosphere that fosters creativity and learning but also reinforces professionalism and maturity.

Your work environment is a reflection of who your business is. How does your workplace size up? Whether you are set on ramping up an existing space or laying the ground floor on a new area, the following five tips can help you achieve the perfect office Zen for capitalizing on productivity and satisfaction.

First Impression

A question you should always be asking yourself is what do those who are first setting foot in your office think about your space? Potential business partners, future employees and even press will judge your business based on what they see. Who cares that your website is using the latest Drupal technology and that your Glassdoor employee satisfaction score is off the charts.

If someone walks into your front office to be greeted by a dying Hydrangea, a bowl of yellow and orange jelly beans (because the receptionist likes all the other flavors) and the same, tired waiting chairs at every other business in town, you’ve already missed a moment to capitalize on what décor can do for you.

RELATED: Accentuate Your Home Office Floors: All About Area Rugs

Take a moment to walk into your company with fresh eyes. This means the walk from your car to the front door, down any hallways and into your business. Do any red flags show up? Is there anything that can be improved upon?

Houzz has a huge photo database of ideas just ready and waiting to give you inspiration.

Eclectic is Okay

Don’t lock yourself into the frame of thought that all of your office furniture must be purchased from the same store and in the same style. Making these bulk purchases, even from “discount” furniture outlets can still be a huge financial investment. Even economy task chairs can run as much as $100 from these retailers.

Instead look into picking up pieces individually. Having an eclectic mix of seating and furniture is not nearly as appalling as you might think. Big name corporations who have adapted to this have been Etsy, Mutt Industries  in Portland Oregon and of course the very well-known and much written about Google campuses across the globe.

Win the War on Clutter

How are you using the space in your office? Are you using traditional file cabinets? You would be surprised how often these sorts of things go to waste in newer start-ups where much of the work is saved and done online.

I remember at the last start-up I worked at the filing cabinet next to my desk ended up housing my lunch each day, some tea, coffee cups and an odd assortment of team builder swag and hand lotions.

What’s the take away? Make sure you are effectively using your storage space. While it was nice having my own personal junk drawer, at the end of the day it was as unsightly as it was unnecessary. There are number of more attractive alternatives. Think repurposed items like retro lockers, stacked crates and even old doors as repurposed tables.

Connect Locally

Perhaps I am too cynical or jaded but nothing makes me smirk faster than a tacky motivational poster or slogan plastered on a company wall put up if only for the purpose of, “well we needed to put something on that wall and I really liked the message.”

Great alternatives for this exist right in your local community and perhaps even among your staff. Commissioning a local artist to deck out a bare wall or two is not only pretty cheap (under grad and grad students are a great resource, some universities even seek out these sorts of opportunities for their students to fulfill internship credits) but you are also supporting local which will always get you an A+.

A Splash of Color

There have been countless studies that show the correlation between the colors that surround you and your office peers and their effects on your mood and productivity.

Depending on what sector your business operates within you might want to consider adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls in your office. If you need a refresher on what colors correlate best to which affect you are looking to achieve check out  this guide.

Of course, this is by no means a definitive guide. What works for some may not work for others. If you have any other great ideas I would love to hear from you in the comments below or directly (I love mail!) at

Recommended Books on The Do’s and Don’ts of Office Decor:


Getting it Right: The Do’s and Don’ts of Office Decor
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Getting it Right: The Do’s and Don’ts of Office Decor
An office that is effectively designed can increase employee productivity. Learn do’s and don’ts of office decor and 5 tips to achieve the perfect office.
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Category: Home Office

About the Author ()

James Anderson is sports enthusiast, survivalist and blogger born and raised in West Virginia. When he's not writing about secure storage for School Lockers, he loves science fiction and Shakespeare.

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