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5 Things to Consider While Furnishing your Office

5 Things to Consider While Furnishing your Office

Like it or not, people will judge you by the appearance of your office. Whether you want to convince your clients to do business with you or if you wish to hire excellent employees, the state of your office plays an important role. The décor must be appealing, elegant and stylish for clients to believe in you.

Furnishing your office will take astute planning and a considerable amount of your time and money. Your office is not just a bunch of furniture, stationary and other things kept together. It is your home away from home. It is your companion on a journey towards your goal. You will probably spend more time at your office than at your home. And it’s not just yourself you have to take care of. Your employees become your responsibility and it is your duty to provide them a motivating ambiance.

Here are 5 things you should keep in mind while furnishing your office.

1. Get comfortable furniture

Let’s start with the essentials: desks and chairs. There is absolutely no doubt that desks and chairs are the most used pieces of furniture in any office. People spend most of their working hours sitting on chairs poring over some problem or simply handling the paperwork on their desks. It is. therefore. imperative to make sure you have comfortable desks and chairs that are nice to your body.

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Desks need to be big enough to hold computers, files and other necessary office items as well as personal items of the people using it. The desks should be of appropriate heights which depends upon the height of the person doing work as well as the nature of work the person is doing.

Chairs should be properly cushioned with proper backrest and armrest. Adjustable chairs that allow you to alter their height, tilt and recline are very useful as they can be easily modified according to users’ needs.

Uncomfortable desks and chairs can have severe effects on your health and induce long-term pains in your back, neck, arms and legs. Therefore, getting comfortable and cozy furniture should be a top priority for you.

2. Quality over price

As long as your business stays you will need your office. And you will want your business to run forever. So make sure you get good quality furniture that lasts long even if it costs you more. You will notice a substantial price difference between poor and better-quality items. But the cheaper goods usually come with a lot of risks– the legs on chairs break, desks become wobbly and the file cabinets fall apart. Simply put, they do not last long.

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Make sure to buy items that are made for heavy-duty use – Desks and chairs that last long, file cabinets that can actually hold files without breaking down and that survive for years.

If your budget is an issue then, search for good quality used furniture than buying cheap, new, lowly items. Buying expensive, durable furniture may seem an unnecessary financial burden at first, but it makes more economic sense in the long run.

3. Add a personal touch

A stylish office with a beautiful décor can send a strong positive message about your business to your clients giving you an advantage. But to truly capture a client’s interest, you should give a glimpse of what you and your business are all about.

Your office should be an extension of your personality. It should reflect your values; its décor should accentuate things that you believe. Paint your walls with bright, vibrant colors to give a sense of welcome. Hang portraits of people you admire. Buy and put artifacts that you love. Personalizing your office not only makes it unique from so many others but also helps you communicate a lot about what is important to you.

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Investing your hard-earned money, time and effort to make sure your office has a unique (and of course spectacular!) look is, therefore, very important.

4. Strive to create a serene environment

If you want to your employees to work peacefully, it is your job to create a calm environment. The ambiance around your office can have a great impact on you and other people working there.

There is no way you can have a productive session with clutter, commotion and bad lighting disturbing you into frustration. Offices should be designed so that most part, if not all, can receive natural lighting. If there is not enough natural lighting, artificial lighting with appropriate brightness should be available. A well-formed plan to manage huge piles of paper that are collected must be put in practice.

Keeping plants in office space can do wonders to keep a tranquil work environment. Plants can add beauty to the environment, reduce noise and stress among other things.

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5. Invest to keep things fun

Gone are the days when work and play were considered opposites. There has been a shift in the way people think about work – to be productive in work you need to be having fun.

Human beings quickly get bored with monotonous tasks and need a break from time to time. Making workplace fun not only motivates people to work harder and faster, it also makes them more happy and stress-free.

Workplaces in big corporations today have different facilities including gyms and spa to pamper their staffs. However, these facilities are not feasible for all. Making smaller but effective facilities like ping-pong tables, pool tables or massage chairs available can help people blow some steam off.

Furnishing your office is not just about buying furniture and filling up space. It is about creating an elegant appearance and a lively, vibrant ambiance. You together with the furniture you buy, the color you use on your walls, the art and photos you hang, the plants you keep and the employees that work for you build an entity that embodies your principles.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on June 2, 2020

How to Write an Impressive Cover Letter (With Examples)

How to Write an Impressive Cover Letter (With Examples)

Think of your cover letter for a job application as an in-person introduction. Your resume outlines the facts—where you worked and for how long, along with your major accomplishments. But your cover letter also shows off your personality.

Your cover letter should outline the case for why you deserve the job without being “salesy.” How do you do that? Follow these 12 important guidelines.

1. There Is No Cookie-Cutter Cover Letter for a Job

Targeting your resume to a particular job may mean changing up your “Objective” section a bit or adding to your “Executive Summary” section. Cover letters, though, really need to focus on the particular person you’re writing to, the particular job, and the particular company. It needs to prove, with an economy of words, that your job experience fits the requirements of the position for which you’re applying.

Your letter should show that you have amassed the skills you need to succeed in that workplace. And, your cover letter should clinch your prospects by making the case that you are very excited about working at that particular company.

2. Always Opt-in to the Optional Cover Letter

Some job postings will give applicants the option of opting out of providing a cover letter for a job[1]. Don’t take the bait! Use the opportunity to further sell yourself in a personalized, well-crafted cover letter that creatively shares who you are and why your skills and personality align with the position and the company. Think of your cover letter for a job as an opportunity to describe your value proposition.

3. A Reference Goes a Long Way

Did someone recommend you for the job? Put that in the subject line of your cover letter if possible. If an online listing dictates what your subject line must be, cite the personal recommendation in the first sentence of your letter:

Dear Ms. Sanders,

Steve Smith recommended me for your Assistant Planner position. I worked with Steve at the XYZ company for four years as his assistant until he moved on, and I feel as though I learned from the best.  His high praise for you is the primary reason I am applying for this position, as I consider him an excellent judge of character. 

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You may want to bolster Steve’s recommendation with a short anecdote about working with Steve. Don’t be shy. Steve’s high opinion of you will likely mean that your resume gets a serious look.

4. Outline the Key Points You Want to Make

Company by company, your cover letter for a job application needs to be specific and bulletproof. Unless you have a great deal of practice in writing cover letters, it’s hard to just bang them out. So don’t even try. Instead, start with a list of points you intend to make. Generally, these would be a “grabby” introduction, a story or two about a particular accomplishment that is relevant to the job to which you are applying, a reason why you are the ideal candidate for the position, and a conclusion with a suggested next step.

  1. Intro – Have been familiar with the company since my father worked there in the 1980s.
  2. College Major – Majored in industrial engineering so I could get a job at CYY Building, Inc.
  3. Captain of Soccer Team – Prepared me to solve problems, promote morale, and coach a team.
  4. Ask for Informational Interview – 15 minutes to meet in person and learn more about opportunities.
  5. Compelling Close – Ask Hiring Manager to call me. Say I will call her in a week if I don’t hear from her first.

5. Moderating the Tone of Your Cover Letter

Some companies are buttoned-up. The workers wear three-piece suits to the office each day plus loafers. Other companies are more casual. The employees wear shorts in the summertime and skateboard through the hallways. In an in-person interview, you would never wear shorts to a company whose employees are sporting three-piece suits.

Similarly, your cover letter needs to strike the right note. The letter you write to a start-up should sound markedly different than the letter you would write to a white-shoe law firm.

For example, even using something as informal as “Greetings” for the salutation may not be appropriate at a more formal firm. And definitely don’t use the default “To Whom It May Concern.” Instead, try to find the name of the hiring manager with an online search. If that’s not possible, you will want to begin with “Dear XYZ Hiring Manager.” The tone of your cover letter for a job starts at the very beginning.

6. Create an Attention-Grabbing Opening Line

Think of going to hear a presentation by a motivational speaker, only to have her open with, “I’m here today to present (fill in with title of the presentation).” What a let down! What if instead, she started with, “I just ran a half marathon. Now doesn’t that sound better than if I told you, ‘I tried to run a marathon but quit half-way through?’” See the difference? You want to hear more.

Craft the first line of your cover letter with the utmost care. It doesn’t need to be clever, but it needs to show your personality and your fit for the position.

Dear Mr. Stevens,

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I am committed to making the customer service experience better for people like my grandmother. At 87 years old, my Gram is lost in the digital world and reliant on customer service representatives she can reach by telephone to answer her questions and solve her problems. She regularly shares stories of frustrating dead-ends she experiences with people wanting her to “go online and make your selection.”  Yet, whenever she reaches someone willing to take the extra time to resolve her issue, she sings the company’s praises to everyone she knows. Based on Gram’s frustrations, I want to be that person who won’t give up or pass the buck with bewildered customers.  

With a strong, anecdotal opening such as this, you show purpose and passion behind your application to be a customer service representative.

7. Recognize the Value of Cover Letter Real Estate

Spare writing is key in the cover letter for a job. It is always best if your letter doesn’t exceed a page. Those reviewing applications appreciate a letter that is terse, yet provides useful information to evaluate an applicant. This means you have five to six paragraphs in which to work.

Repeating anything from your resume is a waste of real estate. Think in terms of describing why you are applying for the position and why you are the best candidate.

To best show your personality, avoid stale phrases such as, “I believe my experience would be a good fit in your organization.” Add punch to your statements that show off your accomplishments and your attitude.

I thrive in start-up environments where I’ve learned to expect the unexpected and to make changes on the fly. In one such instance, I uncovered better results from a pilot project and in under 30 minutes had updated the CEO’s presentation in time for his meeting with a venture capitalist.

8. Getting Creative

On the surface, a requirement is a requirement. Many online ads specify the number of years, and you might think they are ironclad. But if you count the number of years you amassed a particular skill at the job and add any volunteer work where you also used that skill, you might surpass the requirement.

Say that you are applying for a position in fund development. If your career experience in putting on charity fundraisers falls a little short, it’s certainly appropriate to add in time spent organizing fundraising events as a volunteer—as long as you indicate it as such in your cover letter for the job.

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I recently passed my two and a half year mark of employment as a fund development associate with Notable Events. Concurrently, I oversaw all aspects of two annual fundraising galas as a volunteer board member of Reach for the Stars Foundation, offering scholarships to first-generation college-bound students. These involved finding sponsors for more than 70 silent auction items, renting event space, working with caterers, recruiting volunteers and MC-ing both events, which each drew more than 200 attendees and, together, raised more than $250,000. I believe this intensive hands-on experience helps supplement my years of employment.

Showcasing your community ethos through volunteering could make up for the deficit in actual on-the-job experience.

9. Making the Case that You Fit

How will you fit in at the company? With some research, you can easily figure out the corporate culture of an organization. Many companies share their core values in job recruitment ads. But even if you can’t discern a company’s mission or beliefs from its advertising, you can learn it from articles you read about the company.

Is it employer-centric or employee-centric? Is the culture more traditional or more fun? And what are you looking for? When you find a company where your needs align with theirs, that’s an indication that you would fit in well. Take care to make sure that your cover letter reflects how you fit.

If you are a recent military veteran[2], consider which civilian positions lend themselves to the regimented culture of which you’ve become accustomed. For example, your occupational specialty while in the military could dovetail well with a company’s job requirements—and you have the added benefit of discipline, following instructions, and teamwork that you can apply to any future position.

10. Always Ask for What You’re Worth

If the employer asks applicants to share their salary requirements in the cover letter for a job, disregard what you made in your former position and look into the salary ranges[3] of the advertised position. You will want to adjust up or down within the salary range depending on your prior experience in the industry or in a similar role.

The key is to not undercut yourself by asking below the minimum amount, or to overinflate your worth by asking for an amount higher than the maximum pay in the salary range.

11. Show Your Cover Letter to Three People Whose Opinion You Trust

Once your letter is out in the world, it’s too late to tweak it for that particular job. You will dramatically improve your chances of having your cover letter “land” correctly if you’re proactive. Find a few people in the field, and ask them if you can show them your cover letter before you send it out.

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If you are starting out and don’t know anyone in the field, you may want to consider paying for a professional career consultant or coach to review your cover letter and resume. Remember that the care you demonstrate in your cover letter is that employer’s first impression of you.

12. End With Enthusiasm

You want to stay upbeat all the way to the end of the letter. Let the reviewer know that you appreciate the opportunity to apply and that you look forward to hearing from (or having a chance to meet with) them in person.

It would be an honor to be part of your team, and I hope to have an opportunity to discuss this role and how I could contribute to it in person.

This acknowledges that the organization gets to make the next move, but that you anticipate it will be in your favor.

Sign off formally (“Sincerely” or “Best regards”) or informally (“Best” or “Thank you”) depending on the tone of the letter. Also, be sure to include your email address and phone number under your name. This ensures that, should the reviewer wish to contact you, the contact information is easily accessible.

Final Thoughts

The best cover letters for a job are lively, authentic, and provide a memorable result, anecdote or example of your approach to work. By tying your approach to the requirements of the job description and revealing your personality as a fit for the organization, you will give yourself a winning chance for making the cut and landing that coveted job interview.

More Tips on Writing a Great Cover Letter

Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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