What Your Office Design Says About You

Your office, like your home and even your clothes has a look and a feel. The colours and structure reveal a lot about your personality; give people a strong impression about the kind of person you are and respond accordingly, whether or not you decorated it.

When a person enters a drab office with dishevelled designs, that person is influenced to be irritable and discontent. An organised and pleasantly designed office would have the opposite effect on such person.

The personal assistant tells you to wait in the office and you step into a dark and subdued office with massive book cases, heavy drapes, a gigantic heavy-wooded desk (not a pin is on it) with an equally huge chair, then you lift your head and your eyes collide with a gigantic photograph of a severe looking elite; at once you understand that you would be meeting a direct, no nonsense type of person. The unspoken message is clear: ‘I am in charge here.’ The executive you are about to meet is a director-type of executive:

  • No time for details
  • Interrupts often
  • Dislikes chitchats
  • Impatient and demanding

Notwithstanding the above, if this office also features elegant furnishings, matching accessories and some sense of style (ancient or modern), then you understand that the person you await is also:

  • Incredibly energetic
  • Result oriented and aggressive
  • Positive minded
  • Organised
  • Big brained with fore sight

A ‘Power Office’ is what these types of offices are sometimes called. They are status symbols and they exude an established order and dominance.

Whatever the size of your office, the physical setting should match and enhance your best qualities. If you are involved in negotiations, receive a lot of traffic, handle human resource matters, sales matters, or approval matters then you must take this even more seriously and have the psychology of colour work for you:

  • Lively colours like pastels exude pleasure, warmth, importance, and energy.
  • Reds and gold reflect a fiery personality.
  • Black or grey are authority colours – power colours.

An executive that likes to interact and talk is likely to have a lot of warm corals and tropical yellow. If the office also has blue, brighter shades of lavender or green then this executive is also very fashionable. This office would likely have plants at the corners, with some display of art, like portraits of nature and a variety of posters. This executive is a socialiser-type, so you would find soft and very comfy couches in the office to relax and talk with him or her. The structure of the office of a socialiser would feature these deep couches placed casually around the desk. The desk would be nicely cluttered and the executive would show no embarrassment about it. The impression this gives you is that of a busy person who still has time to focus on you as an individual.

You instinctively understand that the clutter does not bother these executives because they know exactly where everything is. Your psychological response is to open your mind to an open-door policy. You expect to meet with someone who is persuasive and enthusiastic; the office comes across to you as airy and cheerful.  You don’t mind inviting these executives to join you for the afterhours because you know they would be the life of the party.

This brings us to the relator-type of executive. Unlike the adventurous and spontaneous socialiser-type, the relator-type is a quieter and more sedate person. This executive would have an office that exudes tranquillity. Green (the main colour of nature) would prevail in that office and is a sign of constancy and perseverance. Art on display would also be tranquil. The furniture would be relaxed, informal, and comfortable. The impression a relator-executive’s office gives you is that of a person who is reliable, steady, trustworthy and considerate.

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