Setting Up an Office { Part 3 }

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Form follows function:


In every room, ask, “Is the room functional? What is the best way to make this room work for ____?”

I’ve been in many Vector offices where the room size, the posters on the walls, or the furniture set up wasn’t the best way to utilize the space. Often, managers give excuses like, “I had to get up and running so I just put stuff wherever and never changed it.” You may have the best intentions to make something work for now and change it later, but it’s really best to decide how to set your office up for summer and do it right the first time. Once the Vector summer hits, you don’t have time to make major changes.

As you are deciding what should go where, remember, you want doorways and hallways to be clear.  You want storage areas to stay out of sight, behind closed doors or curtains. You need a closet or cabinet that locks to keep sample kits secure. (You are financially responsible for those kits so protect them from becoming disappearing kits!)

In your personal office, arrange your desk opposite the entrance so that you are sitting in a command position facing the door. (You’re the boss, after all!) You should have promotion plaques, framed college degrees, and other framed certificates of achievement on the wall behind your desk. The applicant should see those things behind you during the pre- and post- interviews.

  Quina pre-post room EDITED
Quina Feldstein’s office

Does your interview room have things for applicants to read? Some will be on their cell phones to pass the time but some will know that it’s poor interview etiquette to be on your phone while you wait for an interview. Magazines, posters, art on the walls, or even playing appropriate movies, videos, or music make sense while your applicants are waiting.


Wall-to-wall inspiration:


Painting sounds cheap and easy, but in most cases it’s messier and more time consuming than you really want to jump into as you get ready for the summer. (Trust me, I painted one room in my house last year and it was a bear.)  As long as the walls are fairly clean and don’t have fruit stains from Butcher Knife Baseball at team night in, it’s probably best to leave them as is.

  Meme 04_FillYourWalls  

Vector will provide you with some promotional posters, but you need more on your walls than those! Motivational quotes can inspire and double as artwork. If you have furnished your office and have a few dollars left over, you might check out this fun office décor part of Etsy for inexpensive wall hangings.

You should definitely think of your walls a blank canvas where you can showcase your accomplishments and set the tone for your office. Casey Meyer and Quina Feldstein both use their walls for promotion.  Casey likes for his walls to have themes: field training, President’s Club, PR tracking, record breakers, and Cutco is awesome. Similarly, Quina has a Wall of Records, President’s Club, FSM Wall, Rising Stars, 10K Fast Starters, first promotion in first weekend, office campaign goal tracking, Key Staff with photos and CSP promotion.

Casey recommends keeping it simple. You don’t want to over clutter them. Make sure you have “white space” or “negative space” to balance out the items on your walls. You don’t wan to cover every inch of every wall! Often, when people hang art or other décor, they choose pieces that are too small for the space. Err on the side of too big. Hang artwork at eye level, about 6-10 inches above the furniture. And if you want to group a number of small prints, photographs or awards together, treat the entire installation as one piece.

DM Amberly Lacy utilizes the wall of windows in her office as additional team white boards. They have team goals, individual goals, campaign goals, and Fast Start benchmarks that are updated easily. At each team meeting, each team member updates their campaign goal and writes out their motivation for why they are working toward that goal.


Bring the outside in:

Nothing freshens the air and brightens up a workspace like a plant. These accessories will work as hard as you do, cleaning the air and adding color to your office. For beginner botanists, choose a low-maintenance potted plant like English Ivy or Lemon Balm. Rosemary and some other herbs will add a nice fragrance to the office. And if you’re freaked out about keeping something alive, even a small synthetic succulent or pens made to look like grass leaves will do.

If you have windows, consider opening the blinds to let the outside in. Natural light is great, but note the word “consider”. Take a look at what’s outside that your applicants or trainees may be looking at. Is your view of ugly buildings? An alley? Will you be a fish bowl for the smokers from the office next door? Will the southern sun turn your office into an oven and make your people sweaty!? You might open the blinds in the mornings and close them as the afternoon sun starts beaming in.


Express yourself:

Don’t get so caught up in promotion that you forget to add your own personality to your office. Cool personal touches can add sparkle to any space. You’ve already hung your promotion plaque, diplomas and awards. But what else shows off your professional personality? If you’ve got a favorite saying or quotation, print it out and frame it as artwork. Or showcase that photo of you posing at the Coliseum in Rome or skydiving after you rocked the SC2 push.

If you saved enough start up dollars, splurge a little. Bold accessories like lamps, pillows and paintings can add a splash of color and excitement to your work space. You can also use clear dishes filled with brightly colored candy as an inexpensive accessory that will be super popular with your team.

  Meme 05_Awesome  

Most importantly, choose carefully so that what you’ve surrounded yourself with means something. To paraphrase the designer and artist William Morris, fill your office with things that are useful or just plain awesome. Everything else is just clutter.


That sounds like a lot


It might seem like a lot of effort to get your office set up for summer. True. But hey, you’re opening a business. No one said it would be easy! You and your team will spend a lot of time there so make it a place that is both functional and inviting. And if you have tips or ideas, please share them in the comments below. Happy selling!

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