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Executive Office: Designing It Right

March 6, 2018
Tom

Designing an executive office requires careful planning and undivided attention. This modern-day throne room must support the work style and daily habits of a CEO. Moreover, it is supposed to make a solid impression on business partners and clients. So, the best kind of office is the one that is welcoming, practical, and branded. Merging these qualities is a complex undertaking with a host of moving parts you need to keep an eye on. Like it or not, you have to approach this one a bit differently than the other offices.

All in one

Executive office seldom serves only one purpose. Most often, it works double duty or represents many different things at once. Executives work privately there, but also hold business meetings. Hence, the first thing to do is assess the needs and wants of people who use the office. The best way to go about this stage is to prioritize the functionality first. Namely, regardless of different tastes and personal preferences, there are some hard rules to adhere to.

It would be wise to create separate zones for each activity and identify the functional furniture pieces that best fit each one of them.  First off, CEO’s desk is the heart and soul of the office. It must be big enough for all the necessary equipment and have ample storage space. Also, the setting usually includes a few guest chairs in the front. There is typically another seating area for meetings, which features sofas, chairs, and a small desk.  In addition, offices may need shelving for books, file storage, a desk for the printer, etc.

Move past the tedious cubicle

Once the overall layout and arrangement of furniture have been figured out, it is time to face the visual side of things. After all, the office should echo company’s values and embody everything it is and stands for. In other words, an executive office is the pinnacle of branding via corporate design. And this does not mean you should just slap company’s logo and colour scheme here and there. These elements can be an integral part of the visual identity, but there is much more you can do.

To set the right tone, think outside the box. Look beyond outdated concepts and elements such as corny inspirational quotes and generic wall art. Celebrate company’s culture and mission with unique design and décor. Note that the place should not be overly sterile and dull, which are the characteristics of many corporate offices. Therefore, add some warmth with textures and colours to avoid emitting the tedious feel of an interrogation room.

Different strokes for different folks

Those who embrace fun and vibrancy can use playful and colourful furniture to make things more interesting. You can also look for rugs online and invest in throw pillows in case you have a couch or sofa. Potted plants are always a welcome sight, as they breathe life into a space and purify the air. And if your organization takes pride in sophistication and simplicity, go for minimalist design, foster a monochromatic backdrop, and use small splashes of colour in moderation.

Finally, executives might want to deliver personal touches and follow their specific preferences. By all means, they should have a say in how the office will be designed. For instance, those that prefer peace and quiet can use sound-masking materials to reduce exterior noise. On the other hand, if the company promotes open culture, horizontal lines of communication, and lively collaboration, an executive office can be partly or fully integrated into open office plan, creating a productive and relaxed working environment.

Success by design

Location and atmosphere play a vital role in the business world and affect everything from one’s mood to company’s culture as the whole. A great looking office is practically useless if it does not enable executives to get the work done. Thus, introduce functional staples first and separate nice-to-haves from must-haves. Blend prime functionality with visual appeal. An executive office should speak volumes about what your business about and reflect the executive’s personality. Designed right, it shines as brightly as the crown jewel of a branded environment.

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