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DATE: 07/10/2015

Honey, I’m going into the office.

If you’re a busy executive, chances are you’ve said those words before. Whether it was the Sunday afternoon before “the big presentation” or a regular Monday night when you wanted to “get ahead” for the week.

Even with all of today’s remote technologies, and the capabilities they afford us, there’s just something special about getting work done in the privacy of your own office. There are several reasons for this: Easier access to specific resources, cognitive productivity association with the workspace and the increased peace + quiet that just isn’t always available at home.

For these reasons and more, taking the time to design a top-notch executive office is time well spent! But where do you begin? Let’s review some important considerations you should be making before hiring a designer or picking out furniture:

1. Take Stock of Your Company Culture

We say it over and over again, but it bears repeating: Your company brand + culture should be reflected in every design choices you make. While brand more often refers to the perception of your organization held by external stakeholders, culture usually refers to the internal perception held by your employees

So, how do you want your employees to perceive you? What values do you want to continue exemplifying in your workspace, and what values would you like to see added?

Even executive offices have varying degrees of privacy. If your work is highly dependent on collaboration + ideation, you may consider opting for a more open format, such as the executives at Herman Miller did. Wanting to streamline their decision-making process, the organization moved all its executives (most of whom had been sitting in private offices in different buildings) into a semi-private common area.

The new offices which offered minimum privacy through standing-height panels proved to be a hit. So much so, the executives took it even further by completely removing the panels, a few years later.

Alternatively, if the nature of your work requires great privacy + solitude, consider creating a “feeling of openness” with either a glass door or an “open door policy” (ie. leaving it open when you’re not involved in confidential work).

2. Assess The Importance of Status

Though most executives would do well to maintain an internal perception of “teamwork” over status, many recognize the benefit perceived executive status affords them when dealing with clients, partners and external stakeholders. If this is the case, you’ll want to carefully consider the following (all of which can enhance perceived status):

  • The size of your office and the furniture in it
    (ie. bigger desks command bigger attention).
  • The level of technology in your office
    (ie. go for sleeker, more updated appliances).
  • The personal touches in your office
    (Various books, memorabilia and fixtures can all boost perception).
  • The placement of your office in relation to the office as a whole.

3. Choose Furniture That Matches Your Goals

Now, you’re ready to begin redesigning your executive office! If it’s within budget, consider presenting an interior decorator with your answers to the above assessment. Besides saving you time + energy, a good interior designer can end up indirectly making you money by enhancing your overall brand perception, thereby increasing people’s desire to do business with you. If you’re going for a “highly curated look,” a professional designer will be able to pick out all the details (from paperweights to paintings) that will complete your new office design.

If it’s not within budget, don’t fret. Our team at CBI has more than 30 years in the San Antonio office interiors industry. Part of our process involves taking clients through a complete values assessment to determine what furnishings will best suite your brand, budget and culture. Further, since we’re not “bound” to any particular manufacturer, we never have a conflict of interest when it comes to putting the client first.