Key Design Considerations when Setting Up your Office in Nairobi
It is said that you never get a second chance to create a first great impression. Your office space is often the first impression future customers, employees and partners get about your company.
So if you’re in the process of setting up your office in Nairobi, here are some of the key considerations that you might want to think about when planning the design of your office space.
Pimp Your Reception Area
In the office set up, the reception area is the location where first impressions will be formed by visitors, investors and even potential clients. As Biko Zulu would put it, half of the good things in life today come from waiting at the reception. Showing the importance of getting it right while setting up your reception area.
The most important part of your waiting area is the furniture; not only is it the first thing your guests will see, it determines how comfortable they will feel in your space. Consider durable furniture that allows for easy clean-up of messes. Also, invest in the right type of reception desk that looks quite professional and attractive, pay attention to the height of the desk too. This is equally essential as it helps visitors carry out basic tasks, like signing forms.
Feature your company logo
Having your company brand at your reception area is a great way to firmly brand your space and send a clear message or reminder to visitors of where they are and what you have to offer.
Ensure that your logo is clearly visible, preferably from the entrance, and high-quality. It needs to be large enough to be seen but try to avoid going overboard.
It is also a good idea to think of creative ways to feature the logo so that it stands out for all the right reasons such as back-lights, using a usual texture or even high impact support such as Perspex with spacers so that it ‘hovers’ on the wall.
It is said that plain white walls can look very professional, but in most cases, they say nothing about your business. For this reason, you should try to include your brand colours in your reception area, in order to add character.
Think About Maintenance – Less is More
Nothing makes an area more uncomfortable than foul smells, sticky floors, or unsightly stains. A fresh and hygienic entrance area gives the effect of a business that is organized and detail-oriented, and of one that cares about the health and safety of its customers. Ensure that you have essential elements that should be included such as the placement of bins to ensure no litter is left behind by visitors, doormats or specialist entrance surfaces can reduce the amount of mud and dirt that is brought in on people’s shoes. If there is a coffee area, make sure you have the right display cabinet to ensure it is as tidy as possible.
Ensure there is good lighting
it is important that you appreciate the role that lighting can play in the design of your reception area, both in terms of drawing attention and sending the right message about company values. You would want to use some artificial light on your around your company logo, company values and probably around the waiting area.
This may include things like a digital wall image, which you can use to put those in the reception area at ease with peaceful images, or which you can use to educate customers about your business while they wait and incentivize them to increase purchases with you.
Tablets customers can use to check in on and input valuable information about themselves. You may also opt to use applications welcome applications to ease the checking in of your guests.
You can also include charging stations, so customers can stay connected to their own devices while they wait. Also, include solo kiosks where people can get airtime.
You could also include a TV in the waiting area, use it wisely. Consider looping a video on your business. Highlight the products and services you offer. Otherwise, tune your television to a channel of general interest to business people like the news or financial information.
Have plants or display art
Plants are essential, they bring a calm and welcoming feel at the reception area. Set yourself apart by adding tasteful art pieces.
Make Room For Breakout Areas
The reception area is also the perfect place to display information about your business. Don’t forget to have some neatly arranged reading materials set out to help your visitors pass the time. The reading materials could ideally about your own company, your industry and other topics that will interest your visitors. You can also include branded products I.e pens notebooks that visitors can take away as gifts.
Don’t Go it Alone
There is a lot to consider when setting up your office in Nairobi – and not only on the design, though that inevitably does consume a big chunk of your time and resources. Consider carefully if this process is really what you want to take on – and if you’re not 100% set on kitting out your own office space (some more advice to help you decide on that can found here) – then joining a flexible workspace might be more suited to your needs. Serviced offices and coworking spaces are set up as turn-key office solutions for businesses that dont want the headache of setting up on their own. And often they work out to be a lot more affordable, and definitely less stressful!