Reception Area Design

September 6, 2012

Creating a favorable impression is an organizational goal that can be accomplished in a number of ways. One of the most effective is having a reception area that conveys a message consistent with the corporation’s mission and self-image. Achieving that optimal look and atmosphere requires a plan that incorporates various design elements. That might sound complicated but it can be readily accomplished by dividing the project into smaller tasks, selecting details that add up to the desired outcome.

The first step is to decide the overall atmosphere that you would like to create. It should be consistent with the type of work you do, while communicating important aspects of what you would  like your customers to know about you. For example, one wouldn’t expect to walk in to the offices of a toy manufacturing company and encounter a formal setting.  If you’d like to be regarded as a friendly, approachable organization that values customer interaction, strive to design a receptioon area that makes visitors and clients feel at home. Conversely, some organizations want to signal that they are aware of the gravity of what they do and may choose more imposing furnishings and colors accordingly; a law firm, for example.

Next, choose a specific style. Would you like the area to be traditional, formal, contemporary, transitional, or eclectic? Select colors, fabrics, finishes, flooring, and furniture that fit into your overall scheme.

It’s often helpful to designate a focal point in the room and select other design elements to coordinate and contrast with it. In reception areas, the reception desk or station often assumes that role, making that choice an important part of the process. It should be aesthetically pleasing, with sufficient features that facilitate the work that needs to be done there. You might also want to consider if guests will be able to see the surface of the desk. If so, make provision to hide clutter.

Seating is also an important component. In addition to style, colors, fabrics, and finishes, you’ll need to consider other factors as well. How often will the seating be used and by whom?  If there are many visitors or clients each day, attention should be paid to how readily surfaces of the chair can be cleaned.

You should also leverage the opportunity to showcase what you do and to promote your brand. Feature your logo in a prominent place in your reception area.  Also, consider framed art that depicts examples of your products or services.

Above all, create an environment that prompts visitors to want to return. Regardless of style or design elements, an updated reception area signals that your organization is current, thriving, and invested in its clients and customers. Regardless of how much real estate it consumes, it’s certain to make a big impression.

Office First Aid

August 30, 2012

Last week, our office was visited by a bunch of bees that somehow managed to gain entrance to the building. No one had an up close or otherwise painful encounter with them prior to their being escorted (well, something like that) from the premises, but we were prepared in the event that someone might have. We have a first aid kit on board, something that should be an integral part of the supplies in any office setting.

Of course, for any true medical emergency, a team member should immediately call 911 but more garden variety complaints and injuries can readily be treated by having the following items on hand.

Bandages – A variety of shapes and sizes can come in handy. It’s also advisable to stock brands that are latex-free for those who have sensitivity issues. Gauze pads can also be useful as bandages or to stanch bleeding.

Cleansing Agents – Most minor cuts and scrapes can be readily treated without medical intervention. Run clear water over the area to flush out any germs or residual material that can invade the opening. Use mild soap to clean the area or, alternatively, wipe gently with an alcohol pad, being careful not to cause irritation. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to clean a wound.

Ointments – Antibiotic ointments can be applied to an injury that causes a skin opening. Include medicated creams e.g. Benadryl that can be used to treat insect bites or stings as well as a cream or ointment that’s formulated to treat burns, especially if your office has a kitchen where team members can prepare food.

Cotton Balls – Use cotton balls to apply ointments and creams or moisten with clear water to clean an affected area.

Medications and Analgesics – Stock over the counter medications and painkillers to treat headaches, muscles aches, common stomach complaints, and other mild annoyances.

Cold and Heat Packs – Both are commercially available and can be used to relieve discomfort. Alternatively, stock basic long-cooking white rice and a pack of new white cotton socks. Fill the sock with rice, microwave for a few seconds, then use as a heat pack.

Miscellaneous Implements – Other items that might prove useful are medical scissors and tweezers. An eyeglass repair kit  and scaled-down sewing kit can come in handy, too, as can safety pins, disposable nail files, and protective gloves.

Assign someone to periodically check expiration dates and to replenish supplies when necessary.

Magnetize Your Dry Erase Board

August 23, 2012

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Auction! Executive Desk and Chair, Reception Station

August 16, 2012

We’re excited to announce our participation in Bid Pittsburgh, an on-line auction site!  Please accept our invitation to bid on the sensational items we’re currently offering!

Perfect for an executive or home office, this 6′ x 7′  L-shaped laminate combination comes complete with desk, return and two hanging drawer pedestals. The rich American Dark Cherry finish will complement and enhance any design scheme. A black mesh task chair is also included.

Bidding starts at $750. Retail value is $2,500.

Price includes delivery and installation in the Greater Pittsburgh area. This item is taxable.

First impressions are paramount! Here’s your chance to upgrade your reception area, ensuring it’s in-step with the image of your organization that you want to convey.  This 7′ x 8′ Knoll Equity reception station has been remanufactured to perfection by Anderson Interiors, Inc. It includes two drawer pedestals and a transaction top. Finished in versatile and timeless neutrals: work surface laminate is Fossil Gray, fabric panels are Block Party Oasis, and trim is Medium Gray.

Retail value is $6,500. Bidding starts at $1,300.

Price includes delivery and installation in the Greater Pittsburgh area. This item is taxable.

Here’s how it all works. Go to Bid Pittsburgh, and click on the desired item. To be eligible to bid, you must register and reply to an automatically generated e-mail. Do that and you’re good to go!  Questions? Answers are here!

Bidding ends on Tuesday, August 21, at 9 PM so don’t delay!  Good luck and have fun!

Storage Centers: Filing Flexibility

August 9, 2012

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Five Elements of a Customer Satisfaction Plan

August 2, 2012

Asserting that customer satisfaction should be addressed by every organization is perhaps stating the obvious but, ironically, many businesses neglect to create a plan to achieve it. They employ an installation, repair, or service staff that isn’t properly trained, potentially inviting the opportunity for negative impressions to be formed.

Here are five easy ways to ensure that your employees are representing your business in a way that warrants approval from both you and the customer!

1. Establish guidelines for proper dress while on the job. Either provide clothing such at T-shirts or define what’s considered acceptable. Be sure to include that clothing should be clean and in good condition.  Consider providing booties to be worn over shoes during inclement weather. Workers should have a neat appearance and be appropriately well-groomed.

2.  Insist that team members be well-mannered and courteous. Remind them that they are guests in the locations in which they perform their work and that they should be respectful of both people and their surroundings. Periodically, contact customers at random to ensure that the standard is being met.

3.  Train your team to have good communication skills. Remind them to patiently explain what they are doing and to answer any questions that the customer might have. Include that an explanation should be offered in simple terms that someone who is not in the industry will readily understand.

4. Workers should make every effort to arrive on time or to notify the customer when that’s not possible.

5. Detail that the job location should be left as they found it. Tools should be packed up, trash and other waste removed, and furniture and other items should be put back in place. Remind the team to properly thank the customer for choosing tu use your company.

The installation team at Anderson Interiors prides itself on excellence in workmanship and customer service. Time and again our customers compliment and applaud them for their behavior, attitudes, skills and knowledge. We’re very proud of them, too!

Choosing Paint Colors for Your Office

July 26, 2012

Chances are, you spend more time in your home office than any other room in your house. That’s one reason to create an environment that’s as pleasant as possible. The color of the room necessarily factors into that, aesthetically and for other reasons, too.

Research indicates that color has a psychological effect that can vary from person to person. However, there are basics that apply to everyone and you might consider selecting paint colors accordingly.

Reds and yellows can energize an environment, a plus for artists and other professions that thrive on creative momentum.  Conversely, neither color is perhaps the best choice in high-stress jobs or in environments where people can be moved readily to anger.  And if you’re dieting, you might want to keep in mind that used in tandem, red and yellow can evoke feelings of hunger. I’m sure we can all think of at least several instances that the fast food community has capitalized on that!

Unlike reds and yellows, blues and greens are said to have a calming effect. Blues are often used in nurseries for that reason, something you might want to remember if you’re prone to bouts of mid-afternoon fatigue.

Whites and neutrals are the most popular choices but can tend to be boring unless art and other wall decor is used to offset it. There are advantages, though, too. Specifically, you’ll have much more latitude with any other design elements that you decide to incorporate.

You’ll also need to consider the color of your office furniture when selecting paint for the walls. If you have dark furniture, for example, lighter shades of paint will offset it. Another factor is the amount and type of light in your office throughout the day. Natural light will have a different effect on color than incandescent or fluorescent lighting.

If your home office sometimes doubles as a guest or media room,  that’s something to think about, too. Guests might feel more at home in a room that has some color elements that make the room more inviting.

The most important thing to remember is to choose colors that resonate with you. If you like it, that’s all that counts. Like many other things related to aesthetics, color preference is largely subjective. Another example of beauty is in the eye of the beholder!