24 Sep Is Your Office Having an Identity Crisis? Feng Shui Can Help
Big or small, every business needs an identity—a logo, specific colors, a specific look or feel. Some would call that a brand. It helps people understand on a subconscious level what you’re all about and what you stand for. A lot of time and money can be spent establishing the correct message as it appears on business cards, brochures, and web-site. Yet, the one element of the business that is often over-looked is the physical space itself. Does it align with your business brand?
Whether you have an office where people come to meet with you or whether you are working out of your home and you visit clients, the space needs to align itself with your business brand. Feng Shui is about flow and connection. It follows then that there needs to be a connection between the message you’re sending on printed and/or virtual material and the message your space is emitting.
Here are three ways to make sure that your space has the appropriate identity and good Feng Shui alignment:
- Bring your business card or brochure to your front office/reception area. The question to ask is: do those two aspects of your business fit together? Do the colors on the card and the colors in the reception area or the office relate? They don’t have to be exactly what’s portrayed on the card or brochure but they should at least complement one another. Does the feeling given off by the card match the feeling of the office?
I acquired a business card from an acupuncturist some years ago. It had a zen-like message with minimal elements, very clean, lots of white and open space, and very understated in an appealing sort of way. I decided to use their services and discovered that the actual space had an entirely different message. It had a shabby chic kind of approach in terms of décor and the whole place was quite casual in nature. I didn’t dislike it but it was a complete identity shift from what was originally represented. The card didn’t match the business. When there’s confusion in the message, there’s confusion somewhere else in the business, evidenced by the fact that when I showed up he hadn’t written down the time of my appointment.
- Does the CEO’s (or president’s or manager’s) office align with the business brand? In trying to be independently creative, did the owner lose his/her connection to the brand? Here of all places, the brand and the space should align. Even in one-room offices, especially in one-room offices, this is important. The message of the office and the message of the business should not be going in divergent directions.
A client in Florida asked if I’d help with her home office because, according to her, something didn’t feel right. We worked long-distance via Skype and after looking at her brochure and web-site knew immediately that the space was not supporting her message. She eventually repainted her office with one of the exact colors that was on her printed material (in this case, it worked beautifully).She also set up a small table right inside her door on which she displayed her business brochures. Mind you, clients did NOT come to her home but this was a constant reminder to herself of what she was broadcasting about her business.
- Finally, is the business message clearly duplicated in the employee area—lunch room or break room or locker room? Let the color, look and feel remind your employees of what the business is all about and assure them that they are part of this message as well.
These three areas are the Feng Shui underpinning of creating a strong and healthy business: Leadership area, employee area, and client area. This triangle can create a consistent message that avoids the identity crisis that can occur between aspects of your message and assures alignment within all parts of your business endeavor.