Is Your Personality Reflected In Your Office Furniture?

By Rowena Wallach

Originally everyone worked in an environment that looked very similar to every other working environment. It was drab and dull and the office furniture was an uninspiring desk and a hard stool. Those who entered your office to talk business had to endure a rock hard seat facing you across the desk. The office contained very little else that was not directly related to work. This was a place for getting down to business, not somewhere where you felt and behaved as if you were at home.

But things are not the same anymore. Everything in the space within which you occupy yourself during business hours has taken on a more symbolic function and reflects how well you are doing in your job and the esteem with which you are viewed by your colleagues.

If you wish to make it to the top, you have to aim quite literally at the most prestigious office. This is usually situated in the premium spot on the floor above the rest of the firm and is located in a position that offers the best outlook over the surrounding area on two sides of the building. This office is always more spacious than any other and has a budget for decorating that becomes its status and that of the person who occupies it. It has walls of appropriate dimensions to display many paintings by celebrated artists.

Furnishing this room must be done with good taste and elegance. Decisions in this regard cannot be left to underlings, nor can items be selected from a list of available furniture. The professionals must be called in to handle such an assignment. After consultation, the decorators will attempt to reflect your unique and distinctive character, and the accomplishments that have led you to occupy this position, with flair and panache.

This is your place of business and that should be reflected in the furnishings. It is for this reason that pride of place should go to your desk which may be traditional in style and size, and dominate the room. If you have a lighter touch, your desk may be very modern and made of glass or whatever material is in vogue at the time.

The seat placed behind the working space is no longer merely functional. It should be designed to match your dimensions precisely and thereby prevent any feelings of discomfort while you are working. The chair should be perfectly positioned for you to be able to carry out every task with ease, from reaching for the telephone to working on your computer.

The area set aside for entertaining your visitors must have designer furnishings, either modern or antique depending on your taste. Carpeting must be expensive and soft underfoot while sofas and occasional chairs must offer luxury and comfort. Refreshments served on a fashionable coffee table should turn any meeting into a relaxed occasion.

Look around and you will not see any of the trappings of a traditional office. Everything that is simply functional is contained within the furniture itself so that the office now looks like a comfortable sitting room, rather a work room.

Is this new approach to office furniture the result of changes in the way that business is conducted, or because people have changed?

About the Author: