How to Brand Your Workspace - dummies

By Susan Chritton

Your personal brand extends into your physical office workspace, as well as your portable workspace (the equipment you use). Everything that someone sees around you is part of your brand environment. Your next step in the branding process is to align your office to fit your brand.

Align your office environment to fit your brand

After you determine your personal brand color(s) and image(s) that speak to you, taking those elements into your office further aligns your personal brand with how you operate on a day-to-day basis.

Color is one of the best ways to bring your brand into your office. If you’re a bold personality and red is your color, use red to show your brand in your office. If you’re in a cubicle where painting a wall would not work, consider covering one wall of the cubicle in a high-quality red paper.

Review your brand persona and personality characteristics to get other ideas. If you fancy yourself a world citizen, think about how you might reflect that fact in your office.

You also want to look at what makes your target audience (the people who visit your office) comfortable. If you’re selling expertise, having books showing your knowledge supports that brand. If you’re in the healing professions, a key goal would be to make your patients feel comfortable by having a quiet, calm waiting room.

Personalize your workspace

Is your office the cubicle nation that the Dilbert cartoon makes fun of? Are you allowed to show some individuality in your workplace? When someone walks into your office space, would he know that it’s your office?

A study conducted at Eastern Kentucky University shows that up to 90 percent of Americans personalize their workspaces. When you’re able to make your office space your own, you’re more likely to have higher workplace satisfaction and an improved morale. Being able to decorate your office makes you feel like you belong and raises productivity.

Further studies have shown that impressions that you get by looking at someone’s office are often correct. If you’re an extrovert, you’re more likely to have items in your office that invite others in, such as a candy dish or a comfortable chair. As an introvert, you may not want to be interrupted, so your office may not look as inviting to anyone other than yourself.

A conscientious person likely has an organized desk with pencils sharpened, a calendar neatly filled out, and books displayed on a bookshelf. Someone who places high value on family would have a few family photos placed in her office.

Clutter or a chaotic office sends a message as well. A cluttered office gives the first impression that this person is scattered and disorganized. For certain occupations, such as artists, a messy workspace may not be a problem, but for most people, it creates a very poor first impression.

Items to help bring your personality into your workspace include

  • Art or photographs

  • Plants or flowers

  • Motivational sayings or posters

  • Small memorabilia from trips you’ve taken

  • Books that support your work

Never display offensive cartoons or anything sexually explicit in your office. Be careful about pictures of yourself downing a bottle of alcohol or doing other serious partying. Also, filling an office with stuffed animals makes you look juvenile. Don’t bring anything into the office that compromises your credibility.