How to Improve Office Appeal Even If You Have Perfect Floors
Updated: Jan 14, 2018
Congratulations! If Xtreme Coating Solutions has completed one of our signature flooring services for your facility (such as our Tile and Grout, VCT, or Concrete restoration and protection), you can now dedicate your attention to other areas of your building.
But, where do you begin?
You might do well to realize that what you see is not always what visitors see.
What you see vs. What they see. For example, as a professional with a trained eye, you may notice the floor colors in the corners of the restrooms are more vibrant than the consistently scrubbed middle (luckily, Xtreme has a fix for that). But while your staff may spend extra hours trying to match the hues and vibrancy with mops and chemicals, a guest would be more likely to notice that the paper towel or soap dispensers are empty or that the mirror has spots on it.
Guests tend to notice obvious things while professionals notice the obscure, and vice versa.
“Inconsequential oversights” may have a disproportionate impact on your guests.
First and foremost, address the safety and security variables of maintenance and upkeep. This should always be your priority. Secondly, look at your facility not from “your” point of view, but from the eyes of the visitor; will it reflect the values and culture the business wants to project?
Does the exterior communicate the right message? What is a guest’s first exposure to your facility? Obviously, it’s the exterior, starting with the parking lot.
Although guests probably won't’ notice that the parking lot is clean, they’ll most definitely notice if it is dirty.
Leaves and debris accumulate in corners, fencing, and landscaping, or blow into neighboring spaces. Does this communicate that the business only “cares” about its internal concerns and not about its customers or neighbors?
Make sure you do a scan to remove obvious eyesores.
Encourage all employees to “pitch in” and pick up blowing plastic bags, drink bottles, cups, and cigarette boxes, or to inform maintenance staff with concerns. It doesn’t take much time or effort to improve the first impression dramatically.
Employee areas aren’t always private. Guests often find their way into break rooms and back rooms as well, but even if they were completely private, you’d still want to dedicate some additional time there. Did you know that break rooms are typically the “germiest” areas of the entire building?
Break rooms test high for bacteria and contaminants.
As reported by Time Magazine, Kimberly Clark Professional conducted a test by swabbing 5,000 surfaces in offices containing over 3,000 employees. The swabs test for adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule found in all animal, vegetable, yeast, mold, and bacteria cells. ATP is present in food or other organic smudges and residues left on surfaces and countertops. The higher the ATP level, the higher the possibility of bacteria and viruses.
Readings of 300 or higher are considered to be high-risk for spreading illness. The results were eye-opening, surprising, and somewhat disgusting.
The top six dirtiest areas with readings of 300% or higher in the test results were:
Break room sink faucet handles
Microwave door handles
Refrigerator door handles
Water fountain buttons
Vending machine buttons
Dishonorable Mention: Areas with readings over 100 include:
51% of all computer mice
51% of all desk phones
48% of all coffee pots and dispensers
The copier machine start button has 4x more bacteria than a dog food bowl.
The coffee pot handle has 34x more bacteria than a school toilet seat.
The office entrance door handle has 2.5x more bacteria than your home bathroom doorknob.
The water cooler dispenser handle has 4x more bacteria than a cutting board.
The conference room doorknob has 3.5x more bacteria than your steering wheel. (source: http://www.hloom.com/blog/the-truth-about-office-germs/)
Conference room fallout? Full garbage cans, strange odors, dirty parking lots, or “undermaintained” fixtures can give the impression that “nobody is watching,” or that “nobody cares.” The same reasoning that encourages a residential address to forward mail or stop deliveries during long absences applies to everyday operations at a commercial facility.
Do not give the appearance that you aren’t paying attention.
Efforts to improve curb, lobby, and break room appeal will subconsciously improve a visitor’s perception of their visit. Conversely, a feeling of unease will carry over from the parking lot to the conference room and could be an obstacle to winning the customer’s trust.