Have you ever had a customer meeting in your home office? It can be awkward and uncomfortable because it's not the best atmosphere for a relaxed and productive business meeting.
However, there are easy ways to make it feel more professional and welcoming. Since I have had my office at home since 2015, I can add some insight here.
Let me share how to get your home office ready for customer meetings with the right space planning, furniture, and decor that reflects professionalism, comfort, and safety.
Clean out any clutter from work-related items. Ensure that all surfaces, such as tablets, desktops, shelves, and floors, are clean and neat, without papers or files lying around.
Put fresh flowers in vases or clear glass bowls around your workspace, or make sure you have plenty of potted plants. It takes a little bit of maintenance to keep them in good shape, but they help make a space feel welcoming and put people at ease (plus, they offer health benefits for you and your clients!).
Make sure each person has their own chair. Again, this seems like a no-brainer, but if you don't check beforehand precisely who will be attending, you could have a faux pas when too many people show up.
Be mindful of noise. Turn off any TVs and phone notifications, and if your office is in a shared space in your home, make sure to set boundaries with your family so they know not to disturb you. This will make sure that you can focus on what you're discussing.
Set out refreshments like coffee, tea, and water to keep everyone hydrated. Be mindful of minimizing contact by avoiding sharing food or cutlery.
Check your furniture to make sure it's presentable and to see if anything needs repairing or replacing. It's definitely worth it to give an impression of professionalism.
Up your decorating game. You might have been comfortable working in a cluttered space or an overly minimalistic one with just bare walls, but the image you give is essential if you're holding meetings. Give some new life to your surroundings by hiring an interior decorator like me to help you achieve your desired look.
Ventilation. You always want your office to be well ventilated to maximize productivity, but these days it's also critical to ensure that you and your clients feel safe when interacting. Look into putting UV light in the ventilation system as a way to kill germs and viruses. Or, put out a portable HEPA filtering system in your space.
Lighting. This is another critical element to make an environment welcoming and ensure you and your clients don't strain your eyes when looking at a screen or paper. And when you're meeting online, it's one of the most critical elements. Make sure your space is well-lit all over, and if you spend a lot of time in virtual meetings, think about investing in a ring light to give you the most professional results.
Showcase professional products and awards. This will remind your customers that it's a working space and keep their minds focused on your business, not your personal life.
By following these tips, you should be ready to host clients in your home! Let your home office surroundings reflect all the hard work and passion that you pour into your business. It will inspire you daily, and others will definitely take notice.
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