Executive offices have a certain design swagger to them.
The traditional C-level boss tends to have more square footage than the middle managers. He tends to have a cushy chair that emits a sort of relaxed authority. There’s usually an expansive view somewhere in the office – perhaps a series of sky-scraping mountain peaks or a city view teeming with man-made skyscrapers.
We like how Sharí Anderson put it in her 2013 Entrepreneur article titled, “What Your Office Design Says About You as a Leader (And It Isn’t Pretty)”.
“The corner office is a symbol of success and power. It is the modern-day throne room where you rule your realm,” she wrote. “You beckon people to your presence and cast down rulings, hirings, and firings.”
Amid all the impressiveness of this setting is the centerpiece of the executive office: the desk. These bastions of power are typically made from expensive wood, are huge and are the overwhelmingly most obvious expression of the executive’s position of power.
Have you ever taken a moment to think about why executive furniture is still relevant? If you believe movies and shows, then you’ll think big desks exist to intimidate employees who feel like children when they sit on the other side of the massive piece of furniture.
Executive desks and executive furniture in general serve far more important purposes than intimidation. They play an integral role in expressing to clients the prestige of the person with whom they are dealing and the furniture reflects the personal style of the individual who occupies the office.
An Impressive First Impression: Executive Office Furniture Says a Lot About Your Position
Before we dive in here, let’s just set aside the outliers. Yes, there are powerful people who maintain humble offices and don’t exhibit their status through the size of their office or the furniture therein.
However, most clients of important companies want to know they’re in good hands, and when they walk into the room of an exec, well-appointed furniture that expresses a certain level of power and confidence shows, at the very least, that you mean business.
Deals live and die on the dynamic of power; for some, a modest office without much space and drab executive furniture may make a client believe they’re dealing with a lackluster company that isn’t aggressive enough to succeed.
Setting up your C-level execs with office furniture that enhances their reputation as a strong leader and sharp businessperson is crucial to maintaining your company’s image.
A Narrative Expressed in Furniture: What Your Executive Office Says About You
You need to take great care in how you design your office and that begins with the furniture you choose.
Yes, your office needs to display a visual equivalent of your authority. However, that doesn’t mean that you must choose the most intimidating furniture. Your desk doesn’t have to be five feet wide and your chair doesn’t have to sit a foot higher than the guest chair on the other side of your seemingly endless desk top.
Striking a balance between power and warmth is a must in today’s work environment. Younger generations tend to value relationship more highly than past generations.
So, if you’re working with under-40 employees, try to forego the typical wood behemoth and go for a more modern desk that communicates your willingness to adjust to the times.
Also, don’t be afraid to add color to your desk and your other furniture. Your natural inclination may be to go with earth tones like ruby, cherry and various shades of dark brown. If your preference is for lighter wood and pops of color, don’t be afraid to go with your inclination.
Finding the Right Combination for Your Executive Office
The Office Planning Group has been in business for more than four decades and, during that time, we’ve seen plenty of trends in executive furniture.
As such, we offer what we feel is a wide array of furniture that reflects the preferences and tastes of executives across Louisiana and the rest of the country.
Stop by our Executive Furniture page to read about what we offer and how we can help you decide on which furniture is best for your office.