Entrances include architectural spaces and human entries into a room. The entrances of architectural spaces are today’s focus. Over the last months of summer, I began noticing how many public and commercial entrances were uninviting because of the amount of trash and poor landscaping the met my gaze – and everyone else’s.
Entrances to buildings create first impressions that can help our business or hurt. Pause today, look around as you enter your own workplace or others. What do you see? Is it inviting or discouraging? Here are some considerations.
- Cleanliness. Assess whether the yard, landscaping, sidewalks, and parking lots are clean. Determine whether building and perimeter walls need clean-up and/or painting. Identify what trash needs picking up. A few months ago, I notice that a public place I visit several times a month had trash in the landscaping. I didn’t say anything. However, two weeks later I noticed the same trash and more was nestled in the landscaping of this otherwise attractive building and space. So, I mentioned it to a manager. Weeks later, the trash was still there. So, I filled out a customer comment card. The next time I visited, the landscaped spaces were manicured and the trash had been picked up. Had this space been a business, I might have stopped shopping there because of the lack of attention to outdoor cleanliness. Because it was a public space with volunteers involved in the yardwork, I gave the organization multiple chances to get it right. How clean are your entrances?
- Landscaping. Greenery provides visual appeal, oxygen (literally), and invitation to our offices and businesses. Landscaping that is well taken care of implies that the business and people inside the building are also well taken care of. Entrances and the surrounding landscaping communicate welcome or “go away this is a private and secured place.” Tall trees and shrubs that shroud entrances tend to disinvite visitors. Well groomed and open spaces tend to invite visitors. What does your landscaping tell visitors?
- Dressed up. Plain and simple works for some spaces. Seasonally decorated entrances or painted windows work for others. Handrails, staircases, and ramps can dress up entrances too. For instance, artist-blacksmith Susan Bond recently installed a handrail that dresses up and completes the front entrance shown in the photo. What a difference one addition made!
What do your professional and personal entrances tell people? What can you do to improve your message?
Workplace: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work. – Jana