Whether we like to admit it or not,  the state of our workplace says a lot about our business. When was the last time you walked into a business and went, 'Wow, this place is impressive?' My guess would be not recently, but I hope I am wrong. Your workplace should be impressive, even if you are the only person working there.

Our workplace sends many messages. It says whether or not we care, whether we have attention to detail, are we concerned about others, are we compassionate and caring of our staff and so on.  

Having pride in your workplace means it looks clean and tidy, it is organized and it is ready for business. Too many businesses look run down and worn out--often reflecting the feelings of the business owners.

The place might look dirty and grubby, the pictures are crooked, the brochures are in messy piles, none of the furniture matches, there is a very strange smell, the carpet is faded, AC/DC is blaring on a cheap stereo and there is no real sign of life--certainly no feeling of energy or enthusiasm from the staff. What message does this send?

Compare this to the concept of walking into a well lit, freshly painted business, where all the displays are neat and tidy, the staff are wearing clean, ironed uniforms, there are fresh flowers on the counter and a clean smell throughout, everything looks in place and there is gentle background music playing. Much more inviting and memorable and obviously a much better message is being given to customers.

I think too many workplaces look shocking, specifically in some industries. They look functional, definitely uninspired and, generally, no one wants to stay there too long. Personally I couldn't imagine working in a place like that. To me, we all spend more time at work than just about anywhere else. I think it is essential my office looks clean, inviting, motivational and welcoming for my customers, my suppliers and my staff-- and for me!

It is like the business where the front reception is very impressive but as soon as you walk out back it looks like a bomb has gone off. Have pride in your workplace and it will be reflected in everyone who deals with you. Just getting the compliments from your customers is very rewarding, but the overall financial benefits of having a business that looks like you care about it will be even more rewarding because the customers will want to keep coming back.

I think that this principle applies even more if you work from home and if you work by yourself. Even though no one else will see your office, ensuring it is clean, comfortable and professional is a sign of self-respect. It makes you feel far more professional and gets you into the right work mode quickly, because it feels like you're at work as soon as you walk into the room.

Published on: Jul 14, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.