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News & Media

The first impression in 0.25 seconds

6 July, 2015

The scenario

After weeks of sweating and working overtime the time has finally come: that huge project for your client is completed. The only thing is left to do is the final presentation at your office. Are you ready for it? Business attire, check. Clean presentation room, check. Arranged the snacks, check. It seems like you’ve thought of everything! Or have you?

At the beginning of the afternoon, you meet your important clients at the entrance of your office building. It’s been an extremely rainy day (once again...) and now there are muddy footsteps on the grey tiles. What’s normally a welcoming entrance area has now turned into an area full of dirt and moisture. Worse yet: Once of your client proceeds to walk to your office and slips of the wet floor!

A dirty entrance area is not only a dangerous area, it also give a poor first impression. Did you know that people have their first impression with 0.25 seconds[1]?  As the famous American actor Harlan Hogan once said in an advertising campaign:

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”

With the entrance being the first place that visitors and clients decide their impression of the company, we ask ourselves: what is the effect of having an unattended entrance area to your office and what perception do people have of the company? To answer this question, we’ll first take a look at why companies organize their entrance in a visual manner.


Visually arranged

“It’s a feast for the eyes”, is a common term. That is the reason that more companies take notice of the visual aspects of the entrance and the rest of the office building. To gain trust and confidence with clients, an entrance area must be connected with what the company shows are their company website. If the impression of the website and the office building are different, clients will have a negative attitude toward the company. Research showed that 80% of clients are more likely to collaborate with companies that have a proper entrance area.

The arrangement of the entrance area is directly associated with the identity of the company. With the help of various elements, companies try to make the entrance area both inviting and to project what the company stands for. The company identity comes back into play with the interior of the entrance.

Identity

The identity of companies is often described as the presentation of the organization toward its various stakeholders. It also projects the way the company wants to differentiate themselves from similar companies in their field. The company identity is the definition of what the organization is, what it does and how they do this. This is related in the manner that an organization conducts their activities and defines their strategy[2].

Like with people, the identity of the organization can be described by using personality characteristics. The value gives the indication of what the company wants to achieve and the personality characteristics how you want to achieve it. For Buymats.co.uk, we project innovation, flexibility and service orientated for example.

 

Projection of the identity in the interior

But what for effects does the interior of the entrance have on the company identity and the projects on clients? A student of the University of Twente, the Netherlands researched this topic. During the research, a group of respondents visited eight organizations that all had their entrance to project the organization.

The results of the research showed that the respondents felt that the organization becomes more professional and trustworthy and an organization with a concrete vision. It can be stated that when an office building and the identities match, the organization has a positive evaluation. An employee of one of the company’s said: “The company itself says enough, thanks to its impressive production facilities, but now with the office building there is a unique projection that acts as an invitation, promotion and advertising in one”.

Interior protection

It’s clear that a neat entrance area projects the corporate identity and receives positives results from clients. This encourages clients to enter a partnership with the company. That’s the main reason that you arrange you entrance with great precision.

However, great interior needs to stay great! There are three issues that could arise that make great interior turn tacky and therefore leave a negative perception:

  1. Slip risks due to moisture, mud and dirt.
  2. Wear and tear of the flooring from dirt that scratches the surface.
  3. Air pollution in the building that floats around from the dirt and dusts that is trodden into the building.

Conclusion

In the beginning of this news article, we asked ourselves what the effect of an unattended entrance area in an office building on the perception that clients have on the organization. The answer is straight-forward. An inviting, neat entrance area that fits together with the identity of the organization has a positive effect on the view of people towards the company. Having a tacky entrance area has the complete opposite effect. Visitors for a negative impression directly and you never get a second chance at a first impression!

Only furnishing your entrance area is not enough. The weather can have an influence on the appearance of the entrance area. This problem can be resolved by continuously cleaning the flooring of the entrance by using a cleaning company. However, this is a very expensive solution. We advise to choose an affordable option.

Solution

An entrance mat is a durable and affordable solution to keep an entrance area clean and presentable. The mats absorb moisture, scrape and remove dirt, which means that dirt is stopped at the entrance. Bu doing so, the interior removes clean and presentable and it also reduces slip and trip risks. Another advantage of an entrance mat: cleaning costs are drastically less!

A suitable entrance matting system contributes to better air quality, acoustic presentation, extended life cycle of the floor and a reduction in the maintenance and cleaning costs. Mats that are successful have the characteristics of removing dirt minimizing the risk of slips and trips and have the following 3 zones incorporated in the mat:

Zone 1:
Scraping Zone catches the first wave of heavy debris with up to 40% of dirt/moisture being removed from shoes.

Zone 2:
Cleaning Zone scrapes fine debris and absorbs moisture in the indoor foyer area for up to 70%.

Zone 3:
Drying zone completes the drying process and virtually all dirt and moisture is removed from shoes.

Buymats.co.uk has a large selection of quality entrance mats, barrier mats, floor mats and dirt trappers that are specially designed to scrape dirt and absorb moisture. The right entrance mats keep dirt and soil from entering the building thereby reducing cleaning costs and maintenance.

Buymats.co.uk has the largest selection of mats and matting solutions in the United Kingdom (UK), so you can be sure we have the right mat for you. But with so many types of mats, it can be hard to choose the right one.  We have therefore developed the Mat Selector, an interactive mat selection tool, to simplify choosing the right mat. The Mat Selector tool can be found on every category page you visit.