Whether you consider yourself “green” or not, there is one place where every travel planner should be an environmentalist – your office. No matter if you spend your days in an office building with associates down the hall or in a converted spare bedroom, your office is your constant companion. A few moments thinking about the environment in which you exist for a large portion of your time is well spent.
Here’s the thing – our office is in reality a mirror of our inward disposition. It not only reinforces our mood, it reflects our attitude. Do you have one of those “You want it when?” signs somewhere in the office? I’m just saying…
I had the opportunity to visit with a travel agent last week. Their office environment was less than, shall we say, optimal. Paper was scattered across the office like a confetti parade had just passed through. They may have been the most organized group in the world, but that was not the impression. No one greeted me at the door and when I was “discovered” in the office the greeting “someone will be with you in a moment” echoed through the corridors. One of the staff was engaged in a rather loud conversation with a client on the phone, and the exasperation with the client’s, and the agent’s, difficulties was evident in the tone of voice.
The ecology of our workspace matters. The items with which we surround ourselves matter. Do you have some favorite pictures or mementos nearby, some memorabilia that can remind you why you do what you do? Are the sounds, smells and colors conducive to your efficiency? If not, make some changes, your efficiency will almost certainly improve.
Most of us know the value of effective time management. What is sometimes less clear is the role our office plays in time management efforts. Everyone can live with and function in varying degrees of clutter. But when we each pass our threshold for navigating our own messes, productivity falls as well as does our mental well being. In addition to the never-ending battle with too many pieces of paper and not enough room to put them, however, consider a few other items that are essential to productivity. Is the lighting adequate and soothing? Is everything easily within reach and lined up ergonomically to prevent eye, neck, back and arm fatigue?
What does office environment have to do with marketing travel? Plenty. We all have our corporate mythology: who we are as a company, what we stand for and how important clients are to us. That story is told not just in our marketing collateral, however. It’s also a narrative that comes across loud and clear in our office environment, in our mode of dress, in the way we answer the phone.
One of my constant refrains is that you are not selling travel – you are selling yourself. You market your passion for travel, your competence and passion for assisting others and your dedication. Each of these characteristics functions best when you are happy – and no better place to start with making yourself happy each day than your office environment.