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An Employee’s Guide to Working in a Corporate Office

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So you land your dream job, and after your onboarding process, you’re informed that you are to resume work the next day at the corporate office. This is when the panicking starts. You’re thinking, ‘What do I wear in a corporate office?” “How do I act in a corporate office?” If these concerns resonate with those on your mind, fret not. This article will provide you with all the insight you need to show up at a corporate office and be the best.

What is a Corporate Office?

A corporate office is a term used to refer to the headquarters of a corporation. It is usually the heart of the company where all important decisions are made, and office policies are deliberated upon. It also serves as the office complex for the CEO, board of directors, stakeholders, and other top-tier executives of the company.

 Usually, a corporate office is the mother office for a corporation that runs a chain of businesses and has several other branch offices. These offices receive directions, policies, and so on from the corporate office. The recruitment of senior executive officers is overseen by the corporate office.

What is the difference between a Corporate Office and a Registered Office?

The key difference is that the corporate office is the head office. All registered offices report to the corporate office. A registered office is the physical office of a company where business transactions and paperwork are attended to. A company that has registered with the CAC to be a corporation is mandated to establish a registered office in the state of incorporation. The organization’s corporate office, however, can be established anywhere.

What to Wear to a Corporate Office

So it’s your first day at work in a corporate office tomorrow. What do you wear? The key is to maintain modesty and decency, yet maintain an appealing appearance. Here are a few tips:

1. Go for a Business Casual Look

The business casual look is the perfect balance between a stiff-necked formal look and a comfortable casual look. While you should stay away from distressed jeans and sandals or sneakers, you can show up in a peplum top over straight-cut jeans.

You can also wear a solid color two-piece set and flat cover shoes. The caution attached to wearing two pieces to a corporate office is to stick to subtle color shades and conservative designs. A chiffon blouse paired with a pair of slacks also works fine.

The goal is to fit in right away while you observe what the dress code is at that particular corporation. If the organization favors more formal attires make the adjustments as necessary. It is rare to see corporate offices with a casual dress code, however, if that is the case you may make the switch.

PS: Regardless of your employer’s take on office dress codes, distressed jeans and club attires do not belong in a corporate office.

2. Don’t Show up in Rumpled Clothes

A good first impression is everything. What is the first thing people see when they see you? Your clothes. Showing up to a corporate office, you want to look tidy and well organized – rumpled clothes scream “I just rolled out of bed”. You should always straighten your work clothes with a steamer or a pressing iron to maintain a neat appearance. In the same vein, faded outfits and clothes with stubborn stains are only fine if you work from home.

As part of looking tidy and organized, a pretty hair-do, a clean bag, and neat shoes should be your standard appearance in a corporate office.

3. Leave the Perfume Bottle at Home

In Nigeria, it is common practice to invest in strong perfumes and use them at intervals during the day. However, when these perfumes are sprayed excessively, they fill the room and may even linger for several minutes after you leave. You should smell nice always, but there is no need for people to be able to smell you when they haven’t even met you. Wearing excessive perfume to a corporate office also poses a choking hazard to coworkers and clients that are sensitive to odors.

Pro Tip: Invest in oil perfumes instead, they are milder and still last as long.

4. Stay Away from Outfits that show Too Much Skin

At a corporate office, the mantra is business over pleasure. That means that the focal point of everyone is work. When you dress in outfits that show too much skin to a corporate office, you draw attention away from the business transactions, and unto your body. While this is perfect if you are a fashion model when you work a corporate job it can lead to a conflict of interests. Knee-length dresses and tops with sleeves and modest necklines show just the right amount of skin to be comfortable and still maintain professionalism.

5. Dress Comfortably

Working in a corporate office, you may often feel tempted to dress to impress. Unfortunately, when you go over the top with staircase heels and heavy layers of makeup, you have to wear them all day and that gets uncomfortable. Remember, the goal is to be productive, and you need to be active. When dressing up for work, steer away from clothing and jewelry pieces that bring discomfort.

How to Decorate a Corporate Office

One of the key tips for boosting productivity is to give your workspace a more personal look and feel. Now it is so much easier to do that when you work from home and your office space is a private room. How do you decorate a workspace in a corporate office that you share with other colleagues and maybe even your boss?

1. Play Around With Colors

If your company allows you to change the color theme in your workspace, get a color wheel and paint those walls to suit your taste. Mix vibrant colors with subtle colors for a smooth blend. When trying out patterns, keep things subtle and avoid patterns that have too much going on. Plaid patterns and two-toned shape patterns work just fine. Except they are in line with your organization’s brand identity, stay away from neon shades and clip art.

2. Explore the World of Visuals

Visuals bring life to every environment. You can rejuvenate those boring office walls by hanging beautiful art pieces on them. You can be a little sentimental and include pictures of your loved ones as part of your bookcase accessories.

Showcasing some of your awards and achievements on the bookcase also brings life to the office while maintaining the corporate vibe. Wall clocks and calendars with pretty designs also do great at lighting up the space without going over the top. Wrap things up with a portable canvas of daily affirmations on your desk, for a sprinkle of positivity.

3. Utilize Nature

Pretty flowers and nice green plants are great aesthetics for an office space. Most of these plants can be gotten in portable vases that you can place on your desk or bookshelf. The soothing ambiance generated by the presence of nature is also great for boosting productivity. You can also set the mood by placing floral or musk-scented air fresheners in strategic areas of your workspace.

3. Set Up Pretty Desktop Wallpaper Designs

Yes, your desktop wallpaper is part of your workspace. Matter of fact, it is an integral part of your workspace considering that your PC holds your attention for most of the day. Setting up a pretty picture as your desktop wallpaper will keep you refreshed and motivated the entire day.

 Most people like to use pictures of natural aesthetics – waves at the beach, cute animals, or pretty gardens. However, you can spice things up with a favorite picture of your dog, your most loved quote, or even a goofy picture of yourself. Your desktop background is the most personal part of your workspace, it doesn’t have to wear a corporate look if you don’t fancy one.

4. Organize Paperwork in Appealing Folders

Filing paperwork in folders keeps your desk clutter-free and gives your workspace a tidy look. Using pretty folders can help to make your workplace look aesthetically pleasing. The most popular ones have attractive graphics printed on them, but floral patterned ones are also on sale – you may even find some with Ankara designs.

5. Keep a Water Bottle and Some Fruits Nearby

This tip is more beneficial to your health than your workplace’s aesthetics. Keeping a bottle of water on standby helps you stay hydrated throughout the day. It is also a good reminder to eat healthy when you can see the fruits in front of you.

The best part? Some water bottles and fruit baskets come with appealing designs on them so you can have the best of both worlds, yay!

Pro Tip: When choosing furniture, visuals, and so on for your workspace, try to blend with your company’s official colors for a cohesive look. It can be tempting to indulge in your favorite color but imagine having a pink office in a blue and orange-themed office… yeah, no.


Organizations may operate as sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, or corporations. A company that functions as a corporation is mandated to have a corporate office in addition to several registered offices. The difference between working in a corporate office and a registered one is that the latter has a more formal work environment.

Every company has specific rules that guide the work attitude in their corporate office. However, there are also some unspoken rules expected to be general knowledge – I hope this article helped with those.

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Oputa Okwanuzor is a freelance writer skilled in the art of weaving words into stories for brand boost through copywriting, or make a soothing read using creative writing. In her free time, she loves to share personal development talks, fashion inspos and writing tricks on her blog.

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