Using the Broken Window Theory to Improve Commercial Spaces

Why Appearances Matter to Your Bottom Line and Your Community

Appearances matter. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t be selecting our best outfit for a job interview or keeping our lawns freshly manicured in the summer. But it’s not just our personal appearances as job seekers or our home’s appearance that may bring the HOA knocking on your door that make appearances so important. It matters for businesses and organizations as well.

The Broken Window Theory

According to the Broken Window Theory, visible indicators of disorder, like a broken window, invite criminal activity. While this is a theory and some scholars point to no clear causal relationship, we understand from other areas of life that how we are perceived influences many other things around us, including how others treat us or feel around us.

Broken Window Theory looks at how appearances of a building or community can influence the actions and feelings of others. While it finds a negative relationship between a poor appearance and bad behaviors, it also looks at the positive reverse situation. The hope is that by addressing visible displays of neglect and disorder, crime goes down and public safety is increased. Or, by keeping an environment orderly, you can stave off crime. In other words, a clean and orderly environment signals safety and that the area is routinely monitored. 

Why Appearances aren’t Just Superficial for Your Company

With this in mind, how does this exactly relate to commercial spaces? It’s actually pretty simple. A commercial space that is clean and well cared for is seen as safe and results in improvements for your business. Visitors and customers are more willing to come and enjoy your space and criminals will see the area as more monitored, and thus, not want to take their chances of trying anything. 

But it actually expands beyond your organization to the surrounding community as well. In an environment that allows broken windows or other signs of neglect to persist, residents no longer view their community as tight-knit, safe spaces and will avoid public spaces out of fear. Keeping buildings maintained and clean, however, can indicate a form of informal social control by reducing unruly behavior in the neighborhood at large. 

This means that by keeping your business clean and well maintained, you are actually contributing to your business’ own success. This happens in several ways. First, clean spaces are more inviting for visitors, who are more willing to spend money at your business. Second, your business is seen as monitored, reducing costly criminal activity at your location. And third, areas that are well maintained improve property values, meaning your property is worth more when it’s well cared for.

But you aren’t just contributing to the success of your own organization. You are also contributing to the success of your community. You are making the neighborhood safer, which builds trust with those in your community and improves community relationships with your business. 

Improve Your Bottom Line and Your Community

Are you ready to improve your bottom line and your community? AK Building Services is Florida’s dependable commercial cleaning provider. Our company works hand-in-hand with clients to deliver consistent, professional and tailored services. To learn more about how we can help your company succeed, contact us for a free quote today. 

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