Professional ethics for interior designers
While we’ve all heard these things in the past, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of a busy design business and forget some of the basics, like ethics and professional standards. As practicing designers, we must always conduct ourselves in an ethical and professional manner.
That said, you won’t please everyone all the time. Even following the strictest guidelines, you are likely to experience conflict and frustration, as well as satisfaction and joy. Therefore, be aware of the main areas of professional ethical concerns that could affect your relationships with clients, suppliers, and other professionals. A reputation is hard to build and easy to lose, so always keep the following in mind:
o Make a full disclosure to your clients, clarifying the scope and cost of the work. For example, don’t tell a customer that you’ll only charge a small fee when you intend to retail furniture to a customer and make a 50 percent profit.
o Keep the best interests of your customers in mind at all times, protecting their safety and choosing healthy and environmentally friendly solutions whenever possible. Comply with all laws, codes and regulations.
o Do not make changes in quality, quantity or materials to increase your rate. This temptation is greater when a project is over budget. It is not good practice to change the quality of materials in quoted proposals or to specify excessively expensive items simply to increase the total commission.
o Always respect the confidentiality and privacy of your clients. Do not discuss your client’s budget with vendors and contracted third parties.
o Treat your suppliers and other professionals with honesty and integrity. Never blame someone else if delays or problems are the result of your own mistakes or lack of punctuality.
o Always meet your financial obligations. Keep records of all financial transactions.
Following these guidelines will not only keep your conscience clear, allowing you to focus on quality design work, but you’ll also earn lots of referrals from satisfied clients.