So, your startup has grown to the point where you now need an office space. Well done! You have come a long way from the days when it was just you and your computer, working from home in your pajamas (though there's nothing wrong with that).
Now that you have decided to get a startup office, you can't just set up some tables and chairs and hope that they'll be enough. You need to set up an office space that will encourage creativity and innovation among your staff.
If you are at a loss for the steps to take, here are some useful tips that to help you out.
Location is Key
As a startup, the location for your business is crucial. Since you are not yet a major brand, prospective clients cannot come looking for you wherever you may be. You need a location that would place you directly on the same path with potential customers.
Also, you should consider the commute of your employees to and from your office space. This means that you should locate your office close to easily accessible places — not somewhere deep in the wilderness.
As a startup, you can also consider setting your office in a location that is filled with quite a number of bars and restaurants. This would help to create a lively environment for your team.
The bars and restaurants also give your employees a place to retire to after work. When they do this in groups, it essentially encourages bonding and develops camaraderie among your team members.
A great and trendy location, will also encourage young creatives to actively seek out employmnt at your firm — there's nothing worse than losing out on great talent because of the suburb you might be positioned in.
Consider Open and Cozy Spaces
If you did your hiring right, your team should be made up of people with different temperaments. This means that you should have a combination of extroverts and introverts as members of your team. This is why your workspace needs to be both open and cozy at the same time.
It should be open in the sense that the design leaves room for collaboration among team members. The extroverts on your team will appreciate this as it will allow them to refill their energy from their primary source – other people.
Despite the openness of your working space, there should also be intimate space. This way, employees will have a place to go when they want to crank out some work in a place devoid of all forms of distraction.
Use Oddball Perks to Drive Creativity
A traditional office environment is a place that is quite dull and discourages creativity. You need to create a relaxing atmosphere that will encourage a constant flow of creativity.
Think about it — where do most of us get our most creative idea? In the shower. Why? Because it's relaxing and we have a time to reflect.
This does not mean that you should turn your workspace into a giant bathtub. Rather, you should add things that will make employees feel like they're working at home
Viktoras Jucikas, co-founder and CTO of YPlan, exemplifies this well when she says:
“We’ve got bean bags, table football, a ping pong (and for that matter beer pong) table, posters of our favorite bands up on the walls, and a small library so that people have somewhere they can go for inspiration. Our ‘flying desks’ mean people can work standing or sitting, depending on how the mood takes them, and we have quite the arsenal of Nerf guns – helpful if you need to get someone’s attention.”
You can also add some music to lighten up the mood and make everyone feel at home. Consider having someone DJ the playlist for the day. Although, depending on the kind of projects you do at your startup, the music could either be serene or upbeat.
An army Runs on Its Stomach
As a startup, you should have a kitchen area with quality refreshments to keep everyone going. Always make sure that the coffee area is continuously stocked (imagine the uproar if the office ran out of it). Also consider organising a full-scale lunch at least once a week.
Food can also provide the opportunity for a bonding experience. You can use the food to celebrate significant milestones for your company. This is what Alastair Mitchell, CEO of Huddle, says,
“Food is a uniting force when we celebrate great news, such as an amazing new customer or product feature, as we celebrate with donuts and pink champagne.”
However, don't go overboard and it let it become too much of a distraction for your team (and we all know how distracting it can be).
Consider Shared Office Spaces
If you do not have enough funds to get a personalized office space, consider using shared office spaces. They are excellent opportunitied to interact with other businesses.
With each business having its unique space and sharing facilities, you can unlock unprecedented opportunities for cooperation among companies.
According to Ori Goshen, Co-founder of Tawkon
“Tawkon offices are based inside TheTime, a leading investment firm in Israel (and one of our investors),” Goshen says. “It has a unique huge co-working space that achieves this balance by having closed working spaces for each company and sharing all other facilities between the companies. This helps us stay focused as a company and at the same time learn and cooperate with other companies in an unbelievably accelerated pace.”
So, shared spaces offer a great opportunity for your brand to explore its creative juices.
You can make use of inspiration to get everyone fired up. With color psychology, we now know that the color you use has an influence on the general mood of your office space.
Using a color like blue or green for a lounge or hangout spot would evoke a feeling of relaxation in your team members. For areas used for brainstorming like meeting rooms, you can use colors like yellow or red to aid the idea generation process.
You can also litter your office with inspirational quotes to get your team fired up and in the right mood.
Let There Be Light
The lighting in your office space has a significant amount of effect on how productive would your staff be. The best lighting option is natural daylight. To incorporate this, make sure you include a lot of windows and skylights into the design of your office space.
Research has shown that by increasing the daylight in your office space, you can increase productivity by up to 7.1%. This is quite substantial for just a little tweak in your office design.
You Can’t Go Wrong If You Go Green
There has been a lot of buzz concerning businesses going green. This is because of the idea that businesses contribute the most to the decay of our planet. As a result, brands that make conscious efforts to use sustainable tools get more respect in the wider society.
You can easily achieve this by going paperless and using furniture made from sustainable resources. You should also consider recycling in your office space.
Any contribution to preserving the earth is welcome, no matter how infinitesimal it might seem.
To sum it up, designing the office space for your startup is something that you need to ponder on deeply. An error in your design can have a significant influence on the success of your brand. However, with these tips, you should be headed in the right direction.
Did you recently open up your office space? This would be a great time to share some tips and let the world about the challenges you faced while setting up your office space. Go ahead, and make use of the Comments section!