You’ve done the hard work and gotten investors to believe in your idea, congratulations! Now, you have the opportunity and the funds to build out a physical office. 50% of those seeking new jobs reported that they would want to work for a company with a pleasant work environment according to the Journal of Public Affairs, Administration and Management. So, where do you start on your journey to create a collaborative, productive space for your staff?
The first step is to take the temperature of all of your current employees because an office setup shouldn’t be reflective of just one person’s ideas. Some may prefer a more open floor plan while others enjoy having their own space sectioned off from others for better concentration. But there’s plenty of other considerations you should keep in mind as well.
Let’s dive into the best ways to set up your startup’s very first office.
1. Furniture With Flexible Options
As a startup, you will probably expect to see a lot of growth in the first few years of operation so it’s important to invest in furniture that can be easily added or removed based on the addition of staff to the company. You may even want to consider renting furniture if you’re unsure of how many people you’re going to add to your team. The growth pattern of startups isn’t usually a straight line and as such, it can be hard to plan where and when to add furniture. Renting is a great compromise until your company gets to a more stable phase.
2. Beverages And Snacks
Sure, beer and wine are expected perks in the startup world, but quality filtered water should be your priority first and foremost. With that said, a mini-fridge stocked with local craft beer, wine, and cider is a great idea to encourage after-work socializing between departments.
Food should be another priority item on your list. In fact, 67% of employees reported feeling “extremely” or “very happy” at work when given access to free snacks at work according to one study by Snack Nation. Not sure what snacks employees want? A subscription service that provides an alternating array of snacks is a fun idea that will encourage your staff to look forward to clocking in each day.
3. Consider What Supplies You’Ll Need
You’re going to need some specific supplies for your office depending on the industry your startup is in. The basics like pens, paper, and desks are a given, but you’ll need to think about what additional specialized accessories and devices you need, too.
For example, you’re going to require some high-end Nikon cameras if you’re working with photography. Or, if you’re in advertising, you’ll want to find the best HP color laser printer for small business that fits your needs so you can print out professional brochures or handouts for presentations.
Maybe you’re a small marketing agency looking to expand your client base, in that case, professional business cards are an exceptional option for your team members.
4. Collaborative Spaces And Quiet Spaces
It’s a good idea to set up different zones around the office—and this is where feedback from employees is crucial. Consider sending out an anonymous SurveyMonkey survey so you can build out an office that answers to everyone’s needs.
You should do your best to lay out different areas where people can work alone in a quiet space, brainstorm and collaborate, and chat with prospects or clients.
5. Think About Attracting New Hires
Eventually, you’re going to hire new people. The office design can impact how a prospective employee feels about a potential new position. So, think about how the environment might appear to an outsider. For example, you and your staff might be used to the giant crack in the wall or the lack of natural light, but these may be major negatives for an applicant.
Your office space should be maintained properly, well lit, and conducive to creativity.
6. Make Sure Your Employees Have An Escape
To encourage mental and emotional wellness, ensure that your employees have an area away from their desk. An outside area to eat lunch, for example, is a great perk for employees to get some Vitamin D and take a break from their work.
Or, set aside a break room filled with comfortable chairs and convenient tables away from the main working space. This can help foster inter-departmental friendships and bonding. Whether it’s a break room or a patio, it’s crucial that your staff have a place outside of their work to breathe and recharge.
7. Choose A Flexible Office Environment
The nature of startups is constant change so as you evolve both externally and internally, your office space may need to adapt in tandem. Before signing a lease, make sure your office space can hold the number of people you expect within the year.
The office environment is a physical extension of your company’s core beliefs, values, and culture. It’s a part of your work life to think seriously about, especially for a young startup trying to gain solid ground. In addition to supporting your current workforce, an amazing work environment can help you attract new recruits. Keep these tips in mind as you choose your office location, furniture, and the in-office perks you plan on including.