When it comes to startup offices, we can notice that most of them go for a number of superficial things. Keep in mind that startups are much more than games, drinks and toys, and as it turns out, the most successful ones have a few things in common when we’re talking about office design. They understand that they should focus not only on appearances but also on creating spaces where people will be able to communicate and express their creativity. Here’s what we learned from them:
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People are the most important factor
What would you say is the most crucial element in the office? The meeting rooms, the cafeteria or your employees’ desks? The correct answer is – your employees. You should never let it slip from your mind that your company is made up of a number of people, and their wellbeing should be high on your priority list. When you have dedicated, talented and passionate people working for you, you want to provide them with conditions they will love so that they will be happy and productive for a long time. Your clients and potential clients are important too, and they should feel good when they step into your office. Try to let your vision and your culture dictate the way your office will look.
Trends are useless
While it’s perfectly understandable that you want your office to look modern, blindly following the latest trends is probably not the best idea. For example, open offices are a huge hit, but if your teams need privacy, your huge open office will be a waste of space. Also, biophilic design is very popular, but if you “drown” your employees in plants and flowers, they might not be able to move freely and concentrate. It’s always the best to offer your employees comfortable and flexible office spaces with a bit of greenery, elegant antique rugs and comfortable furniture. This won’t make them feel like they’re working in a cubicle and they will be more motivated and focused on their work.
We are all different
For the most part, startups are owned by and created for millennials, but in the end, it doesn’t really say much about them, does it? While the name might refer to a single generation, the members of the said generation are very different. Not all of them enjoy working in an airy space with plenty of foot traffic, nor do they all need quiet and secluded corners. The most successful startups don’t lose focus of their different teams and always try to come up with a design that suits their needs, even if they’re different. So yes, big, airy spaces are a huge plus, but make sure there are quiet corners where teams can focus on their teleconference calls without being disturbed.
The importance of blowing off steam
Most startup founders try to find the balance between multiple roles, as they are CEOs, sales representatives and product managers. The employees also often have more than one role and more than one thing to focus on, and all of these things lead to pretty high levels of stress. This is the reason why startups also allow their employees to blow off some steam from time to time and have fun. Breakout areas and chill out zones are usually a must so that employees can play a game or grab a drink when they feel overwhelmed.
Be willing to compromise
You probably already have a pretty good idea of what your office should look like, but let’s be honest – you probably don’t have an unlimited budget, and it wouldn’t be wise to go over the top right at the beginning. When you get feedback from your employees and decide on your budget, try to get the most out of the funds you have. It’s the willingness to compromise and adapt that separates successful startups from the rest. A wall of plants, tall bookshelves, and even customizable partitions will help you divide the office space in such a way that people can move around freely and not feel confined.
In recent years, we have learned a lot about what employees need in order to be satisfied and productive in their workplaces, and a great deal of it is closely connected to office design. When their work environments are stimulating and comfortable, they are more satisfied, relaxed and productive at work. These are just some of the reasons why you should pay attention to the way your office looks and how people feel there.