Choosing the perfect office space can be one of the most daunting aspects of getting your startup or small business of the ground. There’s a lot to consider, and you’re still in the formative stages of making your dream a reality. If you don’t know where to start, start by thinking outside of the box. You don’t have to conform to the traditional ways – it’s your business, and you’re free to do as you please.
- Co-Work with Benefits
If you’re looking at a great office space that’s a little out of your budget, you can always share that space with another startup or small business. This is a particularly excellent idea if you’ll be able to collaborate with the people who share your space. A graphic design studio working with a social media based business could easily be a match made in heaven. Split rent and trade services.
- Think Unconventionally
Renting office space can be expensive, but not all spaces will break the bank. When you’re browsing Gumtree for a place to set up shop, there’s no reason you should specifically seek a regular office. Warehouses and old factories have been turned into startup workspaces with great success. It’s all about how the space will work for you – not so much what the space was designed for.
- Encourage the Creativity of Others
Nothing kills creative energy faster than designing someone else’s workspace for them. Everyone has different tastes, and you want your team members to feel at home. Let them hang up their own art. Encourage them to arrange things in a way that makes them feel comfortable. People have their own systems, and allowing them to utilize them can boost creativity and productivity.
- Consider Your Teamwork Space
Think very carefully about the way you arrange the space where you want everyone to come together. Meetings, brainstorming sessions, and collaborative projects require a space of their own. Nobody can work in unity if they’re all separated by their cubicles. Design an open space where ideas can flow just as freely as foot traffic. Put up a whiteboard or a chalkboard that everyone can use to share their ideas. Make sure the space is comfortable enough for long get-togethers.
- Work with Unconventional Colors
White, black, and gray are stereotypical office colors. They’re very inoffensive and utilitarian, and they don’t require much imagination. These plain schemes have been used for decades, and you have the freedom to spice things up. Utilize branding colors around the office space. You’ll create a warm and welcoming environment that reinforces your culture.
- Be Flexible
The perfect office space will accommodate everyone. This often means being flexible in your design scheme. When you start placing furniture and shared pieces of equipment, observe how people interact with them. If you have to rearrange things a few times before you get the flow you need, so be it. It’s your team members who will do most of the working in this space, and if they prefer the copy machine by the coffee maker, let them have things their way.
- Become Pet Friendly
A lot of startups and small businesses have adopted policies that allow pets in the workplace, even if it’s only on certain days. Being able to bring your dog to work gives you an excuse to go for short walks, getting your blood flowing and preventing the burnout that happens with day-to-day routine work. It’s an exciting gimmick that’s really catching on, and who doesn’t love to snuggle with their furry friend when things are getting a bit stressful?
The only limit to designing your office space is your imagination. This is your first opportunity to display to your team members what a creative, innovative leader you will be. Forget what you’ve been told to do, and do things the way you want to.