Getting your first startup office is an exciting time – especially because your options are truly limitless. This is your chance to create the work environment you've always dreamed of in a space that is designed for your ideas and your dream company culture to spring to life. It can be somewhat overwhelming, but part of the beauty of the process is all of its possibilities.
1. Rent Something That Isn't an Office
Anywhere you work is an office. Even if it's an old food truck or an abandoned cookware factory. If something calls out to you that isn't an office space, you can use it as one at your own volition. Many startups are working with a shoestring budget, and that's exactly what has inspired innovative entrepreneurs to get really creative with finding the perfect office space. All that matters it that the place has the right "feel". You want the environment you choose to feel inspiring and motivating to everyone who will work there.
2. Decorate With Flair
Think about the different environments you've been in. Did cold white walls and dingy gray carpets ever help you feel like your best self? Consider that when you're decorating your office space. If the environment you're working in feels warm and comfortable, your team members are bound to feel more at ease. The flow of thought and the inspiration to explore new heights comes much easier in an environment that feels welcoming, or even similar to a home.
3. Choose a Warehouse Style Space
Warehouse style office spaces that are essentially large rooms without separate walls allow you to do all of the architect work on your own. Create walls and partitions. Erect your own cubicles. Design the space to be the kind of environment you believe will promote the flow of communication and make teamwork easier. When you're browsing Gumtree for office space, consider the floor plans. If you don't find one you like, there's no reason you can't make one from scratch out of an open plan office.
4.Let Your Team Have a Say
The people who work with you probably know what systems and setups work best for their productivity. Everyone works differently, and people who have been working for a while are generally aware of what they require from their surroundings. Encourage your employees to put their own stamp on the office. Do they prefer sitting at an ergonomic desk and listening to relaxing music in their headphones? Does it help them find their center? Let them set up their own space the way they'd like to – they aren't hurting anyone, they're only helping themselves get work done.
5. Encourage Both Collaboration and Privacy
Some tasks require different social environments to be completed correctly. If someone is trying to do solo work while they're distracted by the conversations of others, their productivity will suffer because of it. The same goes for collaborative work that can't be done in an open area – no one wants to have to run back and forth between offices a hundred times just to finish a project. Make sure you have areas for both quiet work and loud work in your office space. People will be able to do what they need to do without interruption.
Creating a perfect office space will always require a little bit of trial and error. If something doesn't work, you can always fix it later. Make sure you keep an open dialogue with your team members about what they need to stay productive.