Office design might not seem like a major priority for your startup. You may not feel it is necessary for a company of your size, or you might have other financial obligations that you feel are more pressing.
And then, we’ve all heard the story of the courageous garage startup that went on to become an international business. First, it’s worth noting that many ‘garage startup’ stories are highly exaggerated in terms of how much was actually accomplished in said garage. But more importantly, the right environment for your business and your team can actually help you achieve your business goals.
Here are five reasons why you might want to consider investing a little time and money into your office environment.
Even in a determined and scrappy startup, it simply isn’t that motivating to come to a drab, grim office every day. A stimulating environment can have your team reaching heights you never thought possible. Your employees may love what they do, but dislike the office environment they work in. A thoughtfully designed office can have a highly positive impact on motivation.
Taking a space and haphazardly throwing in chairs and tables probably isn’t going to cut it. Unfortunately, neither is filling your new office with the type of quirky novelty pieces that have gained popularity in recent years. No matter what form it takes, your office will look and feel disorganized if you forge ahead without a design in mind. Having your office come together without a plan is a great way to ensure a chaotic environment. If your office is designed carefully, it can provide at once an orderly and motivating environment for your team.
Think of a poorly designed office as being similar to a job candidate who interviews in sweats and a t-shirt. No, it’s not impossible that they have the skills you are looking for. They might even have a great work ethic as well. It’s not that you would or would not hire an employee based only on their mode of dress, but it’s harder to take them seriously when they look like they just rolled out of bed.
The same goes for office design. Customers and other stakeholders will find it easier to take you seriously if your office looks professional and put-together. It shows that you care.
As a startup, growth is no doubt a primary goal for your company. With that in mind, adding to your office ad-hoc is not sustainable as your business grows. With this approach, you will most likely find that employees simply aren’t where they need to be to for optimum efficiency and productivity. Collaboration will almost certainly suffer, if team members are not in the best place to communicate with others or work independently as needed. However, the right design can grow with your company and is easy to expand upon.
Talent Attraction & Retention
You might already have great talent at your startup – the question is how to retain it. Great office design is a proven factor in retaining top talent. Employees often cite ineffective or troublesome office design as a reason for disliking or leaving their jobs. As a startup, you need your talent to stick with you as your business gets off the ground. Office design can help you with that.
Don’t risk the inefficiency and lowered productivity that can come with a poorly planned or ad-hoc arrangement. A thoughtful office design is key to helping your startup and your team reach their full potential.