The first day at a startup is full of innovations, new beginnings, and success, but one ingredient must be present: preparation. The office becomes a blank canvas waiting for transformation into a thriving hub of activity. Thus, the office catalyzes creativity, team spirit, and relentless determination. Discover ten essentials for transforming your office space for startups into a launchpad for entrepreneurial victory.
1. Equip the Office with Functional Furniture
The first thing one sees when they enter an office is furniture, but will yours make launching easier? Functional furniture allows employees to work comfortably and efficiently. Thus, they will have better focus and will complete tasks faster. Furniture, even in office space for startups, is associated with employee health. According to Vitrue Remote, 65% of employees who spend their working day seated develop musculoskeletal problems such as back pain. However, ergonomic chairs and desks can ensure employees have a better posture and less strain on the neck, shoulders, and wrists.
Before buying new furniture, assess your current needs. What is the nature of work employees are more likely to perform regularly? An assessment ensures you buy only the right amount and quality of furniture. You can also consider commercial upholstery repair for high-quality furniture from a previous owner to save on costs. Prioritize ergonomic design when choosing furniture. Ergonomic furniture has adjustable height and lumbar support and encourages upright postures. Even though your furniture budget may be limited, don’t compromise on quality and durability. High-quality furniture will serve you for longer and will have fewer maintenance requirements.
2. Add Reliable Internet and Robust Network Infrastructure
Internet connectivity is a must in modern business life, even if you are a small business. That’s why having a reliable internet connection and a robust network infrastructure is a must-have in office space for startups. It allows seamless communication within the startup. The employees can collaborate through emails, video conferencing, and chat hassle-free.
For a startup, such seamless communication is vital for success. Besides, employees can have uninterrupted operations because they can easily access online resources and cloud-based tools. A robust network infrastructure has better data security, thus protecting your startup from cyber threats.
How can you have stable internet and a good network? It’s easy – work with a reputable internet service provider (ISP). Internet service provision is quite competitive, and you can get fast and reliable internet at affordable prices. Ensure you select an ISP that offers sufficient bandwidth and reliable connectivity.
You can also set up network redundancy using multiple ISPs, especially if your business heavily relies on an internet connection. In the same way, work with professional IT professionals to set up a robust network infrastructure. You can consider data center cable management to ensure critical operations run without a hitch.
3. Set up an Adequate Electrical Infrastructure
Your office space for startups needs adequate electrical infrastructure for seamless operations. Electricity powers all equipment and devices so you can operate efficiently without power outages. A robust electrical infrastructure also helps prevent wastage by using energy-efficient fixtures. An older study in South Africa found that 56% of the energy in an office was used during non-working hours. If the electrical structure is not in place, your property management officer can help you set up one.
Start by conducting a needs assessment considering the number of employees, appliances, and electrical devices. A professional electrical contractor can help you get an accurate assessment. They may have licensed electricians who can install circuits, outlets, and wiring professionally.
Professional installation ensures a safe and correct setup, thus reducing the risk of electrical problems in the future. It’s also essential to protect critical equipment with surge protectors. They safeguard your equipment from power spikes and surges that could cause damage. It would also be prudent to add a backup power source for continuity of operations during power outages.
4. Have Well-Designated Lighting
To hit the ground running, you must create a space that enhances productivity. Poorly-lit spaces increase eye strain and fatigue, but well-designated lighting promotes alertness and thus improves productivity. Some activities, such as shooting videos for digital marketing, will also require proper lighting for effectiveness. Thoughtfully chosen lighting options can also set the mood in your office space for startups. Dull lighting will leave employees feeling dull, so choose the fixtures well. Besides, proper lighting prevents accidents.
Before you can think of artificial light, start by maximizing natural light. Since you are at the inception stage, you have more allowances to design your offices from scratch. So, position workstations near windows to enable employees to enjoy the sunshine and beautiful views.
You can also use task-specific lighting at the workstations for focused illumination. Alternatively, you use adjustable desk lamps to customize lighting for specific needs. Always go for lighting fixtures that complement your office design.
5. Install Effective HVAC Systems
A functional HVAC system is essential for employees’ optimal comfort. The systems help regulate office temperature, thus promoting employee satisfaction and productivity. Extreme high temperatures leave employees irritable, sweaty, and sleepy, while cold temperatures can cause health problems. Yet with a functional HVAC, not only will employees be comfortable, but they’ll also enjoy good indoor air quality devoid of pollutants and allergens. Office space for startups also needs HVACs to keep appropriate humidity levels.
Work with an HVAC service provider to thoroughly assess the office space for needs and requirements. The size of the office and capacity will determine the kind of HVAC that’s suitable. Work with the contractor to balance quality, budget, and energy efficiency.
For example, a cheap HVAC can initially be easy on your pocket, but you pay more for daily energy usage. Once you have an HVAC system, draft a regular maintenance schedule to ensure longevity and energy savings. The U.S. Department of Energy says you could save 5-10% of energy costs by replacing a dirty filter with a new one.
6. Don’t Forget to Stock Office Supplies
In the hustle and bustle of launching a startup, stocking up on supplies is possible. Even modern office space for startups needs printers and paper rims. When employees have access to supplies, it makes their work easier and smoother.
No more hopping from desk to desk, asking if anyone has some stapler pins left. Having office supplies also communicates that you are a committed company that wants to ensure employee productivity. Stocked offices give a professional image even for a startup.
Start by conducting a thorough inventory taking. What supplies do you have, and what do you need to add? Some of the daily essentials are paper, stationery, and printer ink.
Ensure the admin staff sets up a system that alerts you when supplies are over. That way, you have a constant supply and no shortages. It’s essential to note that you don’t have to buy every kind of supplies. Instead, you can consider photocopier rentals and any other equipment that you don’t need regularly but is useful for your operations.
7. Add a Functional Kitchenette
Who said pioneers and innovators can’t share groundbreaking ideas with a cup of brewed coffee? Even new office space for startups will benefit from a kitchenette. Employees need energy and a good treat of pizza and wings. A functional kitchenette gives employees convenience to prepare and store snacks on-site. Thus, it can promote a healthy work-life balance.
Startups often have new employees who need to collaborate. A kitchenette is a great space for social interactions and team building during breaks and lunchtimes. By having refreshments on-site, employees can have a quick recharge which improves their focus and productivity.
To set up a kitchenette, start by designating an area that’s accessible to all employees and has enough space for basic kitchen appliances and seating. The kitchen appliances should include a coffee maker, electric kettle, microwave, and refrigerator. Thus, employees can heat and store food conveniently. You can also have a snack bar where employees can easily access energy bars, chocolate, and sweets. Ensure there are utensils, disposable plates, and cutlery for easy access.
8. Put Safety Measures in Place
Workplaces often cause injury and even employee mortality. But you are a startup operating in an office. Aren’t the workers doing basement renovations and those in the manufacturing sectors the ones more likely to suffer work-related injuries? Not according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that posits that office workers are 2.5 more likely to suffer a debilitating injury from a fall. That’s why putting safety measures in your office matters. Not only does it ensure workers’ safety, but it also promotes well-being but also protects you from lawsuits.
The first place to start is assessments. Do a thorough safety assessment to identify potential safety risks in the office space. Have a checklist for tripping hazards, electrical safety, and fire prevention. Safety goes beyond installing features to creating plans and influencing behavior. Therefore, craft emergency preparedness plans and conduct drills regularly.
You can also do safety training for all employees. Cover topics such as ergonomics, best practices, and equipment usage. Through training and preparedness, employees in a startup can be safer.
9. Add Privacy and Noise Control Features
Startups are avenues for collaboration and creativity, but that doesn’t mean employees don’t need privacy and quiet time to concentrate on work. When you consider privacy and noise control, you increase the chances of productivity. Employees can concentrate better and finish tasks in record time.
Soundproofing office space for startups is a great way to allow concentration if the office is located in a high-traffic zone with significant noise. While some employees enjoy stopping at every colleague’s table, others enjoy knowing they have privacy, albeit limited. Such employees would have improved well-being, comfort, and lower stress levels because of a positive work environment.
How do you create private soundproofed spaces for your startup employees? As a startup, you have to balance collaboration with the need for privacy. A good tip is to use semi-private workstations where employees can work individually or hold small meetings.
You can also designate quiet zones where employees can work without distractions. Add a complementary communication zone to allow free collaboration so your employees are not using hushed tones to discuss business. You can use business IT support to enhance the privacy of communications. Use acoustic panels and noise-canceling partitions for soundproof rooms to reduce sound transmission.
10. Remember to Bring in the Greenery
In the hassle of moving in and planning, don’t forget to bring in the greenery. Nature is good for its aesthetics and can improve productivity too. There are multiple ways greenery improves productivity. A report by Exeter University—which has been studying the subject for more than a decade—shows that adding greenery improved productivity by 15%.
Productivity is a must-have for a startup, but the budget is typically low. So, any affordable way to improve productivity is welcome. Besides, natural plants have a calming effect that can foster a sense of tranquillity. They will also absorb toxins and pollutants, leaving your air fresh and pristine.
You must select easy-to-care-for options such as snake plants and peace lilies so they are not constantly demanding your employees’ attention. You can easily find these plants in local flower shops. They can withstand inconsistent watering and can thrive even in varying light conditions. Ensure you understand maintenance requirements, so your plants can thrive. A good tip is to allow employees to bring in their greenery and take care of it. They can set a watering schedule and dust the plants to avoid accumulation.
To bring it all together, preparation is essential when launching a startup. Transforming an office space for startups is a practical way to prepare for launch. Most of the elements that go into making an office that inspires collaboration and innovation are not far-fetched ideas. From equipping your office with energy-efficient HVAC to potted plants, office transformation is not rocket science but a matter of planning. Always prioritize employee well-being when planning your office space.