Office Design Tips for Startups

Your office design matters. According to a poll by Gallup, 97% of employees believe that their workplace represents whether or not they’re valued by their employer. This is even more true for startups. 

By nature, startups are dynamic, collaborative, and fast-paced. Certain aspects or needs that are essential today may no longer be relevant for them a few months down the road. This is why designing startup office spaces is a very different ballgame. A startup’s office design must reflect and cater to its constantly evolving work environment.

There are plenty of things startups can do to avoid stranding their employees in an unproductive workspace. If you’re designing an office for your startup, here are some tips to help you get started.

#1 – Don’t Generalize Your Employees

Even if all your employees are from a single generation (e.g., millennials), their work styles and preferences still won’t be homogenous. For example, some may be more productive working in big, airy spaces, while others may prefer to work in a quiet corner with as little foot traffic as possible. 

Instead of lumping all your employees together, it might be better to design workspaces per team. For instance, your sales or customer service team may be more suitably placed in a work area where they can openly talk on the phone without worrying about disturbing their colleagues. On the other hand, your data analytics team may be happier in a distraction-free space. 

#2 – Have Ample Air, Space, and Natural Light

A Harvard Business Review study showed that more than a third of workers feel that they don’t get enough natural light at work. In addition, 47% of them report feeling tired or gloomy due to the lack of light. In fact, the average employee spends most of the day away from natural light sources, staring at a computer screen. 

To keep your team productive and engaged, ensure that everyone gets enough natural light, air, and circulation space. Here are a few ways to accomplish that:

  • Consider having an open or semi-open floor plan. 
  • Get taller windows or even a skylight to reduce the need for artificial lighting.
  • Steer clear of solid walls. If you need to section off certain areas, use glass walls instead. 
  • Opt for sleek surfaces instead of matte ones. The former reflects sunlight and helps brighten up the office interiors.
  • Plan the layout carefully so everyone has enough space to maneuver and move around. This also means considering the distance between desks and corridors.

#3 – Create Common Spaces

One of the hallmarks of modern startup offices is a collaborative work environment that fosters a sense of transparency and inclusion. To promote collaboration, build common spaces where employees can meet and work together.

Below are some examples of shared spaces that you can choose from:

  • Install comfortable sofas where your employees can have exploratory conversations. 
  • Get large conference tables with ergonomic chairs for brainstorming sessions.
  • Pack common rooms with hot desks to remove communication barriers.
  • Add a lounge room, cafeteria, or coffee bar where people can have casual conversations with their colleagues while dining.
  • Create breakout spaces where workers can have some time away from their computers. Some startups provide pool or ping-pong tables, video game consoles, and other authorized play areas. 

#4 – Stay Flexible

An office design that is flexible enough to allow for change can be an impetus for innovation and creativity. Make sure that your space is capable of multiple configurations in case your company’s needs or priorities change. 

Here are some examples:

  • Leave enough room to reposition desks and other furniture.
  • Use modular furniture that can be stowed, stacked, or mixed. Examples include movable couches and high-back sofas that can be pulled apart.
  • Get fully ergonomic chairs that can be adjusted in different ways.
  • Find adaptable storage options that can be carted around or secured as needed.
  • Encourage mobility so your employees can work on their laptops or smartphones. Opt for chairs and tables with a built-in power source.

Building a New Office or Renovating an Existing One?

Your startup office space directly impacts your team’s workflow, motivation, and productivity. It also sets the tone for guests, customers, investors, and partners who visit and experience your company culture for the first time. This is why getting your office design right is crucial.

Our team at T2B Interiors is highly experienced in commercial space design. Our interior design experts will take into account your startup’s brand personality, company culture, and work objectives to create an office space that is uniquely yours.

Contact us today to see how we can help.