It is one of the rites of passage for anybody who is starting up a new business. The truth is, it is often rushed through or completely overlooked altogether. But setting up a nice office can mean the world to your employees, particularly if you are just starting out in business. Everybody wants to work somewhere welcoming and comfortable. As the owner of your business, it’s really important that you keep your people happy from the outset. So how do you go about building that dream office? Well, to help you out, here are some top tips.
What is Your Philosophy?
The office environment in which your people work should reflect the business. When you are starting a company, you usually have a pretty solid idea of what it is going to be about. For the office, it should be no different. What’s more, the two should be intertwined. Consider the space as not merely an office, but an environment in which your dream unfolds. So your office should reflect the philosophy which you are trying to promote through your work. You can get this into every detail if you are really clever about it. From the colour of the walls to the type of computer you install, everything in the building is making a statement about your company.
Comfort Is Important
Remember that your employees will appreciate comfort! How many of us have worked in shoddy, broken down offices at some point in our lives? The fact is, the nature of the space we are working in has a huge impact on how we work. If we are comfortable and relaxed, it shows in our work – and, therefore, in the profits. There is, however, a question of balance here. Your office space needs to provide enough relaxation to keep your people happy, but not so much that they become lazy. Comfort should be on an equal par with professionalism.
If you already have a small team set up, then building the office is a great opportunity for some social cohesion. Turn the entire thing into a democratic process. Ask your staff what they would like to see in the new office. If they want huge boardroom tables – go ahead! Even if you don’t follow through with every suggestion – and it’s unlikely that you will – they will be glad to be involved. Just remember that you might get one or two jokey responses!
Have Communal Space
It is really important for any office that there are communal areas. Your people need those ‘water-cooler’ spaces; it’s really important for the smooth running of the business. In offices which lack that communal space, the people feel disjointed and too separate from one another. This, in turn, leads to a breakdown of communication – and that is definitely bad for business.
Public vs. Private
Increasingly, research is showing that open-plan offices are not necessarily the most productive. Plenty of people actually prefer working in separate offices, or at least a cubicle. But not everyone. The solution is simple: offer a combination of open space and closed doors. That way, everyone will be happy. Your business’ productivity will soon go through the roof!