Finding and Designing the Right Office for Your Startup

empty office

Vaccines being rolled out across the United States imply that we might see a full return to normal soon. If you recently started a business but didn’t plan on renting out a physical space for it due to the intermittent lockdowns, now may be a good time to finally have your own office. Having a headquarters for your business will help your employees feel a semblance of normalcy. It will provide you and your team with clear boundaries between your personal life and professional life. If you’re planning on renting a physical space for your startup, here are some tips for finding and designing the right one.

Location, location, location

There’s a reason why this one-word adage is so widespread: It’s because your location will make or break you and your employees’ level of productivity, motivation, energy, and everything that will help you maintain good employee retention. Here are some tips for finding the best location for your office:

  • Find a place that’s accessible to your clients and that they won’t have to struggle to find it.
  • Consider the aesthetics and surroundings. Find an office space with natural light and somewhere people won’t feel too unsafe going.
  • Make sure your employees can commute to it pretty easily, lest you want them to look for a new job that’s closer to their home.

Ensure health and safety

Make sure the location complies with the standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA). Consider hiring real estate or field inspection specialists before deciding on a place to ensure that every aspect of the location is safe for the occupants. The location must be free from the following hazards:

  • Harmful chemicals like chlorine, asbestos, and solvents
  • Biological hazards like mold, mildew, and disease-causing viruses and germs
  • Physical hazards like radiation, noise, vibration, and extreme heat or cold
  • Repetitive strain injuries or ergonomic hazards like uncomfortable furniture or equipment
  • Psychological hazards, or anything that can cause extreme stress or mental and emotional distress

office with plants

Design tips and ideas

Once you’ve pinned down your new space, here are some tips and ideas for designing it without breaking the bank:

Colors

The colors you choose will make or break the look and feel of your new office. Mild colors are the safer option, especially if your space is on the smaller side. Choose a shade that’s in line with your brand identity—it will help you, your team, and your clients get in the right state of mind once you enter the premises. Go for more pastels hues or warm whites since these lighter colors help bounce and reflect light, making your office brighter and bring energy to the occupants.

Plants

If you were one of the people who became a plant parent due to the pandemic, now is a wonderful time incorporating that new passion into your office, especially if it’s located in a highly urban area. If your office space is on the smaller side, small potted plants and succulents will do. To make your office even more verdant, use climbers and place them near the windows. They can operate as sculptural ornaments that can help you and your employees heal when work gets too stressful.

Lighting

If you were fortunate enough to find a location with plenty of natural light, don’t block the windows by incorporating furniture or workstations in front of it. Keep every windowpane as unobstructed as possible. If you don’t have windows, consider investing in lighting that adjusts according to the time of day. Invest in proper lighting in your workplace because poorly lit or dim spaces might cause you and your team to be moody or sleepy, which is the exact opposite of what you want to achieve in your workplace.

Design elements

If your business is all about attracting younger generations, then your office space needs to reflect that. Consider investing in items that can help your office look trendy, like mats, books, and other texture-providing design elements. Consider incorporating trendy neon lights or other artworks that might add a dash of energy and youthfulness to your space. The same principle applies to whatever industry your startup is in: If it’s a spa, then your office needs to feel serene as well. Let your industry dictate how you will design your new place of work.

Having an office space can be exactly what your business needs to feel like you’re truly starting a new chapter. Think of it as an investment for the long term, and let you and your team begin again.

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