June 13, 2017
Moving your once scrappy, remote-based office into an official space is a major milestone for you, your company, and its employees. Although cost and location will likely be the most important considerations you’ll note as you shop for commercial real estate, envisioning how your office will look, feel, and flow as you walk through each prospective space will be a crucial part of ensuring you select the perfect first home for your team.
It’s long been said that a workplace environment can make or break the productivity, creativity, and attitudes of the employees who work within it. If you’re in the process of building your first physical office for an onsite team, here are five important considerations to make note of throughout your process.
Open Floor Plans Aren’t Always a Surefire Hit
The rise of the open floor plan has resulted in cheers, groans, praise, and exaggerated sighs from office workers across the globe. To say the least, employee reviews are mixed when it comes to this detail of many modern offices. Sure, it seemed like a great idea when major tech companies started installing open seating to encourage collaboration, but what does that actually mean for your employees?
The truth is, open floor plans aren’t always the best option for every office. The environment professional teams need to perform at their highest potentials will vary greatly depending on the nature of their work and their individual personalities. The best way to figure out what will work best for the majority of your team is to create a quick survey. You can use a tool like SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics to create and administer an internal survey to find out what floorplan might work best for most of your team members before you settle on a layout.
A Little Design Goes a Long Way
It can be pretty tough to feel inspired when you’re forced to look at a white wall all day. If you’ve noticed that your creativity levels flat line when you’re in a less-than-inspiring space, your employees will likely feel the same way. This is why its important to spruce the place up with some cool décor before your employees move in.
Whether you choose to hire a designer or DIY, include questions in your survey regarding preferred design. Either way just be sure to add some color and a few personal touches to the place before you introduce your team members to their new home away from home. If you’re into learning a bit about how you can incorporate design to boost employee morale, I recommend checking out Anna Hensel’s Inc article on this subject.
Natural Light Benefits More Than Just the Plants
Similar to a blank wall, fluorescent lighting is likely to make your employees to feel a bit uninspired. A simple fix for this is to choose a location that allows plenty of natural light to shine in and light up your office. Not only will this help you save a little on energy costs, but it will also positively affect the mood and productivity of your team.
Studies show that employees who work in natural light throughout the day are not only more efficient, but are also able to get more sleep each night. This is because natural lighting helps regulate circadian rhythms in humans. When your body’s circadian rhythms are functioning properly, your internal clock is able to help you be more alert during the day time and better able to fall asleep at night. In other words, picking a space with plenty of natural lighting will help your employees be more productive at work thanks to better sleep at night and higher energy levels during work hours.
The Right People Need the Right Equipment
Having an inspiring creative space is one thing, but your employees will also need the right equipment to perform at their highest potential. This doesn’t just mean setting up quality internet, but offering the right monitors, keyboards, and laptops for your employees with certain skill sets.
As you look for electronics and furniture to fill your office space, consider the potential needs of the professionals who will be working in your office. What choices could you make as you identify the equipment you will purchase to ensure your team has the correct equipment for their daily tasks.
Creatives Like to Have Options for Ideation
Another functional detail to consider is creative collaboration materials. This might include things like whiteboards, presentation screens, and drawing pads. Think about where you will create meeting rooms and be sure that you have the materials your employees need to share ideas and visuals in these spaces.
Creative pros recommend that teams take their brainstorming sessions to a different physical environment than they typically associate with team meetings and conference calls. That being said, it might be wise to create a room designated for brainstorming. This spot could be a place where employees feel better able to let go of their day-to-day operational thoughts and think creatively to come up with your company’s next big product, service, or ad campaign.
Building the perfect workplace environment is impossible, but you can get pretty close to perfect when you take time to consider the needs and preferences of your team before you move into your official office space. Hopefully these tips will help as you identify the right location for your startup’s first official home and find the right equipment, furniture, and personal touches to fill it with.
Read more about coworking spaces at Tech.Co
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