The right office for your startup can make the difference between work being a horrible struggle and work being a fun, engaging, and creative experience. Startups are all about creativity—whether that’s in the form of making beautiful content, graphics, and video, or even getting creative about finding novel engineering and software solutions to complicated problems.
Having the perfect, people-forward office for your startup is key. But how do you find the right one? In this post, we’re covering what you need to know. We’ve put together the 5 most important tips for any startup office seeker. Get educated and start your office search with confidence.
First, talk to your people
Remember, the people who will be spending the most amount of time in your office are your employees. They have to punch in every day, do the work, and produce the products and services that help your business grow strong.
So, it’s only right that you should check in with them to find out what they prioritize in an office space. Most amount of office space? Plenty of parking? Shortest commute for the greatest number? These are all factors that you’ll want to take the temperature on before you commit to any location.
You can use online polling software to send out a quick poll to your employees, which can help you learn more about what they want out of an office location.
Second, think about location
Where will your office be located? In the heart of a bustling city, with plenty of restaurants to stop in at for lunch? Or maybe in a quiet suburban office park, with plenty of parking, and an easy commute for who don’t live near the city center.
Location affects not only your office culture, but also your price tag. For instance, retail space for sale in Los Angeles near the Arts District downtown might be pricier than an office rental near Calabasas—but also might not give your company the creative spark it needs to truly thrive. Here are some factors to weigh in your decision-making:
- Rental or purchase price
- Commute convenience
- Company culture
- Office size
- Parking situation
- Proximity to other businesses
Once you’ve scouted out a few options in your location of preference, it’s time to get more granular.
Third, consider amenities
Amenities can make or break an office for your startup. 50+ people crammed into one office with just one functioning bathroom? That’s a recipe for disaster. When you’re on the hunt, keep these amenities top priority:
- Bathrooms: Be sure to look for spaces with multiple bathrooms.
- Kitchen: Employees need to prepare and eat lunch, so a working kitchen is a must-have.
- Disability accessibility: Not everyone can take the stairs; be sure your office has elevators and the appropriate ramps for those with disabilities.
- AC and heating: Nobody is productive if they’re freezing in their chairs or sweating through their clothes. Temperature control is critical.
- Windows: Believe it or not, an office with natural lighting can boost productivity by significant margins. Try to find a spot with windows, if you can.
Once the basic necessities are accounted for, you can think about the fun stuff!
Fourth, dive into décor
What vibe are you looking for in an office? Sleek, slick, minimalist design that gives off a sophisticated tech atmosphere? Or maybe a more relaxed, start-up youth culture environment, filled with beanbag chairs, ping pong tables, and vending machines.
If you have many clients coming in for meetings and presentations, you’ll probably want at least part of the office (like the conference rooms) to look professional, classy, and inviting. Luckily, if you’re not sure what direction you want to move in, you can hire a professional office designer to set up the décor to make your office friendly, inviting, and fun.
Fifth, design productivity
Lastly, productivity is a top priority for any startup looking to gain clout and name recognition on the scene. Your office space can actually help. Whether it’s using collaborative spaces, open-concept office, team-centric pods, or individual cubicles will depend on your team and your work culture. Be sure to poll your employees on this too, to see what they think will make them feel the most engaged and productive while at work.
The right office space is a crucial part of your company—take these tips and start your search today!