“Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.” – Belva Davis
The words above laconically describe an entrepreneur’s ethos, entrepreneurship is all about turning even the most paradoxical dreams or ideas into practicality. But the space between these two things might appear to be infinite if you don’t step on the right road from the start. And if you do all of it right, voila you have a startup. Congratulations! But the work doesn’t end here, the road ahead has a lot of steps and the first one it to set up the right office.
Startups usually begin with a small team so you don’t need to have a huge space, just a well constructed area in an apt location would do. Let’s dig into some must-haves in a new working space. Let us see the complete report on the ultimate office setup guide for entrepreneurs.
The structure matters
Cool, open office spaces are now the new trend, the layout isn’t considered of that much importance. But, the fact of the matter is that structure matters a lot. The structure is the first and the foremost point which should be in the checklist of the ultimate office setup guide for entrepreneurs. You need to divide the space diligently. You got to maximize the utility even after realizing the limitations of space, budget or maintenance.
Open space doesn’t mean interference. Every employee should get a proper working area where they can isolate themselves and think. Remember, the environment influences the quality of the work.
Also Read: Finding the right office space for lease
You got to fade away noise. Whether it’s from your own office, or from somewhere around you. Lay carpets to dampen the excess noise. Use curtains, if you have employees who constantly need to be on the phone with the clients, give them a separate space.
Proper partition of space is super crucial. You need a formal meeting room, you need a brainstorming area, you need an informal briefing area, the paperwork room, you need cabins for the founders, a small kitchen, washrooms and what not. You see, a small office has a million smaller rooms. If you don’t manage the space cautiously chaos is bound to be the your first client.
What all you might need
1) Reception area
This is the first impression of your company, this sets the theme in your client’s mind.You don’t need to overdo it, just add a fascinating backdrop, a classy desk, some pictures, figures on display, and your company’s name in a stylish, unique manner that stays in the client’s mind for long.
2) Work desks
Rows of individual cubicles with desks and chairs, don’t make them hellholes. Choose the ones, which feel more open and connected to the whole space but also give you the room to function.
3) Board meeting/Client meeting room
This the space where you’ll talk to your prospective clients, this is where you lay down the work, where you persuade them to go with your ideas. The room should be professional, of course but should it be nerve whacking? No. Make the room formal but don’t lose your touch. Make it comfortable. Add a plant or two in the corners. Let it have glass partitions. Remember you need a projector, a great conference table and comfortable chairs.
4) Brainstorming zone
This might just be the most important space. Startups are made up of ideas. They feed on ideas, nurtures ideas, if not ideas then why even call it a startup? The brainstorming area is where dreams are born, this is where plans are made, this is where the foundation of the building called success begins. You need to focus on the energy in the room, it should be motivating, it should spark something. Add up a book shelve, fill it up with amazing books relevant to inspirational content. Put up posters, which contain a spirit which resonates. Set the room up with whiteboards, beanbags, a small swing maybe.
5) Briefing area
This is the zone where communication happens. This might be the space where you design the outline for the day, set the targets, assign jobs or just talk. Talk about progress, loopholes, improvements anything at all. The space should be comforting and informal so that the employee feels free of any barriers of expression. Just add a few chairs arranged in a circle or something with a table in the middle for paperwork and you’re good to go.
6) Kitchen and coffee area
Startups usually don’t stick to the 9 to 5 regime. They have flexible working hours with some going on even the night. You need to fuel your employees so that they can deliver. Make a small kitchen with an induction stove, coffee maker, 2 minute noodles, energy bars.Keep a small fridge for some fruits or something. Keep it stocked. Let your employees contribute to the fridge.
8) Play area
As much as it is about work, startups are also funky and friendly. Design a small relaxing area, where there’s music, a small tv, a foosball table, UNO, jenga. If you have the budget, make the office pet-friendly, dogs are the best stress busters, maybe all that the mind blocked employees need is an escape for a while to make the productivity race. This will improve the overall vibe of the office, give it a playful impact.
Let the office speak
Casual is the key, but remember your office nurtures your work. The office should resonate the motivation behind your startup. It should be a little version of the big mountain, that’s your inspiration. Put up motivational stickers, posters, add up flavor with your company name. Anything that adds a personal touch. Keeping it bare would make it dull faster than quicksand.
The company vision should echo in the space, the employees should feel the work that do, and the environment gives them that vibe.
Mix it up
When you have a small space, it’s very easy to make it monotonous, because why take the effort. But, a few months into the work and the monotonicity will start suffocating. So, it’s better if you make every room different. For example, add colours. Choose the brighter ones for the brainstorming area, obviously the decent ones for your cliental meeting zone. Add wall decor, wall art to make it more classy. Green add life to the space, so remember to have indoor plants.
Your office should be a combination of industrial and cozy. Falter here, and all you get is a boring space. Startups create magic, so let be unique, let it be flawed, what matters the most is that it should be personalised.