Setting Up a Physical Office for the First Time: 10 Important Tips
Unfortunately, most startup owners have worked in their fair share of windowless basements, cramped rooms, or cubicle-filled environments. Now that you have the chance to set up your own office, you can design it in a way that influences your biggest asset–your employees.
How to Set Up Your Very First Physical Office
When creating an office space, think of ways you can empower your employees through their physical environment. Here’s how you can optimize your office and encourage creativity.
1. Pay For Internal and External Security Features
Before we take a step inside your office, start thinking about outside security. A security system, security guard, and parking bollard can help your employees feel safe. When they feel safe in your building, they’ll feel less anxious and have an easier time concentrating on their work.
2. Never Purchase Cheap or Uncomfortable Furniture
Employers try to save money by purchasing office items in bulk, but they’re often uncomfortable and cause a wide variety of health problems. If you want your employees to avoid back pain, eye strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and migraines, purchase high-quality ergonomic furniture. You will also want to invest in high quality bathroom facilities, so make sure your bathroom partition dimensions are adequate.
3. Don’t Go Overboard With Your Office Decor
No one wants to sit in a bland, featureless office all day, but you also don’t want to crowd the space. Feel free to include artwork and office plants throughout so long as you and your workers can operate comfortably in the office. Do your best not to overwhelm clients and visitors.
4. Include Your Employees in the Decision Making Process
According to research conducted by the architectural firm Gensler, employees experience higher job satisfaction rates when their managers allow them to control the setup of their own workspace. This can mean letting them arrange the furniture or pick out the chair they want.
5. Consider The Internal Office Temperature
The temperature in your office is just as critical as the decor because it affects how your employees work. You need to know where the hot and cooler places are in your office, so you can adjust your layout accordingly. Or, you could install multiple thermostats around the office.
6. Prepare for Sudden Employee or Client Growth
Whether you’re in the process of funding your startup’s growth plan or you aren’t ready to scale just yet, you need to plan your office with growth in mind. Consider if your layout is spacious enough to account for new employees or whether you’ll need extra rooms for client meetings.
7. Create a Relaxing Employee Break Area
To make sure your employees are as productive as possible, you need to create a break area that’s away from their desks. This space can’t include any work-related paraphernalia because it will make it harder for your staff to disconnect and speak casually with their peers.
8. Focus on Office Lighting and Natural Sunlight
The lighting in your office building greatly impacts the well-being of your employees. A well-lit office can increase productivity by 19%, ROI by 15%, and health by 2%. While natural light is ideal, you can substitute UV lighting if some employees aren’t getting enough sunshine.
9. Know Your Technology and Software Requirements
It’s essential to create an aesthetically pleasing office, but you have to account for your tech requirements while you’re at it. Make sure everyone can access the technology they need at their desk or close by, regardless if they require wifi, outlets, storage, printers, or projectors.
10. Avoid Opting for a One-Size-Fits-All Office Solution
Your employees are unique in their own way, so it isn’t wise to opt for a one-size-fits-all solution when you’re setting up a new office space. Your office should include quiet areas, space for collaboration, and game rooms, so your employees can choose their preferred environment.
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