An entrepreneur’s ‘office’ can be anything from the kitchen table to any coffee shop that will let you sit there for long enough as you nurse a lovely cup of cold tea. As your business and your workforce grow, it’s imperative to start thinking about an office space that will allow you and your team to flourish.
If you have been flying solo or working from home for a while, thinking about how much an office will actually cost feels almost impossible to predict. Although you might have extra salaries and running costs to factor into your thought process, just bear in mind that cutting the budget for your office can often hinder your progress. Uninspiring and uncomfortable offices can often leave employees feeling unappreciated and unproductive.
Remember to start as you mean to go on. We’re firm believers of ‘buy once and buy right’- a good chair and a well-configured desk layout might be all you need to get you started. Our projects team have put together an ingenious office move calculator to help you keep track of all your outgoings.
Future proof yourself
This is really dependant on how you see yourself in 5, 10 and 15 years time. When we are consulting people on their furniture choices, new offices, in particular, can often get swept up in the look of the office as opposed to how the office will function. For example, if in the initial design phase you build a DIY desk at a fixed height, how can two people who are complete opposites in terms of height fit at the same desk? Or how will you fit in two extra desks when you expand? These are all questions you need to keep asking yourself whilst you design your space for optimum flexibility.
Ideally, we wouldn’t recommend anything that you need to build in in your first space – even walls are removable now! Also, if you have an empty space in the office when you first move in, don’t feel like you need to fill it up straight away. Observe how you are all working and identify your additional needs after a couple of weeks – you might find that a break out space is essential after all.
Attraction & retention
‘Company culture’ has become a bit of a trendy buzz phrase at the moment. No matter how big you are, your first office can set a precedent for your company ethos and reflect your brand to your employees and your customers. When you start planning your new office, think about your future dream team and what kind of talent you want to attract, and how you will keep them loyal to your brand. A boring office just won’t cut the mustard for a creative bunch and a vibrant, noisy, open-plan office might not be the best choice for focused number crunchers. Your office is your chance to wow them and keeps them loyal to the brand (alongside edible treats of course).
Set it up right!
No matter how much money you have spent on furniture, if it isn’t set-up right, it’s not going to work as well as it should. If possible make sure you plan your office out to scale before you move in and identify how you are going to utilise the natural light, how are where you are going to store everything and who needs to sit with who. Booming sales calls and concentrated developers tend not to go hand in hand.
Secondly, make sure you check your workspace to identify posture problems. A happy and comfortable workforce is certainly a more productive one. Take the time to set up the chair, desk and screen ergonomically for each individual employee with a DSE assessment. If offices with 6 screen users or more, this is a legal requirement due to HSE Display Screen Equipment guidelines. Below are 5 cost-effective ergonomic chairs that perfect for start-ups!