Starting up your startup may prove to be one of the most difficult ventures you’ll encounter. There are so many things to consider when getting ready to open for business, and selecting the right office furniture is not usually high on what is probably a very long to-do list. Many startups begin by offering their employees folding chairs to sit on, shabby tables to work on and little to no décor to look at. The reason for this lack of style and function, of course, is always a lack of money. Startups rarely have the extra cash to spring for genuine leather office chairs, wood veneer executive desks or one-of-a-kind artwork. But what happens when you need to impress business investors? When you want to attract new employees to work for your company? When you have clients come in for a meeting? Your office design can make more of a difference than you think.
Make it Yours. Branding is hugely important for the success of any business, and branding your office to fit with your identity will help to inspire your employees and impress your investors and customers. There are plenty of ways to bring branding into your workplace, and it doesn’t have to be an expensive process. Some of the most affordable ways to reel in your identity are to paint the walls your brand colors, to purchase some coffee mugs with your logo on them for your employees to use and to buy office furniture in a style that matches your business goals. If you’re starting a new attorney’s office, then you may want desks and bookcases that have a traditional look. If you’re starting a trendy marketing firm, then you may benefit from something more modern. Take the identity that you want people to associate with your brand and incorporate it into every aspect of your office design.
Make it Functional. What makes furniture functional varies greatly from one company to the next because every business operates a little differently. If you and your employees work in the type of environment that requires constant collaboration between co-workers, then you may want to consider creating an open office floorplan that will facilitate open communication without the barriers that cubicle walls put up. However, if your business is in an industry that requires quiet concentration, then you may want to add more private offices to the area. For most companies, a mix of both openness and privacy is best.
Also take into consideration the versatility of your office furniture. For example, adding mobile files with padded tops that can be used as both filing cabinets and chairs is a great way to save on space in a small startup office. Desks with built-in storage often take up less floor space than a table desk that will need an additional cabinet added to the workspace. Selecting furniture that serves multiple purposes is not only a great way to save room in a small area, but it’s a great way to save money too.
Make it Comfortable. If your employees can’t stay comfortable at work, then they aren’t likely to be very productive or even stay with your company for very long. Although metal folding chairs may be the most economical choice, they won’t be good for your business in the long run. Instead, equip your workstations with affordable ergonomic chairs, pull-out keyboard trays, adjustable height monitor stands and anything else that will make your employees’ eight-hour day a little more enjoyable. Along with the right furniture, make an effort to allow employees to take a break every now and then. We know you’ve got a lot of work to get done, but a short walk or breath of fresh air allows employees to return from their mental break with a renewed sense of creativity and eagerness to get the job done
Make it Fun. Last but not least, take measures to make your new business a fun place to be for employees, for investors, for clients and for yourself. No one wants to come into work every day only to sit at his or her computer all day long without any human interaction and without anything to look at other than black text on a white screen. By adding pops of color to your office and allowing employees to decorate their desks with family photos and memorabilia, you’ll provide them with that little boost of inspiration that they need to be effective workers.