Spawn an engaging office space when you’re working to a budget
When you’re running a small business, or just getting a startup off the ground, you don’t have a lot of money to spend on office facilities. You still want an office environment that is productive for employees and gives a good impression to clients. How can you create an engaging office space when you have a limited budget? Here are some tips.
LIGHT IS A PRIORITY
People are more productive when they have good light. When you can get natural daylight into the office, it makes employees both happier and more creative. The basement space may be cheaper, but it could cost you in terms of productivity and employee turnover. Try to maximize your natural light, and include plenty of artificial lighting, too.Keep it flexible
When you plan the space, remember that change can happen quickly, especially in startups and small organizations. Keeping things flexible, rather than using fixed partitions and enclosed spaces, can facilitate those changes without requiring expensive renovations. Using a robust wireless technology setup makes it easy for people to move around. Also, think in terms of any space being able to fill more than one function, so that you don’t have space that sits empty.
CONSIDER YOUR EMPLOYEES’ NEEDS
When you want to attract the most qualified employees, having an office that caters to their needs is an asset. What type of employees do you want to hire? If you want young people, then they might be looking for easy access to public transportation, bike racks, or showers. A different employee group might value covered parking, or a sandwich shop in the building.
CONSIDER YOUR CLIENT’S IMPRESSION
Do you need a traditional reception area for visiting clients? For many companies, this is an expensive use of space that could be allocated more effectively. Whether you go with a reception area or not, do consider the first impression that a potential client will get when they walk through your door.
KEEP IT COMFORTABLE
Heating and air conditioning to maintain a comfortable temperature is an important consideration when designing an office space. If people are shivering or sweltering, they will not be as productive as they could be, not to mention that clients will also feel uncomfortable. The temperature can become a distraction and a source of employee unhappiness, so keep it at a consistent, temperate level. This includes meeting areas, and spaces where the sun shines in.
GOOD COFFEE IS IMPORTANT
A lot of employees rely on coffee to keep them going at a productive pace through the day. If you don’t have decent coffee, then they may resort to leaving the office to go to a nearby coffee shop, which detracts from their work time. Make sure you have an ample supply of high-quality coffee available, so they have no need to leave.
USE ART TO REINFORCE BUSINESS VALUES
You can use artwork around the office to reflect the spirit and values of your company. Blow up appropriate photographs into poster-size prints and hang them on the walls, or you can even have an image expanded to cover an entire wall. Using your own digital art like this is relatively inexpensive, and you can customize the message you want to convey.
USE YOUR FUNDS WISELY
Try to spend on things that you can continue to use as your business needs change. Don’t spend your money on built-in units, expensive wallpapers, or flooring options that you might have to rip out if you move. Consider maintenance costs as well as purchase prices. Some businesses use a different colored carpet for heavily trafficked walkways around the office. It breaks up the space, and you can replace the worn carpet areas without moving all the office furniture.
Many starting businesses are compelled to settle on a budget when decorating their office spaces. When money is tight, the only alternative you’ve got left is to save up. However, just because you’re on a budget, it doesn’t mean you can’t use smart ideas to decorate an office space. There are plenty DIY tips and tricks you can use. Fresh flower pots, colorful rugs, beautiful paintings, comfortable chairs and shared desks are just some suggestions you can take into account.
This is a guest post by Jason Phillips and OfficeFurnitureExpress.co.uk; photo via flickr.