The open office for startups

4 Office Must haves For Startups


Our client’s furnishing startup companies often ask, what are the most important office must-haves for our company?

It’s hugely exciting when you finally get to the point in your startup process to set up your office. It’s also a big milestone. Your business is moving from a plan on paper to a real, physical, business. How you set your business up is every bit as important as writing your business plan or hiring the right people. Your office design provides insight into the culture and vision of your business. Perhaps even more importantly, the layout and décor will also encourage the overall productivity of your team – so plan carefully. Here are 4 office must-haves for startups to consider.

So, What Office Essentials do You Really Need?

When choosing office must-haves, startup companies need to consider two things: tech and company culture. You need the pieces you choose to be functional. You also need them to attract and build the company culture you desire. Remember, startups are all about people. So choose the office space and design that keeps all of this in mind.

Here are some ideas for office essentials that are often missing in a startup office – essentials that will help your team stay happy and productive.

1.  1st office must-have for startup companies… Color scheme. Bring color to your office

When creating your startup companies’ list of office must-haves, don’t forget to add paint to your list. Have you ever noticed your mood shift when you walk inside a room? Whether it’s a dentist, salon, or your office, the colors you are surrounded by can make or break your experience. Over the years, studies have shown just how important color is in shaping a person’s mood. Warmer colors energize, while cooler colors mellow. Some colors encourage productivity, while others promote feelings of power. Guide yourself using this information to choose colors to enhance your comfort, productivity, and work environment, but don’t forget to include your branding for inspiration when choosing colors.

2.  2nd office must-have for startup companies… Flexible furniture

As our work lives evolve, our office spaces need to evolve too. No longer are office designs confined to defined spaces for individual people, departments, and teams. Workspaces are moving to flexible, fluid layouts engineered to encourage team collaboration and transitional need-based spaces. Many businesses fail to consider just how quickly their company could grow. Rapid growth always presents its own unique set of challenges. Yes, cash flow is usually at the top of the list. However, office space and the need for flexibility are often overlooked. Make sure you incorporate flexible office furniture that can grow with your space.

3.  3rd office must-have for startup companies… Consider the comfort of your staff a number one priority

Startups are always worried about covering payroll, hiring the right people and purchasing equipment. However, few think to budget for comfort. Even though cash is tight in the beginning, it’s important to invest in chairs and other office furniture that will keep your employees happy for long periods of time. Remember how important it is to bring comfort to your workspace.

4. 4th office must-have for startup companies… Create collaborative space areas

Consider these factors when facilitating open offices:

  • Allow employees to change their environments on the fly: Mobile privacy screens on casters can mean the difference between productivity and distraction. The ability to physically separate from the open office is critical. Watson’s sleek “Pin” Mobile Screens provide privacy and space division.
  • No assigned seating: A perk of the open office is that it allows people better access to each other. Ben Waber, who studies behavior and workplace design, predicts that artificial intelligence will soon suggest where people sit based on the work to be done. “Better days will emerge,” he says. “You’ll bump into the right people. You’ll be near people you need to work with.” Until then, don’t be afraid to switch it up.
  • Design designated meeting areas: If your open office design forces employees to meet in the same environments where people are working individually, distraction and frustration will occur. Separate meeting spaces complete with power delivery and media options. Allow people to break away and innovate without bothering those who aren’t part of the discussion.
  • Sound: HOK reports that “in environments with white noise or sound masking, improvements of up to 38% for simple task performance, and 27% for complex tasks are reported.” If ambient noise fails, try headphones.
  • Headphones aren’t just good for masking background noise – they also send a message that you don’t want to engage. Obviously, subtle cues to indicate you need to focus shouldn’t be necessary. Open offices require communication, so foster an environment that honors that. We’re working in the era of the open office, make it productive.

For more ideas about furnishing your start-up company, contact

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