A new company would face a ton of problems in several of its areas. But when it comes to the office design, the problems are common across the cohort:
- Lack of budgeting – Funds have to be deployed for customer and talent acquisition.
- Constant Changes – There are new people coming and going every day.
- Cannot afford dedicated office managers, since their exact value is not tangible enough.
So, what do you do? You design the office space to induce an environment of growth, passion and productivity.
If you are already hitting the ceiling while trying to do that, here are a few ideas you can deploy to get the holy trifecta of startup office design.
1. Open Plan Office Design
Here is the thing – open offices are not optimal, but they are open enough to have space for improvements.
If your idea of ideal office space still revolves around cabins and cubicles, you have to see the problems posing those designs.
While adapting open office plans, you can simply provide a few team cabins which can be used by teams that are running coding sprints or have a tight deadline around the corner.
Some people may argue – what if someone is not comfortable with the chaos of sitting in an open office?
Well, they are working for a startup, which means that chaos is one of the things they have signed up for.
Open offices help you save on the cost of building cabins and adding excessive furniture.
As a matter of fact, you can always buy a set of partition screens to provide privacy to employees, when it is extremely needed.
2. Hot Desking
This once used to be a trend, which was used only by the companies that were not sure whether the lights would be on till the next quarter or not.
With the explosive growth of new companies coming on the block, hot desking has become a more innovative and yet simple solution on the common startup office design problems.
The idea is to have furniture for the employees who need it. This does not mean that you start a furniture division war between employees, but have a few dedicated spaces where only those employees come and work, whose deliverables are on a very high priority.
For instance – assume that you hired a security specialist on a contract job, to help you have a basic layer of security across the users just signing up with your app for trial.
Now, this would be a temporary position and while it is operational, it would be extremely important, but not forever. Hence, you provide this contract worker a space she will need only for the time being.
Later on, space will be used by someone else and then by someone else.
Hence, by distributing the ownership of a desk-space in weeks or days, instead of years, you have given the employees the resources when they need them the most while still ensuring you have a cost-cutting mechanism in place.
3. Collaborative Seating
In the office design domain, this has been one of the most innovative solutions devised for companies that have clearly designated teams with well-differentiated roles.
What you do is – divide the office space into several smaller divisions and the team from the smaller divisions can have their own little open office design.
This way, you are helping teams collaborate within themselves, while still giving them the physically differentiated environment they need.
A common theme across all these solutions is this – any employee can simply turn her head around and see everyone else go through the exact same struggles along with her.
Army veterans commonly share the opinion – people who struggle together, stick together.
These open office, hot desks and collaborative seating plans allow the entire office to function as one unit, one collaborative organism that is working towards one goal – growth.