Pimping the Workplace: How to Set Up Your Company's Office for Success

Jan 29 2014, 2:34pm CST | by

Pimping the Workplace: How to Set Up Your Company's Office for Success

When I first started my company, my office could be anything from the public library, a co-working space, or any coffee shop with free Wifi. But as I grew my team, the need for a “real” office grew as well. I then invested time and effort seeking out the right space and the things to put in it.

I suggest you do the same. Because make no mistake: Your office location and layout will have a direct impact on your success.

Your company’s office plays a big role in shaping its culture. Equipment and décor can influence productivity and mood, and the floor plan can facilitate the flow of energy and ideas.

Not only that, but your company’s physical environment can also make or break your workforce. According to a survey by the American Society of Interior Designers, “employees cited their physical environment to be one of the most important factors influencing their decisions to accept or leave jobs, tying for second with benefits.” Forty-one percent of respondents said that the physical workplace would impact their decision to accept a job, and fifty-one percent said that it would impact their decision to leave one.

Here are the most important factors I considered when building out my company’s workplace:

Company culture and personality

Put a lot of thought into the culture that you want for your company. What values do you want to communicate to your employees? How do you want to come across to the public and to your customers?

If you need inspiration, consider checking out what other companies are doing. Visit the about or career pages of organizations similar to yours (or businesses that you’re aspiring to be) and look into the environment and amenities that they offer. Take caution though. Don’t get too carried away with emulating other workplaces. Sure, a slide in the office looks fun and all, but is that really “you”?

Budget

As a company, it can be tempting to skimp on your office space and devote all your resources to salaries, product development, or advertising. But research and experience will tell you that neglecting your office environment can do more harm than good, so allocate enough resources for it. You can compromise on certain aspects, but not to the point of giving up the culture and environment that you want to establish.

While the numbers are different for each company, a good way to go about the budgeting stage is to think about where your company is right now, and where you want it to be in a year or two. Try to build an office for the company that you want to become instead of what you have in the present. Or at the very least, find some middle ground between the two. Don’t think of this as spending away your capital. Instead, see it as an investment in your company’s future.

Location

Once you’ve decided on your budget, you should have a good idea of which areas are within your range. The next step is to make a list of cities and neighborhoods wherein you can set up shop. Don’t list just any area that you can afford; be sure to factor in the culture and environment that you want to build. For instance, at Retention Science, we chose to lease an office in Santa Monica, CA because it’s LA’s technology hub.

You should also think about the types of people that you’d like to hire. Are you looking to bring a lot of hip, creative individuals on board? Do you need some serious engineers? Do some research on where your ideal employees live or hang out and consider locations that would appeal to them.

Space

You’ve already thought about where your office will be situated at, now it’s time to consider what the inside of your office should look and feel like./>/>

When talking about office space, the debate on whether or not to go with an open floor plan is bound to come up. While some studies suggest that open offices curb motivation and increase employee dissatisfaction, many companies maintain that the openness encourages collaboration and communication. (Just look at Facebook’s open office environment.)

At Retention Science, we’ve found the latter to be more effective. We don’t have any walls or cubicles in our office; instead, we have a large open room for our team of engineers and data scientists. This type of environment fosters teamwork and even boosts productivity in our company. Since we’re always face-to-face with other team members, we rarely have to go back and forth via email or meetings and this allows us to get things done faster.

Not only that, but having an open floor plan means that no team member ever feels alienated or left behind. Everyone is on the same page at all times, thus reducing miscommunications or misunderstandings.

Of course, this may not be the same for other companies. When deciding on the floor plan for your office, think about what your team will be doing. Will your business require constant collaboration or will people be separated in different departments? Are you going to deal with a lot of sensitive information and private documents? These are just some of the questions that you should consider when making your decision. For more insights, talk to founders or employees of companies similar to yours and study their office environments.

Amenities and special touches

While perks and special touches may not be considered the most important things in an office, they still play a significant role in motivating and inspiring your team. Always have some items in place that can make the work space pleasant and unique.

For instance, our office has a big and bright orange wall with a quote that says, “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” This represents our company philosophy and sets the tone for the working environment. Additionally, our walls are covered with large white boards with mathematical models and engineering team deployment schedules. People see these things as they walk through our doors and they immediately feel inspired and ready to work.

We have yoga balls rolling around that our guys can use as seats, and we have exercise equipment so team members can stretch and squeeze in some mini-workouts in between coding. Our office also has some bean bags, a small basketball hoop, a dart board, and a hockey table that people can use when blowing off steam.

Don’t be afraid to have fun and show off your personality when adding perks to your office–that’s part of the reason why you have them. A quick caveat though: when selecting amenities, make sure that each item serves a real purpose and that every perk contributes to the wellbeing and productivity of your team.

Pimping your office isn’t enough

One final note: while office set up and décor can go a long way in shaping your company’s culture and atmosphere, they can only go so far. You can optimize your equipment and furniture for productivity and inspiration, but the actions and values that you demonstrate are still the greatest factors that will influence your company’s environment.

So always remember to walk into your office each day with the right attitude; the rest of the company will follow suit.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Albania opens Communist-era nuclear bunker to public
Tirana, Nov 29 (IANS/EFE) The Albanian government has opened to the public the country's biggest Communist-era nuclear bunker, a secret symbol of the 40-year Cold War and the extravagances of the Communist regime.
 
 
Alleged flu vaccine-related deaths spark fears in Italy
Rome, Nov 29 (IANS) At least nine people were reported to have died in Italy for reasons allegedly linked to a flu vaccine which has been suspended by the Italian competent authority for drugs AIFA, media reported Friday.
 
 
Ireland to repay 9 billion euros IMF loans by year end
Dublin, Nov 29 (IANS) Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said Friday his country will repay 9 billion euros ($11 billion) of the bailout loans it owed to the International Monetary Fund(IMF) by the end of the year.
 
 
China to use new test to prevent Ebola
Beijing, Nov 28 (IANS) Chinese health authorities have approved three home-grown Ebola test reagents to be used for preventing the virus' spread.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Abigail Breslin slams ex Michael Clifford
Abigail Breslin has slammed her ex, Michael Clifford. The 'My Sister's Keeper' actress went on a date with the 5 Seconds of Summer guitarist last year but it seems as though it didn't end well after she released a song...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kevin Bacon to sizzle in Jungle
Kevin Bacon is to star in 'Jungle'. The 56-year-old actor will appear in the survival drama, which is based on the true story of Yossi Ghinsberg, an adventurer who found himself lost in the Amazon rainforest for three...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Mickey Rourke to return to boxing at 62
Mickey Rourke will return to boxing aged 62. The actor will come out of retirement and step into the ring tonight (11.28.14) for the first time in 20 years as he competes against 29-year-old Elliot Seymour. He said: ''...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kristen Stewart: Actors are isolated
Kristen Stewart claims actors become ''isolated'' because of their fame. The 24-year-old actress has become one of the biggest movie stars in the world following her portrayal of Bella Swan in the 'Twilight' franchise...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Burt Reynolds to sell memorabilia
Burt Reynolds is selling over 600 personal items to stave off bankruptcy. The 78-year-old Hollywood star is reportedly struggling financially so will see awards, cars and costumes go under the hammer in Las Vegas next...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Eddie Redmayne's fear of failure
Eddie Redmayne has a fear of failure. The 'Theory of Everything' star has admitted that like fellow actor, Rachel Weisz, he worries about ever getting hired again. He said: ''I was reading an interview with Rachel Weisz...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Where to Find Black Friday Car Deals
The Black Friday Car Sales events have gained traction over the past couple of years. This year several major brands ran nation-wide commercials announcing their Car Black Friday deals. In the beginning it was creative...
Read more on Auto Balla
 
Indian Aces win inaugural IPTL tie
Manila, Nov 28 (IANS) The much-awaited inaugural International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) got off to a flying start with the Indian Aces notching an impressive 26-16 first victory against the Singapore Slammers at...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Australian navy's largest ship commissioned
Canberra, Nov 28 (IANS) HMAS Canberra, a 27,000-tonne landing helicopter dock (LHD), was commissioned Friday, providing the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) with one of the world's most capable and sophisticated amphibious...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Sindhu, Prannoy enter Macau Open semis
Macau, Nov 28 (IANS) Indian shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and H.S. Prannoy came out with contrasting wins to enter their respective semi-finals at the $120,000 Macau Open Grand Prix Gold here Friday. While defending champion...
Read more on Sport Balla