What It Takes to Build a Killer Office on a Startup's Budget

Build a killer startup office

For every entrepreneur, the achievement of seeing their name on the board at their very own office space is an important milestone. Built through years of hard work, the office for these people is often as important as their home. For startups, on the other hand, creating an office space that boosts productivity walks a fine line between promoting focused work and supporting collaboration between creative people. The trick is to invest in an office that enables quick flow between individual, small group and large group-work while presenting a united front to the users.

Importance of location

The question of location has many answers to it. Obviously, choosing the office location goes hand in hand with choosing a seat for your company, but aside from having a conveniently located space for your employees to come and go and potential clients to visit for meetings, having an office close to great bars and restaurants gives your employees a much-appreciated sense of life outside the workspace.

It's always nice having fast or takeaway when there's no time for breakfast, but going out and grabbing a beer after work is a perfect opportunity for a social bonding experience.

Functional home concept

Having team members who have a consistent rush of zeal to get the work done is great, but this adrenaline rush often makes us forget when it's time to call it a day. For many startup owners, the enthusiasm keeps rising with every milestone, often manifesting through high productivity in the evening, but sometimes at the cost of delayed sleep phase syndrome.

Yet, if you had everything you need right there in the office, how much time would it save? Many tech startups don't have formal working hours, with quite a few employees preferring working late, so adequate rest is essential. Consider making the office comfortable enough for anyone wanting to stay over. To provide the true comfort of a home, you need to include a shower, a bedroom and a fully equipped kitchen with a microwave, an induction cooktop, a hand blender for those high-protein, high-fibre smoothies, and adequate utensils. If the space allows it, throw in a mini-gym. Some stretching and sweating before a cold shower can do wonders for increasing productivity.

Plan the space in advance

It's only expected that startups take off usually having a low budget when it comes to building the office. However, they should not skimp on a good reception that will ensure a warm welcome. There should definitely be a few small meeting rooms, or 'huddle rooms' as they are being called today, while the departments should be placed in the proximity to make communication easier.

For established startups, architects often recommend a larger reception space with a huddle room outside, before you even enter the main work area. This way, your employees are not disturbed by your daily visitors. However, you'd do well to consult an architect beforehand, as they have the skills and experience to take every advantage of your space shape and orientation. Unlike many other firms, Superdraft architects and building designers focus on meeting design and a mutually agreed upon budget, with preliminary costing service that'll give you peace of mind and potentially save you some dollars in the future.

Invest in modular furniture

If designer-made workstations don't fit into your budget at the moment, perhaps a skilled carpenter can construct them for less. A desk space of 4 x 2 feet for each employee, 6 at a table, with a single table sized 12 feet by 4 feet is an optimum setup. Tables sized like these are quite heavy, so instead of using wood for the structure, consider wrought iron covered with wooden boards as tabletops. Two coats of PU high gloss white sealer with a lot of sandpaper between the coats, followed by waxing in the end, and you're all set for beautiful workstations with no more than $40 a seat.

Glass wall partitions

Instead of splurging on toughened glass partitions which cost $4 per square foot, find a carpenter who can create a wooden frame and have regular glass installed inside. Even if you use thick, 8 mm glass, the price of square foot drops to $2.5 on average. Besides simply partitioning departments and areas, these glass partitions have many other benefits. They can be written upon, and rest assured that your employees will love writing their ideas and plans on glass walls. Glass is also ideal for startup office environments as it promotes transparency, saves energy and allows a lot of natural light throughout the office.

Having an office you all take pride in is what keeps employees happy to stick around. Using these employee- and budget-friendly startup office tips, you'll be able to create an evolving workspace that people want to come to, rather staying home and working in their sweatpants.

Guest Author

Cooper Klein

Cooper Klein is an entrepreneur with a degree in Marketing. He's interested in real estate and home decor. In order to spend more time with his family, Cooper decided to take a break, and he's currently working from home as a blogger for SmoothDecorator and several other sites. You can find him on Twitter.