You’ve taken the big step to start and run a business—you’ve put your idea into practice, and now you want to create a strong company culture and even better workspace. However, like most startups, you may not have access to an unlimited interior design or office equipment budget. Here are a few ways you can improve your office space without breaking the bank.
1. Create a productive environment
It doesn’t take much to improve your office space—simple changes will increase productivity and make employees and visitors feel good. Easy purchases like adding houseplants can elevate a person’s mood, improve air quality, and decrease stress. Greenery gives an office a friendly aesthetic while also providing a subtle reminder of our connection to nature.
Consider adding a humidifier to your office as well. Dry air in your work environment can lead to health issues and dry skin. Installing a humidifier will benefit your health and help you avoid missing important workdays.
Another simple change: Clean up the clutter. While artistic personality types might tend to let piles grow or feel more comfortable with everything out where they can see it, clutter isn’t the best situation for an office space. Even if you get used to it, it’s a distraction to visitors, and you’d much rather have their attention on you and what you have to offer. Plus, clutter can distract employees from the task in front of them.
2. Cut office energy costs
Running an office space may mean you’re using a significant amount of electricity, which adds to your operational costs. However, small adjustments can help entrepreneurs cut back on their office space energy expenses.
For example, installing DIY smart home products around the office can monitor and automate a work environment’s temperature. It’s been proven that products such as smart light bulbs save on energy costs. They can also be programmed to give off blue light during daylight hours to help give everyone an energy boost during peak hours (or after a big lunch), or change color to set the mood.
Smart light bulbs can also be programmed to turn on only when your staff is working, and smart thermostats can regulate the temperature in your office to ensure excess energy isn’t consumed when the office is closed. Smart plugs can help you keep break room gadgets like coffee makers operating only when they’re needed, like for those late-night project deadlines.
3. Create special common areas
Having spaces where you and your employees feel comfortable gathering can boost creativity during meetings or work sessions. Include necessary items like a whiteboard and projector, but also add comfortable seating and even items like game tables or beach balls – to let your staff figuratively toss ideas around.
While you may not have the office space budget of Google, Etsy, or Airbnb, you can look to the designs of top company headquarters and learn how creative companies make employees feel at home. You can modify and adapt their practices for your office space. For example, get creative with bean bag chairs, hammocks, fabrics, posters, or items represent your company’s core values.
4. Reduce office stress
Just as open spaces can be great for collaboration, quiet spaces are necessary for focused work. Be sure to create stress-free zones for workers who need a little introversion time to work, like a room dedicated to meditation. At the very least, allow for sound-absorbing headphones to help your staff create that invisible bubble of alone time.
Creating designated areas for reading and reflecting and keeping tea and filtered water on hand can also create an office environment that lets employees know they and their well-being matter. Bring in a yoga instructor or offer a room with exercise equipment for quick recharges. Consider taking a walk or bike ride as a team, and let the outdoors become an extension of your office.
There are many easy and inexpensive ways that even new startups can take advantage of to build a welcoming and comfortable office space—it just takes a little creativity and insight, which you already possess.
Brandon Jarman is a freelance writer and first-time entrepreneur based in Salt Lake City, Utah. When he’s not writing, he enjoys spending time with his family and enjoying the great outdoors. You can follow his work on Twitter @BrandonJarman4.
© YFS Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Copying prohibited. All material is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this material is prohibited. Sharing of this material under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International terms, listed here, is permitted.