Making the Most of Small Start-up Office Spaces in 6 Easy Steps
Bigger isn’t always better—and that goes for planning your office space, too. Many start-ups find it necessary to cut costs on office space so the majority of their funds can go towards their products, advertising, staffing and other essentials.
Luckily, an office doesn’t need to be huge to be productive or inspiring for your employees. Even large companies—including Panasonic and Living Social—have adopted a “less is more” approach to office space by drastically reducing their square footage.
The key to making the most of a small office space is planning. These steps can help you get started:
1. Assess your business’ needs
Above all, your office must meet your needs. If you haven’t already, decide what you’ll really be using this space for.
Make a list of everything your office space needs to accomplish in order to serve the needs of your employees and customers. For example, if you’ll be meeting with customers regularly, you’ll need to set aside space for private conference rooms. If you’re housing inventory, you’ll need enough storage space.
This crucial part of the planning process will help you make decisions that keep your office space as efficient as possible.
2. Get rid of what’s unnecessary
Cut the clutter
Clutter not only takes up space, but psychologists have found that it’s also distracting and stress-inducing—the last things you want your office to be.
Take inventory of your office space and look for ways to declutter. Unused or unnecessarily large furniture, extra monitors and printers, stacks of paper and other items that don’t serve a purpose can be recycled, donated or trashed.
The days of big, bulky filing cabinets are over. Thanks to cloud-based applications and the ability to do just about anything online, there’s no reason to take up valuable floor space with filing cabinets and other large storage pieces. For example, you can:
- Save and share files via Dropbox
- Collaborate and edit documents with Google Docs
- Send and sign legal documents with DocuSign
- Pay vendors via PayPal
Going paperless is win-win: you’ll save space, money and the environment all at the same time.
3. Set a realistic budget
Now that you know what you need (and have removed the items hindering you from doing so), you can create a budget. How much you can realistically expect to spend will vary greatly and depends on the number of people you employ as well as the size of your office space.
4. Get inspiration from others
Find inspiration for your office on magazines and websites designed specifically for small office spaces. And of course, Pinterest is an online mecca for design enthusiasts. If you don’t already have an account, create one and start searching for and pinning office designs for inspiration.
5. Create your ideal space
No matter what type of business you operate, your office should promote collaboration, communication and teamwork. Use your wall space to help build your teams and maximize your space with these ideas:
- A whiteboard helps workers come together to visualize ideas and brainstorm while providing a break from the monotony of staring at a computer screen.
- Creative seating is replacing the long tables commonly associated with board rooms. You can still have important corporate discussions with a roundtable for a more intimate setting. Desks with P and D shapes are also a great way to encourage collaboration and make it easy employees to pull up a chair for impromptu review and brainstorming sessions.
- Free up desktop space (and personal space) with collaboration screens. These handy devices are easily mounted and allow monitors to swivel, so you don’t have coworkers crowding behind your desk to get a better view.
- If you want to get really creative while making use of space, consider storage solutions that also double as seating for guests and coworkers.
Multifunctional, mobile workstations are all the rage now and can help keep small office spaces flexible and functional. Movable desks are versatile while encouraging teamwork and enhancing productivity.
Collapsible standing tables are both space-saving and healthy—studies have found that standing desks are actually better for health. Collapsible tables fold quickly and can be moved out of the way to easily create space.
Another option for offices that have limited space are mobile nesting tables. Like collapsible standing tables, they can be pulled out to use when needed, but instead of collapsing, they stack.
Don’t underestimate good lighting
The lighting you use will have a drastic effect on your small office space’s appearance. Natural light is ideal, but commercial office spaces aren’t always designed to let in plenty of light.
In this case, daylight-replicating lighting and bright overhead lights help bring more light into your space. As you design your lighting, remember to take screens and monitors into account to minimize glare.
6. Consult with a pro
A professional interior designer that specializes in commercial office space is an excellent investment. This type of specialized designer knows how to maximize smaller office spaces while creating collaborative environments and can help you bring your vision to life. Even a consultation will be helpful as you design your space.
A small office space doesn’t have to be overcrowded. With the right planning, innovative tools and a little forward thinking, you can make your small office space a collaborative, productive place for your employees.
Would you like to speak with someone about creating the perfect small office space for your Startup? Dial 844.235.3636 or use this form to send us an email.