Setting Up Shop: How to Establish an Ideal New Workspace
By TLB Contributing Author: Alden
You’re finally ready to set up a new workspace for your business or startup. You want to provide your valued employees with an office that will inspire them to do their best work, but there’s one problem: You’re totally in the dark when it comes to this part of running an organization.
Fortunately, you’re not alone. So far, no one has found the magic formula for building the perfect workspace. If you keep a few concepts in mind during the design process, however, your company’s office can be an inspiration to employees as opposed to a place they dread.
Incorporate Multiple Types of Layouts
Whether you’re a tech giant like Google, which provides a vast array of in-office perks such as nap rooms and a climbing wall, or a family-run business with only a few employees, it’s important to include diverse spaces when building your workplace. If you’re skeptical about letting your employees sleep on the job, studies have shown that napping significantly improves verbal recall, perceptual learning and motor learning compared to both placebos and caffeine. Giving workers a place to blow off steam, or just chill out, can be the difference between hitting and missing your deadline.
Another pro to offering different types of work environments is that not everyone works best in the same type of space. Some people aren’t able to keep focused if they have too many external distractions in their workspace. If you have the resources to provide employees with both collaborative and private areas, do it.
While open concept office plans are now the norm in the United States, there’s evidence to show they don’t always work. Research shows workforces are not only 15 percent less productive in open concept offices, they’re also twice as likely to get sick. When you factor that into your long-term business plan, that’s a lot of lost hours of work. By offering both open and closed areas in your new workspace, employees will be happier and more productive.
Make Sure to Incorporate Natural Lighting
It’s not hard to forget about the outside world when you’re hustling to finish a labor-intensive project. That, however, doesn’t mean you should just ignore it. Studies conducted at Northwestern University found that workers with higher exposure to natural lighting while at the office got about 46 more minutes of sleep at night.
While the value of this might be difficult to quantify on a balance sheet, it’s no secret that if your employees are getting better rest, they’re going to do better work. When deciding on a spot for your new workspace, consider its exposure to natural sunlight. The larger the windows, the better. Plus, letting in some sun can negate some of the costs of lighting your new workspace.
Encourage Employee Workspace Customization
If you want to instantly bring some life to your new workspace, encourage your employees to make it their own. Your new office should be a place where your employees want to spend their days. Allowing them to add personal touches to their desks, and offering options such as standing desks or special office chairs, will boost morale.
It’s possible to even go so far as to ask for employee suggestions regarding the design of your new workspace. After all, they’re going to be spending their days there. Giving your team an environment they see as theirs will help retain talent.
Don’t Forget the Nitty Gritty
Of course, there are behind-the-scenes aspects to establishing a new workspace. You’ll want to make sure your investment is secure. Don’t neglect the importance of installing a good security system, especially if your workspace contains lots of expensive, easily removable objects such as computers and printers.
It’s also important that you insure your workspace and the assets inside it. The best way to do this is by using a business insurance calculator to find competitive rates. This aspect of setting up your new workplace is one that can have a huge impact on the health of your organization later down the road. Make sure to find good liability and property protection, or else risk your own—and your employees’—stability down the line.
Despite the fact the average startup cost can be as high as $30,000 by some estimates, you’ll be able to write off up to $5,000 for certain initial expenses and more in depreciation of capital expenditures over time.
Setting up a new workspace can be an extremely rewarding process when executed with intelligence. Adhere to these suggestions, and you’ll be on the right path toward creating a space where people want to work.
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