There are endless articles and studies which show that natural lighting in a working environment boosts team morale and lowers fatigue. We all know that a 9-5 working pattern rarely exists in the start-up world; your team will probably have a few late nights a week so ensuring that they are exposed to as much natural light where possible will improve their ability to focus.
Installing a centralised sound system in your office doesn’t need to cost a small fortune. In our second office, which was a shared space, anyone in the office could connect to the system at any point and add songs to a playlist. The benefits were two-fold. Firstly, it encouraged people to work without headphones on - an office full of people listening to their own music can create an antisocial climate. Ditch the headphones in favour of a sound system to create a more open, relaxed and creative environment. Colleagues are able to engage with one another quickly to brainstorm or collaborate without having to wave frantically to get someone’s attention. Secondly, it was a great way of boosting morale. Playing upbeat music for some Monday morning motivation to kickstart the week or get everyone excited with some tunes to mark that Friday feeling before team drinks can make all the difference encouraging everyone to really put in that last push before the start of the weekend!
When it comes to personalisation, collaboration is key. Ask your team for their input when decorating the office and try to incorporate their ideas where possible. You can use this as an opportunity to foster better relationships amongst the team by having them work together on something a bit different. Nothing quite says team building like executing a quick office move, and having everyone lend a helping hand! When we moved into our new office, we had an evening of team flat pack furniture assembling. Not only did we have a good laugh, but since we moved in, the team’s sense of ownership, accomplishment and pride in the office we assembled together really shines through when we show visitors around our space, adding to our open and positive office culture.
It's no secret that employees who feel appreciated, perform better. Drinks trolleys and elaborate fruit baskets are often seen in large agencies and well-established companies, but for a start-up, expending budget on team perks can be difficult to justify. A well-stocked fridge doesn’t have to cost the earth, so start with the basics for your team and work up from there. Set a monthly budget that you will use to buy office essentials and then nominate one person each week to buy the items. That way the responsibility doesn’t repeatedly fall to the same person!
With the rise of flexible working and the freelance culture, it’s important that more traditional office set-ups incorporate some of those benefits into their own work culture. Allowing your team members to work out of the office for a couple of hours a week, particularly if they are in a creative role, can enable them to recharge and refocus, leading to increased innovation, creativity and better results.
The office space you inhabit in the first few years of your start-up may not be the Ritz, but we’ve found that a combination of instilling company culture, nailing the essentials and a sense of collaboration can be key to making the most of your surroundings. It won’t be long until you look back on this period of time with very fond memories from your roof terrace on the 8th floor!
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