Workplaces

5 Ways to Design an Awesome Office for Start-ups!

Embracing these factors will create a long lasting change offering a sense of comfort and control in workspaces, privacy, infectious culture and a better experience, thus helping to retain the younger talent
5 Ways to Design an Awesome Office for Start-ups!
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Managing Director, Sales, (Southeast Asia and India), Steelcase Asia Pacific
5 min read
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According to the NASSCOM India Startup Report, Indian start-up landscape has witnessed tremendous growth and now India is among the first five largest startup communities in the world.

Why is India booming in the start-up ecosystem?

  • Moody’s credit rating raised India’s credit outlook to “positive” from “stable”

  • Fitch, another leading credit rating agency, announced India’s sovereign credit rating at ‘BBB’ with a ‘stable’ outlook

This has clearly impacted the young entrepreneurs and have inspired them to invest in India.  

With the influx of these new age entrepreneurs, Indian economy is not only setting the benchmarks in start-up economy but also is redefining the interior industry. India’s successful start-ups have specifically designed their offices to break-free from the traditional and conventional corporate set up. This is not only helping them to boost productivity but also engage employees at the work.

By 2030 India’s middle-class growth is expected to reach 475 million. This number consists of mainly India’s Gen Y post-80s and 90s who mix traditional values with a Western outlook. Also, the new-age entrepreneurs’ plunge in the same age-group category.  They prefer offices that enable collaboration, provide a sense of personal space and offer a pleasant respite from hectic city life. With the growing start-ups and new age offices, there is an immense competition where retaining talented employees has become a major concern. For any start-up, skilled workforce is crucial for their success. Hence, the new age offices should evolve as a sanctuary for employees where they can work, share, innovate in an improved manner.

Here’s looking at few factors that cannot be ignored while designing an office space for the younger generation:

  1. Varied work settings

Planning your space to allow for standing desks, private areas, collaborative spaces and lounge settings gives employees choice and control. Send the message that you trust and support your team to choose the places and postures that best encourage productivity. Intentionally design other spaces that promote quiet, collaboration and fun, so that people can truly love the way they work.

While designing for a range of spaces, include areas for your team to socialize. 26 per cent of small businesses say that when it comes to social gathering places, their physical space needs improvement. Anchoring your space with a central table for celebrations and team lunches is a great first step.

2. Opt for wellbeing 

Employees feel encouraged to walk away from their desks, change postures or explore other work areas during the day. Demonstrate your commitment to wellbeing by offering access to natural light and your nod of approval when team members schedule walking meetings. It has been proven that working outdoors or near natural light improves creativity, productivity and engagement.

3. Create room for privacy

The bathroom stall shouldn’t be the only place workers have privacy. In many of today’s workplaces, it’s very difficult for individuals to find moments of privacy. This reality negatively affects stress levels, job performance and engagement. The harder people work collaboratively, the more important it is to also have time alone—to be free from distractions, apply expertise and develop a solid point of view about the challenges at hand. Hence, there should be spaces at work offering privacy as it remains important in the workplace for confidential discussions, quiet phone calls or times when we need to focus quietly, alone and helps to nurture thought process.

  4. Encouraging a ‘Third place’

During the last few years, work has become dramatically intense and the business tasks today are more challenging. Hence, employees need spaces where they can relax or work undisturbed. To provide such experience, some organizations have embraced the idea of Third Place – an informal working spaces like a cafeteria or a lounge that help people get through the day or allow them to gather, to have stirring conversations. These are essentially common areas not specifically allocated to work but are designed to create a relaxing atmosphere within a workplace. A corporate cafeteria is an obvious place where a company can create a corporate third place and better leverage under-utilized real estate.

5. A preference towards technology

Technology is front and centre in the workplace. Business is conducted at a frenetic pace, and our reach is more global than ever. Because there we depend on mobile devices to do our work, furniture and workplace designers that integrate technology will contribute to a more fluid workflow. Conference tables that can have plug and play ability, seats that have a docking system and interactive whiteboards are a few examples of integrated technology in the workplace.

Embracing these factors will create a long-lasting change offering a sense of comfort and control in workspaces, privacy, infectious culture and a better experience, thus helping to retain the younger talent.

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