Life and Style
College 101: Outfitting the Office
I'm a college student, but I won't be for much longer. I'm graduating this year, and not a moment too soon because I'm already hard at work at my own startup. Right now, the office space for my company is just my own bedroom, and I'm the only employee.
That's all I really need for the work I do (not to give too much away—my startup is a secret!), but it's kind of lacking in some ways. My bedroom decor isn't exactly professional, and it's easy to get distracted from the office and work stuff when I'm surrounded by video games and books instead of office furniture and fellow workers.
That's got me thinking that I need to get a "real" office for my startup when I graduate. But I'm pretty cash-poor right now, so I don't have much of a budget. I can't afford to make mistakes! Experts, what makes a good office environment? How can I get the right office space the first time?
Your startup environment sounds very exciting indeed. But you're quite right that you don't have quite the office space that you will need for a more professional future. New companies have grown up in office spaces of all shapes and sizes, but you can bet that you'll have a much easier time attracting top talent to your firm if your office feels like a "real" one, with the right interior design touches and the right office floorplans.
How can you get that? You can turn to a firm that specializes in just these sorts of projects, suggest the pros at Uneebo designs, an office services company that specializes in creating office spaces. You're not an expert in professional interior design, office furniture, or office floorplans, but you can hire the people who are.
Uneebo offers a complimentary consultation to new customers, so they'd be making a budget-friendly pitch. A company like this would even be able to show you renderings and offer you your own custom dashboard for reviewing your office space and interior design choices.
Remember that you don't have to create the perfect office space overnight. When you're still running a one-man operation after graduation, perhaps you can simply make some interior design changes or designate one area of your apartment or house as your "office."
Simple interior design changes like moving more functional furniture in and hobby-related distractions out could make you more productive. Then, when it's time to start hiring a coder or an HR pro or a project manager, you can invest in an office space that will accommodate those new team members.
With a fast-growing team, you may also need a scalable solution. Look for office spaces with flexible leases. Can you take over more space in the same location if and when the need arises? If not, could you break the lease and head to a larger space elsewhere, or would you be locked into a long-term contract in this type of situation? Reading the fine print is important in your situation.
You could also consider space-sharing options for office real estate, some of which may offer flexibility that long-term leases don't. Or you could take advantage of the growing culture of remote work.
Many new college grads expect to have the opportunity to work from home; if your company isn't quite ready for the big office space upgrade just yet, then you could designate positions as remote and have employees call into meetings using smartphones or video chat software solutions like Skype.
When it does come time to invest in your office space, remember the importance of decor and interior design, and team up with pros like the ones at Uneebo to make sure that your office encourages productivity, collaboration, and the other values that matter to your company. Good luck!Subscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter