How to Design a Start-Up Office Without a Hefty Budget?

How To Design A Start Up Office Without A Hefty BudgetThe Indian startup ecosystem is expanding at a phenomenal rate, so even if you are a new age entrepreneur and not a Google, doesn't mean you can't have an office space which is not only aligned with the needs of your young talented workforce but also has a long-lasting impact on your clients and investors within a budget. The goal is to own your dream office without burning a hole in your pocket!

1. Begin with Analysis

Need analysis is crucial as jumping to the design is futile if the need is not known. Understanding the long-term goals, values, and culture of your startup and then transferring this into physical space goes a long way. As you cannot afford to build demolish and rebuild your area if your needs are not satisfied.

2. Reflect your story

As startups are a brainchild of self- inspired young entrepreneurs, reflecting your beginnings and story can enhance the human element and lend a personal touch. It not only talks about the big ideas but the meaningful journey that has got the startup so far, which will make it unique.

3. Don't follow trends

Brand differentiation is vital in order to build likability for target customers and clients. It should show your culture and identity. Following trends can be risky. Trends come and go. You will feel like changing it, once they are outdated which will require more investment. Artificial greenery in pots is being used for a long time for decoration, which is budget-friendly as well.

4. The layout is the key

Your office space should be such that it promotes collaborative activities. Space management is important; for this, having a flexible space is essential. Your employees should not feel caged, so space it up! The design should be well thought out to include all the functional areas and using space intelligently.

5. First things first

Your reception area is where the first impression is made. All you need to do is inject a few your brand's personalities to make it unique and appealing. A startups reception area can be tranquil. Low maintenance fake climbing vine plants can go a long way in maintaining a good and a green environment. Also, Green artificial boxwood at the entrance looks welcoming.

6. Palette of working spaces

The office should have areas according to function. The is vast during designing. Customizable work stations, brainstorming areas, wide-open areas for a company gathering, quirky meeting rooms, huddle rooms, and acoustically dampened areas are key elements. Artificial vines with flowers can be placed in the restrooms. An important tip is separating areas by aquariums and fake bonsai tree in the aquariums.

7. The workstation

The work station should be designed such that the employee is happy to sit and work there all day! Apart from aligning the cubicles carefully in order to foster communication and discussion, artificial cubical plant holders at the work stations or one cubicle make the workstation looks more homely. Employees can be asked to choose the plant of choice. Artificial plants save the maintenance issue and are long term.

8. Tried and Tested Furniture

Choosing the right furniture significantly evolves the entire look. You cannot go wrong with mid-century furniture and hence saves a lot of cash. Center tables can be decorated with small fake tropical plants. Huge cushions and colorful bean bags can give it the young innovative touch. Bulky desks should be avoided.

9. Elegant Windows, Grids, and panes

In order to bring in the correct amount of natural light, the size and the design of the window should be carefully calculated. Grids and panes should be symmetrical and neatly places to give a clean look. Fake Climbing vine plants along the window look very artistic.

10. Walls and Ceilings

The walls and ceilings should not be heavily decorated. Accent walls project your impeccable taste. Less is more, so choosing a beautiful bold, bright color or mural artwork will do the trick. For dull areas or where you want to cover unsightly views outside the office, artificial boxwood mat can be used.

11. Smart Lighting and Air circulation

Going green should be considered. Natural lighting in open spaces can boost employee productivity, making the office look brighter and lively. Proper air circulation is essential for the employee's wellbeing and health.

12. Splash of colors

The office should look young and energetic since most of the workforce fall in a similar age bracket. Opting for primary colors, graphics, and art murals. Colors associated with the brand also goes a long way in enhancing uniqueness interrupted by fake hanging colored flowers and fire-retardant silk flowers gives a vibrant look.

13. Beyond the work

Who doesn't like food? A sip of coffee or a quick bite can help the workforce concentrate much better and stay focused. A miniature Café which has self-service can be a part of the setup. A good combination of junk and healthy food should be preferable.

14. Bring on the Fun

Long hours can make working brains inactive. Fun zones or recreational areas within the office can make the atmosphere energetic. Many startups have recently incorporated ping pong areas. Large artificial topiary balls hanging at the corners can save space in recreation halls.

15. Fire-resistant décor

A new concept of fire-retardant foliage not only plays a part in safety but also enhances the décor of the office. Fire retardant hanging flower basket and faux areca palm look beautiful and at the same time doesn't hamper the safety and wellbeing of the employees.

Conclusion

The ever-evolving office space designs put pressure on the new entrepreneurs to renovate the space, but unique ideas and intelligently executed design plans can help to have an office where both the employees and the customers like walking into. Your office is no less than a marketing tool, and you will be surprised how it can help your business.

These Psychology Trends Are Changing Workspace Designs

These Psychology Trends Are Changing Workspace DesignsEmployers are becoming more conscious of the effect of workspaces on employees and their levels of productivity, and this is increasingly pushing for a shift from traditional work environments to more intentional and planned workspace design. One of the more important aspects, employers must keep in mind while designing a workspace is psychology, the science of human behavior and mind.

The power of our surroundings in our moods and behavior is often underestimated and since we can stimulate desired behaviors through the set up of space, planning your workspace a little bit more smartly can make a massive difference in the long run. Here are the most relevant psychological trends one must keep in mind while designing workspaces:

Me, Myself and I

It turns out identity does play a massive role in the office. According to cognitive psychology, there is a need for implicit egotism in the workspace as people look favorably on anything identified as an extension of themselves. When an organization or employer can tap into this and allow their employees to foster a sense of self-determination, they see an increase in engagement and productivity.

Basically, every individual should have the possibility to personalize their space, as ownership creates engagement, is a consistent motivation and allows for comfort and familiarity.

Empowered employees contribute to the organization's success but also have vested interest in the organization expressed through stronger loyalty and commitment.  Studies have shown that intrinsic motivation consistently has had a strong relationship with achievement and performance.

One approach can be to have the employees collectively design their own space since it also provides an easy context for increased interaction between members while also allowing them to have the power over their shared workspace composition. The research revealed positive results when this approach was employed as it encourages a whole variety of positive organizational behavior.

Back to basics

Green is good. The psychological benefits of greenery and plants on office workers is substantial. Not only does it have a restorative element, but it also reduces negative emotions, alienation, and stress.

Luckily for everyone research says that it is not necessary for one to head to the wilderness to enjoy its effects, even the bare bone of elements that evoke nature, a glimpse of greenery or a representation of nature has just as much of an impact on office workers. They report better health, job satisfaction, and life satisfaction, which only supports various similar testing and project results.

Urban architects and workspace planners are looking into incorporating more feasible options like artificial plants and trees, fake vines as room decor, low maintenance cacti, custom silk plants, and colorful artificial flowers to liven up working spaces as they require no maintenance and can be designed specifically to the interior.

Since choices range from colorful, beautiful tropical plants, topiaries hedges to soothing, evocative outdoor palm trees, you can decorate without worrying. Potted plants on window sills, a few innocuous ferns against the walls, vines used to decorate, and such can be a few simple ways to incorporate greenery into your office.

Going green seems to be the most popular and the most effective trend that comes into consideration while building workspaces, simply because the results are irrefutable. Psychologically speaking, plants in workspaces can reduce stress by up to 37%, decrease feelings like depression or dejection by a whopping 58%, and boost productivity and creativity by 15%. Proof suggests they also reduce the absentee rate and the number of sickness leaves.

People tend to associate greenery with well being, and this can be the most effective way to bring about small but meaningful changes in your office with long term benefits.

The Big Question- Collaborative Work Spaces

Collaborative workspaces should allow for easy communication, movement, and interaction. Usually, open spaces, high ceilings, sunlight, and elements that evoke nature come into the mind while creating such a space.

The point of high ceilings is that they make offices feel less crowded, encourage communication, and make people more creative. How? High ceilings tie to a psychological sense of freedom and help trigger spatial exploration. They are combining both these feelings prompt office workers into thinking more freely. Across experiments evidence also suggests that they encourage abstract thinking. Visually, high ceilings tend to be appealing and appear to be more spacious.

Surveys reveal that sunlight is the most wanted attribute in offices, outstripping on-site cafeterias, nap pods, and fitness centers. Nearly 50% of the office workers complained they were not getting enough exposure to the sun and that the lack of natural light made the office feel gloomy and cumbersome. Research reveals that sunlight not only significantly improves health and well being but also has fantastic psychological effects.

Even just 10-15 minutes of exposure to natural light is enough to trigger the endorphins, or 'happy hormones' is enough to make employees feel better and to reduce stress.

Having this knowledge allows you to design ergonomic spaces that cater to and complement your office needs. Employees need to be encouraged to communicate, feel creative, and feel healthy to be their best selves at work and even more so at places where everyone comes together communally. Eventually, the results will be seen through better teamwork, communication, creativity, and ideas.

Conclusion

There is increasing awareness regarding the importance of human capital and how psychological states of employees affect productivity. Since employees spend the majority of their days in the office, office decor and design can and does affect their mental, psychological state, and thus, their productivity levels. It is of vital importance that organizations and employers, not only consider these factors but also capitalize on modeling workspaces to increase revenue instead of cutting costs.

Focusing on strategic investments that improve employee well being is the starting point for creating a great office culture, establishing a brand, and vying for employee loyalty. The regard of your employees is essential for building something successful and small considerations like these only work towards creating a fantastic reputation for your organization or company.

10 Dependable Tips for Creating a Sustainable Office

10 Dependable Tips For Creating A Sustainable OfficeSustainable Offices are a significant trend to embrace for multiple reasons, at its core, it promotes efficiency, reflection and most importantly - responsibility, an awareness of how our actions affect the planet we live on. It is an ingenious way to decorate your office such that it reflects your sense of foresight and values.

Research shows that employees like working in such offices and for companies that promote these initiatives, so do consumers. Sustainable offices help create an office culture that embraces solidarity and community where everyone is working towards a common ethical goal.  Here are ten tips to help you start creating your very own sustainable office-

Simply Go Green

The textbook answer on how to begin approaching sustainability. Use, plants for decoration, as statement pieces; the all-time classic ferns and potted plants, vines to create an aesthetic vibe. Does using artificial plants count as cheating? Weirdly enough, no. They tend to be safer in a few respects, like decreased fire hazard and the huge maintenance costs that come with owning such plants, the best option is artificial ones for some. Nowadays, one can even custom design artificial grass, trees, and fake plants made of varied materials from plastic to silk if necessary.                                                                                                    

Local food has merits too

Provide fair trade coffee, tea, and locally catered snacks. The closer the better since they reduce transportation and thus, its carbon footprint. Offering locally produced organic fruits is also a great start since you are also supporting the local economy and farmers. Healthier food results in a more robust employee. Try developing a habit of donating food and leftover at instances where you buy large quantities. Donate it to local food banks or similar organizations.

Supplies and Utensils make a big difference

Purchase post-consumer content (products remade from previous products, for example, recycled paper, paperclips, staplers, etc.) and try shifting to greener alternatives of in-use office supplies like refillable pens. Use reusable dishware and cups. They make up the majority of the trash and waste excluding paper in most offices. Real cups, mugs, cutlery, and dishes, as opposed to disposables, make a massive difference in the quantity of waste your office produces.

Reduce the produce

Encourage digital documentation and signatures to save paper. Not only are your digital copies more durable than paper and efficient, but they also take up no space. This will hopefully also reduce the need for excessive printing and wastage of document. Print on both sides of a sheet and keep a tray available where one-sided paper can be reused.

 Reuse and save

Start encouraging your employees to bring their own water bottles to reduce wastage. Also, start shifting to recycled paper products. Reuse notebooks with space and folders instead of immediately disposing of them. Stopping the use of disposable cups and plates also reduces costs

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

Provide the office with three different waste bins, one for organic waste, one for inorganic waste and one for recyclable waste products. They should be labeled clearly and placed strategically. It encourages an office culture where your employees are actively taking part in this eco-friendly initiative and ask for suggestions. You can also recycle old furniture or donate it.

Magic Minimalism

One can use space as a way to convey sustainability. Try to make your office feel open and less claustrophobic, its a guaranteed way of evaluating what items you need in your office and setting the tone for your office atmosphere. This means choosing your furniture with a lot of thought and care since at the same time you do not want your office to come off as bland and empty, its a thin line to walk. If done well, minimalism promotes simplicity, calmness, class, relationships, and counters consumerism. The best way to start is, have a clear picture of what you want in your office and what you want for your office, the aim is only to keep what is completely necessary and to avoid clutter.

Lighting, illusions, and impact

Energy-efficient light bulbs despite initially costing more tend to save up a lot of money over time. LED lights and Compact Fluorescent bulbs area more eco-friendly lighting options, they use 75 percent less energy than the standard light bulbs while providing the same output. Strategically using natural lighting can also help propagate the idea of a certain amount of space and reduce the use of artificial lighting.

No Excess Energy

Aim to limit excessive energy consumption. Switch off artificial lights when not needed. Try installing energy-efficient walls and heat efficient flooring, ask employees to dress appropriately for the season, etc., which pay off huge dividends in the long run. Also, make sure all electronic devices in the office like computers, printers, air conditioners, thermostats are all switched off before leaving. Embrace renewable energy if possible, rooftop solar panels can be a great start; they are guaranteed energy security for your office and are, of course, very cost-effective.

What is in our Cleaning Products is important

Make informed choices, find out if your cleaning company uses eco-friendly, biodegradable cleaning products, and if not, ask them if they can do so. There are newer green products available that do not make use of the harsh chemicals that harm the environment and indirectly us. Toxic chemicals in these products eventually land up polluting water bodies and killing aquatic lifeforms. As consumers, we should be aware and consciously ask for such alternatives whenever possible.

Conclusion

So why is this important? Sustainable Offices require low upkeep and maintenance than their counterparts. In time the initial costs are negated by the long term savings, and it is a massive commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, which is appreciated by more environmentally conscious customers. They also help craft an ethical image of you or your company, a brand, and a valued reputation. It also helps that you and your employees will happier, more satisfied, and productive. Sustainable Offices are no more the future, and they are the now, they are the present.

Attention! Are You Making These 12 Office Design Mistakes?

TreeMistake: Think of it as a lesson.

Mistakes are a fact of life, but you should not allow your past blunders to influence your future. In any case, how you follow up on your previous errors is what finally matters.

Does office design influence employee productivity in the office?

Ideal office design is an artistic arrangement that pleases everyone.

When the workforce notice that their bosses are interested in their welfare and not just in their output, then they are more creative, more diligent, etc. and pleased employees mean happy clientele which sequentially encourages productivity.

Now, listed below are a few office design mistakes that stifle productivity in an office.

1. Inappropriate furniture in the office waiting area

Majority of office designers give emphasis to sofas and couches in waiting rooms. However, this seating plan has the opposite effect to the one that they want, especially in the case of aging and disabled visitors; in this position, there is excessive stress on the back, when they try to stand up. Also, visitors seldom sit next to unfamiliar persons on a sofa.

2. Allow your office décor to do the talking.

The selection and presentation of an assortment of items ranging from paintings, statuettes, cheap artificial plants and trees, wide-ranging decorations, artificial bonsai tree table centerpiece, works of art with a pattern you can feel, etc. is not an untidy or confusing mixture of different things; ride on the coat-tails of the originality in that room to represent your company culture.

3. Why turn your back on the reception area?

When you overlook the office reception area, you are communicating that these spaces are not significant, or that they are not crucial enough.

Many firms treat this area as a waste disposal site, unloading their reports or files, damaged or faulty appliances, filing cabinets, artificial trees, and plants, etc. However, when visitors enter a place, they land up in this reception area!

4. Employees take the weight off their feet in several spots!

If there is elegance in diversity, then employees in an office should be able to sit down carelessly but gently on sofas, writing desks, dining tables, phone kiosks, corners, etc.; besides, having a few places to cross one's legs takes the edge off office monotony!

Un-restricted sitting alternatives in the office let employees sit elsewhere, away from customary conference rooms.

5. Why not provide conditions that promote movement in the office?

An individual's intellect expands through movement; therefore, make movement possible in the office like repositioning office furniture so that workers get an opportunity to walk around.

Given that movement arouses creativity, then having restrooms, urinals, conference rooms, etc. at the end of an aisle or hallway is another alternative. If the company has grounds, then employees would be greatly encouraged to walk.

6. How to plan for PC or laptop computer stands?

Laptops are no longer a luxury and for most employees, their only workstation; though having a laptop is fantastic, its continued usage apart from its small screen height leads to neck and muscle pain and promotes bad posture.

PC and laptop stand let users work in an upright fashion; this vertical set up is flexible and allows people to stand and work.

7. How to get maximum natural light and fresh air!

Frequent research has proved that bright sunlight and air boost employee performance.

Are the windows in your office room (where you work every single day) or office block large enough to admit sunshine and fresh air? If yes, then lift those blinds or remove those drapes. If your office has skylights, then adjust them to allow in more sunlight and air.

8. How to choose office designs that diminish noise?

Studies confirm that productivity declines by 66% in a room, bursting with background noise.

So, how to concentrate on chaos? With sound-absorbing ceiling tiles, white noise machines, private cubbies, cubicle-friendly plants, it's possible.

9. Lack of adequate storage space in the workplace

On some occasions, critical office files get added to receipts and are put in the wrong place. Frequently, firms do not have enough of well-organized storage systems and their time-sensitive documents either go missing or get dropped in clutter.

Setting up several walk-in closets (with adjustable shelves) right through your office area is a simple way out of this difficulty.

10. The lighting in the office area is meager.

The arrangement of lights in an office influence the rate at which an employee does useful work for the firm; for example, a delightful arrangement of lights in the working environment increases productivity.

Alternatively, natural lighting is often kinder on the eyes than electric light. Therefore, it is advisable to either use your existing windows or install new windows to admit sunlight.

11. Allocate office areas in line with their duties.

Usually, the salespeople work directly in front of the reception area and the central part of the office; the accounting section is placed, far away in a corner spot and the HR department is at the back of the restroom. Employees who pool resources should sit next to each other.

12. Spend time thinking about how the office is designed!

For example, a room with many workstations close to high-traffic areas; in such a case, try moving the furniture and the hanging planter with a faux plant to a new place like near windows, or away from staircases and lifts.

Another instance puts up barricades in a large room to separate it into units, a few units for discussions and other sections for focussed effort.

The Decor Practices that Make Your Workspace Look Modern

Modern Office DecorYour office décor reflects your culture and commitment. It also helps to promote employ happiness and enhance productivity. A sleek, modern office is what everyone is craving now because it cast a neat, professional image and also impresses customers, clients, and visitors.

Maybe you are wondering how to make your workspace look modern but hesitating where to start. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you out.

Make the office green with artificial trees, plants, and topiaries

People feel relaxed and comfortable in a green environment. But lives greens are tough and expensive to maintain. This is why the artificial topiary plants for decoration are gaining popularity.

The artificial green elements for decoration are available in a wide range of varieties. They include hedge, mat, screen, roll, green wall, letter, logo, signage, and topiaries. Professionally made from high-quality raw material, they replicate the real thing.  As such, these do not compromise aesthetics.

Using an artificial boxwood wall backdrop panel in the office gives it a stately appearance. You can choose from English ivy, boxwood, azalea juniper, pearl grass foliage. Since these contain UV blocking materials, they never fade.

The small artificial topiary trees are available as spirals, ball, cones, and in animal forms. You can customize them to fit your space. As these do not need sunlight, they are the best for office indoors.

Since these have impregnation of fire retardant chemicals, they have self-extinguishing properties. This makes them ideal for office use. They also do not grow mold and attract insects delivering a safe and hygienic office.

Create collaborative space for team building and productivity

Cubicles are the products of hierarchy based sitting. But modern office trend is to go for activity based sitting. Cubicles also make people isolated and hinder interaction between the employees. So, ditch the cubicles and opt for an open office plan.

As the employees will sit in a large room without any barrier, they are likely to interact freely. Create different workgroups separated by pathways. This will help to build a great team.

Of course, there will be some jobs that need more concentration. Create rooms with glass partitions for these. As people can see through there will be no isolated feeling. However, partition a room with frosted glass for private meetings with important clients.

Get out of the traditional office look

A modern office doesn't need to look like traditional offices.  The modern office trend is to make it more flexible to look like an extension of the home. They offer unorthodox sitting arrangement like sofas, couches, bin bags, and lounging areas.  Some of the offices also include swings and hammocks for creating a unique work experience.

Multipurpose workspaces give it a modern look

Effective space planning is a vital element for a modern office. Most of the modern offices are now creating office suitable to do varieties of different tasks. Install mobile divider screen and flexible furniture. This will let you use the meeting room as a party room in the evening for entertaining important clients and customers.

Include your brand to set a focal point

You must have pride in your brand as a business owner. Display it in the workspace to create a nice focal point. You may do it in many ways. Incorporate the business logo, paint with your signature color, and display your aims and objects in the workspace. This will make your office specific to your business and enhance productivity.

Make it bright with purposeful art and sculpture

A slight distraction, especially with art, improves the ambiance and also boosts up productivity. You may include artworks anywhere in the office for modernizing it. They could be anything from abstract paintings to natural scenery.

Including sculptures is also a great idea. These are ideal for entryway, reception, and conference room. Depending on the type of your office you may also install a fountain or a cascading wall. These help to sooth the interior.

Investing in the latest technology helps to modernize

Provide the latest computers and laptops for the employees. This will make them more tech-savvy and also enhance productivity. Also, make sure that your office has high-quality Wi-Fi with full access internet.  Arrange conference tables with play & plug-ability and also have interactive whiteboards. This will take your office to the next level.

Create a breakout area to feed the soul

Building up a breakout area is essential for a modern office. You may have a separate room or a dedicate place away from the office floor. This lets the employees de-stress from the paramount work pressure.

Arrange for comfortable sitting, coffee, and healthy snacks. Your employees will have informal brainstorming there. This will go a long way to solve problems and improve productivity. Providing indoor games is also a great idea for relaxation.

Improve wellness with ergonomically designed desks and chairs

Employee wellness is a prime element in modern office decoration. Since most of the office jobs need sitting for long hours, they are likely to cause pains in the back, neck, shoulder, etc.

Ergonomic desks and chairs have adjustable height and armrest. Thus, they help to maintain the right posture and reduce the risks of such health hazards.

Create an inspiring office ambiance with lighting

While lighting is an important factor of ergonomics, people tend to overlook this. Both harsh glare and dim lighting strain eyes. For this, clever lighting is necessary to reduce employee frustration, bad moods and increase productivity.

Explore natural light as much as you can. This will make the office bright and cheerful. In case this is not possible, try using artificial lights. Ditch all overhead fluorescent lights. Illuminate the place with diffused indirect lighting and use task lighting at the desks. This will give you a modern productive workspace.