Offices have always fascinated me. Much like a house is a personal reflection of your tastes, interests, and style, so is a startup’s office. In 2001 I rented my first office space while still an undergrad in college — it was one single 12×12 interior room in an old three story brick office building on 9th Street in Durham, NC. My nickname for the room was the “Prophet Profit”, which, while wasn’t correct in the sense that I didn’t make any money, but was correct in that I learned an immense amount that later paid off.
That first office/room was very simple: four plain glass desks and chairs from Office Depot, tall glass shelves with a stereo on top, a dart board, four used PCs, and four giant 21″ CRT monitors. That’s it — a simple office outfitted by Office Depot and Dell. From there, my tastes and ideas evolved considerably.
Here are seven ideas for a great startup office:
- Tons of natural light
- Nice open areas as well as several little rooms
- Large eating area for team meals and events
- Aeron chairs (used!) and IKEA furniture
- Massive LED TVs with attached Apple TVs for AirPlay
- Location convenient to restaurants, public transportation, exercise options, etc
- Visual ways to reinforce the corporate culture (e.g. a culture book, painted picture, etc)
A great startup office sets the tone for employees, recruiting new hires, customers, and more. Figure out how to make it cool in a cost-effective manner and improve it as the business becomes more financially viable.
What else? What are some other ideas for a great startup office?