You might think that all offices are the same- at least that’s what the premise of the hit-show “The Office” is based on. Many of us can identify with the office politics, the strange yet familiar characters, and overall look. However, businesses like Google and Facebook have proven that the office should be so much more than that. It should be a practical, yet inspiring, workspace that is effective, efficient, and sustainable.
As a small business owner, you might not have much experience with designing and managing an office. That’s ok. Just don’t make the following mistakes which can sabotage your early success.
1. Not Enough Bandwidth
When setting up the tech infrastructure in your office like phone lines, network servers, and the internet, choose expandable options or plans for rapid expansion. Otherwise you can “choke” yourself with lack of options, and no work will get done if calls can’t be made, data can’t be stored or accessed, and everything runs extremely slowly. Always leave yourself room for growth or else your short-sightedness will prevent it.
2. Forget About Tech Storage
When planning an office, most will consider setting up a conference or meeting room, a kitchen, a bathroom, and even a supply closet. However, with our increased reliance on the digital, don’t forget to properly store your technological assets like drives, servers, and other items. Let a professional call centre of furniture take care of your offices and select staples like enclosures, storage shelves, and more. They will also be able to advise you on specifics like temperature regulation and security. Otherwise, you can end up with a tangled mess that people can trip up on and can easily lead to disaster if accessed by the wrong people.
3. Security is an Afterthought
Security is something that should be built into your initial design of the office. From accessing the front door to protecting your intercompany digital network and email accounts, the security of your office is essential to its proper functioning. It’s not worth waiting for disaster to strike to motivate yourself to consider the options. Otherwise you are left dealing with cleaning up the “mess” as well as investing in retroactively fitting in a security system that works with what you currently have.
4. Forget About the Comfort of Employees
When constructing the office, the costs will keep mounting and eventually you might consider trying to cut some corners in the process. The furniture, chairs in particular, should never be compromised on. As an employer, the health of your team is in your hands, and ergonomics is no pseudoscience. If you forget about comfort and health now, you’ll just find yourself buying ergonomic chairs down the road and having doubled the number of chairs when you could have had good ones right from the get go.
5. Don’t Choose Sustainable Options
LED lightbulbs, power saving printers, smart thermostats, and refillable cartridges might seem like a green marketing ploy as you start assembling your office. However, these aren’t only environmentally sustainable, they are most often also economically sustainable. The payback period is different on every item, but in most cases, it pays to be green! Otherwise you will just end up paying more for utilities and maintenance over the years.
Small businesses that venture out with their first offices are clearly doing something right. However, don’t turn your luck by making one, or several, of these common mistakes that inexperience can lead you to stumble into. Learn from the mistakes of others and make your office an exemplary one straight from the start: secure, sustainable, and fit for the digital age.