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Getting your first office for a startup is a big milestone. It’s an indication that your company is becoming a real business. How you set up that office will also be crucial as it provides some insight into the culture and vision of the company. And of course, the layout and decor will help encourage overall productivity. But how do you go about choosing the furniture and technology—and what kinds of creative amenities should you include?
“To design the right startup office you need to think of two things: tech and company culture,” says Rich Arundel, cofounder and general manager of North America at Currencycloud, a payments platform. “You must choose tech that works for all functioning teams then understand the company culture you’re looking to build and type of people you want to attract—choose the office space and decor with that in mind. Startups are all about people.”
Here are some products, equipment and furniture that may make your team happier and more productive, and ultimately make your startup a stronger company.
Lorell Glass Dry-Erase Board
A big part of a startup’s activity is coming up with creative ideas and innovative approaches. This is also often part of a team process. In other words, an office needs a dry erase white board. “I can’t live without it,” says Dimitri Onistsuk, COO of Freedom Robotics. “It’s the best way to jot down ideas and collaborate with others.” Onistsuk says it’s how the company generates many of its next big ideas.
The Pure Enrichment PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier
When designing the layout of an office, it’s a good idea to find ways to promote the health of the employees. One simple solution is an air filter, and a good choice is the Pure Enrichment PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier. It captures nearly 100% of dust, pollen and smoke. There is also an UV-C light that destroys germs, viruses, bacteria and fungi.
Logitech MeetUp HD Video and Audio Conferencing System
There are a variety of apps like Zoom that can make it easier to collaborate with remote employees, handle sales calls and have meetings with partners. But you also want the right equipment to get the maximum use from these technologies.
“Great conferencing is key and worth investing money into,” says Sam Fromson, who is the founder and CEO of yulife, a lifestyle insurance startup. “We have remote workers, and some who like to work from home occasionally, so a good quality connection, with noise cancelling and decent mics is well worth the money.”
One solution is Logitech MeetUp. It has a 120-degree field of view so everyone in the room can be seen. There are also three microphones and custom-tuned speakers.
Nespresso CitiZ Espresso Machine by Breville
Perhaps one of the most important accessories for an office is the coffee machine. So why not invest in a top-performing model for your employees? It will brighten their mornings when they arrive to work—and sustain them all afternoon.
One option is the Nespresso CitiZ Espresso Machine by Breville. It has a sleek look and even has energy-saving features. The machine also allows for the brew of different single serve-cup sizes, such as an espresso (1.35 oz) or lungo (5 oz).
Varidesk Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter
Startups are often about putting in long hours … sitting at desks. But of course, this can easily lead to problems with back strain. “A good approach is to have sit-stand desks,” says Kim Tabac, chief people officer at League, a health benefits startup. “They allow employees to work productively in a variety of positions, but also provide for greater personalization of the work area which may include physical requirements unique to each individual.” A good option is the Varidesk ProPlus 36, which is 36” x 12.25” (room for two monitors) and is built for ergonomic movement.
Herman Miller Classic Aeron Task Chair
And when your team has to sit down and get to business, an ergonomic chair is essential. Provide them with comfortable seating while they type up the next pitch, press release or bright idea for your business. This classic Herman Miller Aeron chair has lumbar support, adjustable arm rests and tilt capabilities that help your hips, knees and ankles move around naturally. The front edge of the seat curves downward to encourage blood circulation for the thighs. More comfort only means more focus.
Marceau Slipper Chair Navy Dot
After selecting the right desk and chairs, designate a space for lounging or social interactions. Your lounge furniture should not only provide a little more cushion and coziness, but have a sense of style that speaks to your startup culture. This cozy chair from One Kings Lane is upholstered in soft cotton and is handcrafted with a strong frame and legs to provide support. It can be used as part of a sectional, but its navy dot and gold-colored legs let it stand on its own.
Verilux HappyLight VT22 Lucent
Lighting is everything. We all dream of working out of a really cool office space with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow natural sunlight to pour in and foster good energy and creativity. But not every fledgling business will have that luxury (or budget). If you’re operating from a smaller space that may not have generous lighting, consider having a Verilux HappyLight at your desk. The lamp is UV-free and emits LED and full-spectrum “effective light therapy” designed to improve focus, mood and energy.