How to Create Office Culture in under 150 sq ft.
Office culture is a challenging thing to define, but is generally understood to be a set of general behaviors exhibited when working together and to an extent, accepted behaviors outside of the office. The physical space you inhabit becomes an outward expression of those internal behavioral beliefs and practices.
You may have visions of creating amazing office culture, complete with large lofty google-style space with bean bags and a ping pong table. The reality is that start-ups need to keep it lean. Most of us live in urban areas where square footage can come at a hefty price. Whether you are subleasing space or toughing it out in a tiny co-working corner, here are some tips for making the most out of your work home.
Scale – We can’t say that enough. You can fit lots of what you want in a small space, the pieces just need to be smaller versions of the big things you want. Don’t try to keep your large desk from home. Just suck-it up and buy one that is a smaller scale yet still functions well for your needs. Smaller lamps, slimmer chairs. Think tiny house, but for tiny office.
Do a little space planning ahead of time – It’s a pain, but it will pay off, I promise.
Words – If culture is created by your behaviors and thoughts, then say it. Print and frame those important statements that embody what you are and hang them on the wall or place them on a desk where they can be read regularly. Don’t underestimate the power of those subtle reminders.
Choose colors in line with your brand – It’s not hard to find small ways to add accent colors that will identify the office as yours. Small adhesive wall stripes in you brand colors, the mattes in framed artwork, accents on lampshades. Just look around you will see ways to make it yours without permanently changing the space.
Desks against the wall – If it’s just you in a somewhat larger space maybe you can afford to put the desk in the center of the room, but I’ve seen the functionality of a space cut in half time and again by people who can’t make this change. If you can put the desks against the wall leaving the traffic path in the center of the room, it is by far the best use of the space. If you need to see who is coming in the door, consider putting a mirror high on the wall, above eye level.
Sneak office supplies and coats behind the door – If you have an inswing door, do your best to fit storage behind the door. If you can fit a 16” deep, Ikea Kallax shelf behind the door that’s great. If you have to drop down to an even shallower storage unit that’s ok too. Most coats, paper, binders and books are only 8.5” deep and most of our office supplies are even smaller.
Change the door swing – This may be something you don’t have control over, but doors swings can eat up valuable real estate. If you have a locking door and it can be either a pocket door or can swing out into the hallway instead of in toward the office, you will feel like you can breathe a little better in there.
Choose Small Scale Patterns and Art – Large patterns, such as big bold stripes or large artwork can make a space feel smaller. When choosing artwork, choose small-scale multiple framed pieces or small stripes instead of big chunky ones. Try to leave as much exposed sheetrock as possible.
GoodWork Loft offices come unfurnished and you ARE allowed to paint the walls, get creative and make it your own. This is one of the benefits of leasing space at GoodWork over other small office spaces. If you are interested in a small locking office that isn’t rigid and will allow you to visually express your own office culture, give us a call at 404.888.0826!