What do you think it takes to get your company named as one of the Best Places to Work in Austin? Well according to Austin based startup, SpareFoot one of the key factors is office space design.
Check out this post written by Matt Schexnayder, an Employee at SpareFoot:
The root of all productivity I believe comes from your initial office design. Put another way, I think that in order for employees to be productive you must have an office space that allows for productivity and innovation to flow. I can only speak from what I have seen, and as far as office jobs go I have only had one, but I believe there is something being done in the start-up world that can be incorporated to all offices in the future. Let me explain.
Office Space Layout
Last February, SpareFoot – an Austin based start-up – moved offices to their current location in downtown Austin. While designing the floor, they wanted to make sure that there was a sense of openness that would allow for strong collaboration and teamwork. To achieve this, they abolished the idea of cubicles and doored offices in favor of a unique and transparent plan. Even the CEO does not have his own office, he along with other VPs sit in a section of adjacent desks, and are available to answer questions anytime you have them. They also had a kitchen installed, and to poke fun at the industry they are working in, had an actual industrial storage unit door installed in one of the conference rooms – I wouldn’t expect others to do exactly that but incorporating branded things from your industry really lets the employees feel ownership over their environment.
Office Space Furniture & Fun
The design does not stop with the construction either. After the floor plan was in place they needed to fill it with furniture. But aside from personal computers and rolling chairs, you also need things that will keep your employees happy – SpareFoot decided that a foosball table, dart board, and shuffleboard table were all appropriate. Being able to offer more break options than just fresh air really allows employees to take their mind off of work for a second and return with a fresh perspective (it’s also a good way to stir up some inter-office competitiveness).
What Does the CEO think?
One thing Chuck Gordon, the SpareFoot CEO, always said when discussing the new office was “The goal of our new office should be to make it so that no one ever wants to leave.” and speaking from a first-hand point of view, I can say that they accomplished that goal. This says so much about what type of culture is being created, one so unique that Austin Business Journal decided to name SpareFoot the Best Place to Work in Austin, so much of which is attributed to the office design.
Happy Employees = Productive Employees Who Enjoy Being at Work
Fifty years ago if someone told you that they went to work and honestly wouldn’t have minded staying there for an extra few hours you would have thought they were insane right? Even twenty or ten years ago the same thing applies. Now it’s not crazy to have employees who spend more time at work than they do at their own homes. This should be the goal for every new office space – create an environment where people actually enjoy coming to. The happier your employees are, the longer they will stay and as a result, your office will be more productive than ever. Give it a try and see for yourself; start-ups all across the country are making the change and your office should too.