When does an office make sense for a Startup?
If there is one aspect of work that is changing, then it is expansion.There was a time, when expanding your company and getting your own office space meant, an entire floor, meetings inside a cabin, and small talks by the coffee machine. Digital age has changed our concept of office space with startups thriving without physical space for their companies. Some companies have done away with their offices completely, but undoubtedly, some businesses wouldn’t be able to survive without one.
So, it comes down to one question: does your startup really “need” an office?
To completely understand this, let’s look at the benefits and cons of an office:
The Benefits of an Office
There are some clear benefits for having an office for your startup:
- Home of your Company: Having an office shows you take your work seriously and it makes an impact on the clients who visit you as well, rather than inviting them to a cafe or a your house.
- Investment: An office is an investment, and you will want to show it off as well. It keeps your employees at a centralised place and there is more motivation when you have a beautiful office space.
- Other benefits that are subjective: Let’s take into account a couple of subjective benefits to having an office. Home is a private space for many people. And a lot of people feel much productive at a workspace dedicated to only work than at home, where they have to take care of family, or get distracted by guests, tv etc. Also, work-life balance is better maintained when “work” and “life” are physically separated.
Questions to Help You Decide
These why 5 questions will help you decide if your startup needs an office or not:
1.What kind of impression do you need to make on your clients?
If your client base mostly consist of conservative business owners, then yes, an office space is essential. But if your client base is mostly consisting of younger digital nomads who are well aware of the norm of work from home, then it’s alright.
2.How big is your team?
A small team does not necessarily need a cabin or entire office for itself. That’s where coworking comes into play. A coworking space or an open workstation would be perfect for any team size, but for a team that’s extremely small and work from different locations, it’s a dream come true.On the other hand, if if your team size is huge,then a cabin or a closed office space or even bay areas in coworking would be a smart decision.
3.How much team interaction is necessary for your success?
This may be subjective question, based on the kind of business you’re into, but be foresighted enough to think about the evolution of your products and services and where you want to take them. Is it brainstorming that will lead to more ideas? Or will it be individual researches?
4.How much money do you have in hand?
Yes, we know money can be a huge problem during the initial days of your startup. Having your own office space can be exhilarating , but can you really afford it? This is where you can check about day passes, or weekly passes, or even weekend offers! It might be wise to try a cheaper option first.
5.What do you want?
This is, THE question of utmost importance. After going through the cons and pros of the situation, think deeper. What would you prefer? Do you see yourself networking, ideating and co creating in an office, or would you be happier if you are working from home? Trust your instincts and your judgement.
Hopefully, by now, you should’ve come to a final decision. If you’re still confused, about the decision, you can always change your mind later; there are plenty of businesses that started without an office to only get one later, and vice versa. Pick a path, see where it goes, and make changes if necessary.