The fragmented cubicle layout of office space has long been discarded for the new, revamped layout for modern offices modeled after the revolutionary office design of startup companies. In Silicon Valley, where innovation is key and boundaries are always pushed, many startup offices more closely resemble an indoor playground than a traditional workspace. This change has clear benefits, though: companies like Google, Uber, and Adobe have ditched the corporate layout to bring a startup vibe into their large offices.
No matter how large your company is, you can benefit from implementing design concepts and policies that encourage interaction and value the employee’s well-being above their output.
Try these tested ideas to get that startup vibe in your office:
Nap Time – Make It Mandatory
We know, sleeping on the job sounds completely counterproductive. But with the steady rise in the length of the typical workweek (especially at tech companies), employees can easily become overworked, overtired, and unproductive. Combat the midday burnout by requiring employees to nap whenever they need a good recharge.
More than half of Americans don’t get enough sleep, and tired workers cost American companies an approximate $63 billion in productivity each year. Companies like Uber and Zappos have incorporated EnergyPod chairs and nap rooms into their office layout to ensure employees always have ample room to stretch out and snooze before jumping back into a project.
Let The Games Begin
Boosting office morale is key to a positive work environment – investing in fun team-based game tables and areas will allow workers to blow off steam and talk through work concepts and ideas simultaneously. The go-to example of this is the classic Silicon Valley ping-pong table, but many companies have fully embraced the fun factor to incorporate other classic games.
Adobe boasts an entire basketball court in their offices, while Peer 1 Hosting has a putting green and a movie theater onsite. The possibilities are endless – whether you want a modest foosball table or a full-on racquetball court, give your employees a way to enjoy themselves at work to keep creativity flowing and energy up.
Break Free of the Standard Chair
We know that sitting for prolonged periods of time in the same chair can have horrible health consequences. Silicon Valley startups also know that everyone has their own ideal work posture, whether it’s standing, cycling, sitting on a couch, or a combination of all three. Allow your employees the flexibility they need to make their workspace accommodate their preferred stance.
Spotify’s offices contain the largest number of height-adjustable desks in all of New York City. Their employees can stand or sit and adjust whenever they like. Investing in a Wurf board for standing desk employees will improve posture and allow employees to stay comfortable while standing for longer periods of time so they can eliminate their chair altogether.
Tear Down the Walls
The focus in most startup offices is to allow conversation and collaboration with as few barriers as possible. Shared desks and open bullpens where employees can freely interact throughout the day facilitate conversation and provide opportunities for employees to work together to solve problems.
Allot enough floor space in your office for multiple meeting rooms and brainstorming spaces. Create natural places where team members can congregate and work together on projects, like clusters of couches and tables large enough to fit an entire group of people. At Buzzfeed there is no separation or barrier between desks – tear down the walls and create a collaborative environment.
Boost productivity and revolutionize your office design with these helpful hints to get your office feeling like a Silicon Valley startup. What’s the most important element for a startup office vibe? Share your thoughts in the comments below!