Six Design Ideas for Startup Offices That Won’t Break the Bank

Startup offices don’t have to be bland to save money. You can design a functional and attractive office without overspending, here’s how.

When you’re starting out, there usually isn’t a lot of money for fancy office designs and decor.

You might consider a boring office environment as a way to pinch pennies. But, that may not be the best solution if you want to encourage top-notch employee performance.

The 2016 Gensler Workplace Study found that workplace design is linked to innovation. Office design is also a major predictor of how innovative employees view their company to be.

Two additional studies report cramped office spaces can thwart creativity and production.

Startup offices often face financial and dimensional challenges when designing their work environment.

With a little effort, it’s possible to create cool office designs that are affordable and chic.

Find out 6 of our favorite affordable office designs!

Why Office Design Matters

According to Gallup’s 2014 State of the Global Workplace report, 51% of workers said they weren’t engaged in their jobs. And, 17% of employees report being actively disengaged at work.

The solution to boosting employee engagement lies in a design method called Ethonomics.

Ethonomics relies on design and environmental features to provide a sensory-rich, productive workspace. These features include thermal control, reduced noise, and daylighting.

In 2017, Forbes cited this progressive design method as a way to improve the productivity, happiness, and the well-being of workers. The article illustrates how Google has taken to the Ethonomics philosophy. The company provides areas for comfortable seating, standing, and an inspirational design.

Google may be one of the largest global corporations, but startup offices can apply these principles, too. There are effective and affordable solutions for companies who are just starting out.

Six Affordable Design Ideas for Startup Offices

Here are some inexpensive ways that startup offices can provide an optimal environment for workers using a creative design approach.

1. Make the Most of Small Spaces

Just because your office isn’t spread out over multiple levels and suites doesn’t mean that you can’t make the most of what space you have.

Try one of these innovative ideas, or come up with some of your own:

  • Hang comfy, space-savvy hammock chairs in tucked-away corners to give employees a quiet place to reflect
  • Line a wall with narrow, high-rise computer desks that accommodate workers who might prefer working vertically
  • Strategic placement of a small couch, coffee table, and chairs provides workers with a comfortable area for collaborating while offering visitors an inviting place to share ideas

With some effort, you can find smart uses of small spaces that encourage employees to think big.

2. Daylighting Performs Double-Duty

Daylight serves as a signal to our brains that it’s time to wake up. Instead of the bland, fluorescent lighting traditionally used in offices, save money and energize employees by relying on natural light as much as possible.

Keep windows free from heavy drapes and blinds. And, if it’s feasible, an overhead skylight can give workers surprising visibility while cutting electricity costs in half.

3. Take it Outside

If your office has a courtyard, patio, lawn, or another outdoor area, why not use it to extend your office’s square footage?

Vintage wrought iron patio furniture or brightly colored Adirondack chairs offer workers a place to escape on sunny days.

You don’t need much room outdoors to create a garden getaway. Even a small bench in the breezeway and colorful potted flowers make a worthy addition to space-challenged startup offices. The outside air and diversion will facilitate fresh thinking and bright ideas.

4. Stay Cool With Strategies for Climate and Air Quality Control

Multiple studies have shown workers’ productivity, decision-making, stamina, and more are affected by climate and air-quality. The studies also reveal that when people are cold, they perform at a decreased rate. But, when they are hot, their performance tends to suffer even more.

Modern-day design experts suggest strategies such as thermal control, biophilic design, and temperature moderation should be used in the workplace.

Evidence indicates that regulating air moisture, Carbon Dioxide intake, building materials, and office cooling systems can boost workers’ mental and physical wellbeing.

You can help your employees stay healthy, sharp and energized by keeping tabs on air quality and furnishing your office with plenty of indoor plants. Professional AC maintenance will ensure that your system is dependable and effective at cooling, repelling moisture, and keeping the office well-ventilated.

If your office needs an AC checkup, you can schedule an appointment at

5. Dual-Performing Fabrics Decorate and Boost Employee Wellness

You might not consider how the fabric in your office can impact employee attitudes, their health, and balance the environment. But, the right fabric can do all of these things and perhaps more.

Choose fabrics in colors that evoke positive emotions, such as yellow, green, and calming shades of blue. Crisp, easy-to-clean materials help keep germs at bay and wick away moisture.

6. Keep it Simple

The minimalism trend is one of today’s hottest styles in the world of professional interior design. This is good news for startup offices, who haven’t yet accumulated an office filled with furnishings and knick-knacks. And, it can be pulled off without going broke, which is helpful for young companies as well.

Busy patterns, excessive wall-art, and too much clutter can steal employees attention and make it difficult to focus. Instead, adopting a “less is more” philosophy can boost creativity and keep workers thoughts headed in the right direction.

Get Top-Notch Business Advice for Startups

Once you have a grasp on office design, you can move on to other areas vital to your success.

Startup offices are guaranteed to face their fair share of challenges. But, as a newly minted company, you also have a lot to look forward to.

Your first years in business can be overwhelming at times.

That’s why we’ve created an entire site for professionals like you.

Check out our blog for ways to build your company’s success right from the start!