On Tuesday, Front Street Managing Director Nick Banks hosted a workshop where he discussed office leasing for local Gainesville startups. Startups are usually made up of young people who work out of co-work spaces, or maybe even their own garages. As the company gets more funding and begins to grow, space quickly becomes an issue. This workshop gave some insight into the appropriate steps to take and important things to consider when your business begins to outgrow its current space.
One of the topics that Banks discussed was emerging office trends. Many offices look very different today than they did a decade ago. As company cultures become more collaborative and rely more on employee engagement, many company offices are being designed with open floorplans to encourage that type of environment. Office spaces that are filled with cubicles are becoming obsolete, especially in the startup and tech industries. It is not uncommon to find that there are no assigned desks, but instead employees simply work next to each other at a large table. When signing a lease, it's important that business owners are sure that the space that they are moving into will meet the needs of a collaborative company.
Banks also talked about how to determine how much space a startup may need. In recent years, office spaces have shrunk. Offices traditionally used 200 to 300 square feet per employee. Today, many offices only allow for 100 square feet per employee. Again, this change has a lot to do with shift in company cultures from individual workspaces to collaborative workspaces. When employees are working in close quarters to one another, it is easier for them to work together. Banks did warn, however, that business owners must be careful that they spend time reinforcing a collaborative culture beyond just making people work in small quarters. If this is not done, it is likely that employees will just feel like they're personal space is being invaded and the real purpose of collaborative design will be lost.
Front Street is excited about Gainesville's budding Innovation Economy and all of the great strartups that are popping up around the city. We want to see all of these businesses grow, and we're happy to help them in any way that we can. We hope that Nick Banks' talk provided valuable information that will help these startups transition from garages and co-work spaces to their very own offices.