Four Reasons Your Startup Needs Office Space
By Laura McElroy

If there ever was a question about the need for startup office space, then recent stay-at-home orders are proving that working remotely is not an ideal situation. Many people are in the process of discovering that working from home simply does not work. Once workers are able to freely walk the streets, you can likely bet that hardly anyone will ever choose to work from home again. Here are a few reasons why your start-up needs office space.

Improved Communication

Tech firms are in a better position to shift to remote work than other industries, but even startups in the tech space miss the kinds of informal brainstorming and success sharing that happens in a coworking space for start-ups. While some start-ups have established WFH channels on Slack and have created Zoom meeting times before the start of the day and after the day is complete, these innovations have not entirely replaced the need for serendipitous conversation and organic relationship-building.

Focus, Focus, Focus

A shared physical location translates into shared priorities and tight focus. Start-up staff enter a different physical and psychological zone when they step into a shared working space where they are surrounded by their peers. In addition, start-up incubators provide services that range from legal consults to accounting expertise and networking events that a typical remote worker simply won’t be able to access from their living room.

More practically, working remotely often means that team members are distracted by household events or other concerns. At-home workers might fall into their own routines and timelines that detract from the kind of common, shared experience that fosters a collaborative focus on the project or task at hand.

Quality of Life

Work-life balance is a real thing. When lines between work and life blur, the personal aspects of life can become deprioritized in negative ways. People may no longer have time for their children or partner when they work from home because they are constantly tethered to their laptop or pinged by urgent messages. A startup needs its own office space so that workers are able to get away and recharge when they need to, and can arrive at work in a different space and with a clear mind.

Actual Space

Start-ups are often founded and managed and held together by employees who are just starting out in their careers. As a result, many start-up workers have roommates or live in studio apartments. Many young workers find it difficult to carve out the physical space that is required for a home office. Start-ups with office space provide just that – space. This is especially important for start-ups in the process of building prototypes or those in industries that require high-end equipment. Someone has to pay the power bill for 3D printers, servers and other energy-sucking tech and equipment. Actual office space allows founders and the opportunity to manage energy consumption and easily deduct those expenses.

There is a reason why start-ups like Stripe are threatening to leave San Fransisco over a lack of office space. The fact is that start-ups benefit from office space in significant ways from financial to social to psychological. Investing in the best space now will provide employees with the space they are longing for when we all are physically able to return to work.

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