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Startups: Give your office a unique startup vibe (2021)

27 August 2021

How to Give an Office a Refreshing Startup Appearance

Startup vibes aren’t born out of superficial things like an unending supply of beverages, snacks, and nap room alone. Those features are legendary and applaudable, but that’s not the mystery that makes startups tick. 

If you observe closely, you’d notice something else that’s common to them—the free-thinking natured office designs. 

Startups can create magic with their unique imaginative spaces that ooze flexibility. They also use exquisite design elements to portray a sense of freedom and innovation.

Are you still wondering why traditional office settings are trying hard to imitate them? It’s because they command productive results with these unusual features. 

So, don’t forget that your office design and environment can contribute to the success of your business. 

If you are seeking to adopt this popular workspace setting, we’re will help you actualize your dream. Read through some of our explicit tips and learn how to bring the startup vibe to your office.

Young professionals in a meeting

What Does It Mean to Have a Startup Office?

The term “startup vibe” pops up frequently in company profiles and it’s almost becoming a norm. The fact that most companies strive to adopt this feature triggers curiosity and pique the interest of many. Why is it so important to companies? And why is everyone particular about having the startup vibe? 

Before we answer these questions, let’s start with what startup means. 

In simple terms, a startup is the growth phase of a company. At this point, the business is striving to have a steady footing and make its brand scale in the target market.

However, that is but a technical definition. Startup means different things to different people. This is why we need to dissect the popular myths that surround a typical startup office conversation.

Myths About Startups and the Reality

Startup founders lead an easy and free life

The notion that founders of a budding business live an easy life is far from true. They work nonstop to ensure the business gains some footing of its own. 

Chargify, a billing company, claims that startup founders scurry between different roles at once. A founder can act as a sales representative, a CEO, a product manager, etc. So, contrary to what you believe, the founders hardly cut themselves some slacks.

Startups are all for beer drinking and playing games

In reality, this isn’t the case. The beer-drinking and chilling are resultant from the camaraderie and consistent team works. Startups find their strength in working as a team as they have one primary goal: to solve the customer's problems. 

So, they develop the healthy habit of celebrating their victories as a team and with co-workers. This is when the cracking of beer happens. 

Before any celebration, a lot of work has gone in to secure the victory.

Startup employees have the free rein to get as creative as they want 

Startup work entails creativity. but the employees don’t get creative in unrealistic ways. They all bear the burden of proving themselves to new customers with sound metrics. Thus, their work isn’t completely different from most businesses. 

Startup jobs are exciting and fast-paced

Inc confirmed that startups' growth spurts facilitate fast-paced work. But that’s as far as it goes. Excitement isn’t a norm in a startup office. 

Founders have everything under control 

Again, this is another myth that people have grown to believe. Founders of startups try to run the new business by employing people who understand the vision and can see it through in different capacities. 

Hence, all startup employees have a voice and are consequential to success. 

Startup Office Design Tips

Startup Office Design Tips

We will discuss some startup office tips to adopt into your office setting.

Choose a design that portrays brand values

While designing your office, you need to design it in ways that communicate your values and what your brand represents. It’s like giving your office an identity of its own, such that your workspace speaks a lot about your brand. 

Your office decor should capture all the concepts that your business defends or works towards in a balanced mix. Even your office furniture should contribute to this look. Don’t forget to get ergonomic furniture while you are at it because your wellbeing is also essential.

Benefit: Sprucing up your office with decoration that announces your missions and goals puts your employees on the right track always.

How-to: Write out your company objectives, mission, and values. Then note the objects that can represent each one. You can hire a decorator to translate it into a proper office décor.   

How is this startup vibe: It sends a strong message of a unified vision that creates a proper office design

Create an alluring meeting area

A rigid office setting puts employees through a strain. With time the creativity fizzles out leaving your workers struggling to keep up. You can stir up creativity by creating a meeting place that’s nothing like the traditional formal setting. Something that breeds a relaxing feeling and makes it easy for workers to brainstorm.

Benefits: Nurtures an atmosphere that promotes creativity and active brainstorming 

How-to: A whiteboard, bean bag chairs, couches, and tables will do the trick. And if all these are out of your budget, make do with comfortable couches or chairs and a whiteboard. That’s about all you need to create a relaxing space to brainstorm.

How is this startup vibe: Setting up a casual meeting area negates the whole idea of a board room and rigid setting. Therefore, it creates an atmosphere fit for meetings and developing innovative ideas.

Add a local flare

Let your environment inspire you. Designing an office doesn’t need to be black and white; there are fifty shades of gray that you could engage. For instance, Hutch, the owner of a décor visualization application, borrowed ideas from neighborhoods in Los Angeles while designing its office space. 

It also introduced murals to the mix and ended whipping up a breathtaking office space.

Benefits: Employees enjoy resuming a beautiful office space. Your client will also have an image of your inspiring workspace fixed in their memory for a long time. 

How-to: Capture the heart of your city in your office design. You can get a local artwork or painting that portrays it in the best way possible. 

And it also depends on what inspires you about your city. The skyline? the busy streets? You can always make a creative color pallet that expresses your thoughts most creatively and beautifully. 

How is this startup vibe: It creates a personality for your workspace.

Accent colors in the office

Go the colorful way

Colors can make or mar a space. Used correctly, it reverberates energy and creativity. It could be a mural or another design that’s brightly colored. Either way, enliven up your office design with colors. 

Benefit: Beige environment may have some interesting undertone under different circumstances, but in an office, it’s nothing but under-stimulating and tiring. Colors are a source of inspiration; therefore, if you want your workers to be inspired, splatter some colors on your workspace. 

How-to: You don’t necessarily have to repaint. You could adorn the walls with some creative wallpapers, or use a brightly colored carpets. 

How is this startup vibe: A beige workspace depicts a rigid and boring official environment. While a colorful office is an indication of what a startup feels like: creative, remarkable, and individualized.

Play music

Music heals and soothes your soul when you listen to the right one. This is an unpopular opinion but it’s true.

Benefit: A research by Cornell University shows that playing relaxing music in the office aids productivity and promotes healthy decision making.

How-to: Get an affordable Bluetooth speaker that you can connect to different devices. Curate a focus-driven playlist and play it in the workspace frequently.

How is it a startup vibe: Playing music in the workplace isn’t widely accepted in the strict traditional workplace. But the startup has unique inclusiveness that accommodates freedom to a level.

Stock your kitchen

Stocking up the kitchen sends a startup vibe to workers and job seekers. It doesn’t matter if you can’t upgrade other parts of the office. Stocking up the kitchen with healthy snacks and other things goes a long way. 

Benefits: Snacks make people thrilled. And when your employees are excited, it reflects positively on your work. Moreover, hunger trumps productivity, so keeping your workers well-fed also translates to getting more work done.

How-to: Mix up the snacks and introduce a variety. You can decide on the snacks your employees prefer later on.

How is this a startup vibe: Startups have a way of rewarding employees with a steady supply of snacks when the work gets choking.

Create space for relaxation

It may seem counter-productive, but a relaxation space helps workers catch their breath and revitalize their work. It’s not as vain as it sounds; on the contrary, it’s a healthy practice to keep workers active.

Benefit: Encouraging your employees to take a break is a productive move that helps your business in the long run. Activities that breed rejuvenation have an immense influence on productivity and worker engagement. That’s why experts encourage actions like gameplay and meditation in between work.

How to: Set up space with comfortable lounges or bean bag chairs and indicate that it’s a no works terrain. You can put up a posted sign to that effect. 

How is this a startup vibe: Canceling the traditional 24/7 work mentality and having a place reserved for relaxation at work portrays the free-spirit nature of a startup.

Accommodate different work styles

Seeing cubicles seven days a week makes work a corporate prison for some workers. While others tend to get bored and sick of the repetitive style. For another worker, the setting is a serious one that reminds him to get to work productively.

Do you know all these workers can cohabit in a flexible office that caters to their favorite workplace setting? The first step to having effective workers is by creating the right work atmosphere for them. 

Since people don’t like to work the same way, you don’t have to make everyone conform to a rigid work setting. A rigid workplace that allows zero diversity hampers creativity. 

Benefits: When employees have a level of control over the work environment and how they work, their work improves. 

How-to: Introduce a mix of workplace styles while setting up your office. Blend the quiet and rigid with collaborative and lively. 

How is this startup vibe: Startups have a free-natured anything-goes vibe. Hence, a flexible workplace captures this perfectly. 

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Decorate with books

Instead of numerous sculptures and artworks, you can decorate the office with books. Set up a creative shelf that’s creative enough to beautify your workspace.

Benefit: Free access to a library sparks up interest in the employees. 

How-to: Instead of buying books, you could ask employees to bring books they don’t mind sharing. Or contrarily, you can check for sites that sell off books at an affordable price.

How is this a startup vibe: It depicts the dedication of startups to satisfying the thirst for knowledge that’s common to their employees.

Attractive reception area

If you can’t afford an office overhaul, this is a cool way to give your office a fresh outlook. For startups, an attractive reception is important because the first impression they pass off to clients can make or mar their business relationships.

Benefit: First impressions are crucial to promoting client’s engagement and it boosts employee’s morale as well. Even if the other part of the office needs a retouch, the reception should live up to a standard.

How-to: Check out photos online to get design inspiration. But ensure the design would suit the whole office if you eventually decided to redesign your workspace.

How is this a startup vibe: Interested in screaming your company’s personality out loud? A stylish and attractive reception is a basic way to go about it.

Introduce quirky accent

It was a huge shock to find a metal slide in Ticketmaster, a US firm, London office. This slide takes employees to the playful terrain of the bar area, where pinball machines and jukebox awaits.

Similarly, the thought of Virgin money’s indoor sky sends a pleasurable shock down people’s spines. We could go on and on with disco tunnels and beach huts in the workplace. 

All these arrangements seek to promote two things: creativity and productivity in the most playful manner ever. 

Hence, the idea of a quirky accent isn’t new to the workplace. It seems like new offices are keen on discrediting traditional office accents.

Benefit: Prioritizes socialization and facilitates visual interests.

How to: You can create a questionnaire to find out what your employees would love to include in your office design. Feel free to tell them it doesn’t have to be usual.

How is this a startup vibe: It makes a statement that your company is daring enough to do what others wouldn’t dare.

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Untraditional seating arrangement

Startups' sitting arrangements include diverse sitting options. Unlike the regular swivel ergonomic chairs, you can have other ergo options. 

Try a variety of office furniture like standing desks, rocking chairs, etc. Flexispot has a unique hammock that fits under a standing desk and accent chairs with ergonomic designs.

Benefits: Your workers spend long hours sitting. Adding a little flexibility is healthy and eliminates the boredom that a sedentary lifestyle breeds.

How-to: Litter the whole office with various sitting arrangements. This way, your employees can decide on the sitting arrangement they love per time.

How is this startup vibe: It accentuates the open-ended possibilities that dot a startup office? And it also depicts creativity.

Spruce it up with a coffee bar

How about you rid your office of the regular K-cup coffee maker and integrate an actual coffee bar. This can be a show-stopping move, even for the anti-coffee team.

Benefits: Caffeine falls under lovable espresso drinks. Seems like the perfect reward to your workers.

How-to: An expresso maker is a bit of a costly investment. However, an in-office coffee bar makes employees happy. You can employ a professional to fix up a coffee bar.

How is this startup vibe: Being sensitive to worker's needs and making extra efforts to deliver them.

Add soft lighting resources

Soft lightings are healthy for the eyes and emit an obvious but mild lumen.

Benefit: It’s a healthier choice because it lessens eyes strain.

How to: Reproduce the famous startup atmosphere by putting out most of the overhead lights and using cozy lamps instead. Makes it even more accurate if these lamps have eco-friendly bulbs.

How is this a startup vibe: Fluorescent lights give off a dated and harsh outlook. It isn’t the trendiest source of lightning for a modern office.


There are many more ideas to glean from startups. But with these tips, you can attune your office to the creativity and efficiency that sets budding businesses apart. Ready to borrow a leaf from the startup companies’ book?