Box Office Space

How much does office space and your work environment matter to foster innovation?

I was never one to care about a “great office space and environment”. I used to think that if you did great work, and have a great open culture, that’s all it took to build a great startup or foster innovation at a large company.

Turns out office spaces give out vibes.  In a recent survey of office spaces by (yes I know it is biased), by a co-working magazine they found that startups whose employees considered their office space to be “great” raised 30% more funding and grew 25% faster annually.

Great Office Spaces for Startups
Great Office Spaces for Startups

Why did I read this report, or was referred to this report?

I was at the Virtusa event speaking to 60 of their top customers, partners and consultants about innovation. I had a side conversation with 2 folks from a large company who were in the mid-west. They are a fairly traditional company and to jump start their innovation efforts, they moved out of their “office” and rented a fairly trendy retail office in the downtown area, and retrofitted it complete with a kegerator, hipster office digs and bright colored furniture.

They got 50% more resumes and more resumes from interested employees from “top tier schools” than they did when they were in their old digs.

Who knew?

Well, Microsoft did apparently, spending millions in moving from older, office environments to cooler, hipper, open offices.

Google already does, this, spending a lot of money on great office space, so their employees have a “inviting and enriching” work environment.

Color me skeptical, but I am obviously wrong on this one. I used to think this was what the “entitled kids” straight out of school wanted. Turns out everyone benefits from a open, colorful and not drab office environment.

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