An accommodating office space can change everything.
When it comes to the job search, you’re looking for a place where you’ll spend a considerable amount of your waking hours. That’s why it’s important to check a job not only for its company culture, but also for its work space. It doesn’t matter how much positivity you bring to your job if the office space doesn’t vibe with your work style.
Since Lunar began as a small wireless company almost two years ago, we’ve been disrupting the dominant model of monthly phone bills by getting rid of them altogether. We wanted to find somewhere that carried our rebellious energy, that was collaborative, open, and fun to be around. Here are a few of the criteria we identified when searching for our office space, and hopefully, a few pointers to help you locate your next home away from home.
Have a Space in Mind
Before jumping headfirst into the job search, identify a work space that you’d feel most comfortable in. How do you best work? Does your productivity spike in a cubicle with headphones on? Or do you need the free-flowing conversation that open offices offer? Think back to your best projects, be they personal or professional, and focus on how and where they came to fruition. Remember, your considerations shouldn’t simply be about maximizing productivity. You also need to envision a space that you’d want to return to and engage with.
Once you’ve settled on an ideal space, give it some room to breathe. If you’re too rigid in your approach, you might overlook jobs that are flexible in their culture and office design.
Ahead of time, we knew our mobile startup would be small scale, so we sought out a place for open discussions as well as team meetings. We also wanted to find a floor plan that didn’t feel stuffy, with plenty of natural light and legroom to stretch. And, most of all, we wanted to find comfort, a home away from home. By setting attainable expectations and needs, we were able to make Detroit our base, transforming a humble Eastern Market loft space into a full-fledged office.
Location, Location, Location
Picking an office to work at involves more than just scrutinizing the floor plan. You’ve got to make sure the city fits your style, too. The main reason we made Eastern Market our home is because we love Detroit.
Detroit simply isn’t the same city it was a few years ago. After decades of economic depression, Detroit is being flooded with a rising generation of entrepreneurs, tech giants, and restauranteurs. Just last month, the New York Times called Detroit “the most exciting city in America.” We volunteer on weekends, spend our nights out and about in the thriving arts scene, and make donations to community projects like the Coalition on Temporary Shelter. We find great strength in the purveying sense of growth and development that surrounds us.
Think with Your Stomach
Don’t undervalue lunch during your hunt. Even those who pack lunch forget their baggie sometimes. Scope out locations by Googling the office’s address for nearby restaurants and grocers.
Some of our most insightful conversations spring up over a good meal. We’re set up just blocks away from Detroit’s famous Eastern Market, the largest fresh food market in the US. Our outdoor picnic table lets us catch some rays (and occasional potlucks) when the weather permits. And, for days when it’s hard to get out of the office, we’ve got a full-service kitchen with a stove top, microwave, toaster oven, dish washer, and more cabinets than we know what to do with. What can we say? We’re spoiled for choice.
Don’t Neglect The Teleworkers
Check out your company’s teleworking options. Even when you’re not in the office, it’s important to feel catered to. We’re in love with Detroit, but we know not everyone is able to make the move. Since a lot of our talent is dispersed across the country, we needed to build a space optimized for remote meetings. As such, we turned the loft bedroom upstairs into a mini-boardroom with a cushy couch and video conferencing to reach out to corporate partners worldwide.
Give Yourself Room to Stretch
When checking out an office, make sure there’s plenty of room to stretch, or at least a good nearby path to walk along during breaks. We picked our office with neighborhood walks in mind. The market is such a sight to behold that it never gets tiring to visit. When Detroit’s weather is less accommodating, our loft has plenty of hallways available for a mind-clearing stroll. We even laid out our office with big gaps between work stations so that stretch breaks are easy to take.
We Found Our Home, Now It’s Your Turn
Our needs aren’t necessarily your own. There are plenty of people that find more comfort in individual offices, board rooms, and a larger work space. But, during your search, it’s important to identify these needs early on and plan accordingly. During interviews, don’t be afraid to ask more about an employer’s office to find out if their space is the right fit for you. If they’re not able to talk about a place they practically live at with enthusiasm, that might be a red flag. For us, we’re lucky to have found a office that doesn’t only help us work hard, but makes us want to return to it again and again.