Purchasing or leasing an office space for your startup is a big step in the startup journey, but sometimes a necessary one. It’s the moment when a startup takes on a physical personality.

An exciting aspect of a startup’s first office space, is putting a stamp on your surroundings. Whether it be art on the walls, the chairs you’ll sit on, or even the hand soap in the bathrooms – every touch will be a part of your physical company culture.

It’s easy to get carried away with fitting out your new office space. When it comes to setting up your space, keep in mind that the future success of the business, can depend on your ability to spend budget in the right areas.

Of course, avoid doing a “Schocker”. (Former Congressman Aaron Schock – who blew $40,000 of taxpayer’s money on redecorating his office in a Downton Abby style).

There’s no need to waste valuable financial resources. We’ve come up with 3 ways you can make your work space somewhere you look forward to entering each day, without breaking the bank.

1. Create your own art

Your office is a representation of your company and should foster innovation and creative thinking. Your office can encourage or hinder creative process.

Successful companies have fun and utilise liberating work environments. Data shows that something as simple as an office layout, can improve everything from communication to productivity.

Items such as paintings and photos can get creative juices flowing. However, you may think that Andy Warhol print makes looks cool, but it can leave your startup bereft of personality.

At the other end of the scale, bland walls are unlikely to inspire your team. You should be doing everything to encourage collaboration.

According to Adam Alter of 99u, “Steve Jobs famously redesigned the offices at Pixar, which originally housed computer scientists in one building, animators in a second building, and executives and editors in a third. Jobs recognized that the separation of these groups, discouraged them from sharing ideas and solutions”.

Add personality to your new office surroundings by asking your team to choose some of their favorite quotes. Have the quotes printed on A2 pieces of paper, frame them and hang them somewhere prominent.

Consider incorporating art into your office directions, particularly if you’ve decided to scrap any sort of reception area.

Wall arrows or floor markings can be a great way of adding color to your office and help clients get to where they need to go.

2. Buy recycled or pre-owned

When it comes to choosing furniture for your office, comfort and function is important, but this doesn’t have to cost a small fortune.

There’s hundreds of options online to find cheap office furnishings for your startup. Find the ideal piece at a fraction of the cost, of buying something brand new.

Like clothing, furniture design trends come and go. Choose between pre-loved classics or find quirky little gems that make your office decor stand out from the crowd.

3. Bring the outdoors in

Workspaces that incorporate nature are known to boost productivity and improve a workforce’s happiness. Real greenery also looks great. Make your office different. Give your employees that new perspective they need when they’re stuck

If your budget (and natural light) allows, consider buying low maintenance plants such as cacti or succulents. Ask each team member to look after one at their work space.

Alternatively, if you’re watching every cent you spend, a large plant in the corner of each room can help create a relaxed atmosphere. Especially when used alongside earthy colors such as browns, greens, or blues.