Following the launch of its 84,000 sq ft space for startups and entrepreneurs in Camden, Vanessa Butz, MD of Interchange talks about how finding the right working environment could help take your business to the next level.
Anyone who runs their own business knows, work is not just nine to five and investing in the right workplace can have a huge impact on everything from productivity to personal wellbeing. Entrepreneurs, creatives and people working for startups of all shapes and sizes want more out of their working environment than ever before – and so they should. Factors such as location, design and who you surround yourself with are extremely important and shouldn’t be underestimated. My personal experience working with both the Factory startup space in Berlin and Interchange in London, has taught me that there are certain aspects of any office environment that small business should pay particular attention to.
Design has a huge impact
Office design isn’t just about functionality anymore. Leading companies such as Google and Facebook have shown us that creating a stimulating working environment for employees is a fundamental business decision, not just a ‘nice to have’. Inspiring office design can help companies with challenges such as hiring and retention of staff, as well as business motivation and productivity. Other factors such as natural light and noise reduction can also help hugely with stress reduction and general wellbeing. Small companies who want to emulate the Google model and provide themselves and their employees with innovative surroundings, should look for this in a coworking environment and view it as an essential rather than an added benefit. At Interchange, we’re working with world-renowned design team DRS, under the creative direction of Tom Dixon, to make sure great design is at the heart of everything we do.
Surround yourself with the right people
Running or working in a startup or a one-man-band can be extremely liberating and exciting but it also has its challenges. Some people can find working alone or in a small team potentially isolating and lacking in creative stimulation. A really important factor in maximising success in these situations, is to surround yourself with the right people, both in your immediate and wider network. Being around likeminded people who share your sense of drive and passion can have a huge impact on your business and lead to more opportunities, ideas, potential partnerships and hires. Recent studies have shown that friendships and connections at work are extremely important and discussing ideas and success with those around you can be a key to motivation. Along these lines, Interchange is building an environment which supports and connects creative companies through our shared workspaces, events and access to affiliate investors.
It’s not all about digital
Even though a significant amount of our time is spent working online, the very necessary human connections of any business still occur in-person. Technology may be the facilitator of many businesses but the essential component is often real things, people and experiences – see the likes of Uber, Airbnb and JustEat as just some examples. This is something we focused on with the launch of Interchange and is reflected in our unique location in the heart of Camden Market. The area, synonymous with creativity and trade, is London’s third largest business district after the City and Westminster and has over 28 million visitors per year. As part of our offering, we are enabling startups to establish their own retail space in the iconic Markets, to help them showcase products and ideas and stay connected to the local business community and customers.