Inside Google’s first office, also known as Larry and Sergey’s Stanford dorm rooms. They had to find alternative arrangements when the Stanford IT department complained they were sucking up all the bandwidth.
Inside Google’s first office, also known as Larry and Sergey’s Stanford dorm rooms. They had to find alternative arrangements when the Stanford IT department complained they were sucking up all the bandwidth.

The tech world is littered with supercool offices, the types of workplace that wouldn’t look out of place in an episode of Buck Rogers.

Just think of the Google offices in Silicon Valley. They’re huge, sleek offices with an aesthetic designed to breed creativity. Some rooms are covered wall-to-wall with computers, like the control deck in Star Trek.

But in between this tech wizard’s wet dream, the architecture of most of Google’s buildings is populated with rooms that have been given a more human touch.

Some are games rooms, filled with retro arcade cabinets and pool tables. Others are covered in relaxing colours for the employee who needs some downtime from the stresses of programming and tech development.

Google are, as you’re probably aware, one of the largest tech companies in the world. Chances are your piddling tech startup won’t be able to match the future-proofed grandeur of those search engine behemoths.

Gaining the hi-tech edge

But that doesn’t mean your startup should look as technologically advanced as a hovel. Even with a meagre budget you can make your workplace look like somewhere that’s, at the very least, tech savvy.

It might not sound like something you should worry about – surely clients should come before a lavish office?

Not in an industry that values appearances. When a client heads into a media-oriented office they want to see a group of young, bustling, beany hat-wearing hipsters slaving away in an office designed with the 21st century in mind. It implies that you’re hip to the still-young world of the web.

None of this means that the usual niceties you’d find in any office become surplus to requirement. Office plants, for instance, should still be dotted around your workplace to help oxygenate the environment and brighten it up amidst the cold steel of technology.

Moreover, wide windows that let in the sunlight and open offices that breed creativity are a must for a business owner in any field.

The workplace of a tech startup has to look to the future as well as stay in line with the effective designs of the past. But how can you make yours hi-tech on a budget?

Glass equals class

Offices with glass dividers and walls are a sign of openness and modernity.  Install a few around your office to gain a sleek, clean feel that’s uninhibited by unsightly plasterboard.

Living walls

You don’t have to stop at office plants to cover your workplace in foliage. Why not create some living walls by attaching foliage to plasterboard? Your premises will be more oxygenated and look fantastic.

Purposeful offices

Give your meeting areas multi-functionality by installing media centres that can be used for a wide array of work tasks. That way, your rooms will always have a purpose, even when no one is having a meeting.

All this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to modernising your tech startup. The top tip – look around your office and let your imagination run wild.