Investing in the right office environment

For Nicholas Green and his printed.com business, setting up an enjoyable and motivating office space was one of the top priorities. 


For Nicholas Green and his printed.com business, setting up an enjoyable and motivating office space was one of the top priorities. 

My best business decision would be the commitment I made to myself and my team that we would always have a great space to work in. 

I have been in business for approximately 20 years now and a lot has changed in that time. I remember my first job where smoking was still allowed, and almost encouraged, in the office – even at your own desk! 

Offices were often bland and the idea that you would invest significant time or money on the interior was never contemplated. Times have clearly changed, in particular within the digital sector, and companies such as Apple, Google and eBay offer inspiring and creative workspaces. Offices today are a very different place.

I started printed.com a few years ago and as a start-up, you certainly don’t have any fixed budgets. I would say that one of the best decisions I made was investing time, effort and budget into thinking about the office environment. I have a vested interest in how I can create an environment in which people want to work in and can be used to attract the best talent.

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For me, this started with attempting to be creative, when I am naturally not. With the help of researching the likes of eBay and Google’s offices, I was presented with some great ideas of how large companies were approaching the challenge of how to transform the workspace. 

Today our kitchen looks pretty similar to the one at multi billion pound business Proctor & Gamble, although I am sure our budget was significantly less. 

In our office we have classic sweets and chocolate dispensers, as well as a fully constructed, but may I add not stocked, bar. I believe in making small finishing touches to our office space as a way of both enthusing my workforce to believe in a shared goal and encouraging new clients to put their faith in the company and work with us.

As a result of this business decision, we have arguably attracted the business of companies that wouldn’t ordinarily have worked with us. The office environment has also helped printed.com to attract talent from much larger companies to join the team; something I like to think is owed to our no wires, music-playing, great office environment.

If I look back to 20 years ago, I can’t imagine anything in my current office existing there. I often wish I could go back and be a trailblazer to show the impact of an inspiring workspace in terms of winning clients and enthusing colleagues. My advice is make use of the internet to reinvent your office space – discover, copy, create and the rest will follow.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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