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We’ve all heard the stories of famous startups like Apple originating in a garage and Google in an academic laboratory, but those are outlier cases compared to the life of most modern startups.
Without legends at the helm and with real estate and rental prices soaring in many major cities in the US, startups have to deal with the same spatial limitations as Jobs and Wozniak. However, they need to rely more on the employee productivity than the eccentricities of computing pioneers.
In these modern hotbeds of innovation tucked away in corners of old buildings of New York City, San Francisco, and others — startups are focusing on growth. Productivity is the path to growth, and as a result, is often the cardinal goal for small teams to take a product to launch.
But the modern workforce is much different from past generations. Millennials and Gen Z have distinct demands of flexible work hours, home offices, and trendy office quarters. Pair those demands with a growing sentiment towards healthier work-life balance, and you get the type of lavish, modern spaces offered by the likes of Google, SpaceX, and Facebook.
At the core of the evolution of contemporary workplaces is a change in their design, layout, furniture, and technology. Bounded by small square footage options, companies turn to productivity-oriented startups with a new take on the modern office — like Autonomous.
“People want to work smarter and healthier,” says Autonomous Founder, Duy Huynh. “The demand is evident and growing, and we now have over 130k customers globally being more productive and healthier as they work.”
Some of those early Autonomous customers include Dell, Amazon, and, of course, Apple.
The Subtle Physical Advantage of Productivity
When many productivity hacks today focus on calendar organizers, notes apps, and project management interfaces, Autonomous’ claim to fame is stapled to the ascendance of the standing desk phenomenon.
Originating from Kickstarter back in 2015, Autonomous has quickly risen to one of the most prominent modern office furniture companies in the world. Offering everything from its flagship SmartDesk line of automated standing desks to its ergonomic Kinn Chair, Autonomous is catering directly towards startup productivity preferences.
And the positive sentiment of the company’s business customers reflects well on Autonomous’ bid to become the premier modern office furniture firm.
“The idea is to create a work environment that is inviting and encourages employees to stay around longer and enjoy their time at work,” details Phillip Ganzfried of Autonomous’ business customer, TravelTab.
TravelTab has embraced the modern office culture, blending spacious open areas with a kegerator, and Autonomous’ standing SmartDesks for every employee.
Autonomous pairs its SmartDesk offerings with a suite of other ergonomic offerings like its Kinn Chair, MyoChair, and Monitor Arms. It is a marked difference from most productivity startups today that are entirely software-oriented. Instead, Autonomous focuses on bolstering productivity in the physical workspace, not through an app.
And the vertically-integrated Autonomous product line is a manifestation of productivity, the type that can revamp small startup spaces — turning them into efficient clusters of “deep work” where coordination is fluid. Catering to startup productivity demands includes listening to customers too.
Depending on the office size, team requirements can vary distinctively. “We carefully evaluate customer feedback and learn how to improve or craft products that are flexible to their needs,” says Huynh.
Some of that feedback leads to ancillary products like “anti-fatigue mats” for people standing at their desks often or premium seat upholstery like memory foam and TPE. Comfort is fuel for productivity and making sure that professionals aren’t victims of the archaic cubicle and vapid office fixings can go a long way in enhancing productivity.
Eventually, that hyper-growth sought by modern, flexible startups will follow suit.
Young Generations Control The Narrative
Millennials and Gen Z craft the current and future cultural developments, and technology has taken center stage. Alongside those cultural preferences are variations in work-life balance, where Millennials are far-removed from the styles of their boomer parents.
Not only do they want more flexible hours, but they require advanced tools and aesthetically pleasing, modern offices. Even if it requires crafting boutique small office designs.
For example, Millennials want open office spaces that encourage collaboration, environments replete with automated tools and smart appliances, and hybrid workspaces that offer a mix of personal isolation and group presentations.
People tend to be more productive on specific, smaller tasks independently, which is recognized by Google and reveals itself with the firm’s famous isolation areas and work pods. Conversely, larger projects require greater communication and reduced coordination costs, which makes products from Autonomous a congruent fit.
For example, SmartDesks can be chained together in clusters of standing and sitting working spaces that breed better communication. People don’t have to get up and move to other areas if they’re tired of sitting either, just press one of the built-in settings for a personalized height preference.
Offering both a mix of smart tech and productivity, it’s not surprising that Millennials are enamored with standing desk products. The smart office narrative is rapidly catching up to smart homes as people seek productivity in all aspects of their lives.
For Millennials and Gen Z, that means trying to reproduce the technological magic of Apple and Google in similarly spatially-challenged areas, but with the help of technological developments conducive to their success to boot.
The margin for error in the current tech startup scene is razor-thin, and Autonomous is helping small teams to gain that slight edge necessary to outperform the competition.