Top tips when refurbishing your office

The decision to refurbish an existing office can come about for many reasons. If you’re going to all that effort and expense it’s vital you ensure the project results in a space that works for your business on a practical level, allowing your day-to-day activities to take place in the most efficient way possible, and provides a safe and pleasant working environment for your employees.

Here are 10 tips for a successful office refurbishment:

1. Clear objectives

It’s important to be clear about your motivation for a refurbishment, whether that’s to make more effective use of the space, modernise working practices, accommodate more staff or refresh the company image. Your objectives are more likely to be achieved if you keep them in mind during every step of the process.

2. Planning

Take time to plan the refurbishment and set a budget. Create a realistic timetable from design, through sourcing the right partners, to completion of the project. Appoint a project manager to co-ordinate the various tasks and monitor progress.

3. Preparation

Analyse what works and what doesn’t in your current configuration and explore the various options available to achieve your goals. Canvass employee opinions and encourage ideas – this not only serves to identify areas for improvement and possible solutions but also engages the workforce and provides a valuable sense of involvement.

4. Layout

Consider how the space can be used to provide different environments, for instance, areas for collaboration between colleagues, areas for privacy, and informal settings for relaxed interaction. Many offices are moving beyond the conventional fixed workstation to activity-based workplaces offering a choice of settings.

5. Wellbeing

Ensure your office space is conducive to the wellbeing of your employees. The negative effect of sitting for long periods is well documented and has led to workplace designs that enable employees to move around throughout the working day. Sit-stand desks are an option that allow a change of posture and potentially reduce the incidence of back and neck pain or discomfort.

6. Furniture and fixtures

Decide whether any existing office furniture and fixtures can be reused in your refurbished office space. Source reputable suppliers for new items you plan to buy and choose ergonomic solutions for the comfort of your employees. Choose colour schemes and materials that fit with your brand image and provide an energising and motivating environment in which to work. Don’t underestimate the importance of the correct lighting levels; make the most of natural light by not obstructing windows and seek professional advice on the type and placement of artificial light sources.

7. Technology

Think about how the use of technology has changed. While most offices still have fixed desktop PCs and phone lines there is a shift towards mobile devices so consider seating that supports such interaction, for instance, spaces where employees can take their laptops.

8. Storage

Take time to carefully plan your storage facilities for both shared and individual use. Well-organised storage systems will maximise use of space and allow for easy access when items need to be retrieved. Use the opportunity to declutter and streamline systems to provide a clean and efficient workplace environment and enhance productivity.

9. Reception

Your reception area is the window to your business and creates that all-important first impression for visitors to your premises. Ensure it reflects your company ethos and provides a welcoming atmosphere in addition to meeting functional requirements.

10. Future-proof

Consider not just your present needs but also how they may change in the future. Build in flexibility that will allow you to adapt to business growth and expansion, in addition to changing workplace culture and technological advances. Adaptable furniture and modular office partition systems can help achieve this.

If you would like any information on how IRS can help with any of the above, please get in touch.