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Top Tips For Making Your Office Refurbishment a Success
There are lots of reasons why you might consider refurbishing your existing workplace. You may be expanding your business and need to make better use of the space you have, your workplace may not have been updated in a while, or maybe you have just purchased a new property and you want to make it your own.
Over the past few years, the office environment has evolved to a point where it can now be seen as an asset that plays a huge role in attracting and keeping the best talent, the lifeblood of a company, and because of this, more and more businesses are spending money on creating a workplace that their employees want to work in.
An office refurbishment task may seem daunting, especially if youíve not done anything like this in the past. Keep reading below for our guide to a successful office refurbishment:
Work Out Why Are You Refurbishing Your Office?
The first thing you need to do is work out why you want to change your workspace. What would you like your new office to do for you that your current office doesnít offer? What is wrong with what you are offering at the moment?
There can be lots of reasons why you want to alter your office space. It might be that your workplace is outdated and hasnít had any money invested in it in a while, it might be that employees no longer enjoy working in the environment, or it may be that it doesnít reflect your corporate identity or brand anymore.
Office spaces are now viewed as a reflection of your brand and what you have to offer. If the workplace needs updating, then you may struggle to keep hold of the best employees in this competitive market. This is why it is so important to provide staff with a workplace they enjoy working in.
There are other factors that may influence your opinion, too, including:
- Finding a more efficient way of working
- Improving workplace wellbeing
- Your current workplace may not be set up to handle agile working practices, hot-desking or new technology.
Your workplace will need to be able to implement some of these in order to receive benefits such as increased productivity and staff morale. Whatever the reason for refurbishment, it can be a great idea.
Create a Refurbishment Team
Once youíve identified why you want to refurbish, you need to get a team together who will manage the refurbishment. Appoint one person who will be in charge of the project overall. This person should be able to:
- Manage budgets
- Communicate effectively
- Know what your vision for the company is
If youíre unsure who to employ then it might be an idea to get a professional contractor to help with your office fit out. A professional will be able to advise you about layout and design and will also be used to sticking to tight deadlines and budgets.
Itís always advisable to make sure that your tradesmen are qualified before allowing them to start work.
What Suits Your Needs?
Now youíve got your team or contractor, you need to discuss with them your likes and dislikes about your current working environment. Work out what you would like to achieve out of the alterations. This can include anything from changing to a more flexible way of working to implementing new technology within the business.
Itís also a good idea to think about how you could solve any current issues you have within the business. This can be anything, no matter how small, because you donít want these issues to re-appear after the refurbishment.
Work Out a Budget
Office refurbishments can cost a lot of money, but they can be more than worth it if done correctly. Itís important to explore all the available options before working out a budget. A professional will be able to advise on how much your project is likely to cost, but you need to remember that problems may occur, which will increase your budget. This is why you must ensure that you have a contingency budget in case something should go wrong. Refurbishment costs will vary depending on:
- How old the building is
- The amount of space in the building
- The type of building being refurbished
- How old the electrical and mechanical services are
- The quality of finish you want
- The furniture you choose to purchase
- AV/IT upgrade costs
As a rough estimate, it usually costs roughly £35 per square foot for a cheaper alternative refurbishment, up to £100 per square foot for a top of the range refurbishment.
If you do not own the property, it might be advisable to talk to your landlord before starting the renovation. You may be able to reduce the amount of rent you are paying for the property, as their asset will be worth more money once it has been renovated.
You should also look into any relevant tax breaks or leasing options that could benefit your business. These can save you a great deal of money in the long term. If you have a tax expert in the house, then speak to them, if not, it is a great idea to hire an external advisor who will help you save money by:
- Activating your tax allowances if you choose to use sustainable materials
- Increasing your allowances
- Help you sign up for a low-interest leasing option
You now need to work together with your team and contractors to make sure that the project is delivered on time and on budget. You will need people to advise you on what licenses and permissions are required from the local authority. When all of this has been discussed, draw up a plan that includes things such as:
Make sure any work that could be classed as noisy or disruptive is undertaken out of office hours so that it doesnít interfere with the running of your business. If you are able to temporarily relocate your business somewhere else, then this may save you some time and money on the refurbishment costs, as contractors will be able to work during normal working hours.
This is the time when you should work alongside your office designers to draw up a design that will work for you. Ensure this is done before handing over control. Take everything into consideration, from where you want the electrical sockets placing to what furniture you would like.
This part of the process might take a bit of time and it may involve you going to different showrooms or furniture stores to find what you are looking for. Another great idea is to look at other office spaces Ė find out what you like and dislike about them and use this to make your project perfect.
Choosing the Right Furniture for Your Office
The design has been agreed and your project plan has been finalised. It is now important that you spend some time choosing the furniture that is perfect for you. This is a very important stage as your furniture will reflect what your brand stands for. Taking your time at this stage working out the best seating options can make a massive difference and it will enable you to produce a workplace that works for you and reflects your business.
Selecting the right furniture for different areas of the office is important. For example:
- High tables will promote quick standing meetings
- Comfortable sofas can promote informal conversations
- Small booth areas can help staff concentrate and take private telephone calls
- Ergonomically friendly seating options are perfect for people who work at desks
Thereís a huge variety of options to choose from so itís a good idea to visit showrooms or contact a furniture expert to ask for their advice. Furniture is not all about the look; it is also an important part of workplace wellbeing.
Evaluate During the Process
Once the renovation has begun you need to make sure that you keep evaluating the project, for example, if a light is put up and it is too dull, you should talk to your contractor about how to solve the issue. You need to be careful here though as your budget may end up increasing if you try altering too many things after they have been decided. Keeping an eye on the work will enable you to spot any potential problems before they occur and alter them.
There are many reasons why companies choose to refurbish their office space. It may be to increase staff well-being or because the environment is starting to look a bit worn and you donít want to lose customers. Whatever the reason, itís a great idea. The most important piece of advice is to make a plan and try and stick to it. Try and get as much information and advice before you begin and work from there. There are some amazing office spaces already, so why not check a few of these out before you start your own refurbishment?