10 Things To Consider When Refurbishing Your Office
An office refurb can be a chance to freshen up your office decor and make the space more practical. You may already have lots of ideas as to how you want to transform your office. However, before you start ripping out carpets and purchasing new desks, it could be worth making sure that you haven’t overlooked anything important.
Now could be the chance to make all kinds of useful upgrades. At the same time, you need to make sure that they’re all feasible. Below are just some of the questions you may want to ask yourself before getting your office refurb underway.
Which matters more – collaboration or concentration?
When planning the layout of your office, it’s important to consider what is more important to the productivity of you and your employees – an office that enables collaboration or an office that enables concentration.
If collaboration is very important to your business, you ideally want an open plan office. Open plan offices are very popular nowadays, although this is generally because they’re cheaper than cubicle offices. Think about how you can get your employees to work more effectively together such as creating meeting spaces and placing certain employees/departments in certain places.
If concentration is more important, you may want to reconsider the open plan approach. Cubicles make it harder to freely talk to colleagues, however in doing so they also reduce distractions – you may find that it’s better to opt for a cubicle layout if you need your employees to concentrate.
Hybrid layouts are also an option. This could include creating collaborative spaces and concentration spaces within your office. By embracing hot desking, you can enable workers to work in different areas depending on the task that needs doing.
Can you improve the lighting?
A refurb could be a chance to improve your office lighting. If your office is a bit gloomy or the lighting is a bit intense, you can rectify this. You could also consider switching to more economical and eco-friendly lighting options such as LED lights instead of incandescent lights.
On top of artificial lights, think about how natural light plays a part in your office. Make sure that you’re not blocking windows with cabinets or furniture. At the same time, make sure that you have a form of light control – if sunlight through a window is leading to screen glare on computer monitors, consider hanging up some blinds, giving you the option to block out the light during certain times of the day.
Do you need more electrical sockets?
Now could be a good time to install some more electrical sockets if you currently have a shortage. Older office buildings are most likely to have a lack of sockets.
What are some signs that you need to install more sockets? If you currently use lots of extension cables and multi-socket power strips or you have to unplug certain machines to use other machines, this could be a sign that you need more sockets. An electrician should be able to arrange this for you. If you’re renting an office building off a landlord, make sure to get their permission first.
Can you improve office acoustics?
A loud office could make concentration difficult. Consider whether there are ways to reduce noise levels so that this isn’t as much of a problem..
Large open offices typically tend to echo – particularly offices with hard floors. Acoustic ceiling tiles are sometimes used to make converted warehouse offices less noisy. Meanwhile, switching stones and wood floors for carpet or vinyl can also make a big difference.
Should you plan for growth?
Will you likely be hiring more employees in the future? And if so, where will they work? If you’re likely to expand your team, consider ways of maximising desk space. You may be able to do this by getting rid of clutter or by using smaller desks.
More companies are starting to embrace working from home as an option – you may find that you’re able to expand your team without needing to add more desks simply by allowing certain employees to work from home on certain days. If less people are likely to work in your office in the future, you could even consider reducing desks, allowing you to use this leftover office space for other purposes.
How can you ensure that your décor matches your brand?
Many companies like to use an office refurb as an opportunity to play with new color schemes. While certain colors may help to boost the productivity of your employees, you should avoid going against branding (unless you’re planning to also rebrand your business).
This doesn’t mean that just because you use red in your branding, you have to paint your office. However, it could be worth adding some accents here and there. It’s worth also considering your brand message. For instance, if environmental-friendliness is a big part of your brand, you should try to keep your decor in line with this.
What can you do to improve health and safety?
An office refurb could be a chance to make your office healthier and safer. Consider what modifications you can make to your office to improve health and safety.
For example, if the air is a bit stuffy in your office, consider whether now is a good time to upgrade your office ventilation. You could also add plants to help freshen up the air or add a dehumidifier if certain rooms are susceptible to mold.
When it comes to ergonomics, it could be important to consider where you place desks and the types of chairs you invest in. Ideally there should be enough elbow room and legroom around desks, while office chairs should be fully height adjustable. This can help to prevent long-term repetitive strain injuries.
There may also be other hazards in your office worth addressing such as fixing damaged flooring that could serve as a trip hazard and placing ‘mind your head’ signage on low ceilings. To work out exactly which health and safety improvements are worth making, consider hiring a health and safety advisor to visit your premises and do an audit.
Should you upgrade your tech?
If you’re getting new furniture, it may make sense to also upgrade all your machines. Now could be a time to invest in brand new computers and get rid of old machines that you no longer use such as photocopiers and fax machines.
Consider how you can improve your tech infrastructure. More companies are now switching from a traditional landline service to VoIP phone systems – this could result in less desk space taken up by phones. A lot of companies are also embracing more wireless tech so that devices can be more flexibly used. This could include allowing certain employees to work from laptops instead of desktops. Such a change in tech could call for an entire change in layout.
What will you do with all your old furnishings?
You should work out how to correctly dispose of all your old furnishings. There may be certain machines and furniture that are still in good condition that can be donated. Alternatively, you may be able to sell this equipment to make some extra money. There are many sites that you can use to advertise your items for donation and sale.
When it comes to old furnishings that have no further use, you may be better off looking into commercial dumpster rentals. Such dumpsters can be taken to a local recycling centre for you, saving you the job of having to shift it all so that you can get on with your work. A good waste disposal company will try to get rid of your unwanted waste in an eco-friendly way – always do your research to make sure that this is the case.
How much will it all cost – and how will you fund it?
An office refurb can be very expensive. Make sure that you’ve got an accurate idea of how much it will all cost before you get started. This will likely include creating a breakdown of all the costs from the price of furniture to the cost of installing new sockets.
When it comes to jobs like electrical work or laying new flooring, it could be worth collecting multiple quotes from different contractors. This allows you to compare pricing and get an idea of the average cost.
Next, you need to decide how you will fund your refurb. Some companies are lucky enough to have savings set aside for such improvements. If this isn’t the case, you’ll likely need to borrow money. Take the time to shop around for loans so that you get the best deal – compare private lenders and banks.
Make sure that you’re not financially stretching yourself too much. While there may be lots of things you want to do to improve your office, you may not be able to realistically afford them all. Prioritize the most important improvements – these should be ones that have the most practical advantages. You can talk your team to get an idea of which improvements they’re most eager to see.