Consistently analysing your office and its refurbishment is key to maximum productivity within your workforce and boosting staff morale. However, you cannot just jump straight in.
You must find the right methodology within your particular business in order make the refurbishment as substantially beneficial as possible. After all, a carefully planned office refurbishment project can help reinforce brand identity, make your business premises more inviting to clients, as well as boosting productivity among employees.
Here are the key things which you will need to consider:
In many cases, including your employee input into a big project such as an office refurbishment is not optional. In the UK, companies who have 50 staff members or more are required to inform and consult employees about changes that may affect their working environment. This means that employers should familiarise themselves with the Information & Consultation of Employees Regulations of 2004 before thinking about commencing the sole design of a refurbishment project. Even if your company has fewer than 50 staff members, including your staffs’ opinions and gaining their input into an office refurbishment will increase staff motivation and productivity.
Gaining employees’ insight can be a very useful tool which will increase the effectiveness of your project and thus a greater impact. Typical questions could be: What do they like about the current workplace? What do they dislike? What would they like to change?
Staff wellbeing is also a crucial element of office refurbishment, and you must give careful consideration to staff wellbeing. Are your planned workstations comfortable? Are you letting in enough natural light? These are all crucial questions to getting your office refurbishment going the right way.
The first thing you need to be clear about when planning an office refurbishment is your budget and be realistic on how much you have got to spend. There are all types of questions when looking at your budget. How much you can realistically afford to spend on your office? Is your business financially stable to carry this office refurbishment out? Speak with your finance department and examine a strict budget so that you know from the very start, how much monies you have.
Top tip: always leave a small amount leftover for any unplanned eventualities as they are common with office fit outs. You must be very stubborn with your budget and integrate this into your plans. After all, a poorly planned project can quickly spiral out of control and therefore a major project like this one should be carefully thought over from the outset so that a tight budget can be established with a small contingency plan.
One of the most important matters when refurbishing your office, is considering legal compliance and ensuring you are following Health and Safety regulations. Without this, your refurbishment plans are worth nothing. Legal issues can arrive with your property owner. Make sure to obtain permission from the property owner before refurbishing your office. In some cases, it may be necessary to carry out structural alterations, and it is always wise to go over your lease and check for any dilapidation clauses. Pay particular attention to the safety of your electrical set ups, make sure your fire escapes are clear and ensure you have alarms fitted and access to essential things such as fire extinguishers.
Before rushing ahead and refurbishing your office, it may be worth to sit down with your fellow colleagues and get some insight and thought into whether they think that where your office is located at the moment is right at all. Perhaps it would be worth thinking about whether relocating your office would be further beneficial than refurbishing. Don’t just think about your own needs, think about where your fellow employees live, what the transport links are like, how easy it is to park and how much you are paying in rent. The key thing to confirm is, is refurbishment far superior to relocation.
One of the most important parts of looking at office refurbishment is the layout. This all depends on the nature of your work. Do you work in an office or a workshop? What would work best for you? Would an open or closed plan benefit your business more? Each one has its own benefits and downfalls. Open plans may be great for collaboration, but could hurt productivity, whilst cubicles are great for concentration and privacy, but poor for teamwork. Your spatial considerations are a crucial aspect to your refurbishment. It all depends on the type of business that you are. Optimising your spatial surroundings is crucial to getting the best possible office refurbishment. The key is to maximise space available, ensuring that every area fulfils a specific function and that there is a balanced combination of living and working space.
A workforce refurbishment project can transform the image of a business, and this should be reflected in the company’s online presence. Make sure you get your message out there of how your refurbishment project will add value to your business. You also need to think about how you will protect your systems during the refurbishment stage.