Important considerations for your workplace refurbishment

Important considerations for your workplace refurbishment

With a fresh new look and sharp new designs there’s no doubt that a workplace refurbishment can really spruce up your business, inspire your employees and energise the office. But before you rush headlong into the process, take some time to consider these important aspects.

Consider the technological landscape

One common reason to refurbish your office is to make way for technologies. Streamlined technology will lead to higher productivity and efficient processes, improved communications and a better business image. With wireless devices and cloud computing advancement you’ll need to ensure that you’ve fully adjusted your new office layout for the new technology. This might mean removing thick walls for better WiFi signal, or if you’re adding screens on to the wall, you’ll need to ensure the wall is strong enough to take it. Technology will have a big impact on your team’s productivity, so it’s worth a significant investment of consideration.

Consider all the stakeholders

Consider the organisation’s existing style of management, communication and working practices and ensure all the stakeholders have been consulted on any changes that might affect them, including suppliers and customers. Then, do everything in your power to ensure that there is strong support for the changes by the employees who will be spending a good proportion of their lives in the new workplace.

Consider legislation

Is there any particular legislation relating to your building? For instance, perhaps you occupy an older building where asbestos might be an issue. This can have a major impact on the refurbishment. What about the legal requirements to provide access for disabled people. Consider possible legislation that may affect you in the future.

Consider employee productivity and wellness

At the very least, a refurbishment should greatly improve employee wellbeing and productivity. This means that consideration should be made to allow staff to work better and more productively both as part of a team and individually, and also to relax. This might mean smaller, informal meeting spaces or multiple break-out zones where employees can recharge. Talk with employees to find out what they need.

Consider why you need to renovate

Perhaps your current structure is strong, but the space needs updating to allow for new technology. Maybe you need to upgrade and replace current plumbing and electrical systems or incorporate more energy-efficiency like double-glazed windows. Or perhaps you are not making the best use of space, or it feels dated and dreary and isn’t a client-friendly space. There could be many reasons why you feel the need for a refurbishment, but unless you look into the future and consider future needs as well, you may well be going through the same process in another ten years.

Consider the short term

When you carry out the renovation, where will you put the employees? If it’s a big job with a total reconstruction, you’ll need to temporarily relocate your entire staff while the work is happening. If you’re renovating just a few areas, work can happen while employees remain in the office space, but this can slow the works down and it can be distracting for employees, both of which will end up costing you more money and time.

Consider how the changes can run smoothly

As with any refurbishment it is likely to be a bit chaotic for a while, but when you have staff wellbeing to consider, this adds a whole new dimension of potential problems. But if you know, down to the last chair placement, what is happening when, you are more likely to feel in control. When you’re in control, you’ll be able to handle hiccups when they occur – and they will. Ensure you know your contractor’s plan of works intimately and keep talking to them for updates. But also communicate with the employees regularly too, giving them updates and listening to any upsets they may have.

Any business will grow and change considerably throughout its lifetime, not least with the advent of new technologies. Yet, despite so many business activities moving to the virtual environment, the physical workplace is still vital to many. Whether your business has changed dramatically in its production and workflow process, or you are streamlining the work environment, making these considerations a priority will make your refurbishment a positive experience for all stakeholders and will successfully take your business into the 21st century.

Images courtesy of our client: Imago Interiors
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