Office refurbishment is so much more than new desks and ergonomic chairs. There are huge advantages to be had on productivity if you get it right; if you get it wrong, you could be creating low morale and high staff turnover.
After a study into on the link between physical work work environment and work-related stress, researchers from Birkbeck College, London concluded: “It is clear that characteristics of the physical environment of workplace do have a marked and measurable impact upon worker’s well-being and behaviour. … The physical work environment should not exacerbate problems. Indeed, it should provide methods of coping and managing this stress.”
Given the importance of the effects of your planned refurbishment on employees, there are a many things to think about before you start. So to make life a bit easier, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten things to consider when it comes to office refurbishment.
- Users: how comfortable will your employees be in the new office and will it enhance the company culture? Create a list of requirements and make it a priority to consult with your staff to ensure you create a design that is as inviting as it is functional.
- Use of space: plan the refurbishment around the space you have according to the building’s physical limitations.
- Your own brand: has your brand developed recently? If so, make sure the refurbishment reflects this to encourage staff and clients to interact appropriately.
- Budget: have a clear idea about what you want to achieve and make sure the design fits in with your budget. Identify and manage your priorities before the project begins.
- Insurance: double check your business insurance as well as that of any company you hire to make sure you’re properly covered.
- Timing: is there a way of managing the disruption to your company’s normal working day by getting the work done at a quieter time?
- Project management: who is going to be responsible for overseeing the refurbishment? Make sure everyone knows who they are.
- The future: think about the potential growth of your company. Make sure your new office design incorporates capacity to accommodate extra staff in the available space.
- Technology: Wi-Fi has changed the way we do business, so if your employees have the ability to work anywhere in the office, make sure this is reflected in the design. Maybe this means fewer dedicated desks which could free up space for different functions.
- Be more like Google: Google has become famous for its fun and quirky office environments designed to create the kind of place people really want to be in. Whilst most budgets and cultures are on a more modest scale, Google’s aim of trying “to create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world” hasn’t done it any harm at all: in February 2016 it overtook Apple as the world’s most valuable company.