Office Refurbishment in 2023
The interest in office refurbishments has grown significantly in the last couple of years. With hybrid working on the rise, companies are reconsidering the layout of their offices to create more collaborative spaces. In fact, a recent study by Microsoft showed that around 70% of staff want flexible working arrangements to continue. Additionally, 65% are looking for more team-based interaction. Companies are responding to this trend. Salesforce, for example, has decreased its desk space by 40% to create more collaborative team-focused areas. Our prediction for 2023 is that to attract and retain their staff, companies will be looking for more collaborative and interactive, hybrid office designs, and reviewing among other things, the costs involved. Our experts have created this office refurbishment guide containing a step-by-step list of instructions to ensure your office refurbishment is as successful as possible.
Download our Office Refurbishment Guide as a PDF by clicking here
Why is Refurbishment Necessary?
There are numerous reasons why an organisation will consider refurbishing their existing workplace, the space may not have had any attention in some time, a lease break or expiry may be looming or they may be growing as a business and need to make better use of their space.
The office has evolved to a point where it is now viewed as an asset that can be instrumental in attracting and retaining the very best talent, the lifeblood of an organisation and as a result, more and more companies are investing in creating workplaces that staff want to work in.
When you are tasked with an office refurbishment project, it can be daunting especially if it is your first time undertaking something like this. We hope this short office refurbishment guide provides logical step by step instructions to follow and proves useful.
Office Refurbishment Checklist
So, you’ve been asked to investigate potentially refurbishing your existing office, where do you start?
Step 1 – Define the reasons for the office refurbishment
Think about the why. What is wrong with your current space and what should a newly refurbished office do for you and your organisation?
It may be that your office has become dated, a little dilapidated, has not seen any investment in some time and is not somewhere that staff are proud of or enjoy working. Essentially it is not an office that truly reflects your brand or corporate identity.
Your workplace has become a reflection of your brand and has a major role to play when it comes to attracting and retaining the very best staff in what is a competitive market. So, providing existing and potential staff with a workplace that really works and where they enjoy working has risen hugely in importance.
Other factors like workplace wellbeing and/or embracing a new, more efficient way of working may also influence the decision to refurbish your office. Your existing space may not be equipped to handle hot desking, agile working practices or new technology and needs to be adapted so your organisation can avail of the numerous benefits like increased productivity and improved staff morale.
Your office refurbishment can also allow you to embrace workplace wellbeing by incorporating more natural light, and providing staff with a choice of work areas where they can concentrate, collaborate, catch up or simply unwind.
Another factor could be growth and you simply need to make better use of your space to accommodate more staff. Effective space planning and clearly defining what you want from your new workplace can solve this.
It could also be that you are approaching a lease break or renewal and have entered into discussions with your landlord, who has offered to provide funds to refurbish the space. If this is the case, it becomes a matter of deciding whether the existing space, once refurbished is one your company can comfortably work from for the duration of the new lease.
Reasons for an Office Refurbishment
Additionally, you may feel that your existing spaces are not utilised effectively and that a refurbishment would create a better, more efficient place to work. An example of this is where companies have numerous meeting rooms or other spaces that aren’t utilised effectively. Where individuals or small groups use large boardrooms for calls or informal meetings that could easily take place in breakout areas or smaller, private pods.
Why should we refurbish our Office?
It is so important that you define the reasons at an early stage as all organisations differ and have unique requirements. There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to creating a workplace that will work for you, so keeping this list of reasons in focus throughout the project is key to its overall success.
So, you’ve spent time defining the reasons why you need to refurbish your office, what next?
Step 2 – Create an Office Refurbishment Project Team
Once you’ve defined your list of reasons for refurbishing your office, it’s time to put together a cross-departmental team and most critically to get a senior project champion on board. This should be somebody senior who can make decisions, who can communicate well, has experience managing budgets and importantly, someone who wants to create a better workplace.
After selecting your project champion, you need to decide who else needs to be involved and also what skills are required, the list below includes examples of the skillsets required to deliver a successful project.
- IT: Technology in the workplace is evolving at an ever-increasing pace so involving IT is a smart move to ensure you future-proof the new workplace from an IT perspective.
- HR: Staff may have concerns about the new workplace so proactively involving the HR team so you can communicate effectively with staff is important.
- Facilities: Nobody knows the building better than the Facilities team so it really is a no-brainer to get them involved at an early stage.
- Marketing: Creating a workplace that reflects your brand and its values is crucial so involving marketing is important so you get the branding element right.
- Operations: The day to day functioning of the business needs to continue uninterrupted during the refurbishment so involving the operations team is a must.
- PA’s: Often overlooked but a hugely influential group who can help to deliver a seamless transition from the old working environment to your newly refurbished one.
- Finance: It goes without saying that having somebody senior from the Finance team involved is crucial. Somebody who can effectively manage the budget and who can take care of the associated admin (raising PO’s, ensuring invoices are paid etc…) is so, so important.
So, you’ve defined your reasons for refurbishment, and assembled your team, now it’s time to discuss what kind of workplace you want to create.
Step 3 – What workplace works for you?
Now is the time to get together as a team and discuss what you like and dislike about your current workplace, and to develop a brief detailing what you want to achieve.
Lock yourselves away in a room somewhere (doesn’t have to be at the office) and make a wish list for your new workplace. This can include pretty much everything from embracing new technology, adopting a new, more flexible way of working, and increasing collaboration and creativity to what type of reception area you’d like.
It’s also important to look at ways of solving issues that exist in the current office. There may be a lack of regular communication between different teams, a lack of meeting room availability, staff not feeling confident to work away from their desk and/or nowhere to take a private or work-related call. All of these issues are important to pinpoint and to include in the brief for when you start speaking with office design and build companies.
This initial wish list will morph into your brief so make sure you include everything, otherwise, there’s a possibility that the same issues may reappear in your newly refurbished office.
All of these factors will influence the final office design so take the time to discuss them in detail, it will be worth it in the end. It is also worth adding that this doesn’t necessarily need to involve just the team members, hosting a company meeting to get staff views can also be invaluable.
So, your newly assembled team have discussed not only why your office needs to be refurbished but also what your new workplace should deliver for you. This has formed the basis of your brief, so what next?
Step 4 – Speak with Office Refurbishment Companies
The sooner you pick a partner to work with to design and build your new workplace, the better and the sooner you can start planning. The more time you have to engage with your chosen partner, the greater your chance of success as you’ll have spent more time developing your brief and defining exactly what will work for your organisation.
So where to start? How do I select a partner to refurbish our office? Our recommendation would be to do some research online and ask friends, colleagues, peers and even neighbouring companies who they would recommend. Spend some time taking a look through each company’s case studies, looking at who they have worked with and their recent work and before making contact with 3-5 companies you are confident could deliver.