Refurbishing your commercial space can be a great way to improve productivity, boost the company’s image and create a sustainable environment to keep your company going for the next few years. Before undertaking or ordering any work, consider the points below on our checklist to make sure you’re doing the right thing.
How long have you had it for?
If the answer to the above question is ‘not very long’ then you need to consider if you really need to be doing updates already. It may be the case that you went for somewhere in need of somewhere in need of a little TLC so that it would have been a lower cost option, which probably means you need these renovations.
If, however, you’ve only just refurbished then consider whether this change is necessary – for example, are the renovations no longer appropriate due to changes to the business or company, or can you make small decorative changes to get a new, fresh look?
If you’ve been in that space for a period of few years then there’s a good chance that they layout and décor may not reflect your business very well and it could be a major improvement if you do some refurbishments.
Have you experienced expansion or contraction?
If your business is expanding, then you’ll definitely need to consider a) whether your space will still suit your needs and b) what changes may be required for you to continue working there. If there is unused space then reorganising your workspace so that can be incorporated is a great start.
On the other hand, if your business has contracted, consider the costs involved in the refurbishment. Spending money right now if your changes are more aesthetic than functional, it may not be worth doing but if your business needs to make changes in order to make money, then it’s worth trying it.
What are competitors doing in the industry?
It’s important to make sure that you strike the balance between making sure that your company stays at the forefront of innovation and creativity, for the sake of both your services and staff, and making sure that you aren’t making updates for the sake of them. The old saying ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ is still around for a reason after all.
A good way to think about this is to review the current statuses of your competitors’ commercial spaces. If they have made updates and are seeing an increase in sales or visitors to their sites, then they must be doing something right and it could be worth trying to replicate those improvements with your own spin.
What are local competitors doing?
If your business has a local focus, then you can try visiting or investigating local competitors’ commercial spaces (if appropriate) to see what they are doing. The important thing to remember is to not copy everything they do. They might not be right for you or anyone after all and you don’t want to be stuck with a bad design.
Will these changes benefit your employees?
Talk to your employees before making any changes. You may not be able to agree to everything they suggest but if you’re going to be changing their workspace, it can be important to make sure they are on board, or you may find that you are disrupting their flow and making them less likely to want to stay once the changes have been made.
When making your plan, consider the office temperature and the spaces employees have for their breaks, such as eating areas, kitchens, bathrooms and any outside spaces, as these can all affect employee sentiment and productivity.
Plan and prepare
You will need to consider how long the renovations will take place and what your employees will be doing during that time. If possible have work completed outside of office hours but if that is not always possible, make sure you have a plan for where your employees can work during refurbishments.
Make sure that there is also someone nominated to be responsible for the project, just in case you can’t be there to supervise it.
Create a floorplan
Make a plan of your office to scale, complete with any desks or equipment that will be needed so that you can maximise the amount of space you have. At the early stages, this doesn’t have to be incredibly detailed, it will just be a springboard to get you to a final solution.
What is your budget?
Create a realistic budget that includes all costs that you believe you will incur. If possible, talk to others in the area that have done similar work to see if they know of any local costs that you need to include. Once you have your budget, it is worth adding on 10-20% to cover any additional charges or emergencies that you weren’t expecting.
Is there any relevant legislation?
It is important to bear in mind any legislation with regard to green standards and employee safety in your new designs, as fines can be issued for non-compliance and you will then have to make extra changes and spend more money to avoid further issues.
Energy efficiency and bills
Keeping your office insulated will help with making your employees comfortable but it will also maintain lower bills and pay off the cost of insulation over time. This is also true for double glazing, which also has the benefit of reducing the amount of noise that travels in from outside.
LED lighting is also more energy efficient and is a great option for adding light to your workspace. Don’t forget to include any natural lighting options, such as skylights or extra windows where possible, though these options will add extra costs to your refurbishment bill.
Health and safety planning
Every workspace owner’s favourite phrase, though it doesn’t have to be a big problem. When you are making your plans, make sure that fire exits are easy to access and that minor issues, such as wire trip hazards are reduced with cable tidies and personal items such as coats and bags have somewhere out of the way to be stored.
Make maintenance manageable
Having a beautifully designed office is great but if you can’t easily change a lightbulb or access utilities when they need to be tested updated then it may not feel like it was worth it as much anymore. Try to plan your design with easy access to water, gas and mains supplies and lights.
Check for proper insurance from any tradespeople who carry out any work on the site and file away any warrantees or guarantees you receive for any items, just in case there are any problems later.
Improving the company image
If your customers are coming to your property and view it as drab, awkwardly laid out or uninspiring, then you may find that they won’t be coming back very often or at all.
If possible, try talking to some of your customers about what they think your commercial space would be better off with, as they will have a different functional experience of your building and may have noticed things that you haven’t. Doing this can also show how valued they are if you are willing to listen to their suggestions.
Incorporate your branding
It’s the perfect time to build your brand into your office space. Generally light and neutral colours are best in offices as they can help the place look cleaner and brighter but darker and bolder colours can be included through accessories and small amounts of wall decoration.
Should you invest in new technology?
Now could be the time to make a few technological upgrades, especially as part of your office refurbishment may have been due to the need for new technology to speed up or improve your processes. Don’t forget to include power points, as the increase in technology may require more power or you may even need to move some of them, depending on whether your layout is changing.
Plan for the future
While you can’t know for certain what the future will bring, make sure you’ve looked into your goals and roadmap and you know where you would like to be heading. If your business needs are likely to change in the next few years, make sure that you are aware of that so you are not spending your entire budget on changes that won’t last long.
If you are ready to move forward with your refurbishment, contact our friendly team and we can discuss how to best achieve your needs so that all stakeholders benefit from the changes.