Considerations for Planning of Office Refurbishment
There are many reasons why your business may consider updating its offices. The décor of your offices may look dated and dingy, or they may need to be reorganised to make room for more employees if your company is expanding. No matter what the reason your company is refurbishing its offices, you need to develop a solid plan to help control the costs and get the project done in a timely manner.
Is it Feasible to Refurbish?
Before you start developing a refurbishment plan, you should consider whether it is feasible to refurbish the space your offices currently occupy. If the building is old or if your company is consolidating its offices and you need to come up with room for several departments, you should consider if relocating is a better option.
Remodelling the offices will be one of your company’s most expensive projects. If the building’s wiring or plumbing needs to be updated or if you do not see the space meeting the company’s needs in 10 years, you should start looking for new office space. However, if the space will still work well for your company, then you can begin planning the refurbishment.
Bring Everyone Together
During the beginning stages of planning the refurbishment, you should organise and hold a meeting with department heads to inform them of the decision and reasons behind remodelling the offices. Then, you should get their input on what their departments need in terms of equipment, furniture, and space. They, in turn, can get input from their supervisors and employees about what they would like to see done when the offices are being refurbished.
When starting to develop the refurbishment plan, you will need to consider the company’s organisational structure. This will help you plan the space to allow for a good working relationship between the departments, provide for the best interactions with customers, and help place management personnel in the best positions to supervise their departments. Consult with a local fit-out company, such as the Saracen office in Hampshire and London, to get layout renderings, either drawings or computer animation, so you can view all of the options.
Structural Changes for Building
If your company does not own the building your offices are in, you will need to consult with the owner or the management company overseeing the building to find out if you can make structural changes to the building, and if so, what types of changes. Most landlords allow for businesses to make changes to suit their needs, but they may put restrictions on what can be done. Find out what they will allow before you get too far into the refurbishment, so you don’t have to make too many changes to your plans.
There are several options you may wish to consider, especially if you are adding more personnel to your offices. You may wish to create an open floor plan and eliminate walls separating offices for better room flow. Another option is to use partitions to create privacy for departments that work with financial or more sensitive information. The layout renderings you receive will allow you to evaluate the options and see which ones work better for the company’s needs.
IT Infrastructure Needs
Probably the most important change to consider to the offices is its infrastructure and designing the office layout so IT cabling, telephone wiring, and electrical outlets are readily accessible to all employees. Since most wiring and cables are hidden beneath floors or ceilings, any changes needed to update or install additional wiring need to be considered as part of the changes to the building’s structure. While most IT wiring can be installed without too many physical changes to the building, there may need to be some physical changes to distribute essential services throughout the offices.
Office Utility Needs
Along with IT infrastructure, which is essential to the operation of any business, you also need to take a close look at any necessary changes for lighting, heating, and cooling needs. A refurbishment would give you the opportunity to purchase a more efficient HVAC unit, if your company owns the office building. In addition, you can also change the lighting for something more energy efficient and better for your employees’ vision. For instance, instead of standard overhead fluorescent lighting, you may decide to light each desk or set of desks instead of the entire overall area.
Health and Safety Regulations
When you develop a refurbishment plan, you need to consider governmental regulations regarding the health and safety of your employees. Consider a floor plan that makes it easier for your employees to leave the offices in case of an emergency like a fire. Your offices should include an adequate number of exits and the inclusion of a safety station equipped for different types of emergencies, such as first aid kits, emergency lighting, and fire extinguishers.
An office refurbishment gives you a good opportunity to update to ergonomic furniture, which makes your employees more comfortable while they work and prevents injuries like back problems and carpal tunnel syndrome. These injuries can increase absenteeism, which can affect your company’s productivity, so investing in ergonomic office furniture can help increase productivity and help offset the additional costs.
Project Implementation Plan
When developing your office refurbishment plan, you will need to figure out how to lessen your downtime and keep your business functioning during the renovation. You will want to plan carefully so the changes are not too disruptive to your company’s daily routine. It is important to be able to serve your customers as you would normally, to avoid disrupting the flow of products or services to them so their businesses are not impacted by your company’s renovation.
With careful planning, you can make the necessary changes to your company’s offices quickly, efficiently, and on budget. When making your plans, consider future needs and company expansions so your business needs are still being meet a decade or so later. A fit-out company can help in every phase of your project, from planning to completion.