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Main items to consider when refurbishing an office space

Refurbishing an office space can give your business a new lease of life, but it can also prove to be, or at least seem to be, more trouble than it is worth.

Before you get started on your office refurbishment project, no matter how big or small, there are a few important things that you need to consider, starting with your aims and objectives - why are you refurbishing your office space and what do you hope to achieve by doing so?

Why are you refurbishing?
When you have established exactly why it is that you have decided to refurbish your office space you stand a significantly better chance of ensuring the end result is in line with your company's aims and objectives. Here are some of the most common reasons why companies refurbish their offices:-

- Upgrade or modernise existing facilities
The need to upgrade or modernise is one of the most commonly cited reasons for office refurbishment projects. This could help your company to convey a better impression of itself to clients, both current and future, along with potential new employees.

- Expand to accommodate more staff
The more employees a company takes on, the more space they require to accommodate their new headcount. It is often the case that the current space is adequate, but needs to be reorganised and space planned in order to maximise its potential.

- Boost employee morale and productivity
The more inspiring the surroundings, the higher the morale of those working there and the more productively they work as a result. Chances are you don't have a budget like Google or Facebook, but that isn't to say you can't provide yourself and your employees with an inspiring work environment.

- Adhere to Government legislation
From workplace health and safety regulations to green schemes, there are an increasing number of government regulations that companies are required to adhere to where workplaces are concerned. It is, of course, in your best interests to implement changes to ensure your company adheres to these regulations.

When you know exactly why you are refurbishing your company's office space you will find it easier to identify and manage your priorities.

Prioritise what's important?
Chances are you won't have a budget that allows you to make each and every change to your workspace that you would like, and as a result, you need to identify and list your priorities to work out what is and what isn't feasible.

A helpful tip in this regard is to hold a meeting with your employees in order to identify areas that are in need of improvement as well as their needs and wants. Whilst you may not be able to accommodate everyone's wishes - this is naturally quite commonplace - you will, however, have identified a number of issues, points, etc. to take into account, and from this list you can identify and work at managing the top priorities.

- Company culture
An increasingly touted term, which many people are still unsure as to the meaning of, company culture is essentially the personality of the company, it defines what the company is like to work for (from an employee's perspective), and it can also be seen to comprise the values and practices of the members of that organisation.

To ensure the end result of your refurbishment project is in line with your company's culture, involve your employees by encouraging suggestions and feedback, focus on the core values of your organisation to make sure they shine through and make sure your clients' best interests are always kept at the forefront - what aspects of the refurbishment project will result in better client experiences?

- Who will manage the project?
Regardless of the size of the refurbishment project in question, someone needs to be appointed to oversee it. Such projects can be time consuming, the ideal candidate will not only possess relevant experience, but also be able to take time away from their regular duties and dedicate themselves to the tasks at hand. Whoever you decide to appoint as 'project manager', the earlier a decision is made and that person and relevant stakeholders briefed, the better for the project.

- Minimising disruption
Even small refurbishment projects, for instance painting the walls and adding new lighting fixtures, can prove to be a major disruption so it is vitally important the project is timed to a tee, that every effort is made to ensure that business goes on as usual, and your employees and clients are well-catered for during the time the project is carried out.

Can the contractors work nights and/or weekends?
Out of hours work will always cost more; however, it may still prove to be in the best interests of your company to refurbish the office out of hours if it means keeping disruptions to a minimum.

Is there a time of the year in which business is usually slow?
Companies affected by seasonal considerations will generally find it advantageous to refurbish their office space during the slow period. However, if business is usually steady all year round, you will need to select a time in which it is possible to minimise disruptions as best as possible.

What work can be carried out during business hours?
Should you decide to refurbish during business hours there are many things that you will need to take into consideration, most notably workplace health and safety. It is never ideal to refurbish an office space whilst conducting business; however, you may find you have little choice.

In addition to what has been discussed here, you will also need to work closely with an experienced design and fit-out team. Working with the right team is essential if your company is to make the right impression with its office space, provide your employees with an inspiring environment to spend their working week, and ensure all your objectives, from adhering to workplace health and safety standards to maximising space, are met.

Saracen are experts in workplace consultancy offering full tailor-made solutions to all of their clients. For further details of our office refurbishment solutions please visit http://www.saraceninteriors.com/what-we-do/office-fit-out/


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