Modern Office's tips for a successful commercial office refurbishment

Is this the year for your business to upgrade your existing workspace, or find a new one altogether?

The return to the office is underway, and although things may never really be the same, this might be a good chance to reassess how your office space needs to change for the years ahead. Remote working will probably exist in some shape or form, and you might consider adapting your space to allow for more hot desking or breakout spaces for the times when everyone does get together.

Regardless of how your office fitout ends up looking, you’ll need to spend some time assessing your requirements and priorities before you start the project. Creating a detailed plan and brief for your new office space will help set realistic expectations, allow you to budget effectively and avoid any project delays or unexpected events.

If you’re embarking on a commercial or office refurbishment, here are some tips to consider:

Have an idea of what you need and want

Consider how long will you be spending in your office – is this a short-term fix, or an investment for the long term? Your vision for what you would like to see should be clearly articulated.

How much time do you have to complete the process, whether it's sourcing furniture, designing your space and completing the installation process? Will the look of your office and the quality of furniture impact your clients if they enter your premises on a regular basis, or is it largely for staff only? Depending on how customer facing it is, does your brand need to be or stay visible through signage, colour choice and street appeal?

During the planning process, also have a think about whether you’re concerned about environmental standards and sustainability, as this will impact the choices you make. More organisations are heading down the path of having and telling their sustainability story, so establish how important this is for you.

Set a budget

How much you are willing to spend is going to be one of the first things to establish. If your budget is limited, prioritise what’s important and consider reusing existing furniture or spending less on items of less significance. Ask your supplier for some cheaper alternatives so you can stick to your budget.

Also, think about future proofing. Are you planning for the next 10 years or beyond? Ensure you’re investing in quality, commercial-grade furniture so it is fit for purpose and will last as long as it needs to, and whether your growth will mean you need extra items for new staff.

Consider practical technology needs and make sure you factor this into the budget as well. Things to think about here include power, lighting, the ability to present to staff/clients and connectivity.

Understand how your team works and what kind of workspace they want

This is probably one of the most important things to have firm in your mind. Depending on the type of organisation you run will dictate the layout of your office and what areas will resonate more with your team.

Open plan and cubicles or open/closed layouts each have their pros and cons, so make sure you understand the differences and what will work best for your office workflows. Consider the flow of the office and the spatial distances between furniture to ensure comfortable movement around the office. Getting a floor plan done can help identify any potential issues and our team can provide this as part of our process.

Have a think about the impact noise has on staff productivity. Does the type of work you do encourage plenty of conversation or is it a subdued and low-key environment? Ensure you plan acoustic solutions into your design if you have staff that needs to work on focused and solitary tasks versus communal breakout and discussion spaces. If meeting rooms are scarce and you don’t have the option of adding more, perhaps you can provide this through furniture choices like booths or sound pods.

Consider your team’s needs around comfort, longevity, workflow, flexibility, and collaboration as these will all factor into the decisions you’ll need to make on facilities and furniture.

Get feedback from your team members

Employee productivity and mood are reflected in how they feel about their workspace. Ensure you make them feel part of the process and ask their opinion on the design and layout and make an effort to understand their needs. Based on this, work out what sort of desk or chairs will work for your staff – do they have a preference? Are your staff sitting for more than five hours per day and if so, consider ergonomically designed furniture. If your staff are more high-energy, move around and like the option of standing at their desk, maybe height-adjustable desks are the best way to go.

Do your employees have ideas on what would make the workplace more inviting? Consider bringing ‘home’ to your workplace with furniture ranges that reflect residential design, consider adding plants and nature into the workplace. Do you or employees have any back problems or injuries that you need to consider – the choice of chairs you go with will become more of a factor here.

All of these considerations can be overwhelming. Nominate one person within the organisation to manage the entire process and know their strengths. If you don’t have this capacity in-house, perhaps an Interior Designer or layout consultant could lend their expertise.

Or, you can simply talk to us! Modern Office has a 6-step office fit-out process: Scoping, Analyzing, Design Advice, Floor Planning, Implementation, and Follow Up. Whatever skill sets you’re lacking within this process, our team can pick up. We can work with you at every step to ensure we capture and deliver on your requirements – contact us for a no-obligation chat today!

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