Ok, so the time for your office renovation has come. You’ve accepted that in business you’re either falling behind or moving ahead, so you’ve made the decision to upgrade your office situation. Well done, it’s a good move! But now the reality of the project is sinking in…
Of course, it’s great to be able to expand your resources and freshen things up, and there’s excitement in the air. Your team can’t wait to be working in their new office, but this opportunity certainly comes with its own set of growing pains and first, you have to contend with the noise, dust and likely a little confusion. How much upheaval is this really going to cause? You may be worried that schedules will slip, costs will overrun, customers will be inconvenienced and staff will be frustrated.
However, with the right planning you could actually thrive during this time.
To help guide you through the interruptions, here are 7 practical tips from us to you, on how to best survive your office renovation:
A snazzy new office makeover could be just what your company needs, despite the potential upheaval. It’s certainly been well worth it for Circus PPC who are now benefiting from this beautiful new workspace.
1. Spread the word
Renovations can be disruptive, there’s no getting away from that. But it’s not just the noise of the construction or the hunt for the relocated coffee machine – a project can knock your employees off their familiar daily rhythms and cause them to feel isolated or ignored.
Counteract that upfront by ensuring staff are aware and involved. Explain what you’re doing, why, when, and how – and remind them of how this will benefit them once the key objectives of the new design are met.
You could also involve employees by having polls and surveys to choose things like colours, themes, materials and office furniture pieces. Keep their focus on the end goal, not the temporary circumstances – and don’t let that morale drop.
When your office looks this good you’ll know it was the best thing you could’ve done for your employees and your business! (As Boxclever Consulting will know, having worked with us twice now!)
2. Craft a robust renovation schedule
Following on from the last point, try to stick to your schedule where possible! We know there may be bumps in the road, but making sure your schedule is realistic before you begin will help.
A big component of our job is to keep things running to plan when we’re managing a commercial design project. Having someone experienced driving the progress on will help massively, not least because there may be parts of the work that are time-sensitive or need to be done in phases to allow the office to keep running! Doing all the work at once might be more efficient but would likely require a complete shutdown of your usual operations.
We’re often required to craft the most efficient plan possible, working around the daily business of the company.
3. Strengthen your communication
Making sure there are strong levels of communication with your team and ensuring everyone is kept informed of new developments is key. And it’s not just staff you need to think about! Your communication plan should target at least three distinct groups: employees, customers, and suppliers.
Employees should be given timelines and more detailed instructions, but customers and suppliers shouldn’t be forgotten as they’ll need to be given appropriate updates and an idea of how they might be impacted, too. Keep the information and tone positive. Changes can bring concerns so make sure you’re not burdening your employees with extra worry!
The calm after the storm in the finished LeoVegas offices in Newcastle where employees now have access to a central break area, as well as meeting rooms, break out areas and a pool table.
4. Consider WFH where possible
It could be an option to let some or all of the team work remotely for a while, even if just for part of the renovation process, to keep motivation and productivity high. Planning that out before work commences is better than just muddling through and then being forced to scatter staff around once the disruption has already had an impact.
It’s also worth checking who might not have a suitable environment to work in. Not everyone can work easily from home. You may need to arrange for extra technology to allow for easier working and ensure staff are able to stay connected. You could also aim for an off-peak time for your business, or if there’s a time that more staff may be off.
Staff and customers alike are overjoyed to be welcomed into the new West Barn Co. offices and Clinic, making any disruption well worth the investment!
5. Contain the dust!
Be prepared for things to get messy! There’s no escaping the dust but there are steps you can take to try to mitigate and limit the amount. Before you begin, consider hiring extra cleaning services to stay on top of the daily progress, keep compressed air on hand to regularly blow dust from computers and keyboards and make sure your contractor is responsible for providing barriers such as plastic sheeting and also for the final cleanup.
We’ve also previously discussed that lighting is a key factor affecting employee productivity, so aim to make sure windows aren’t covered up and artificial lighting is available to provide enough energy and boost the mood for any employees remaining in the office.
6. Have a backup plan
Obviously we’d hope your project runs smoothly and everything goes according to Plan A but it’s always worth having a Plan B in your back pocket! There are unexpected elements and variables that emerge in almost any office interior design project.
Creating a contingency plan and having some extra budget available means that you’ll be more relaxed and able to deal with a hurdle – should one arise – in a timely manner. This will keep the project moving towards its completion faster. There’s nothing worse than everything grinding to a halt while you seek out additional funds!
Legal firm, Weightmans LLP in Leeds, opted for this eye-catching biophilic design in their new offices as part of their recent office refurbishment. Case study incoming!
7. Hire a Commercial Interiors Expert you can trust (Hi! Hello! It could be us!)
Hiring the right person or company for any job is paramount and an office refurbishment or renovation is no different. Professionals in our sector should have a proven track record and years of experience in space planning, project management and design, not to mention the right contacts and lists full of trusted suppliers.
With an expert on the case you’ll naturally experience fewer issues or delays than you might going it alone. Partnering with a specialist such as Ben Johnson Interiors is usually the smartest way to get through a renovation project, with you receiving our support from the beginning stages to the very end of the project’s completion, so you can focus on other things involved in the running of your business. In short, it’s handy to have us in your corner!
So if you’re looking to redesign your office space, get in touch.
We proudly offer our expert knowledge and support to a wide range of industries and project types and would love to learn how we can help improve your workplace for you and your team.