With Christmas just round the corner (just 7 days to go) and the new year well within sight (just 14 days to go), and even though Christmas can be a very busy time of year as you are organising your business shut down over the festive period and on top of that you’ll no doubt be Christmas shopping and planning how you’ll spend your time off, it can also be the perfect time to think about contacting your fit out contractor to plan that Kent or London office refurbishment that you’ve been considering for some time. This time of year is the perfect moment to plan for the coming year and to reflect on some New Year resolutions.
An office refurbishment can provide a perfect way to refocus, start afresh and realign your new business goals with the coming new year. It may be that you’ve been thinking about how you would like to make some business changes, implement some new ideas, start a new project or change your business goals.
So let’s consider some potential New Year’s resolutions or changes you may want to implement and how a new office fit out may help you achieve them.
Promote a Healthier Workplace
More and more businesses are looking to promote health within their office environment. After all a healthier workplace is much more likely to be a more productive workplace which benefits both employees and employers. So how can that be achieved?
A first step towards putting health front and present is to look at organising your workspace into different areas for different work tasks which encourage people to move around throughout the day, rather than sitting still at their desk for hours on end.
We now know that there is evidence which suggests that sitting down too much can be bad for your health. Sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism which in turn reduces the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and to break down body fat. This makes perfect sense as when you sit you use less energy than you do when you stand or move about. A number of studies have shown that being inactive can be linked to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol and some types of cancer. This is backed up by a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine which highlights that those who sit for prolonged periods of time are “twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease and have a 13% and 17% increased risk of cancer incidence and mortality respectively”.
A team of researchers from the University of Chester conducted an experiment where they evaluated changes in energy expenditure and metabolism among 10 “deskbound” office workers who were asked to stand for at least 3 hours a day. Dr John Buckley explains, “Our study showed that when the participants were standing, their hearts rates were quite a lot higher – on average about 10 beats per minute higher and that makes a difference of about 0.7 of a calorie per minute. If you want to put that into activity levels then that would be the equivalent of running about 10 marathons a year – just by standing three or four hours in your day at work.”
In order to encourage staff to sit less there is the option of introducing ‘sit-stand desks’ (SSDs) also called stand-up desks (a desk that maybe in a fixed position or can be adjusted throughout the day to allow you to sit or stand comfortably while working). A SSD allows you to choose to stand while working encouraging blood circulation and the use of muscles otherwise not used while sitting.
According to the Posture Group sit stand desks are thought to increase productivity from up to 10-20% as they increase blood flow to the brain.
It’s clear from the information above and the many studies carried out that avoiding sitting still for long periods of time can be vital to health and productivity, so having an office layout and appropriate office furniture that encourages staff movement is important.
Improve Branding and Marketing
It may be that your office needs an update or you may simply want to make more of a mark with your office design. If that’s the case then an office refurbishment is the best time to look to incorporate your branding into your office look.
Traditionally branding was seen as something only to be used on advertising and websites however your workplace can be used to display your branding, after all your office is an extension of your business. Your office can convey your company identity or a particular message (maybe a strap line), it can work to showcase your business to the outside world and help you stand out from your competitors. For a brand to be strong it must succeed in setting itself apart. This can be achieved through making your workspace the face of your business which will directly impact how your business is perceived by both staff and customers. In short, people don’t just buy into a product or service; they buy into a brand.
So what does office branding actually entail? Let us start by saying office branding is more than simply putting your logo onto your office walls or using your brand colours throughout your office space, although this can form part of your office refurbishment. Instead it involves looking at your company’s ethos and the message you want your company to portray and incorporating that into your office design and layout. Here are some examples: if your business is creative you’ll want your office to inspire your staff and spark creativity in their work. The design should be modern and stir the senses e.g. you may decide to incorporate graffiti into your design; if your business is law then you may want your office to portray a more sombre, rich in style and modern interior to help gain and retain your customers trust and confidence. Whether it’s a creative business wanting to inspire and innovate or a lawyer looking to inspire trust and professionalism, great workspace design which uses brand identity is essential.
Your office style says a lot about you and your brand. If done right you can make the perfect first impression and convey your businesses message as soon as someone steps foot in your building or office. Furthermore a good positive impression can also bring about a positive effect on your staff’s morale.
Go Green/Be More Environmentally Friendly
Your New Year resolution may be to make your business more environmentally friendly. There are numerous ways that a new office fit out or refurbishment can help to achieve this. Even small changes can have a big impact on your business’s carbon foot print. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Reduce your paper waste
Reducing your office waste output can be a good starting point in becoming more environmentally friendly. There are a number of places where a company can save on waste that can be easily implemented e.g. encourage your staff to recycle waste paper and plastic by installing recycling bins to take paper and plastic waste within the office.
A further way of cutting back on paper waste is to switch to storing documents and information online rather than on paper. By moving to the cloud you’ll free up office space for other things and make it easier for staff to find documents and information they need to do their work which in turn will help to make them more productive.
Cut back on energy waste
Your business can also cut back on its use of energy by encouraging staff to switch off computers, monitors, printers and lights when they leave at the end of the day.
Replacing any outdated (energy consuming) devices for more energy efficient equipment (energy star appliances) can also lead to energy savings.
Switching to energy saving bulbs which can last up to 10 times as long as traditional bulbs and use less energy to power them are an energy efficient option as they don’t need to be replaced as often. Where natural light is not available the use of LED lighting, which although initially more expensive can offer 50% or more energy cost savings leading to a reduction in energy use, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.
Look to buy supplies and services from companies who use sustainable or renewable sources or who work in a sustainable way. By doing so you are keeping the environment in mind and making sure that any supplies and services you use do not impact the environment or minimise the negative environmental or social impacts through the supply chain. Sustainable procurement should consider the method of production, how things are delivered, the logistics and recycling used.
This could be as simple as only using recycled or eco-friendly paper or remanufactured or refilled ink cartridges rather than new and moving away from plastic stationary products e.g. switching to recycled newspaper pencils, 3D printed sugar cane pen pot, bamboo stapler, recycled paper pens or a refillable bamboo pen.
Bring Your Office Space Up To Date
You may want to carry out an office refurbishment to bring your office space up to date. If it’s been a while since you last looked at the design and layout of your office now may be a great time to take a fresh look at how your office space could benefit from a refurbishment.
A fresh look can begin to address any issues you have with the layout of your office space or allow you to maximise office space use. Perhaps you want to improve the colour scheme, make the space more vibrant and inviting or promote your brand, incorporate individual office space, move to an open plan office, improve storage, have a new meeting room or setup break out areas which allow your staff to move away from their desks opening up the possibility of more collaborative work or simply encouraging downtime to recharge. Whatever your requirements visualising new ideas and layouts can be achieved through 2D and 3D renders which will allow you “to see” how your new office will look before any work even begins.
Bringing your office space up to date can also apply to furnishings as well as the space itself. Old, worn furniture can send the wrong message. Having modern furniture lifts an office space, makes it look more professional and allows you to accommodate numerous ways of working from flexible layouts which can be changed or reorganised as and when required through to sit-stand desks (described earlier in the article). It can also be a time to address high foot traffic areas which may suffer from visible wear and tear by replacing these areas with durable flooring e.g. wood is the flooring of choice for many companies as it’s hard-wearing and low-maintenance. Using flooring made from sustainable materials will also help your green credentials.
A new refurbishment can also go a long way to improving your working environment which in turn can improve staff morale and productivity. There have been many studies which have shown that a working environment can have a large impact on how well people perform.
Attract and Retain New Staff
Attracting and retaining staff is important for all businesses. An office refurbishment can help with this if you are finding that staff are choosing to go elsewhere.
A survey carried out by Mindspace and One Poll commissioned by London Loves Business looked at why companies across the UK are struggling to attract and retain workers into their businesses. The research showed that good quality office design was vital to being able to attract the right workforce, particularly the younger generation, who place a premium on working in the right office where the design has been well thought out.
Dan Zakai, co-founder and CEO at Mindspace explains “Millennials are the future of the workforce and will constitute over 50 per cent of the working population in the next few years. It’s insightful to see that so many graduates and young workers are turning their back on potential employers because of the poor design of their office. While many young workers in the UK still value a good workplace culture and decent salary, employers need to start placing a much larger emphasis on the aesthetics of the office and fostering a more collaborative workspace in order to retain and attract the best young talent through their doors.”
Providing well designed and aesthetically pleasing working conditions helps make a good impression on job applicants and can go a long way to showing staff that they are valued.
There are numerous reasons why an office refurbishment can benefit your business, some of which are listed above. During the Christmas and New Year break take some time to think about how a new office fit out could help your business grow.
JBH Refurbishments Office Refurbishment and Fit Out Contractor
If you’re looking for an experienced office refurbishment and fit out contractor then look no further. JBH Refurbishments can take care of all of your office interior fit out needs. Take advantage of JBH Refurbishments 25+ years of expertise in carrying out your Sussex, Essex, Kent and London office interior fit out by contacting us via our contact form or calling us on 0333 207 0339.