How To Plan a Kent or London Office Refurbishment While the Premises Are Occupied

When it comes to Kent or London office refurbishment very few businesses have the luxury or moving out of their premises or relocating to temporary premises while their building or office space is being refurbished. Instead most companies find themselves trying to work around office refurbishment contractors while their office space is being refurbished. Clearly this can lead to disruption and inconvenience so how can you manage a Kent or London office interior redesign and fit-out while you’re premises are occupied?

Below we go through a few tips to help you minimise any disruption and maximise your work output during your office refurbishment project.

Tips to Ensure Your Kent or London Office Refurbishment Causes Minimum Downtime

Careful Planning

The logistics of many Kent or London office refurbishment projects are complex and need to be handled carefully to ensure minimum disruption. It’s vital that every part of an office refurbishment is planned carefully.

Before any work begins there should be a programme or plan of what work will be carried out detailing every stage with key dates, sometimes known as a Schedule or Scope of Works. Any plan should attempt to carry out any work while causing the least impact on the day to day work and routines of a company and staff.

This may entail looking at what office areas are being used and when, and carrying out refurbishment work around this. It may require moving some staff around or freeing up larger areas of workspace by placing staff in short-term locations and moving them back once work is complete. If your company has other sites you may be able to utilise other offices to take staff while your refurbishment is on-going.

If your staff sometimes work from home, another option is to encourage them to use their home office, instead of coming into work while your office fit-out is happening. If you have any training or conferences planned this would be a good time to schedule them as this will also reduce the number of staff in the office who are likely to be disturbed by the refurbishment work.

Communication Is Key

Communication is essential in making sure that everyone knows what is happening during an office refurbishment. Staff at all levels, need to be kept informed. If you have staff buy-in to the refurbishment (through the benefits it will bring) and you set realistic expectations of what the refurbishment will entail and how it may impact staff on a day to day basis then it is far less likely that any refurbishment work will cause a disruption.

One suggestion is to include staff in any refurbishment plans from the outset. You could choose to involve a number of staff, or ask a member of to act as a project leader who will represent other staff’s ideas or concerns in any refurbishment plans e.g. by requesting their feedback on design ideas, feeding back any issues they have, asking for their ideas on what would make their work easier or more efficient.

Set expectations by keeping in touch with staff throughout the process. This can be achieved through company emails, project bulletins which give updates on the progress of the refurbishment project, posters or bulletins displayed around the workplace and staff meetings where an overview of the project is given and then further timely meetings to discuss how the work is progressing.

Talking About the Benefits

We all know that change can be difficult. Many of us prefer to keep things the way they are (for the most part) and sometimes resist change, especially if we think it may not benefit us. As previously mentioned it’s important to get staff buy-in to any refurbishment work. One of the main ways to do this is to emphasise the benefits that will result from the refurbishment and how it will improve the workplace environment.

If everyone can see the benefits of the work being carried out then they are much more likely to get on board, and also more likely to put up with small annoyances, if they occur, without it causing any major issues.

Minimising Disruption

It’s important that refurbishment work does its best not to upset “business as usual” by minimising how it impacts the day to day activities of the business.

This can be achieved by:

  • Using some of the tips above and by projecting a positive outlook on what a fit-out could achieve in helping your staff and company to be more productive and positioning it for growth.
  • Maintaining the services your staff need to keep doing their job e.g., heating, ventilation and air conditioning; IT services e.g. computers, telephone and Wi-Fi etc.
  • Ensuring staff have access to other important facilities such as toilets, kitchen or tea point areas and breakout areas.

Signage and Health and Safety

When refurbishment work is being carried out there maybe some changes to office layout and some facilities may have to be moved to a temporary location. It’s therefore essential that there is effective signage and security in place so that staff know where everything is and don’t waste time searching for the facilities or services they need.

A bespoke health and safety plan and risk assessment should be carried out detailing how the project will be delivered. As well as being important for Health and Safety it will also inform staff of workspace areas they should avoid.

Minimising Noise

In an ideal situation a refurbishment team should be barely seen or heard. In fact, if asked, most companies will tell you it’s noise they worry most about. There is nothing worse than noise when you are trying to concentrate on work.

Clearly keeping noise to a minimum is vital when it comes to refurbishment projects. To try to cut down on the amount of noise your staff and neighbours have to suffer through it’s a good idea to try to schedule more disruptive work out of hours or in business periods which are quieter or when there are fewer staff around.

Where work is being carried out, whether it’s quiet or loud, your refurbishment company should construct temporary walls between the area being worked in and the office space staff are occupying. This should help to reduce the overall noise from any construction of refurbishment work.

Communication also plays a role in keeping staff informed when nosier work may be taking place to allow them to plan some work e.g. meetings or calls to clients which may require quiet at a different time.

Find Out More

To take advantage of JBH Refurbishments 25+ years of expertise in carrying out Kent or London office fit-out or office refurbishment while buildings are occupied contact us via our contact form or call 0333 207 0339.

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