Preparing for a Post Lockdown Office Interior Fit Out London

The current lockdown situation has given UK businesses the opportunity to assess the way they work, with many questioning if they can permanently implement remote working among their workforce and scale back on their office space. To facilitate that move to creating a safe and flexible workspace for remote and office-based workers, JBH Refurbishments is offering a FREE consultation on your office interior fit out in London during lockdown.

“With the right office design and layout, businesses can effectively support a combination of remote and office-based workers, but companies also need to take action to encourage social distancing and improve hygiene in the workplace to reduce exposure to Covid-19,” says Jason Hubbard, Managing Director of JBH Refurbishments.

“Even during the lockdown situation, we are working on office design concepts and protective office equipment that will allow workers to safely return to work, while reducing the exposure to the virus.

“In our plans, we are looking to provide everything you need to confidently reopen your doors. From suitable meeting rooms and collaborative spaces, with conferencing technology, to partitioned offices and booths for those that need to retain privacy and reduce contact with others. Ergonomic workplace furniture, protective screens, easy-to-clean surfaces and acoustic panels are  must haves for a truly flexible post pandemic office interior fit out in London!”

FREE Lockdown Consultation For Your Office Interior Fit Out London

JBH Refurbishments is offering a FREE office design and space planning consultation to explore the possibilities of altering your workplace for social distancing, enhanced hygiene and protection.

We can discuss your office interior fit out London in detail, look at plans and arrange a site visit. Our interior fit out specialist will be fully equipped with the required PPE throughout the visit.

From the layout and interior design to the office furniture and acoustics, we can provide the professional advice that you need to support your reopen for business.

What Does The Post-Pandemic Office Design Look Like?

First and foremost, there is no one-design-fits-all. A flexible working space optimised for social distancing and protection will largely depend on the space you have available. A small office will be more limited for social distancing than a larger workspace. However, JBH Refurbishments have the expertise in space planning to optimise your layout where possible.

By way of inspiration, here are two examples of post pandemic office design concepts by U.S. commercial real estate company, Cushman & Wakefield and Nelson Worldwide’s Philadelphia office, published by CNBC.

What To Consider When Planning A Post Pandemic Office Interior Fit Out London?

If you are planning to scale back on your office space and prepare for a flexible office interior fit out London, we have prepared five questions you need to answer.

Question 1: How many employees will you expect in your office at any one time?

You will need:

  • Enough hot desks positioned at least two metres apart
  • Office chairs and furnishings made of antimicrobial surfaces
  • Enough electrical sockets for your expected intake.
  • Sufficient internet speed for multiple users

A remote worker that turns up to find no desk, chair, internet or a place to plug in their laptop has likely had a wasted journey, so preparation is key to supporting your employees.

Question 2: Are employees expected to collaboratively work together at any one time?

If so, you may need activity-based work zones to isolate these worker from their colleagues for safety reasons and prevent them distracting others. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need several activity-based work zones. These areas will need to be designed to inspire and accommodate varying capacities. They also need to provide comfort and high-speed internet.

Question 3: Is sound going to be an issue?

Face to face conversations and meetings are going to be the main reasons staff attend the office. Be it to work as a team, have meetings or liaise with other departments. This means the noise level throughout the office is likely to increase, depending on the nature of your business of course. Reverberations in an open plan office might be problematic, especially in a condensed office environment. There are however plenty of acoustic options available for you office interior fit out London, including:

  • Acoustic panels that can be suspending from the ceiling and mounted on the walls
  • Acoustic wall finishes, available in many different designs
  • Acoustic lighting
  • Office partitioning with a variety of acoustic options
  • Office booths with exceptional acoustic properties
  • Floor finishes can reduce reverberation too. There are carpets, vinyls and laminate options that have been designed to effectively absorb sound.

Question 4: Do you need to meet and greet external visitors?

Meeting rooms are essential, but they could be more important than ever after the lockdown. Remote workers are likely to use the office as the place to meet with clients, suppliers and colleagues rather than external venues to reduce exposure in public spaces. Therefore, professional meeting spaces are essential to an post pandemic office interior fit out London.

Question 5. Does your office furniture suit a flexible office space and provide social distancing?

It may seem obvious, but if you are scaling back on your office space, you may also need to reduce the size of your office furniture. Workers need to be sat apart, so office desks and tables will need to be smaller. During the office design phase, JBH will look at the available space and create a layout that will accommodate a range of hot desking options for your business.

London Firms Leading The Trend In Post Covid-19 Office Scale Backs

Large organisations are already taking steps to reduce their London office space in favour of a partial home and office working arrangement. Investment firm, Morgan Stanley, which occupies no less than 448,489.1 sq ft over 17 floors of office space in Canary Wharf, is leading the post-lockdown trend to downsize.

In a report by The Financial Advisors IQ’, James Gorman, CEO OF Morgan Stanley stated to Bloomberg Television, “We’ve proven we can operate with no footprint. Can I see a future where part of every week, certainly part of every month, a lot of our employees will be at home? Absolutely.”

Clearly the current lockdown arrangements have proven productive for this global organisation, which occupies offices in London and New York’s financial districts. Post-pandemic work life for Morgan Stanley’s 80,000 employees could be vastly different. Staff could be working partially from home and from the office, saving the business substantial real estate fees.

When Will The Trend Take Hold?

Throughout the lockdown situation, we have looked to China – using their experiences as a glance into our future. As the lockdown is gradually lifting , the country’s commercial real estate market  has – as expected – slowed and renewals of office lets has become the preferred choice.

The economic uncertainty coupled with a gradual return-to-work rate is preventing businesses looking to occupy new property as part of their growth.

In Shanghai JJL, the commercial property research company, report 80-100% of employees have returned to work, and in Chengdu and Chongqing the rate is 75-80%. The figures are a sure sign that businesses globally will be reassessing the need to occupy such large office space in London and globally immediately after the epidemic.

Available Prime Real Estate Poses Opportunity For New Enterprises

Following every economic crisis, new opportunities emerge, and new enterprises thrive. As the trend for large London firms to release their prime real estate takes hold, JBH Refurbishments predicts scale-up opportunities for emerging business disruptors, start-ups and shared office space companies. There will also be companies that need to increase their office space to adhere to social distancing rules. Desirable real estate will not be left vacant for long!

How to Afford A Post Lockdown Office Interior Fit Out London?

Initially, after lockdown business owners will be cautious to undertake major works to complete an office interior fit out, but office leasing can financially facilitate businesses to achieve the office interior fit out they require.

JBH Refurbishments works with a variety of specialist office refurbishment finance companies. In essence the tenant leases the office interior fit out for as long as the lease on the property. Alternatively, they can arrange a repayment scheme on a privately owned property. You can find out more about the affordability options for an office interior fit out London on our Finance and Leasing page.

How to Plan an Office Interior Fit Out London

JBH Refurbishments is here to support and guide you through your office interior fit out in London. Even during lockdown, we can begin the conversation and start developing ideas. All you need to do, is give us a call. Our number is 0333 207 0339 or drop us an email using our contact form.

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