Have you been thinking about updating your office for some time? Maybe 2018 is the time to take the plunge and invest in an office refurbishment?
In order to take the step towards having your office refurbished you’ll need to spend some time putting together a brief to cover what your objectives and needs are, your style of working, what functional requirements you have, staff numbers (current and future to allow for expansion) and last but not least, your budget. With this in hand you’ll be in a good place to start the process or updating your office and talking to your office refurbishment company to move your refurbishment project forward.
Your Office Refurbishment Brief
Here are a few of the things you need to think about:
Stand-Alone or Regional Office
Are you looking to refurbish one office or part of a group of offices? If you have one office then you can refurbish as you like. If you have more than one office you’ll need to think about branding and consistency across all of your office spaces. This is vital when it comes to making sure your clients immediately recognise your office space and your brand, especially if they are likely to be visiting more than one office. Consistency is key.
Branding and Colour Schemes
Company branding can set the tone of an office. How well your company branding will work will depend on your logo’s colour scheme.
Colour has been shown to have psychological, emotional, and physical effects on mood on a subconscious level. Some colours can have a calming effect and help you relax, other colours can be stimulating.
In the majority of cases where the colours are light this can open up an office space however in a few cases where the company colours are dark or too bold this may have a negative impact on the office space and the staff who use it.
If it’s clear that your company colours may not work well its worth looking for complimentary colours which could be used with your company branding so the corporate identify isn’t lost. Colour wheels are an excellent tool to help you choose colours which complement each other.
If you are still struggling this is where digital rendering or CAD comes into play. CAD is another fantastic tool which can in help you to see what your final office space will look like in full colour.
There are obvious places for adding branding to your office e.g. through signage throughout your office space and in your reception area where visitors will immediately see it. Branding can also be used in partitioning, wall colour, fabrics and furniture.
Sometimes branding can be overused to the point it becomes oppressive so hold back and only use it where it will have the most impact.
Updating Your Office Layout
One of the most important aspects of any office refurbishment is office layout. You need to take some time to consider:
Open Plan or Separate Office Space: What office layout would best meet your company needs? There has been a move towards more open plan office space over the past few years to better enable collaborative working however this type of layout isn’t for everyone and isn’t suitable for every business.
In this case you need to decide whether your staff need to work individually or as a team? If your staff need privacy as the work they do is confidential then individual office spaces would work best for you. If your projects require a team effort then open plan office space which is more conducive to collaborative working to support communication then open plan office space would make more sense for your business.
Offices and Meeting Areas: Think about how many offices you’ll need or how many members of staff you need to accommodate if you’re going for open plan. Consider whether you need a reception area with seating, meeting room(s), break out areas, kitchen etc. This will then inform your layout so you can make sure you have adequate space for all your needs.
Don’t be put off if you think you don’t have enough space to accommodate all your requirements. Partitioning, including folding partitions/moving walls can help you create the rooms you need e.g. a large are can be divided into multiple rooms and if you use folding partitions they can be moved back to create a larger space when required.
Data Cabling, Electrical Sockets and Fax Points: Are an integral part of a modern office space and need to be factored into office layout plans to ensure there are enough power and data points available throughout the office and positioned in a way that makes them easily accessible and convenient.
Heating and Ventilation: Under the terms of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, all UK employers are required to ensure that all enclosed workplaces are sufficiently ventilated, in order to provide a healthy working environment. In addition to ensuring an adequate flow of fresh air, workplaces also need to provide an environment with an appropriate temperature.
It’s therefore important to make sure your workspace heating and ventilation is sited to ensure the right temperature and humidity throughout your office space.
Storage Provision: One of the easiest things to forget is storage. Every office needs it and offices can very quickly become cluttered if storage is not “built into” office layout plans. Think about how much storage you currently have and then plan for the future to ensure you have extra capacity.
There are lots of excellent storage solutions available including “storage walls” which can provide the dual purpose of partitioning and storage space and come with a large variety of options from door finishes (wood veneer, laminate, solid colours in gloss or matt finish, glazed and roller doors) to unit options (drawers, shelving, letter racks, hanging file framework and rails for coat hangers).
Natural Light: Look at how your layout will impact the available natural light and whether additional lighting will be required to ensure your workspaces are well lit. If additional lighting is required suspended ceilings with integral lighting may be the best option.
Furniture, Fixtures and Fittings: The right furniture, fixtures and fittings can bring an office refurbishment project together. In a previous article we talked about how the office furniture you choose will vary depending on your business, the kind of office you have and the tasks you need to fulfil. What suits one office may not suit another. It’s not a case of one size fits all! It’s therefore important to choose your furniture based on your business and office workspace requirements. Finding the right balance between functionality, practicality and aesthetics will help your staff to be productive and enjoy working in the workplace.
Finally, look to the future. Don’t plan just for today, but remember when you’re thinking about updating your office, take into account future potential expansion. The last thing you want is to complete your office refurbishment only to discover that you run out of space when you need to take on new employees. Look at whether the office layout you plan now will provide you with enough flexibility for company growth in the years to come?
JBH Refurbishments have over 25 years’ experience in office refurbishment and have worked with clients across Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Essex and London. Contact us on 0333 207 0339 or contact us via our contact form. We look forward to working with you.