5 step office refurbishment checklist

By Fordhay

|News|Feb 2020


An office refurbishment can do wonders for your business and having an office refurbishment checklist can help with this. It doesn’t take long for your workforce to become demotivated by an uninspiring workplace. Old technology, dull colours and stark lighting can take its toll on mental and physical wellbeing. An office refresh can quickly improve morale and wellbeing when done properly. Refurbishment enlivens your workspace without the expense and inconvenience of moving.

The refurbishment process is a complex one. With so many elements that need to be considered, it’s easy to miss some of the important stuff. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the refurbishment process on your mind, so we’ve created an office refurbishment checklist that will alleviate some of that stress.

1. Set your refurbishment objectives

Sometimes a complete overhaul of your office isn’t always needed. Sit down with your company’s higher-ups to outline the reasons for wanting to refresh your space. This will establish the extent to which your office needs to be refurbed. This step isn’t as simple as wanting to get rid of old chairs or small desks. You should look deeper into issues that are disrupting your workforce such as staff morale, brand identity or lack of resources. Ask your staff for their input so you ensure their needs will be satisfied with the new office.

With these challenges in mind, you can identify the goals you want to achieve with your office refurbishment. If communication is a problem, one of your objectives could be to improve collaboration and planning amongst teams. If concentration and focus are an issue, your goal could be to improve workforce productivity and efficiency. Remember to consider where your business will be in the next few years. If the business is going to expand or move into new markets, your office needs to be adaptable and scalable.

2. Decide who needs to be involved in the process

We all know that too many cooks in the kitchen can be disastrous, but trying to manage it by yourself can be even worse. The key to efficient office refurbishment is having a few key decision-makers that oversee the project. Your team will know the ins and outs of the process and keep track of its progress. Assign a project leader to make sure everyone stays focussed – but this person shouldn’t bear all responsibility.

You’ll want to keep the higher-ups involved in the progress the refurbishment is making, but only when necessary. Let your finance lead know about cost and budget, office lead about staff disruptions, operations lead about business disruption and marketing about design and branding. Don’t forget to keep your staff updated with general ongoings so they can prepare in advance. This will help to generate excitement and make sure your team feel involved.

3. Choose the right refurbishment company

The next step of our office refurbishment checklist is crucial. Regardless of how good your plan is, the difference between a good and bad company can make or break your office. Spend time inquiring with different companies to speak or meet face-to-face. You’ll gain a good impression of their personality, competence, skills and pricing. There are so many elements in the office refurbishment process and not every company will cover them all. Some companies are a one-stop-shop offering all the services needed to complete your refurb including consultancy, design, fit-out and project management. You’ll need to find partners that provide the best level of service and ensure they can work together.

Good partners will give you only what you need and for a fair price. Beware of unnecessary add-ons and large mark-ups from companies. Get your suppliers to provide a full cost estimate so you can decide which is best based on your budget and the quality provided. There may be hidden costs you didn’t expect so outline these before drafting your budget. This can include permission fees, insurance costs, environmental assessments, temporary storage and skips for old furniture and waste.

4. Establish your refurbishment timeline

You might not want to start the refurbishment process just yet. It’s wise to complete the previous steps well in advance of the project beginning. Check with your company to identify deadlines that could be disrupted by the project. Your stakeholders may be on leave so won’t be able to have much say in the process. You want to have temporary workspaces and facilities in place so your workers’ daily activities aren’t impacted.

Talk to your suppliers about lead times and establish a start date. If you’re having bespoke furniture this may take weeks to be produced. If you’re ordering online or from overseas, you may have to wait a few days for shipping. Speak to your finance team to consider the financial position your company is in. You may have lots of invoices due in a particular period or be coming to the end of the financial year. You may want to avoid these periods and choose a new financial year or quiet month.

5. Choose your furnishings and positioning

The final step in our office refurbishment checklist is finding a supplier that conducts space management planning. There’s so much that can be done with space and the right supplier will know the best ways to optimise it. Establish how many people you need to accommodate, their role, workstation, technology and resources. Understand how departments communicate so you can place them in proximity. Do you need to add a meeting room, board room, quiet room, printing room or break out area? You’ll know what your employees need by consulting with them in step one.

Choosing the furniture, technology and facilities for your workplace is the fun stuff. This is where you make the space your own and give everyone what they need. Look at your current belongings as you might not need to buy everything brand new. You could consider ergonomic furniture to improve physical health, efficient energy systems to improve sustainability, maximise natural light to improve mental wellbeing or new IT and telephony systems to improve communication.

You’ve made it to the end of your office refurbishment checklist. All that’s left is the fit-out itself. Make sure you accommodate your workers and give them access to all the resources needed to complete the refurb. Once your refurbishment is complete, you can project manage your office move into the new space. Don’t forget to celebrate your achievement! This is an exciting time and you should enjoy the process and end result as much as possible.

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