Office Refurbishment Checklist
Read our office refurbishment checklist from the experts at Meridian Interiors.
Investing in your workspace is a positive way to update working practices within your organisation, boost staff morale and express your company’s brand. This guide walks you through the path involved in the office fit-out and refurbishment process, so you are well informed for your next office refit.
The Office Refurbishment Process
Deciding when to carry out an office refurb is a good place to start because it is a very involved process, so you need to have the time and dedication to commit to it. Utilising the skills of your own staff (IT, Facilities Management, Office Managers), coupled with an experienced office refurbishment and fit-out company, like Meridian Interiors can help the process run smoothly, ensuring important elements are not missed.
Stages of Office Refurbishment
There are a series of stages to work through to design, plan and implement a new office refurbishment. Even though the size, scale and cost can vary dramatically between projects, the process remains very similar.
When you decide to carry out an office refurb, the first stage is referred to as the consultation stage. It is at this stage that initial conversations are had to establish what the goals are for the build, and how that will influence the design and planning stage.
At Meridian Interiors we focus on four fundamental concepts: Listening, Understanding, Creating and Delivering.
During the ‘Consultation phase’, office refurbishment companies will strive to take your vision and turn it into a reality. A workplace evaluation is paramount at this stage, where key people from your organisation set out the project parameters and review your main project objectives. Whether it be owners, managers of SMEs, facilities managers, maintenance teams, IT, finance, sales and marketing or operations managers, this is the first key step to ‘listening’ to your needs.
Design and development
Following the consultation and having defined your needs, the design and development of the project will need to be established using the framework below:
- Headline Project Objectives
- Team synergy in your organisation
- Employee Habits & Wellbeing
- Your Brand Themes
- How the current space is utilised & performs
- Requirements for expansion/future proofing
Analysis of these factors can then be used to determine what options and solutions your company can use to create the best possible working environment for stakeholders.
During the planning phase, it is important to understand how the budget can be used to achieve the desired result.
As planning a project is very involved, using both 2D and 3D drawings, can help shape the interior refurbishment and ensure all parties are on the same wavelength, after all a picture speaks a thousand words!
Once the design and plans have been agreed, ‘creating’ and ‘delivering’ are the next steps.
Have a programme of works in place with your chosen office refurbishment company will help the project to stay on track. Regular meetings between stakeholders are important to ensure the project is built accordingly to plans and change management can be implemented, where necessary.
The final project needs to run according to the planned budget and therefore having a project manager, to control costs and lead times, is imperative to achieving an office refurbishment that fulfils the brief.
Office Refurbishment Solutions and Options
For an office interior refurbishment to be successful, changes and improvements to the areas discussed below are paramount. Office refurbishments can vary in scale, so you may be looking to change only one or two of these items, to establish a better working environment. Or you may be looking to make significant changes and incorporate all these items within your new scheme.
Many offices have suspended ceilings because they are a practical way to hide ductwork, cabling and pipework.
A suspended ceiling is made up of a grid system, which is suspended on wires, with ceiling tiles and light fittings fitted within the frame. A lighting design is recommended to ensure the correct lux level is achieved throughout the space.
Suspended ceilings make maintenance for air conditioning, power and lighting accessible and are therefore a practical addition to an office.
The infrastructure behind a great office space needs to be well thought out and planned as part of the design process. Power, lighting, plumbing and HVAC systems are the elements of a design that make the aesthetics work.
As described in HSE’s Lighting at Work report, poor lighting at work can represent a significant cost to business in the form of:
- Time off work because of accidents and injuries
- Increased absenteeism
- Reduced staff efficiency and productivity
Getting it right is therefore paramount for the health, well-being and productivity of employees.
Having a lighting design created for your specific layout is a useful design tool, both to ensure the correct aesthetics of the refurbishment and the practicalities of having the correct lighting in the right areas. For example, you may need specific task lighting for carrying out detailed work, more relaxed lighting in a breakout area or feature lighting to make an impact in a reception area.
Decorating your workspace is an easy way of refreshing the space, without the need for a big budget. There is a seemingly endless range of wall coverings, paint colours and wall tiles. Using Meridian’s expertise in commercial office design, can help you to realise your ideas. It may be as simple as bringing in the colours from your company’s brand or selecting a style and colour you like!
As part of a larger project, decoration can form an integral element of the overall aesthetics of the office interior design and with a little creativity and inspiration, you can create a ‘wow’ factor or point of difference, setting your business apart from the competition.
Partitioning needs to be considered to create a fully flexible working office, as it offers privacy, better acoustics, meeting rooms, departmental layout, and safety, while offering enough personal space for workers to feel individually valued and productive.
Meridian can provide many different types of partitioning systems for the modern office or industrial environment.
- Drywall Systems
- Jumbo Stud Partitions
- Industrial Steel Partitioning
- Fully Glazed Partitioning Systems
Glazing, used in partitioning, has the added benefit of allowing light to flow throughout the office.
Natural lighting in an office is incredibly important. Employees will favour natural light for its many properties, as discussed in this article: Must-Have Office Features Employees Will Love.
We discussed how incorporating as much natural light into an area as possible and positioning workstations evenly throughout the area can be beneficial to employee’s well-being. A 2018 Harvard Business Review reports a study concluding that workers in daylight office environments reported a 51% drop in the incidence of eyestrain, a 63% drop in the incidence of headaches and a 56% reduction in drowsiness.
Flooring is so versatile and a great way of zoning a space, without the need for partitioning it physically. Different types of flooring with varying textures, patterns and colours can make a big impact to an office refurbishment.
There is suitable flooring for every budget, use and colour scheme, making it a great way to freshen up an office space, re-purpose an area or adding an injection of colour or branding.
As a focal point within a workspace, a place where employees can interact socially, have drinks, have some lunch or catch up for an informal meeting, we believe the provision of a well-designed kitchen and breakout area, is essential in any workplace.
The space available will help with the design process, along with creative input from an office fit-out specialist and the analysis of how employees would like to use the space.
Top Tip – Read our blog: Ideas for your breakout area
If you would like to discuss your next office refurbishment, Meridian Interiors are celebrating 20 years of experience this year and enjoy helping clients design and plan their office schemes.
Office Refurbishment Checklist
An office refurbishment can completely revitalise your office space, and transform your workplace into a modern, stylish space that employees can enjoy. With regular studies finding that increased employee happiness links strongly to productivity, it’s no wonder that an inviting office space is on many employees’ wish lists. After all, if you spend so much time at work, why wouldn’t you want to invest in an office space that ticks all the boxes?
Identify your needs and objectives. This should be the easy part! Ask yourself, why do you want to refurbish your office? What do you want to gain from your office space?
These are simple enough questions, but they can help you finalise a goal from your office revamp, so you don’t go off track along the way, which is far easier to do than you might think.
Consider these points below…
Expansion: Do you need to create more room?
Facilities: Do these need to be upgraded?
Workplace environment: Is your reason for wanting to create a nicer place for your employees to improve wellbeing, or to improve productivity?
Legislation: Do you need your space to meet new government guidelines or /legislation?
Identify who needs to be involved in the project.
This includes company members and external companies. Depending on the size and scope of the refurb, you may find yourself liaising with additional companies, for example, if you are upgrading your company logos or signage, you’ll likely need to find a supplier and work with them on the design.
Company members: How will your team members and employees be involved with the project? Will they be involved directly or indirectly? Consider all departments from your financial team to human resources and management to marketing. They will all have an important input.
External companies: Employee unions and regulators, external professional services involved will need to be considered.
Talk to your Landlord
It is important that you keep your landlord fully up to date with any plans you have to refurbish your space and that they have given you permission to make those changes.
TOP TIP: Remember, you may need to obtain a ‘License to Alter’. This ensures the landlord is aware of all changes so an accurate and detailed Alter can be drawn up.
Choose a reputable office design and refurbishment company.
It is important to choose a reputable company to work with, things to look out for are their reputation, experience, and previous projects.
● Headline Project Objectives: To stay organised it is important to set objectives to ensure all parties involved are aware of the timeline and project outcomes.
● Team synergy in your organisation: Create an environment that allows a team. to come together and collaborate, plan spaces that inspire synergy.
● Employee Habits & Wellbeing: Your team spends 8 hours a day in the office. . Create a space where their well-being is boosted and create places within these. spaces that incorporate healthy habits.
● Your Brand Themes: Allow your team to live and breathe the brand they work for by using the themes of your brand within your business.
● How the current space is utilised & performs: Understand what is already working and what isn’t. Speak to your team, spend a day in different areas of your office to understand the dynamics.
Identify your budget vs expenses of the project you want to carry out.
Get quotes on every aspect of the project and understand your budget. The project will include expenses and fees from transactional fees to planning permission to contingency costs. Prepare for these as early as possible by budgeting as early as possible.
Identify when the best time to start your project is.
You’ll ideally want to avoid disruption as much as possible to day-to-day productivity in the office. Obviously, some disruption is expected, but you can plan this well to avoid it colliding with a busy time of year, for example.
When is your quietest time of year? When can you fit this in when it will not affect day-to-day operations too much, can your team remote work during this? Also, consider the environment around your office.
2D and 3D drawings: Consider the best designs using both 2D and 3D drawings to understand the use of space. This will help the refurbishment company to thoroughly understand your vision.
Interior design: The design, branding, and colours will feed into all aspects of the refurbishment and design, and these should be considered during the design process.
Furniture: If you are planning on keeping your current furniture or planning on buying new, ensure to plan your purchases around the design. Furniture is very important to the look of your new refurbishment.
Lighting: Positioning of your lighting will affect the look of your design and your employee’s work life. This is also a health consideration.
Glazing: To allow appropriate lighting and to conserve heat, whilst blocking out sound from the outside. Work with your refurbishment company to choose the most appropriate glazing.
Flooring: Appropriate flooring will complete the look of an office and ensure a safe place for employees to walk around on.
Storage: A new space allows for new storage solutions; correct planning will allow you to take advantage of all new storage opportunities. Storage whilst your refurbishment takes place is also essential to store your equipment and office suppliers.
DDA Compliance: It is important to comply with DDA, the law requires you to consider the needs of current and future employees.