Office refurbishment: Where to start?

So, you’ve decided that it’s high time your office had a makeover. It’s a big job and, with the level…

By Andy Thomas


So, you’ve decided that it’s high time your office had a makeover. It’s a big job and, with the level of quality you require, you need a professional partner for any successful office refurbishment.

However, you want to have a clear picture of your ideal project before you approach an office refurbishment company – after all, going to a supplier with a blank slate just isn’t how you do business.Thankfully, there are steps you can take to ensure that you’re fully prepared when you approach your preferred refurbishment partner, thus securing a successful brief and final outcome.

Here are our five top tips for kick-starting your office refurbishment and agreeing your ideal specification before the project hits the ground running.

1. Decide why you need an office refurbishment

Armed with your staff feedback, you should have some idea of where you want your office redesign to go. It can’t just look good (although that would be a bonus) – it needs to be functional and help your business to work in a smarter way, for the long term.

If you decide that your office is old-fashioned, consider your priorities for modernisation. Do you need it to support advancing technology? How about keeping up with the forward-thinking style of your local competitors, and the impression it makes on visitors?

Has the way you work changed significantly in the last few years? Perhaps your workforce has changed in size or setup, and your current office layout just doesn’t support the cohesion you need.

Before you go into ‘how’ your office needs to change – start with ‘why’.

2. Conduct a staff survey

Your refurbished office is a place for your colleagues to thrive, so it makes perfect sense to consult them on the process and find out what they really want.

An employee survey will help you uncover the ‘real’ needs of your workforce, as well as establishing priorities for change.

Similarly, examining the needs of different departments will help you to appreciate how they work together, or indeed how they need to work in different ways – all of which will help you appreciate the potential for your office layout.

A happy and productive workforce is more likely to stay loyal to your company, as well as attracting additional talent to it; but there are obviously limits on what you can reasonably provide. Set expectations on the kinds of changes you’re thinking of making so that the feedback you receive can actually be acted on, not instantly disregarded.

3. Agree a budget

Approaching an office refurbishment company with no agreed budget will likely be a pointless exercise which results in plans that either don’t meet your expectations, or heavily surpass what’s realistic. Either way, it’ll waste a lot of time that you’re best off spending on financial planning and sign-off.

A reputable supplier will provide cost estimates for free, so you can have a realistic view of the financial outlay and plan around it.

Similarly, make sure you’re prepared for the cost of disposing of old furniture and equipment, as well as office waste, such as redundant paperwork. Even if it’s too good to throw away, you’ll need to arrange for it to be removed. Your office redesign partner may be able to arrange this for you – but be sure to check.

Similarly, you may need to think about the costs of additional security (if your refurbishment is happening outside of normal business hours) and the cost of alternative working arrangements if your staff can’t stay in the office.

4. Manage staff expectations

There’s likely to be a buzz in the office when your colleagues find out their workplace is getting an upgrade – and so there should be! It’s an exciting time for everyone.

However, the run-up to handing over the new office could mean a change in routine; working from a different place, for example, or being exposed to additional noise and a little interim untidiness.

A good office refurbishment company will take steps to minimise any disruption but be sure to speak to your staff and establish if there are any concerns – only then can you make sure they are adequately addressed.

5. Research your office refurbishment partner thoroughly

With so much investment going into your office redesign, you should make sure that your contractor aligns with your values. A good refurbishment partner will not just endeavour to get to know your business, but will be totally transparent, with a clear outlay of costs and project timescales.

They will be willing to show you multiple case studies where they have completed similar work, and it might even be beneficial for you to visit some of these properties to check it out for yourself.

Don’t just approach three suppliers and opt for the cheapest – it’s worth getting to know them as a company before you invest in the project.

Ready to take the next step in your office refurbishment plan? Download our office design guide and make sure your project prospers!

Download our Office Design Guide

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