Office Refurbishment Checklist
On starting out, most new companies will find their budget for office space is limited. As a result, some concessions will have to be made in terms of office size and layout. However, as time goes on and business increases and more staff are recruited, the existing office space can seem less suited to purpose. The initial temptation can be to seek out new premises more fit for the needs of the growing business, but this can be time consuming and expensive. Perhaps there are few suitable premises nearby and if your business is focussed on provided services to the local area based on your knowledge of local markets and suppliers, moving elsewhere would be counterproductive and potentially damaging to the business itself.
If this is the case, an office refurbishment, or office fit out as it is also known, could be the ideal solution to your problems. Often the office space itself is not the problem, merely the layout and reorganising the existing space is all that is necessary to increase efficiency. Moving premises is not only costly, it can result in down time and lost man hours, and more crucially, lost revenue. Before canvassing office refurbishment companies it is important to compile a checklist of factors to be addressed. Assemble your key staff and assess what your office currently lacks and what it needs for the future.
Reasons for refurbishment
- Why now? – What has prompted a refurbishment at this point in time? Do you need more space for existing staff or are you planning to expand your workforce in the near future? Does your office seem dated or inefficient? Have you shifted focus on the services your company provides and need to alter the flow of work in the office? Do you need more space for client meetings? Assessing why you want to change now will ensure your new office will be suited to your current needs and future plans.
- Image / Décor – Often your office will be the first point of contact for new clients or prospective employees, so a good first impression is essential. A dated and ugly office will not help to attract or retain the best of either group. Perhaps your current colour scheme does not fully represent your brand identity or a rebrand has rendered it redundant. A bright and colourful work environment will also have a positive effect on staff morale and subsequently productivity.
- Energy efficiency – Heating and lighting are often hidden costs to businesses. Inefficient heating systems are more expensive to run and poor insulation will result in heat loss that could be easily avoided. Timed or sensor activated lighting will ensure that lights are only switched on when rooms are occupied, saving on energy costs. Government legislation such as the Energy Performance Of Buildings 2006 Directive or the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme can lead to fines for companies that do not comply and being seen as environmentally friendly can give your company a far more positive image.
- Budget – Probably the most important point to consider. It is an unfortunate truth that no company has a limitless budget and the amount of money available will be the major limiting factor on how ambitious your refurbishment will be. At this point it is worth considering if you plan to lend from a bank and if so how much is potentially available, or for smaller companies if business grants are available. Many office fit out companies will offer payment plans. If this is the case and the cost can be spread out over time, work out if this would be more suitable than paying the entire bill at once.
- Health and Safety – The physical and mental wellbeing of employees should be a priority for all businesses and workplace hazards should be minimised at all times to ensure this. Government legislation is stringent regarding the obligations of employers towards their staff and no responsible business owner would want their employees to be uncomfortable or at risk of physical harm in the workplace. A full risk assessment of the office should be performed and any shortfalls factored into the refurbishment plan. Happy workers perform more efficiently and are more likely to stay with a company that has their wellbeing at heart.
When these issues have all been addressed you should have a list of office refurbishment ideas and a clearer vision of how your refurbished office will look and function. At this point you are ready to go through local office fit out contractors and find the one most suitable for your refurbishment. When you have found the appropriate company there are several further steps to follow.
Working with your refurbishment company
- Initial Meeting – Call your company of choice and arrange an initial meeting to discuss your overall refurbishment plan. This is your opportunity to discuss the particular needs of your business, how the refurbishment will improve your current workplace and any alterations to suit your vision of how the business will function in the future. At this point any potential pitfalls in your plan can be addressed and any suggestions they have can be put forward. Having the input of expert professionals at this point will guarantee the most efficient and organised plan going forward.
- Interior design – Check if the refurbishment company can deal with the design and decor of your office along with the construction services required. This can save the expense and trouble of hiring additional interior design professionals and ensure that the end product is as close to your vision as possible as only one company is dealing with all aspects of the refurbishment with no breakdown in communication.
- Cost – Once a complete picture of your requirements is in place, a final price for the refurbishment can be negotiated. Using one company for all aspects of the work will avoid any hidden or unexpected additional costs. Any potential payment plans can also be discussed at this point and any alterations to the refurbishment due to budgetary restraints can be factored in.
- Arrange refurbishment – Once both parties are satisfied a clear plan is in place, a date can be arranged for refurbishment and a timescale for the work arranged to cause minimal disruption to the business during work. Work can then begin and once completed your business can move forward in its ideal workplace.
At JST Construction we pride ourselves on being one of the premier office fit out companies in the North West. We offer a full range of office refurbishment services, however large or small, with minimum disruption to your business. We understand the importance of a professional and efficient workplace and our expert staff will work closely with you through every stage from planning to completion to ensure your vision is realised. Please contact us on 0151 355 9232 with any queries, we look forward to hearing from you.