What makes a good office space?

What makes a good office space

The benefits of an office refurbishment. 

On starting out many companies will opt for an office space that comes close to their initial vision but inevitably some concessions will have to be made. Cost is usually the main factor, whether it is the cost of the office space itself or keeping overheads to a minimum as few new businesses have a large starting budget and want to spend as little as possible until they start to see a good return on their investments. Once a company has established itself, the original office space can seem less suited to the needs of the business, whether from increased staff numbers due to expansion or a shift in direction or a change in the services the company provides. At this point an office refurbishment can be the most convenient and cost-efficient solution as often the actual size of the office itself is not the issue, merely an inefficient or poorly organised layout. 

The office is the first point of contact with your business for clients and prospective employees and creates a first and lasting impression that could make the difference between gaining and keeping them or losing them altogether. Employees are the most valuable resource for any company and their happiness and wellbeing is crucial to good performance and this should be a core priority in any office refurbishment. Good office refurbishment companies understand this and will work closely with business owners and managers throughout the refurbishment to create an environment that brings out the best in the workforce. There are five key areas that should be addressed before any refurbishment is undertaken to ensure a happy and productive office space: 

1 – Branding  To create and maintain a strong presence in any marketplace, a recognisable brand identity is vital. This does not only apply to products and advertising, but should be represented by the office space itself, through colour scheme, décor, stationery and equipment. Not only does this show a professional, focussed mindset to the company for potential and existing customers and clients but also means employees will identify with the brand they represent and feel like they are part of a collaborative organisation and not just ‘cogs in the machine’. This constant contact with company branding will foster creativity and staff loyalty through a sense of belonging and inclusion. 

 Training and meeting space  If the company conducts regular staff training or one to one staff reviews, it is well worth making sure there is a dedicated private space for this if the company does not already possess it. This not only ensures privacy but also aids concentration during training and allows clearer communication with training staff. Staff training is important for growing companies to ensure staff have up to date knowledge of the systems and processes used by the company and changes in the evolving marketplace. This allows employees to increase their skillset, giving variety to their daily work and a feeling of growth and self improvement through education and guarantees the company has a well informed, up to date workforce that can deal with new challenges. It is also important to have a dedicated space for board meetings, management reviews and meetings with business clients that again allows for privacy and clear communication and also fosters a feeling of professionalism to clients and customers. 

 Communication  While some companies, depending on the nature of their business, prefer an office full of individual cubicle work areas to promote concentration and minimise distractions, this is not the best approach for all. An office refurbishment can open up the workspace, making it easier for employees to interact and allowing a more organic flow of conversation between workers. Often an expanding business will need to restructure the interaction between departments or combine departments that previously had distinct roles and duties and a more open, fluid office space will make this integration much easier. A more open office space will improve communication between staff and therefore productivity, reducing the need for time consuming and disruptive meetings as managers and departments can easily interact during the day without interrupting the flow of work. 

4 – Employee wellbeing  The health and mental wellbeing of the workforce is not only a legal obligation for employers, happy and healthy employees will work harder and more efficiently, boosting company productivity. If an office looks shabby and rundown, with outdated, dull décor and worn or broken fittings and equipment, it will not be an inspiring place to work and will create a depressing and demotivating atmosphere. An organised, uncluttered workspace with vibrant, modern colours (as long as they conform to the company branding, as discussed above) will create a relaxed, cheerful frame of mind and promote an organised, efficient approach to work. Efficient air conditioning and heating and a well lit space with windows (if possible) will create a comfortable and healthy environment to work in and ergonomic furniture will allow movement and flexibility. Refurbishment allows an opportunity to address these issues and implement a system of planned property maintenance to ensure the office is regularly inspected and maintained and functioning as efficiently as possible. Any damage to the property or problems such as damp or mould infestation that could affect the health and safety of employees can also be located and dealt with at this point. 

5 – Community  As employees will spend the majority of their time in the workplace, a sense of belonging and being valued will ensure they remain with the company for as long as possible. One way to promote this is to create a space for employees to congregate and bond as a team. Whether this is a bright, pleasant break room to relax and eat together or just share a coffee and a conversation, or a pleasant balcony or outside area to enjoy the fresh air together, this will allow employees to bond over subjects other than work and create a feeling of community. Feeling like part of a team rather than just a workhorse who clocks in, works their hours and leaves always leads to a happier workforce and the provision of a dedicated space to relax and socialise together shows that the company values them as individuals and cares about their happiness and wellbeing. 

Before contacting interior fit out contractors, these points should be considered carefully to ensure that their office refurbishment services will address them and create the best office space not only for company productivity but the wellbeing of the employees who are at the core of this productivity. 

JST Construction are one of the leading construction companies in the North West, providing a full range of construction services to all manner of companies, large and small. Contact us to share your office refurbishment ideas and we will work closely with you at all stages from planning to finish to ensure your vision of your ideal office space is realised with the minimum of fuss and disruption. Our efficient, professional staff value customer satisfaction above all else and will happily answer any queries you may have on all aspects of commercial construction and work towards delivering your perfect workspace as soon as possible. 

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