If your business is flourishing and the sales volume is increasing, you might decide it’s time for an office upgrade. Or maybe the decor is looking a bit dated and the equipment is no longer up to the task, and it’s having an effect on your employees’ morale, and your customers’ desire to do business with you. If so, it’s time for an office refurb.
But how should you approach this and what should be considered? Here’s some basic tips and – we hope – some inspiration along the way.
1.Where do you start?
First things first. Gather ideas about what changes need to take place to improve the environment. You might already have some picture in your head of what you want to do but if not, this is a good time to sit down and go through some ideas for various options. Enlist the help of your employees and possibly even customers in brainstorming and listing all the updates that would help your business to grow and stay fresh. You obviously need to think about cost before making any changes but start with a wishlist and work backwards from there.
You will also need to think what the office will need to complete the refurb. New, more up-to-date IT equipment? New furniture? More storage? Better access?
And remember to think about the upkeep and maintenance of any planned alterations. That may affect what changes you can actually go ahead with.
2. How much will it cost to renovate your office?
Cost will obviously have a major bearing on your plans. Thinking about your budget in the early stages is essential to help you plan your business finance and ensure that you’re not going to do anything that puts a hole in your profits.
Building and renovation rates will vary depending on your project and your city. But for a simple guideline, here is a list of typical costs for a renovation:
- Simple Renovation: from £175 to £400 per square meter (painting, new carpets, small electrical work)
- Heavy Renovation: from £475 to £850 per square meter (electricity, decoration, security)
- An IT Workstation: £850 – £1,300.
- Hourly Rate of a Specialised Architect: 10% of the amount of the work
3. Compare the craftsmen near you
If your ideas involve structural changes, then invite in some builders to give you quotes and talk through plans. Together you can work on the specifications in collaboration with the various departments concerned.
Depending on the type of renovations required, you may need the help of the following:
- An Architect
- Interior Architect or Designer – a specialist in office layout
- An Engineering Firm – the building economist, and the space planner who prepares the project for the renovation (verifications, studies, concepts.)
- Project Manager to manage all the stages of the renovation project with the architect who oversees it all.
- Quality Control / Planning Officer to check if the works comply with the technical and safety standards.
4. Ensure efficient space planning
If you want to move to new premises or upgrade your existing business premises, you should especially think about the layout of the room.
In the vast majority of cases, it will make you think through the work processes and bring the commercial office in line with them. Optimised workflows can save you and your staff a lot of unnecessary “footwork” and increase the efficiency of your business by up to 100%.
By “work processes” we learn the sequence of all the different activities that are performed on a product, a customer or an idea before the final goal has been achieved. Optimize your premises to make these workflows and communications – internal as well as external – as seamless as possible.
5. Load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls
In order to optimize your work environment, it may be necessary to tear down walls to allow for improved workflows or to achieve an alternative layout. However, you must pay attention to the physical possibilities. Always find out which walls are load-bearing and non-load-bearing so as not to endanger the stability of the building.
Basically, outside walls are a taboo. These are rarely non-load-bearing walls and therefore must not be demolished.
You can usually tear down plaster walls and walls with a thickness of less than 11.5 cm, no problem. These are certainly not load-bearing walls and do not adversely affect the structure of the building.
Keep in mind, however, that water and power lines can run in the wall. Before doing anything, find out about the position of the pipes before you start demolition.
With a thickness of 17.5 cm or more, with only a few exceptions, you can expect to be dealing with a load-bearing wall.
Walls with a thickness of 11.5 cm – 17.5 cm can be both load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls. In this case, we recommend that you consult a structural engineer in any case.
6. Maintain a healthy working environment
Light-flooded rooms act as instant mood enhancers and also help save energy costs. With an open plan design and large windows, you and your staff can take a break from artificial light and, incidentally, even lift your mood and that of your employees.
Where this is not possible, there are daylight lamps that reproduce the light of the sun as realistically as possible. The benefit of such daylight bulbs is that it puts less strain on your employees’ eyes and makes the workplace look warmer and more inviting than a place you want to leave as quickly as possible.
If you can get a place where the building is well yielded with trees, you can enjoy the natural breeze and other associated benefits. Plants are the alpha and omega for a “healthy” working environment. Not only do plants have a visually calming effect, but also filter pollutants from the air and create fresh oxygen, which promotes quick thinking.
7. When should you move in?
It is not always necessary to move during renovations. With the right planning, the renovation work can be carried out selectively, while the operation otherwise continues as usual.
Of course – the faster the work is carried out, the sooner you will be able to fully use your premises again.
The construction firm should provide a realistic schedule and ensure you have all the materials and tools needed at the right time. This reduces unnecessary delays and enables faster renovation work.
Professional tip: Inform your employees about the renovation schedule at an early stage so that they can prepare for it.
8. How long does the renovation of my warehouses take?
Both the length of the renovation and the associated costs are highly dependent on the size of the project, the changes you want, and the size of the premises.
Unforeseen variables often lead to delays and annoying extra costs if the project is not carefully planned, tested, and prepared. Only an experienced and reliable professional will be able to give you a reliable estimate of the duration and cost of the project. Make sure that all the relevant technical data and plans for your workplace are available before starting the project.
Once the project has been determined and decided upon, the exact timetable can be worked out together with the various specialists and craftsmen, and fixed in writing. This way, hopefully, you have a timetable you can rely on, and an exciting new refurbed office in no time at all!