Control Your Office Refurbishment Costs – 10 Steps To Follow

Do you want to improve the look and feel of your office in order to create a great first impression for your visitors? Are you in need of extra office space to add more workstations and systems? When it comes to upgrading your office, it is wise to plan. To quote Benjamin Franklin,

“if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

It is important as the office owner to plan how your office will be upgraded as office fit out costs are not easy to manage and easily can go out of control. Office refurbishment is almost like a rite of passage especially if you are not planning to move anytime soon. What you need to know is that renovation comes with risks especially if you select the wrong contractor who is not skilled, well equipped and experienced. Unskilled contractors are usually tempted to rush a job in order to be paid and move on to another task. Experienced contractors will begin by taking stock of the structural condition of the office floor and building.

With a budget of £50,000 or more, you can hire an office refurbishment contractors which employs skilled, well equipped and experienced people. They are ready to deliver what the client wants and within the set time period. Hiring a company will ensure that you have a single point of contact and responsibility. You don’t have to manage different sub contractors at a go.

How will a great company go about upgrading your office? Here are steps the company employees will follow to provide you with the office upgrade you desire.

Step 1 – Perform an audit of your office space

Your office is where meetings are held, new business deals are made, where exciting projects are started and completed, where pivotal presentations are made and where the usual office banter happens. According to research, 80% of the reasons why employees do not perform well at work are as a result of poor office organisation or environment.

A disorganised work environment makes it a struggle to work and meet the set deadlines for different tasks. To ensure office productivity levels are improved, it is important to refurbish and upgrade. Ample space is required for files, folders and computer systems. The air con should be able to cool the whole room while the windows should allow just the right amount of light.

Conducting an audit of your office space will allow you to know what you need to be added, removed or upgraded. It is wise to consider the current processes and workflow methods. This should also include other changes that will affect acquisitions, disposals and new product launches.

You need to assess the value and significance of any characteristics your office space has. Is it relevant to you and your employees? Consider your IT infrastructure and make sure the changes will accommodate any future upgrades.

10 steps to minimise office fit out costs

Step 2 -Talk with your landlord

Unless you are the owner of the building, you will have to approach the landlord and inform him or her about the upcoming changes. Your landlord will have to consider the implications of your upgrades but many will take up the chance as it adds value to their investment. There are a few things to clear up such as rental terms, capital contribution, renegotiation of dilapidations clauses in return for the upgrades and many more.

Approaching your landlord helps to ensure that you and your contractor are given the approval to go ahead with the upgrades. At the end of the day, the benefits of this upgrade will go towards the well being of your company. How? Apart from improving office efficiency, it will enhance your corporate image and competitive advantage. Plus it will increase your client base and improve your ability to attract more business.

Step 3 – Select your in-house office refurbishment team

It is important to select your own in-house office refurbishment team. The idea behind this is to ensure that everything goes according to plan. For example, when it comes to your IT infrastructure, you need to move and transport the servers to a new room to avoid any disruptions to the service. Your IT professionals in the office refurbishment team should provide flexible and scalable solutions that ensure the continuity of service provided to clients. They should also help in preventing unauthorised access to the systems.

It is important to take care and pay close attention as this is a big decision. The main objective of having an in-house office refurbishment team is to ensure that the contracted company not only follows the design plans but also adheres to each department requests.

Step 4 – Selection and interview of an experienced Office Refurbishment Contractors

This is a crucial step in your office upgrade plan. Hiring a company that has inexperienced employees who are not well equipped and has poor reviews will result in poor performance. These companies are known to seek work just to make a quick buck. They don’t care about providing the best assuring you of great results in the end.

When it comes to selection of an office refurbishment company, attention to detail, prudent resource management, tight budget control, open communication and exceptional focus are the attributes you need to look out for. You can slide team work in there too.

The right company needs to be armed with clear objectives and do their best within their strength ad capabilities to demonstrate high levels of accountability. During selection, analyse their track record and performance. You need to look for experience especially according to the requirements of your project. Do they specialise in high or low value contracts? Are they committed? Are they ready to do everything in their power to deliver within the set budget and time frame?

Step 5 – Preliminary evaluation and feasibility

If you own the building this would have been the second step. It is important for your contractor to undertake a preliminary evaluation of your office and the building. This is done to ensure that the upcoming upgrades will not affect the building and other tenants. Your contractor will compare options, develop plans and finally make the right selection.

During the planning stage, the contractor will use design skills in order to implement your ideas on paper. Designing will go beyond a floor plan, workstation layout, finishes/décor and colours. It is important to note that a well designed work environment becomes the bedrock for your company, your brand plus it communicates a unique story.

Work with the contractors and put forth ideas that not only support the privacy and open plan areas for workstations but also empowers your employees to work individually and as a team. Remember to include adjustments that favour people with disabilities. Not doing so will lead to you facing prosecution and you don’t want this kind of a record.

Step 6 – Make a plan to minimise disruption

Poor communication between staff members, the in-house refurbishment team and the selected contractor can lead to disruption. It is important to maintain a high level of consistent focus to ensure continued delivery of services and completion of the refurbishment project.

For starters, your plan should include a swing space. This is an area where your staff members will use to ensure business goes on as usual. The best contractor will minimise disruption by including logistic experts in their team. They will plan every stage with harmony and respect for your staff members and their working practices. This will enable your company to kill “two birds with one stone,” that is, your office will be refurbished according to the design plan while your employees continue providing clients with the best services.

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Step 7 – Formulate your project budget

This is where your internal office refurbishment team comes in handy. Depending with the kind of culture and office operation efficiency you are looking for, you need to formulate a budget. The best office refurbishment company has been providing high quality services to different clients and thanks to their experience, they are able to produce budgets and deliver against them.

Remember, just because you have a chance of upgrading your offices does not mean that you go overboard with your expenditure. Your budget should have contingencies for unforeseen challenges to the project and solutions to adjust mid stream to prevent the project from stalling.

Your budget should include professional fees, new infrastructure office fit out costs if any, furniture, telecoms, marketing, insurances and public relations which will help in announcing the new-look of your office.

Step 8 – Seek all approvals before commencement of the project

Earlier on, you had a chat with your landlord informing him or her about your office refurbishment project. This is important because your landlord’s approval gives you the right to proceed with the project. Did you know that there are other approvals needed before project commencement? You need to have approvals from the planning office, fire department, district surveyor, listed buildings supervisor, building regulations department, health and safety officer among others.

How do you go about acquiring these approvals? This is where your appointed office refurbishment company comes in handy. They will provide all CAD plans, information and specifications as stipulated by the authorities. When the project starts, regular random inspections will be part of the office refurbishment project which is why it is important to seek all approvals early.

Problems and risks will be assessed and addressed early. Once this has been done, a safety file will be opened by the project manager which will be forwarded to the Health and Safety officers during inspection. The file will be held on site and after project completion; it will be passed to you, the project initiator. During the project, you need to attend the regular meetings. The meetings will act as sessions to make key decisions in relation to changes to the project, in relation to finishes and other issues.

Step 9 – Organise the physical move into the newly refurbished offices

Now that the project is complete, it’s time to move into the new offices. The move will be demanding, there is no doubt about that and this is where the selected office refurbishment company will provide excellent logistic services. Thanks to their vast experience, they are able to handle even the most sensitive equipment like computer servers. They will stage manage the physical movement of file storage cabinets and others minimising disruption and downtime.

To ensure a successful move, the contractor will come up with a detailed activity flowchart. This will help in managing the move with military precision. It is also wise to prevent strain on your employees and one way of doing so is coming up with a post project pack. The pack will aid in improving morale and addressing different issues that your staff may face. For example security, storage and working with new systems. It is important to schedule time for training the staff regarding the use of new systems like computers, gate pass security and telephones. Others things that need the employees trained on include evacuation and emergency procedures. Update your health and safety plan plus the staff handbook. The completed version should be distributed to staff members together with the new security passes.

Step 10 – Conduct a post refurbishment review

Since you have finalised the physical movement of equipment and staff into the newly refurbished offices, it’s time to carry out a post refurbishment review. Just because the refurbishment was successful does mean that there are no aspects of design in need of tweaking. There are departments in need of changes to accommodate new staff.

Do you want to conduct a successful post refurbishment review? Set up a meeting between your in-house project team and the contractor a month or two after occupation to conduct the review. It is important to factor in feedback from the staff as this ensures that the ROI on the office is maximised. The review should help you get a better understanding of how you got their and assessment of the finished work. Feedback to your contract is important especially when it comes to changes and alteration. This will help to build a stronger business relationship.

Final Thoughts

As the office owner, there comes a time when you need to change the look of your office for the benefit of improving your employee productivity, creating more space for new systems and organising furniture and décor. This calls for office refurbishing and upgrading, a process that needs planning, proper execution and experienced workmanship.

Even with a budget of £50,000 or more for your refurbishment project, you can dramatically improve operation efficiency, enhance your corporate image, increase your client base and retain your experienced staff. To ensure success, you need to hire a company with the right qualifications which include the right skills, the best equipment, the best logistics and communication skills.

You don’t have to hire and manage dozens of sub contractors. One experienced office refurbishment company is all you need!

Contact Aleron Contractors specialists for a free consultation, we are happy to help!