11 key things to consider when planning an office refurbishment

11 key things to consider when planning an office refurbishment

So, it’s time for an office update, is it? We’ve got just the perfect guide to help you get started on figuring out what you need to get a productive office refurbishment project underway. Whether you’re relocating, downsizing, upgrading or rebranding your office space, the office refurbishment process will typically reveal similar challenges and opportunities each time. To help you get the most out of your refurbishment, here are a few office refurbishment ideas for you to consider.

Office refurbishment vs office fit out


But first, what’s the difference between an office refurbishment and an office fit out? An office fit out is needed to turn the bare shell of an office into a functional workspace, whereas an office refurbishment is needed to revamp an office space that’s currently in use. In this guide, we’ll focus on 11 key things to consider when refurbishing your current office space, but check out our blog if you need more guidance on relocating to a new office or completing a Cat A or Cat B office fit out.


1. Time


Whatever your office vision, time and productivity are commodities in business, as we all know. Office refurbishment projects can be exciting, but the downside is the time involved. When you run a business and a busy schedule, any more time taken from you is not what you need at all. The good news is that you can get it back, or rather never let it go in the first place, with dedicated office refurbishment services from a team who can oversee a project from start to finish, right the way through to post-project support


2. Budget


Another thing you’ll need to discuss with your office refurbishment team is your budget. Creating a budget is essential for keeping costs as low as possible and staying on track throughout the refurbishment, so make sure you discuss money in depth before getting started. Your professional office refurbishment company may then be able to inform you if your expectations are realistic, which can prevent you from encountering a nasty shock down the line if you exceed your spending predictions. 


If you’re planning to undertake an extensive refurbishment or a full office fit out, it’s even more important that you have a solid budget in place. Extensive refurbishment can quickly become very expensive, so it’s vital that you have a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend and whether there’s any flexibility to account for unexpected costs. Calculating costs for a full office fit out can be a daunting task, so use our fit out calculator to help you get an initial cost estimate you can work with.


3. Office audit


Before you begin, we would recommend doing a complete audit of your current office space, cataloguing your current office furniture, technology and design elements. It can be tempting to overhaul everything for a fresh start or rebrand, but this may not be the most sustainable, economical and effective way to approach your office refurbishment. Instead, ask yourself if you can keep anything while still getting the refurbishment you’re looking for. Or, could you repurpose or upcycle some items to fit your new branding? This can help you reduce the amount of time and money you spend on the office refurbishment process, allowing you to get back to business as soon as possible. 


4. Branding


Sometimes, an office refurbishment project is on the cards when a business is going through rebranding. Whether you’re having a brand update, values are being rejigged or you feel like a little office makeover, you should always consider your branding. What you don’t want to do is get carried away with new designs, features, furniture and layouts to come to the end of it and realise it’s pretty off. Whoever comes into your office – be it employees, partners or clients – first impressions are everything, and you’d be surprised as to what people pick up on and how colours, styles and branding link to psychology. Consider your company’s values and brand from the get-go when sourcing out technology, designs and furniture. 


5. Your teams


Never forget; your staff help keep the office cogs moving day in, day out. When planning an office refurbishment, you should consider the people who work for you and get them engaged in the refurbishment process. Getting everyone involved can save you time and money, and also help you find solutions to common problems in the workplace that your employees experience daily. Plus, this will make your team feel heard and valued! 


During refurbishment, ask yourself questions about your team and how the workplace serves them. How do your teams work together? How do they thrive? Maybe your team is growing or downsizing – whichever it is – the dynamic may be changing, and so you should consider how your office layout should be adapted accordingly.


6. Technology

People sitting at desks in an office


You may have come to realise that your staff need better equipment. Maybe your current technology is actually not current at all and is pretty outdated. When thinking about refurbishing your workplace, it’s important to use this time to review how well the office equipment and technology is accommodating your employees’ needs. Could they work more efficiently and productively? With the right technology and equipment, you can maximise your workforce’s productivity and make everyone happier! No one likes a faulty printer.


In addition to providing up-to-date equipment that can improve productivity, you should also think about the portability of your office technology. This is especially important if you’ve adopted hot desking or hybrid working, as your employees will need to transport their equipment easily. In this case, you may prefer to supply your team with laptops rather than desktop computers.


7. Health and safety


When planning an office refurbishment, it’s the perfect time to consider and review your health and safety policies and measures. And when you’re fitting in more equipment or furniture, you need to factor in health and safety to think about how it might affect your staff. For instance, if workers are using laptops and second monitors, have they all got laptop raisers and ergonomic office chairs? Is the lighting going to cause screen glares? Maybe you’ve got space for a calm breakout area to help employees space out, take a break or have a quieter area to work on specific tasks. 


8. Colours


Whilst it’s important to make sure your refurbishment plans factor in your brand style, you should also consider how you will actually decorate your offices, especially when colours can actually affect your staff and productivity. Every colour has its own mood and fits certain traits – this is captured in the term ‘mood lighting’, which refers to the use of lighting to create specific emotional responses. For instance, blue in office spaces is commonly associated with trust, calmness, logic, computing and technology. Red, on the other hand, is associated more with alertness, passion, authority and the body. Whatever your company or brand, make sure your colours are fitting and create the right setting that is welcoming and comfortable. For example, your brand could be all about dark green and dark colours, but would it be a good environment to have all your walls dark, especially with minimal natural lighting? Probably not, but you could bring in elements of colour effectively. Check out our blog to learn more about the psychology behind colours and how this could affect your business.

Office colour charts

9. Office furniture


With office refurbishment, you can update your office space with a range of suitable furniture and accessories. This is where you should consider a mixture of the above, like your staff, the workplace dynamic, space, branding, technology and colours. How will your new or updated office furniture accommodate your staff and help towards staff wellbeing, as well as meet health and safety requirements? Will your furniture be suitable for the technology and workstations you already have or will be adding? Whatever your changing needs, just make sure you source the right equipment and furniture for your employees.

Office meeting space with colourful quilted stools
Jazz up an office space with cube quilted stools from DBI Furniture Solutions


10. Accessibility


It’s important to ensure that all employees and applicants are given an equal opportunity to succeed in the workplace. This means you need to consider accessibility during any type of office fit out or refurbishment, which can include accessible seating and kitchen areas, wheelchair access, wider doorways, accessible parking, accessible toilets and flexible workstations. Not only will this improve company culture and employee satisfaction, but accessible office design can also help you appeal to a broader audience and be in a better position to attract top talent to your business.


11. Sustainability


Have you incorporated sustainability into your business’s goals and company ethos? If so, you need to think about how to apply this to your office refurbishment. Think about which parts of your office you can keep or reuse, and if you can’t hold onto everything, try to recycle what you can to minimise your environmental impact. Energy-saving light bulbs and appliances are another key feature of a sustainable and eco-friendly office. You should also consider adding biophilic design elements to your office, such as plants and living walls. In addition to purifying the air, plants are proven to boost people’s mood and productivity.


Need some help with sourcing the right office furniture, or a dedicated and highly experienced office refurbishment team to help you with your project? You’re in just the right place; contact us to see how we can bring your vision to life.