Office renovations come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. They can be as simple as taking down a wall to open up a room, revamping a bathroom, or even turning a home space into a formal remote-work office. They can also be as elaborate as overhauling an entire commercial space used by dozens of employees in order to update and modernize it.
If your company, great or small, is preparing for a workplace renovation, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you plan, execute, and maintain your new space. While each project is unique, these are universal concepts that are meant to help any project go as smoothly as possible.
Maintain Best Management Practices
A good manager isn’t just able to maintain goals or make important business decisions. They’re also able to shepherd their workforce through difficult times. The host of managers that stepped up to guide their employees through the transition to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic are a perfect example of this “extracurricular management responsibility” in action.
When it comes to workplace renovation, it’s essential that management is on board and in control throughout the transition. This responsibility manifests in a variety of different ways:
• Communicating with your employees early and often throughout the renovation process to keep everyone on the same page.
• Making sure that a thorough renovation plan (including preparation, temporary workspaces, and re-entry into the office space afterward) is in place before beginning the project.
• Preparing all of the necessary logistics and addressing detail-oriented decisions behind the scenes quickly and decisively to keep the project moving forward.
• If the renovation is large enough, being willing to hire a project manager to oversee the transition; after all, delegation is a key business management skill.
Regardless of your particular scenario, it’s crucial that leadership provides a steady hand at the helm throughout the renovation process to minimize the ill-effects and maximize employee morale throughout the change.
Choose a Style
The last thing you want to do is commit to the immense expense and disruption of a renovation only to end up with an office space that makes people wonder what the heck you were originally aiming for.
That’s why it’s critical that you choose an office style before you start and then stick to it throughout your renovation. Three common themes to choose from include the following:
• A progressive-style office: An affordable, open-floor, modern style that has been exemplified by the tech industry.
• A moderate-style office: A common, mid-range option that focuses on flexibility and privacy.
• A traditional-style office: A more expensive, traditional approach that prioritizes private and confidential space for employees and clients.
Each style is better for different business models. What matters the most is that you find which style works for you and then commit to it.
Think About Long-Term Use
As you lay out the specific pieces of your office space, remember to consider more than just looks.
For instance, simple things like regularly decluttering and setting up a cleaning schedule should be considered. How will that function in the new space? Will you be introducing a new, high-traffic area that will need to be cleaned more often? Is there anything you can change now, before you start, that will make these long-term considerations easier in the future?
Storage is another easily-overlooked item. This is especially important if you choose a more progressive-style office with an open floor plan. If that’s the case, you’re going to need areas to store your stuff. There are many ways to do so, from classic shelving units to specialized office lockers, allowing you to find a storage option that fits your particular style.
In addition, consider any larger objects that you may have to work around. For instance, while a traditional-style office may disguise most industrial elements behind walls, under floors, and in the ceilings, a progressive-style office may have those items right in plain sight.
Things like heating ducts or a Parshall flume may hamper traffic and should be both considered and, if possible, incorporated right into the structure of the space itself.
While renovating a personal space may be something that can be done with a focus on creativity and a lack of pressure, office space is different. You can’t simply turn off your business so that your workspace can be fixed or updated. You need to keep things moving forward, plans must stay on track, and productivity needs to be maintained.
Thus, the recommended trifecta for renovation:
• Upholding the best practices for management.
• Committing to a style and sticking to it.
• Considering the long-term use of your new space.
If you can keep these three tips in mind as you prepare for your renovation, you’ll be able to execute the project effectively. Not only that, but you’ll be able to successfully maintain your new space when it’s complete, ensuring that you get as much productivity and success out of your renovation as possible.