When motivation is flagging, and productivity is waning … when backs are aching, and eyes are straining … when surfaces are cluttered and technology’s outdated … when your brand identity is sadly understated …
It is possibly time for refurbishment.
Maybe all you need is new furniture or a fresh coat of paint – just a bit of sprucing up.
But on the other hand, your office might benefit from a comprehensive makeover – including, for example:
But is it really worth it? Are there good reasons to justify spending out on a major refurb?
Here are 5 common reasons to refurbish.
As a brand grows and evolves, its image might need to change in line with new products and services.
A different target market might call for a new name, redesigned logo, fresh colour palette, and tweaked marketing style. These features can all be reflected in the layout and décor of the workplace.
It’s important, too, for brand values to have a voice in the office.
For example, if a brand is actively striving for sustainability, the office might feature prominent and plentiful recycling bins, roof solar panels, and motion-sensor lighting. The business can promote cycling to work by providing secure bicycle parking and shower facilities. And to reduce the demand for single-use plastic, mains-fed water dispensers might be installed so that staff and visitors can refill bottles and reuse mugs and glasses.
A brand that optimises a reputation for customer service might feel the need to make changes in its reception area. Eliminating barriers, offering comfortable seating, and providing complimentary hydration could be important elements of an office refurbishment.
The old-style office was about spatial restriction and compartmental boundaries. Agile working is about freedom and responsibility. It’s about employees making choices and decisions about where and how they work.
An agile-working environment must cater for a variety of activities. There’ll always be a need for a quiet space, where individuals can concentrate on solitary tasks; and also for collaboration – whether that’s a spirited session of brainstorming or an orderly meeting or conference. A space for socialising promotes personal relationships among staff, which helps to cement the team and optimise productivity.
A culture of agile working also provides opportunities for each member of the team to function in ways that suit them best.
For those whose creativity is expressed in an analogical style, there might be a need for whiteboards, write-on walls, flip charts, large tables, smart boards, coloured markers, and post-it notes. Others may be more comfortable with digital tools.
Some people enjoy collaboration on a personal level, thriving on shared enthusiasm, and gaining inspiration from communication with others in the same physical space. Other people work best when they’re alone and uninterrupted, focusing solely on the task. For this style of worker, communication might be preferable via video link rather than in “meatspace”.
A refurbishment provides the perfect opportunity to make the workplace comfortably accessible to staff who use a wheelchair. Electronic doors, low-level printers and scanners, sensitive layout of furniture, and level access to all areas are just some of the ways the workplace can be more inclusive. When it comes to the important matter of hydration, the gesture-control Aqua Touchless is a convenient dispense tool, ideal for people who have restricted reach, or for those with impaired motor skills.
In the old days, when each employee occupied one desk, office size was directly related to staff numbers. But in today’s world of agile working, designers can be more creative A well-thought-out design can be fluid and flexible.
If your office is full of desks that aren’t being used – maybe because staff are working from home, or because they’re choosing to collaborate outside or in a meeting room or a stairwell – this is space that can be made better use of. Why not replace the proprietorial desk system with team tables, touchdown desks, soundproof booths, and breakout areas.
Clutter stifles creativity. A well-designed office should include intelligent storage, and this needs to be part of the refurbishment plan. Everything must have a place, and when something is not in its place, that place should be empty. If there’s a place for everything, there’s no need for piles of paperwork and stationery on every surface, or for lightbulbs, binbags, and printer paper stacked in corners and behind doors.
An Aqua Libra Co water dispenser – for example the three-in-one Aqua illi – is installed neatly into a small undercounter cupboard, yet it’s capable of delivering hundreds of cups of pure water every hour.
All in all, a pleasant and comfortable working environment will improve morale and inspire productivity.
Human resources are the most valuable resources, because human beings are the power behind productivity. Well-maintained people produce good work. Engaged people produce outstanding work.
Basic physical needs are fulfilled by good lighting, ergonomic furniture, comfortable temperature, fresh air, adequate hydration, efficient toilet facilities, and breaks. Biophilia – the attraction to all things (or representation of things) natural – is a feature of human nature that can be satisfied through office design. And there’s a knock-on effect, because comfortable, satisfied individuals interact positively with one another, enhancing emotional wellbeing through teamwork, reciprocal support, and friendship.
The best time to refurbish is when the office is empty. If your business closes down for a few weeks every year, this is the perfect time for a refurb.
An empty office isn’t usually an option, of course, so the refurbishment should be scheduled for a relatively quiet time – outside seasonal business, for example, or a time when nothing extraordinary is happening, such as the launch of a new product or the hiring of new staff.
Office design companies are adept at working around, and in harmony with, their clients. There might never be a perfect time for refurbishment, but with a flexible schedule of work and full co-operation between all parties, the job can be done with minimal upheaval. And the refurbishment can lead to a glowing future for your company.
If you’d like to talk to us about sustainable hydration solutions, give us a call on 0800 080 6696 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also like to read about how to specify sustainable, innovative drinking-water systems.