The key is in the preparation and brainstorming process. This will help you not go overboard in the wrong areas. Your office does not have to look like Google corporate in order to influence internal productivity and happiness in the workplace. Understand that you don’t have to have every new trend in your office like many big corporations do. What you do need is an office that represents your company.
A complete or even partial office renovation is a difficult and stressful task for a company to carry alone. Don’t go through it on your own. Work with general contractors who will help manage your project with you from start to finish. There are many talented professional contractors out there who are ready to co-manage your big upcoming renovation project. Choosing to collaborate with a professional will help you get insights and ideas that you may not have thought of alone. They will also be able to provide specific industry related skills to help with the planning and construction of your new office. With the combined knowledge and vision between your company and your contractor you will have the potential to create a cost conscious office space that still goes above and beyond expectations.
Get started by searching for the contractors that are right for you and your company. Sweeten is a free service that matches renovators with the best general contractors. Sweeten is a good service to use for office renovations as they can connect you with contractors who specialize in commercial space renovations. This will give you insight on many great contractors in your area. However, do not simply go with the first one you are matched with. It is important that you assemble a list of possibilities and give each prospective contractor a call to get a feel for how well they would work with your specific project. Then narrow down your list and meet the top few face to face. To follow the rest of the hiring process This Old House has shared their top 8 pro tips on how to hire a contractor.
Hiring an Office Renovation Contractor: What You Need to Know | Pure Properties
Why Hire a Project Manager| JLL Project Renew
How to Hire a General Contractor for Remodeling Your Store or Office | Fit Small Business
10 Tips for Working With an Office Renovation Contractor | Premiere Works
Make the Entire Company Part of the Process
It is important that everyone in the company is on board with the renovation process in some way or form. After all, changes are made in order to better suit your business and the people in it. To find out what the company wants start holding collaborative brainstorming meetings with employees during the renovation planning process. Once you hire a general contractor you should meet with the contractors about once a week as well and include all or a selection of your company members in the contractor meetings. This gives employees involvement in the process. Teamwork makes just about any project easier and smoother. And keeping constant communication with all employees in regards to an upcoming renovation or office move keeps employees informed and up to date on project details.
According to the National Center for the Middle Market, giving employees a voice in the renovation decision-making process proves to increase engagement and improve performance all while making employees feel meaningful. Take notes from W.L. Gore, an electronics manufacturing firm. W. L Gore conducted a companywide survey to find out what was most important to employees for their new office space. The firm also had their employees construct tiny office models with pipe cleaners in order to gather ideas of what the company is visualizing. The results of the survey and the pipe cleaner models influenced all manager-contractor design decisions from colors and materials to architecture and special editions. Find creative ways to get employees involved in the process because building a space that they want is the most important part of the renovation.
Office Move Communication: Ideas and Tools | SnapComms
The next big step is to find out exactly why you are renovating in the first place. It’s never a good idea to begin a large renovation project without first finding out why you’re doing it. The answers will appear as soon as you start asking yourself and your team the appropriate questions. The Questions you ask your employees, your contractors and yourself are very important in this process. Pre renovation questions should range from broad to specific. For example, you are renovating because something needs to change. A good broad starting question would be, “why does the office need to change?” or “what is important to the company?” Once the broader picture is set and answers are revealed you should start getting even more specific with your questions. Knowing detailed aspects of what you want out of a renovation is the key to a successful remodel that will actually help you cut costs and increase revenue and profits.
Why does your office need to change? And what is important to your company? These questions are necessary at the starting point of your planning process as the answers will give you a good foundation for your project. Do not jump into the details quite yet, however. Key Interiors suggests 4 more key questions to ask before begging an office renovation. What are your goals? What is your budget? What is your timeline? And who is on your team? While most of these questions will clear up what you want, you will also need to know exactly what you can afford. This is why it is important to know how to create a realistic budget for a commercial renovation. And how will you divide that budget up?
It is also important to throw out some potential cost cutting questions while your company is in this process. Ask yourself and your employees the following: What can you do without? Can you limit paper? Do you need to use printers or can your work be done electronically? Can you ditch the phone lines? Can you use the internet to make and receive phone calls? These questions and other related questions will help your team find out what it is that you really need with this renovation and what you can do without. Find out more about cutting back on office expenses at the When I Work blog.
A big part to make sure you don’t overlook when renovating the office is making sure that the space represents your firm. Visitors should be able to walk into your office and know exactly what company’s space they are in. This can be done by branding your space just as you brand your business. Ask your employees… What is our brand? What is our company culture and personality? What are our values? Your office space should reflect your values, culture and personality. You don’t have to be a huge corporation like Google or Facebook to have the ability to brand your space. Check out this article featuring some photos of Mail Chimp’s office space. They have combines their logo and brand colors with current design trends to make their office represent who they are without breaking their budget.
10 Questions to Ask When Designing Your Office | Entrepreneur
3 Key Questions to Ask Before Starting a Commercial Renovation Project | Fuhrmann Construction
3 Reasons to Brand Your Office Space | Vision Branding Solutions
Choose Design Trends That Answer Your Questions
After you have completed an expansive Q and A session it’s time to start sifting through your answers and picking out the most common responses. These are the highlights that you will want to focus the rest of your renovation process on. Your employee’s answers should reveal your company’s values as well as any trending problems that need to be fixed with the new update. Bring your brand and your values to life and fix any office related problems by implementing current commercial design trends and innovative resources. Modern innovation and commercial designs will fix just about any problem and completely revamp your office. You do not have to go all out in every aspect of your office however. Simply pick the top few design ideas that will be most important to your company and implement them in a way that works with your space.
Is your company founded on sustainability? Do you work from an industrial warehouse? Does your business support a cause or is your company part of a movement? Maybe you are a charitable or community driven foundation looking to implement this in your design. Whatever it is that you do, you should showcase that in your workspace. If you are a sustainable company, consider these green design ideas from Realty Biz. Greener offices prove to be more cost efficient and create more productive work spaces. If you are going the sustainable route, consider different energy sources. Provide power yourself for as much as you can and only use a utility service if you absolutely need it. For more office sustainability tips, learn how other companies are doing it.
Do you have a collaborative company culture? If so, an open office space with innovative group work stations is a must. You can follow the blog at Digital Telepathy to find out how to design an office for open collaboration. No matter what your company culture however, you absolutely must bring your brand to life in your space. You can do this by incorporating your colors, logo, avatar, mascot and anything that represents you in to your design. American Express offers a step-by-step guide on their website that explains how to ‘brandify’ your office space. Some fun ideas include making a gallery wall in your new office showcasing everything you are as a brand, or creating a welcoming reception/entrance area for visitors. Branding your office can even involve creating a recreation room for your employees or an outdoor workspace.
The Smart Way to a Sustainable Office Design | Greener Ideal
25 Go Green Ideas for the Office that will Rock Your World | Sustainable Business Toolkit
Creating a Collaborative Office Space | Connecting Elements
Consider Your Location and Make Money From Your Renovation
If you are considering relocation, look for alternative spaces that are not typically meant for an office. Look at warehouses, apartments, strip malls, etc. These buildings can help you cut costs as opposed to designated office spaces. And an alternative space is not only trendy, but it can help your company stand out and you could even make money from it. If you find a place on a busy street corner for instance, why not turn the front part of your company’s office into a welcoming place that’s open to the public? You can use a public space in your office to sell merchandise, rent out workspace or to develop something completely creative for people to see. This is a great way to creatively spread your brand image as well!
To find available spaces in your area, 42Floors is a great commercial real estate search engine to use. If you do find a trendy alternative space for your new office and it happens to be rather spacious, consider creating a community co working space. Renting out extra office space to freelancers, students, startups, etc would help your company network and provide networking opportunities for others as well. Another great idea for an alternative public office space is to build an in-office coffee bar or gift shop to serve to the public. As a business place, you can make it better than chain shops by adding your personal brand touches. It’s a memorable first impression to visitors and will surely boost your brand awareness!
Your new office renovation is an exciting part of building your company. Make sure you consider all of the important steps carefully before jumping into the renovation process. A great contracting team and continued companywide collaboration from start to finish makes a big difference. Revamp that office the right way and exceed expectations with the final product.
7 Factors of Great Office Designs | Harvard Business Review