How to Pull Off a Successful Office Renovation
March 25 | by Greg Westfall
Coordinating an office renovation is a massive undertaking that’s quite different from a residential makeover. Not only do you have to keep an eye on the actual labour process, but you must also manage the expectations of your employees.
Before committing though, it’s important to make sure this is the best time to take on such a project. Here are some questions to ask yourself first:
- What are we trying to achieve by renovating?
- Are we 100% sure that relocation isn’t the better option?
- Are there any financial barriers to completing this project?
- How will clients benefit from a newly improved space?
If after asking these questions you feel this is the right undertaking, take a look at our tips on how to pull off a commercial renovation you can be proud of.
Know what you’re working with
Unless you’re slapping on a coat of paint, an office reno can involve demolition, plumbing upgrades or installing a new staff kitchen. Spend some time examining your current space, and investigating what might be underneath the floors or behind the walls.
If you’re renting, ask the building’s owner for a copy of the architectural plans and all engineering documents. These papers will be helpful in identifying load-bearing walls, locating electrical networks, and understanding the overall quality of a building’s structure.
Are there advantages of the existing space you can capitalize on? Are there any design features worth protecting? By understanding what you’re working with, you can expand on whatever strengths are already in place.
Create an office renovation strategy
Working with a good contractor is key to successful execution. Partner up with a professional who has experience in commercial projects as they’re quite different from residential initiatives.
A solid plan will help ensure a good return on your investment. A large portion of your renovation strategy should address project expenses. Make sure your budget includes the following costs:
- All labour, including plumbing and electrical work
- Construction materials (drywall, flooring, insulation, etc)
- Lighting and plumbing fixtures
- New office furniture
Your strategy will also consist of layout, which you’ll most likely create with your contractor or a professional designer. Always keep in mind the following: Space functionality, number of employees, and how they prefer to work. Think carefully before incorporating office design trends as they can quickly go out of style.
Finally, your strategy should address where your employees will go during the office renovation phase. If you don’t have vacant areas in the office, you may need to relocate everyone to a temporary workspace off-site.
Maintain productivity levels
It goes without saying that an office renovation will impact productivity levels. In some cases, these levels can drop dramatically if you aren’t prepared. Maintain productivity among staff by:
- Keeping clutter to a minimum
- Designating certain workspaces as ‘clean areas’
- Giving employees noise-cancelling headphones
- Scheduling contractors to work late afternoon or early evening
Good lighting will also be helpful to your team. Make sure windows aren’t covered, or use artificial lighting to brighten up the space. Research shows light is a key factor in maintaining productivity because it helps fuel energy and foster good moods.
Keep the communication flowing
From the building landlord to office staff, a lot of people will need to be in the loop. So be sure to keep the lines of communication open with all parties. A detailed communication strategy is important to keep everyone aware of what’s happening around them.
Have your HR team send out a proposed work schedule to all employees, and regularly update any date changes. Also, let your landlord know when tradespeople will be coming to the building to avoid any security issues. Keeping all parties informed is a big undertaking. So don’t hesitate to delegate certain communication tasks to your contractor or administrative team.
Determine which logistics can be coordinated beforehand
Having certain logistical elements in place before the reno begins will make your project much smoother. Some aspects should be coordinated in advance, so you’re not scrambling last minute.
One thing to consider is how you’ll handle all that construction waste. From drywall to old bathroom tiles, even the ‘simplest’ of renovations will still produce a lot of unwanted material. A dumpster rental is one of the best ways to get rid of renovation waste efficiently. Your contractor and his tradespeople will be able to load the container as the job progresses. The dumpster is then hauled away once it’s filled to capacity.
Speaking to a waste expert beforehand will give you the confidence to move forward knowing you have a plan in place. Whether you’re building a new head office or simply remodelling your existing space -- let VaVia handle your disposal needs, so you can focus on the things that matter.
For more information on renting a dumpster for your office renovation, call VaVia at 1-833-GO-VAVIA or contact us here.
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