If your office feels outdated or provides anything less than the ideal working environment for your team, it may be time for an update. Especially as companies transition from work-from-home setups to having employees back in the office, employers should take the opportunity to evaluate their current office designs. What atmosphere does your office provide employees and clients who visit the space? Chances are, there are ways you can improve your office to make it a more pleasant and productive environment.
This post will look at how offices can be redesigned to help businesses like yours begin an exciting new chapter.
Signs It’s Time for a Redesign
When you look around your office, it might be immediately evident that those decades-old furnishings or dated wallpapers need to go. But having an outdated workspace isn’t the only reason to take on a corporate office redesign. Several scenarios may indicate it’s time for an update. Consider whether any of the following applies to your company.
1. Low Productivity
There are distinct ties between workspace design and productivity. One 2016 study found that the physical environment determined nearly a quarter of the variability in employees’ work performance. For example, imagine how much harder someone may have to work to maintain productivity in a noisy, poorly lit office versus one whose design facilitates peak performance.
How can you redesign your office space to enhance teamwork? The right types of workstations, lighting, colors, office chairs and other factors can all help employees feel more focused and inspired at work, rather than drained or distracted. If productivity levels are dragging, there are a few practical ways to address the issue, including an office redesign. The change of scenery alone can give employees renewed enthusiasm for their jobs. But even when the novelty fades, having a work environment that optimizes productivity can make a lasting difference.
2. Business Growth
If your business is growing, that’s another reason you may want to redesign your office workspace. Your current setup might not accommodate the additional employees you’re planning to hire or have just added to your team. You can redesign your workplace to use space more efficiently and include more workstations without making people feel cramped.
Or, if you’re growing so much that you’re moving into a larger office space, you need to create a new layout. Rather than making minimal changes to add more workstations or more seats at the conference room table, use business growth as an opportunity to completely rethink your office design and create an ideal space for your current team with more room to grow into.
3. Changes in Business Operations
Growth isn’t the only change that calls for redesigning your workspace. Businesses evolve, and as this growth takes place, your office needs may change. For example, you may now use your office for more client-facing purposes than you did before. A single conference room may no longer suffice for conducting meetings with clients.
Or, maybe your processes now emphasize more independent work, with collaboration taking place virtually rather than in person. If so, you may be better off leaving the large collaboration spaces behind and redesigning your office to give employees more private workstations where they can focus. Or, the opposite could be true, and you need to consider how you can redesign your workplace to enhance teamwork. Whatever changes your company has undergone, you should optimize it for your current work operations.
4. Outdated or Insufficient Branding
Your brand isn’t only the identity you project in your marketing materials. It’s also essential to your company culture, and it should shine through in your office design. If your office is not uniquely “you” and has a drab, cookie-cutter appearance, it’s time to incorporate more of your branding into your office design. Doing so goes beyond sticking a logo on the front of the reception desk — your workplace’s overall design can have a profound effect in shaping your corporate culture.
Maybe your office features your branding, but your marketing messaging has changed. Companies can reinvent themselves through a total rebrand or can refresh with a new logo and color palette. In either case, you need to ensure you update everything that no longer aligns with your mission and vision. Especially if you’re going through a rebrand and rethinking your company as a whole, don’t forget to reconsider your office setup.
5. Difficulty Attracting Clients or Employees
If you’re having trouble attracting top talent or getting employees to stay with your company, consider whether your office is repelling workers from your company. According to a 2016 report on millennials — currently the largest generation in the U.S. labor force — 78% of them consider workplace quality an essential factor in choosing where they work. Over two-thirds of millennials would even trade other job perks for a more comfortable, considerate work environment.
It’s understandable that job seekers care about their surroundings. But they’re not the only ones you want to impress. If you use your office for client-facing purposes, you also want to make the right impression. Your workplace should exude professionalism and whatever attributes you want to build a reputation for, whether that’s efficiency, innovation, creativity or any other quality. If that’s currently not the case, it’s time for a redesign.
6. New Health and Safety Needs
Another circumstance driving many companies to redesign their offices in 2021 is the public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. An international survey found that a mere 15% of employees want to continue working remotely full-time after the population achieves the “herd immunity” necessary to lift COVID-19 restrictions. To welcome employees back to the office, many employers must alter their office design. The roughly 70% of offices with open floor plans may need to make significant changes to provide more space or physical barriers between employees.
Rather than trying to retrofit your existing office setup with temporary partitions or other tools to minimize the spread of germs, consider using this opportunity to overhaul your office. The pandemic is likely to have a lasting impact on office design, so it’s smart to think long-term and undertake a modern office redesign that factors in health and safety alongside other goals to improve your workplace.
How to Redesign Your Office Space
When you know an office redesign is the best move for your business, you should undertake the project methodically to ensure your redesign is as transformative as you want it to be. After determining who will manage the project, work on the most involved step — redesigning your office space. Follow these tips to create a successful design plan.
1. Understand Your Goals
Before you start planning layouts or looking at furniture catalogs, think about your big-picture redesign goals. One strategy you can try is listing any issues or challenges you currently have with your office, so you can target these and remedy them in your redesign. You may want to get input from employees to see what they would like to see improved through a redesign. Surveying your staff can help you develop a concrete plan, while also making employees feel their input is valuable.
Also, think about the results you want to achieve through redesigning your office. What’s your main primary motivator for taking on this project? Your reasons may be as practical as needing to fit in more workstations to accommodate a growing staff, or as conceptual as wanting to make your office a more inspiring and energizing space for employees. Keep your goals at the forefront throughout the design process, so every decision you make — from the furniture to the paint colors you select — takes you one step closer to achieving your goals.
2. Evaluate Your Space
As you brainstorm ideas, don’t forget to consider how those ideas would practically translate into the space you’re working with. Get the blueprints or floor plan for your office if possible. If these are unavailable or difficult to access, measure each room’s dimensions and note any permanent features like pillars and doors, so you can create a floor plan.
If you are interested and allowed to make substantial architectural changes like removing or adding walls, consult a professional to help you determine what structural modifications would be feasible. If you want to work within your existing physical parameters, consider the best way to achieve the function, flow and aesthetic you want in the space. After clearing space, use masking tape to mark off where specific areas or furniture will be, so you can test out your design before installing anything.
3. Set a Clear Budget
A practical aspect of your redesign is considering how much you have to spend. Office redesign budgets can vary dramatically depending on factors like space availability and the scope of the changes you plan to make. Remember that with any design project, it’s smart to pad your budget for unforeseen expenses. This advice is crucial if you’re undertaking an extensive remodeling project, rather than a more cosmetic redesign.
One aspect of setting your budget is considering how much you can realistically spend. As you make this determination, remember not to merely view design expenses as a cost, but as an investment. You may want to broaden your spending to create a more substantial change in your office — a change that allows your brand to shine, attracts top talent to work for your company, boosts employee morale and improves productivity. A redesign’s benefits can deliver a significant return on your investment.
4. Review Current Design Trends
You may want to hire an interior designer for your project. Professional designers should stay abreast of current trends and share their insights to help you plan your layout. If you delegate the redesign project to an in-house team, make sure you review current design trends to gain ideas about what features modern workers want and the best ways to future-proof your office. The Tips and Trends section of Work Design Magazine is a helpful resource for learning what’s trending.
You can find emerging design trends elsewhere online, too. Look for images that may provide some inspiration for your project. However, be careful not to prioritize chasing the latest fads over creating an office that works for your company. For example, a Silicon Valley tech firm’s futuristic look may not fit your Midwestern financial services business with an emphasis on company heritage. Some trends — like inviting in as much natural light as possible or converting to ergonomic office chairs — are relevant no matter the company.
5. Hire Professionals When Needed
It’s crucial to identify where your company’s competencies lie and where you’re better off outsourcing tasks. Contracting your project to an external vendor can often be a smart move. Professionals can typically complete a job more effectively in less time, since they have the right tools for the job and don’t have to overcome the steep learning curve you might encounter. Some professionals you may want to consider partnering with for your project include:
- Project manager
- Interior designer
- Furniture installers
Some companies may feel tempted to handle tasks like installing their new furniture themselves, but consider the physical strength, time, tools and expertise required to complete this job successfully without damaging any of your new furniture. Most companies would be much better off leaving this task to the professionals. You can sit back and enjoy watching your design plan come to life quickly and effectively.
Choosing a Furniture Installation Company
Choosing new office furniture during a redesign is an exciting part of the process. New chairs, desks, tables and other pieces can immediately improve your office’s feel. To maximize your new furniture, hire professional installers to put each piece together and position it in your facility with expert care.
Whether you’re purchasing new isolation booths, sit-stand desks, modular workstations or any other furniture to help you improve your office’s form and function, you can trust the experts at OTM Office Furniture Installation to install your new furniture. Our team has experience installing various notable office furniture brands, so we can lend our expertise to any redesign.
OTM has established a positive reputation throughout California’s greater Bay Area for the excellent work we do. Our services extend beyond our home city, too. We’ve completed jobs across the country, and we’re willing to travel to help companies like yours. Contact us to tell us about your project and ask how we may be able to help.