The refurbishment of an office is a matter that should not be undertaken lightly. Indeed, common mistakes can be avoided if a little time is spent on reviewing the solutions that are most suited to the office in question. Moreover, although aesthetic design is an important factor to some extent, an office refurbishment must be planned with the primary view to create a working space that is ergonomic, practical, efficient and cost-effective. All too often, an office refurbishment will be focused on producing a visually stunning area that, whilst it may impress potential clients, does nothing for the people who must work there for eight or nine hours each day.
Accordingly, it is important to identify the potential pitfalls of an office refurbishment at the outset. This means that the design stage must give full consideration to all of the details proposed by management in an objective manner. In other words, the developer’s head must rule the office manager’s heart – if these happen to be the same person, as might be expected of a small office refurbishment, then the management must wear the sensible hat at all times! For instance, choosing materials is an essential aspect of office refurbishment and one that the developer must get absolutely right in order to reduce costs. Materials must be durable, solid and aesthetically appealing, but above all they must be cost-effective – opting for the finest and most expensive hardwood unit available will bear little practical benefits over the cheaper, just as effective and almost as attractive as the veneer alternative.
This is the classic style over substance argument and it can also be applied to other office refurbishment mistakes such as positioning workstations decoratively rather than ensuring that they use space efficiently. Indeed, the office refurbishment must also take into consideration its impact on employees, who will be most affected by the changes. Workstations should be positioned carefully in an office space so as to enable each employee to have his or her own privacy whilst ensuring that nobody is isolated, as this would inevitably lead to employee dissatisfaction and reduced efficiency. Nevertheless, it is also important that enough space is left around the workstations to ensure compliance with basic health and safety requirements.
Moreover, an office refurbishment will invariably cause disruption to employees and clients, so it is essential that the design plans, materials, costs and the estimated duration of the project are clearly and accurately defined beforehand in order to minimise the disruption to business. Quite obviously, following these simple and efficient steps will save the company money whilst ensuring that clients and employees are kept as happy as possible. Thus, whilst a spontaneous office refurbishment that is full of visually stunning designs may sound romantic, the key ingredients of a successful operation are planning and common sense.
An office refurbishment is also an excellent opportunity to save money on long term energy costs for the company. Choosing an efficient heating solution is, therefore, absolutely critical in order to keep costs down. One of the most effective solutions on the market is electric underfloor heating, which can be installed underneath a variety of different floor types, including tiles, stone, carpet, linoleum, laminate and solid wood. The primary advantage of using an underfloor heating product is that it is a significantly more efficient solution than traditional varieties because the heat is concentrated in an area from the ground to just above head height, meaning less heat gathers at ceiling height, thus preventing cold draughts that would in turn demand greater output of the heating appliance.