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The office refurbishment checklist

There are several reasons why you may be considering an office refurbishment. These could include a rebrand or change of direction, expansion, outdated interior or to create a post-Covid safe working environment.

Whatever the reason, there will be a lot to consider when embarking on an office refurbishment. From the overall design to each individual item of office furniture you will need. On top of this, you will also be manging a budget to carry out the work.

To manage every part of the project properly and ensure you get it right the first time you need a plan. Planning is key to a successful refurbishment. Lucky for you, we are experts in this field and have put together a handy checklist to help you stay on track.

Why is your business refurbishing the office?

Knowing the answer to this will ensure you understand what needs to happen to the space, existing furniture, and equipment and who needs to be involved.

Is the office refurbishment happening because:

  • The business is growing and you need more space

  • You are rebranding the business or changing direction

  • You need to create an environment which boosts staff morale and productivity

  • The furniture needs to be updated / replaced

  • Health and safety recommendations have been made

By answering this question you will be able to see a clear picture of what needs to be done. It will also provide you with an idea of timeframe and allow you to start planning out the new office.

Who needs to be involved?

There are always going to be various people involved in an office refurbishment and who they are may change depending on the reason for the project.

It is important to identify who has the final say and needs to give sign off on everything so you can make sure the right people are being approached and that the project always runs smoothly.

Some examples of people involved and why:

  • Managing Director – Usually your MD will be the one to approve the office designs and spending, so you will want to make sure they are kept informed. However, this doesn’t mean they need to be included or updated in every little thing– unless they ask to be. Try to work on weekly updates where possible and ensure you let them know what dates their sign off is needed by.

  • Operations Director – Typically the operations director will need to know when the refurbishment is going to be happening so they can ensure the business continues to run smoothly throughout that time. Also, they are usually on top of all the health and safety regulations you need to be aware of so they will be a good person to check things with.

  • Finance - You will be working to a set budget, therefore you will need to keep the finance department on your good side. They will be able to help you with budgeting and keeping costs down.

  • Office Manager – If your business has an office manager, they will need to know what changes have to be made and how teams might be impacted. They also tend to have a good understanding of which teams and departments need what in terms of equipment and space, so it is a good idea to have a chat with them.

  • Marketing - If you are undertaking an office refurbishment as part of a rebrand, it’s definitely a good idea to discuss the office decoration with the marketing department. You want your office to be representative of the brand. Even if the business is not rebranding, marketing can still play a vital part in the decoration, colours, wall art and overall feel of the space.

What office furniture will you need?

The office furniture you choose is likely to be the biggest part of your office refurbishment, which is why you want to make sure you get the decisions right the first time.

Firstly, consider whether you are keeping any of the existing furniture or if it is all getting replaced. Often, you can save money by reusing existing storage solutions, as you can utilise it in different ways.

However, if you are replacing it, you will have to decide what you’re going to do with the existing furniture. Are you recycling it, disposing of it or selling it on? Whichever option you go for, you will need to add furniture removal to your project agenda.

Once you have decided what is happening, it’s time to work out what office furniture you need. Even if you decided to keep your existing furniture, there may still be additions needed to match the new office space. This doesn’t mean looking at the colours and styles available – that comes later – you need to know what items are essential to your business to ensure it runs smoothly.

Here are some examples to help you along:

  • Office desks: How many? How will they be set up? Are there any special needs or requirements to consider?

  • Office chairs: How many do you need? Should they be ergonomic? Are the chairs comfortable and supportive enough for a full workday?

  • Storage units: How many and what type? Does everyone need an individual storage unit? Is there a stationery or filing area? What equipment needs to be stored?

  • Privacy screens: Do you need these for every desk? Is it an open-plan office?

  • Breakout areas: Are you going to create a breakout area? What kind of seating will you include?

  • Meeting rooms: Do you need meeting or conference rooms? Should meeting tables be permanent? How many people will need to use a meeting room at any one time?

  • Reception area: Should there be a reception desk? What kind of seating does the area need?

  • Staff room: What kind of kitchen equipment will be provided? Do you need tables and chairs? How many people will be using it?

When does the refurbishment need to be finished?

Knowing your project deadline is key. You can’t really start talking to suppliers until you have a project timescale.

Your needs in terms of office furniture can also impact your lead times. If you’re happy to order items as they come, you may be able to get them delivered the next day or arrange fast delivery. However, if you require bespoke items – or a mixture of bespoke and standard – you may need to wait a few weeks. It is a good idea to get all this information up-front before placing your orders so you can keep track of everything.

You also need to factor in time for getting rid of old furniture, any decorating that needs to occur before your furniture can be moved in or any building work if the space layout needs to be altered.

Do you need an office refurbishment company?

Depending on the size of your office space and just how big the project is going to be, you may want to consider whether enlisting the help of an office refurbishment company might be advantageous.

While hiring a company will take up some of your budget, it could make the whole project easier and you could find that it isn’t as big an expense as you thought it would be.

If you aren’t sure about this option, it may be a good idea to have a short consultation to find out exactly what a company can offer, how much it is likely to cost and what the timeframe would be. You could find that getting a company in to help means you gain extra expertise and knowledge to complete the project on time, on budget and to the highest standards possible. A fresh pair of eyes may even open ideas that you may not have thought of.

Can we help?

We have many years experience in office refurbishment and space planning. We take your vision and turn into reality by making the most of the space at your disposal. Feel free to get in touch for a consultation or to pick our brains!

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