Imagine arriving at work every day excited to walk into an office building filled with colleagues collaborating energetically. Picture looking around your office space and seeing an updated space that is both welcoming and efficient. Any interior designer or psychologist will tell you that the environment in which a person works can greatly influence their productivity and morale.
So how do you turn your outdated and drab office space into a welcoming, collaborative, and encouraging environment?
One of the first things you should do is ask for employee feedback and what their thoughts are when it comes to renovating the office space they work in every day. After all, the employees you have now will be the ones making the most of your new and improved space.
Before asking your team members what their dream office looks like, remind them that you may not be able to put every idea into place to help keep their expectations realistic. However, simply asking for their opinions and ideas will help boost morale because they will feel valued and involved.
After involving colleagues, it can also be helpful to find inspiration using other successful companies’ stories and experiences with their office renovations. Imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery and although it is important to make your company’s space unique and tailor-fitted to your employees and business’s needs, it doesn’t hurt to have a look around at other spaces before implementing changes in your own office.
Whether it’s walking through floors of the building you work in or roaming the streets where your office is housed, take some time to see what inspires you. Don’t rush into choosing a new design or update just because you find it visually appealing. Take some time to research and plan before committing to renovation plans.
Whatever updates and changes you choose, remember to ask yourself if the change will help to increase office morale. If the answer is yes, you will know you are sticking to your goal and it is well worth the investment and a step in the right direction for your office renovation.
Involve the Team During the Renovation
Renovating an office is a large task and takes time and research before knocking down the first wall or painting the first coat of fresh paint. When you are in charge of a company, it is important to remember that although you are the leader, your office staff works as a team.
So when considering a large scale office renovation, you need to involve your team members. Before seeking out commercial renovation experts, schedule time to meet with your employees to get feedback on what would help make them more comfortable and in turn, more productive while at work.
After meeting with employees individually or in small groups, hold a company-wide meeting to share some of the ideas that were mentioned. Keep your employees informed of the timeline and the renovation goals. As a leader, it is your job to communicate open and honestly so that your employees feel valued and respected.
Remember that your original goal of an office renovation was not just to update the space, but to boost office morale. What better way to encourage team morale than to have the team members be part of the renovation process and decision making?
As you move on to the next step of hiring contractors, your employees will be excited about the renovation process beginning since they were involved from the start.
Incorporate Company Culture When Renovating
You have worked hard to not only establish a business but to run it successfully. If you are at the point of an office renovation, congratulations are in order because that means you are taking your business to the next level by providing a sleek and modern space to support both your employees and current and future customers.
The reason your company has been successful is because it has a certain culture that appeals to your customers. Customers choose your company for the specific service and products only your business can provide.
Your job as a leader is to find a way to translate that culture into a visually appealing aesthetic for your office. Keep in mind during a renovation that you want to provide usable, updated space for both your employees and your customers to use in the future.
Think about the words used to describe your company and use that as inspiration for renovating. Depending on your product, your office should be a physical representation of the services and items you offer. The tone and atmosphere of your office environment should match your company’s culture and values.
Focus on your original goals when the company was established and use that as a jumping-off point during renovations. If you value sustainability, use eco-friendly materials during your update.
If technology is a focus in your company, take time to research the state of the art equipment to incorporate during the renovation. Whatever you value, incorporate those unique aspects of your company into your updated office environment.
First Impressions Matter
Not only do first impressions matter when it comes to working and collaborating with other businesses and employees, but first impressions matter when it comes to your physical office space too. One of the first things that visitors notice is the parking lot and exterior of the building.
Make sure that updating your landscape is part of the renovation process. A few new plants can go a long way to add curb appeal to your office building. If you don’t have the budget to focus on renovating the exterior, you can focus on smaller tasks and have professionals come power wash the exterior and parking areas to provide a clean space to welcome visitors.
It is also important to update the welcome area to your office to create an inviting space for visitors. After all, the lobby of your office sets the tone for the rest of the space. Adding new seating, furniture, art, and plants can take an outdated space and make it brand new again.
Think about creating a seamless flow from the welcome area to the office space. Paint and furniture colors should coordinate within the entire office space.
Gone are the days of individual cubicles and closed doors. Research shows that open floor plans encourage natural collaboration and teamwork. Studies around the world have found that when you have an open-concept office, social interaction within that office increases which in turn increases both productivity and collaboration.
While thinking about designing your new space, think about ways to incorporate spaces that will foster teamwork. Teamwork naturally increases communication and encourages creative and critical thinking while working towards a common goal. Keep in mind it is important to offer a variety of spaces for both small and large groups of employees to work together.
Removing walls is a good place to start when it comes to redesigning your office space into an open floor plan. Think about setting up both individual and collaborative tables for colleagues to spread out when needed.
Cluster group furniture to inspire natural gatherings for conversation and brainstorm sessions. And most importantly, remember to add elements of both comfort and style that fit the climate of your company.
When most people think of the word renovation, they think of demolition and updates to outdated fixtures and details. Depending on your budget, a full demolition may not be in the plans for now but even something as basic as a fresh coat of paint can go a long way. Bring in a commercial painting team to refresh your workspace.
Remember that the paint color you choose can increase mood and boost creativity and productivity. There is a lot of color research out there that can help you choose the best paint color to meet your office goals. Take time to test out colors in different locations of the office and look at the colors at different times of day to choose the best color for your new space.
When thinking about paint color, you can also be thinking about ways to update the flooring of your space. Whether it is refinishing the material that is already there or completely redoing the floors, you can make a big impact to add warmth and comfort to your office space by changing up the floors.
If you want to improve your office space to make it more modern, think about adding concrete or epoxy floors as a sleek new element. The beauty of using these durable flooring materials is that you can add in rugs to warm up sections of your space while keeping the modern look you were going for.
Many businesses want to encourage collaboration and choose to go with an open floor plan during their office remodel. As great and important as it is to have an open floor plan in an office to encourage colleagues to connect and inspire one another, it is also important to offer options for those that may need some downtime or a quiet space to think.
Incorporating smaller rooms or breakout spaces into your new floor plan will provide those employees that are hesitant about the noise level or concerned about their ability to focus a safe haven where they can concentrate. Breakout rooms also give the option to have privacy for individual meetings or smaller brainstorm sessions.
When thinking about adding space for individuals to meet or work independently, it is also helpful to think about providing opportunities to incorporate rest or movement. Many offices now include a built-in gym or yoga room to provide employees with a space to stretch and move during a break.
Implement the Natural World Inside
Just like people enjoy natural light in their personal homes, the same is true for an indoor office space. Many architects and designers use plant walls or windows as focal points for both aesthetic purposes as well as health benefits.
As you focus on using an open floor concept while renovating your space, keep in mind where the largest amount of natural light enters and use that to your advantage. Focusing on using your office space to bring in elements from the outdoors such as natural light and fresh air provide a myriad of benefits including increased energy and motivation during the day and better sleep at night.
The benefits from natural light are endless and it is worth the investment to add a few extra windows or knock down some walls to let more light in your office space. Another small update with a large impact is adding plants and greenery to your office space. Live plants not only boost oxygen intake and health, but they add an aesthetically pleasing component to any space.
Adding living plants to your office space is an inexpensive way to add warmth and a welcoming feel to both employees and visitors that will be using the space. You may already have an employee with a green thumb willing and eager to take on the task of adding indoor plants to your space.
But if not, don’t fear as gardeners have already done the research and can help provide you with the best plants for your office. If you don’t have a natural green thumb that works in your office, you can still add low maintenance plants to your new space to bring in both color and texture.
Motivating Your Employees
At the end of an office renovation, you want to have a space that is not only functional but encourages its employees to stay motivated and collaborate with one another. Involving employees in the company to help make decisions for renovation ideas ensures that the goal of boosting office morale will be met.
Although renovations can take time, the end result will be well worth the wait for your company to move to the next level with an updated space created and designed for success.