How to Survive your First Office Refurbishment

If you’re about to undertake an office refurbishment, you’re probably wondering how you’ll keep your business running smoothly while the shop fittings get put in place. Tradies and office workers don’t mix well, particularly if your business relies on regular client contact. There’s nothing more compromising to your brand image than having your customer hear drilling and hammering down the other end of the phone.

But don’t panic just yet! With a bit of planning, you can sail through your refurbishment with minor interruptions to your staff’s productivity. Here’s how:

  1. Engage a fitout expert. The first step is to find the right fit-out expert to meet your needs. Because it’s their business to help you weather the process relatively unscathed, a great office refurbishment firm can give guidance on the steps you can take to limit the disruption. Architects and interior designers also help a project run smoothly with the minimum amount of fuss.
  2. Choose a captain. Try to have only one staff member responsible for the entire fit-out. This will avoid misunderstandings and ensure timely decision-making when it’s needed most. You’ll want someone who’s super organised, highly experienced and a great communicator. They’ll also need to be cool under pressure.
  3. Communicate everything. Make sure all your stakeholders know the fit-out timetable and how the changes will affect them. Maintaining clear lines of communication is vital to minimising frayed tempers and refurbishment stress. For retail refurbishments, don’t forget to inform your customers about the timelines, too.
  4. Time it to suit. If a department has a crucial deadline, plan to leave its work areas undisturbed during business hours or organise with your fitout company to make the change overnight. Pay particular attention to IT and telecoms migrations to avoid disruption to essential communications – your customers should be able to contact you effortlessly throughout the whole process. Consider migrating to the cloud during the interim, so everyone remains connected.
  5. Offer flexibility. If team members can perform tasks at home for the day of the revamp, let them. Make sure you can redirect inbound calls to mobiles and that everyone has adequate internet/intranet access. Or perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to go on a team-building exercise, retreat, company picnic, training or hold a work planning conference at another location? That way everyone’s out of the office but still productive.
  6. Keep an eye on OH&S. If you do have to accommodate office workers and incoming customers during the fit-out, make sure health and safety are paramount. Post signage notifying people about what’s going on and the safety requirements during the rebuild. Always put the safety of your contractors and staff first. Check your insurance policies are up to date and cover accidents during refurbishments. Educate staff about the impacts of the fit-out and how they can keep safer at work during the entire process. Some websites that can help include Safe At Work, and Safe Work Australia.

Need some help putting an interior refurbishment plan together? We can help! Call us now to pick our brains about the best way to proceed for a more smooth fit-out changeover.