5 key questions you need to ask yourself.

Undertaking an office fit-out can have a substantial positive impact on your business, but is it really necessary? We take you through key questions to ask yourself whether you need new office furniture and/or an office refurbishment.

UK office designers - smart working office design and space planning by Flexiform.

Have you, or will you outgrow the space? 

While you may find that you are quickly running out of space, relocations to new offices can be expensive, not only factoring in office furniture, paint and fittings, new signage, technology, relocation, communication updates and disruption costs. 

You may find that an office refurbishment, instead of an office relocation, can free up a lot of space, and there are a few ways you can implement this through furniture and working styles. Switching your working style to include agile working or remote working can save a large amount of floor space, typically implementing a ratio of 80:20 or 60:40 desks to hotdesks depending upon the company. Flexible working styles are often welcomed by staff too, helping boost morale and productivity.  

There are many ways to save space with smarter office furniture too. Selecting a compact office desking range with a smaller footprint can save a large amount of floor space, along with more efficient office filing systems. Removing fixed meeting rooms can also open up space, opting for pockets of small informal meeting areas, office meeting pods or high back meeting booths instead. These are often more convenient as they don’t need to be booked and are often located in and between desks and departments. 

Before making a decision, it’s important to weigh up how much space you could save by adopting these practices vs how quickly your team is going to grow. Do you need room for future expansion? It may be worth choosing a bigger office now, over 5 years time. 

Agile office furniture installation

Does your office suit your working style? 

As mentioned above, switching to agile working, remote working and flexible working from a traditional assigned desk space will create a lot of empty desks. Does your current office furniture suit your teams activities? If you’ve changed your working practices it may be time to switch office furniture too. 

These types of working practices would typically mean you will need more hot-desking spaces with ‘plug and play’ technology, and task chairs that require minimal set-up. Office lockers will also allow staff to store personal belongings helping them move throughout the office easier without coats and bags weighing them down. Remember your staff are more likely to come into the office to collaborate with their colleagues if you have implemented remote working and will require more collaborative and informal meeting spaces. It’s also a good idea to have any meeting rooms to be fully equipped with video conferencing technology to connect any staff at home. 

If you are keeping your current working style and you feel you have the right type of furniture, consider if the flow of your space suite how teams collaborate. Does one department frequently have to take a lift to collaborate with another? It may be that you need an office reconfiguration to bring departments together, put your front of house staff near receptions or showrooms or make more space in more convenient locations.

Are your staff engaged, productive and happy? 

There are many factors contributing to your staff’s wellbeing, this could be anything from company policies and benefits, job satisfaction to comfort and design. We can’t offer any advice on your policies, but did you know that 97% of staff believe the office interior design reflects how much they feel valued as an employee? And 65% of employees would consciously be more productive if they are comfortable. 

A simple questionnaire would be able to give you an idea of how comfortable and happy your staff are. We all know a lot of people are affected by back pain, so any furniture that is comfy and supports them could improve their wellbeing and productivity. Simply swopping out office desking for electric height adjustable desks and ergonomic desk chairs is a great start. Another area to consider is if there are places for staff to retreat, relax and unwind? Adequate breaks with natural lighting, soft seating and a place to relax are key to ensuring your staff are re-energised before going back to work. 

Does your office interior design look a bit tired? 

It may be simply that you’ve looked around your office to see that it’s just looking a bit tired and outdated. 33% of workers have said that the office design affects their decision to accept the job, an updated refresh may help you gain and retain staff. 

A few things to consider when addressing your current office, is if the design reflects your branding? Do your staff feel embarrassed to bring in prospective clients? Or does it simply just make the company not feel up to date? These are simple design questions, but there are other elements of interior design that feeds into wellness too, for example, does the current layout take advantage of the natural light? Or Is the lighting in each area correct for the task? Are the acoustics right? (We’ll get to that one soon!). These will have a huge impact on the look and feel of your office space. 

It’s worth remembering that if your office does look a bit tired, it doesn’t have to mean a full office refurbishment. A respray of metal furniture and re-upholstering tired soft seating can give it a new lease of life and inject branding colours. You can also consider rugs, coat stands for tidiness or office planters for a touch of the biophilic trend.  

Acoustic office design

Is Acoustics an Issue? 

Acoustics is one of the areas of an office design that are often underestimated or overlooked. Open-plan offices are great for collaboration, but often get labelled as unproductive because people can’t concentrate. There are many ways to address the acoustics in the office from acoustic baffles and suspended ceiling panels to sound-deadening wall panels, room dividers and more. When acoustic office solutions were implemented in a study, a 20% increase in productivity and a 27% reduction in physical stress was found. It may be that your existing of future office would benefit from an acoustic review.

Together, these questions should give you an idea of what level of office fit-out you need, if any!  From an office refresh to relocation, reconfiguration or refurbishment, they can all offer a huge impact on your company. Each area to address all feeds into the simple question – is it a nice place to work, and is it built for your staff to work effectively? 

If you would like to speak to a Flexiform representative about your office requirements, please contact sales@flexiform.co.uk or to get office design inspiration check out our case studies or Pinterest boards.