All it takes is a 2-5% increase in staff performance to cover the total cost of an office re-design. In other words, it’s well worth it. But where do you start and what do you do?
Start With a Deep Clean
Every successful re-design starts with a deep clean. Before you can try something new, you have to clean up the old. A deep clean is a huge undertaking and will require an effort from both your employees and hired professional help.
Start by asking your employees to clean up their individual workspaces. They should organize loose papers, wipe down desks, dust bookshelves and throw away trash. These may seem like surface-level tasks, but they pave the way for bigger picture change.
Next, you need to pay attention to flooring. Will you be keeping the existing flooring, or will it be replaced during the redesign? If the latter is true, then you don’t need to worry about cleaning it. However, if you plan on keeping carpet or rugs, you may want to call a specialized cleaning company to get an estimate on how much it will cost to professionally clean your items.
While steam cleaning, deep shampooing and hand washing are all great, a truck mount might be your best option if you want a truly deep clean. According to Rug Pro NYC, a truck mount cleaning “is the same as the deep shampoo method but done from a truck mount machine rather than a portable one. The main advantage is that a truck mount machine is more powerful thus the vacuuming phase is much deeper.”
Finally, consider the walls. Will you be repainting, tearing down or otherwise alerting existing walls? If the answer is yes, you can leave them alone. If the answer is no, now is the time to clean walls, repair nicks and scratches, and add a fresh coat of paint. You may also choose to wait until the renovation process is complete, if you’re worried about further wear and tear.
5 Design Tips for a New Look
Now that you’ve got the basics out of the way, you’re ready for the fun to start. Let’s take a look at a few neat design tips you may want to try. They are designed to look good, while simultaneously being functional and productive.
- Build a war room. Every innovative company has their own version of a war room. Typically, this is the sort of meeting room where big ideas are brought to life. It should be big enough to fit multiple people from each department and, unlike traditional meeting rooms, the conference table shouldn’t be the focus. Instead, make the walls a priority. Use chalkboard paint to make every square inch of walls a viable writing surface—or add massive whiteboards. Everyone should have room to work.
- Add home accents. People feel most comfortable when they’re in an environment that closely mirrors home. That’s why it’s a good idea to integrate home accents and features into your office. Conveniently placed couches, warm lamps, house plants and throw pillows can all add personality to your office.
- Include a hospitality room. Employees want to feel like they’re cared for, and one way to do this is by including a hospitality room. This station could have things like magazines, candy, snacks and office supplies. Think of it like a sophisticated water cooler. It’s a practical addition that allows you to consolidate resources and show employees you care.
- Give employees control. According to Nikil Saval, author of "Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace," "Workers understand their own needs better than executives and ought to control the decisions about how to satisfy them." In other words, take input from your employees and give them some control over how the office is designed.
- Incorporate personality. The problem with most offices is that they lack any personality (other than corporate branding). During your redesign, you should focus on incorporating creative and unique elements. Try adding original artwork, vibrant color splashes, or unique sculptures. Maybe add a few elements of fun? Something like a ping-pong table in the break room or an outdoor basketball goal can go a long way in satisfying employees.
Enjoy the Benefits
What do you think? Are you ready to give your office a makeover? With these design tips, you can take your once-boring office and transform it into a productive workspace that encourages creativity and appeals to the personal makeup of your employees.
Excerpts from Anna Johansson, Business Consultant