Pros and Cons of an Office Refurbishment

The workplace is more than a physical space: it is a tool that enables an organisations people and processes to work better together. As such, it plays an integral role in supporting businesses achieve their strategic goals – and the design of the workplace should be prioritised accordingly.

If you’re office doesn’t currently support your people and your business, you have two options: an office refurbishment or an office relocation. There are, of course, benefits and drawbacks to both. So, to help you decide whether to ‘stay or go’, this article delves into the pros and cons of an office refurbishment.

Pros of an office refurbishment

Let’s start with the pros of an office refurbishment. For us, there are three key benefits to an office refurbishment: the opportunity to enhance the user experience, the ability to maximise the current floorspace and the reduced costs (compared to a relocation). So, let’s break down why these are important.

Improve user experience

It goes without saying, but an organisation’s people – both its clients and its employees – are fundamental to continued business success. An office refurbishment provides businesses with a unique opportunity to assess their current workplace and re-design it with their people in mind. Consider your employees. Do they have the space and tools they need to do their jobs effectively? If not, consider how you can plan the space more effectively. Do your teams need more meeting spaces, high-concentrations spaces or collaboration spaces? Consider carrying out a workplace survey to find out what they really need from the space. In terms of your clients, think about the message your current workplace conveys. Does it support your business’ identity and goals? If not, an office refurbishment is a great opportunity to curate a workspace that conveys the desired image of your brand to potential clients – as soon as they walk in the door.

Maximise current floor space

How long ago did you move into your current office? Chances are, your teams’ headcount has grown significantly since then. And it’s likely this growth has left you feeling cramped and restricted in the current space. In this situation, an office relocation might seem like your only option. Thankfully, that’s not the case. An office refurbishment is a great option as it enables businesses to maximise their current floorplan – so they don’t have to move into a new space. A workplace consultant will be able to provide valuable insight on which spaces are under-utilised and which are inundated. Then, a design and build specialist will be able to plan your current workspace more effectively – maximising every square foot of space.

Cost saving

Compared to an office relocation, an office refurbishment is affordable. There won’t be any exit-fees or dilapidation charges from your current landlord, you won’t need to engage a legal partner to oversee the termination of your current lease and the negotiation of your new lease terms, and your rent costs won’t increase as you won’t have to move to a larger office. So, all-in-all, an office refurbishment is a great option for businesses on a slightly tighter budget.

Cons of an office refurbishment

Next up, the cons of an office refurbishment. Although there are many pros to an office refurbishment, there are some drawbacks. The three main cons to an office refurbishment are: the inability to change location, having to work with the existing floorspace and the disruption it will cause employees.

Can’t change location

An office’s location is important for a multitude of reasons. For one, it can impact talent attraction and retention. Are there cafes, bars and restaurants nearby your current office? Are there good transport links and local amenities? These things may seem small, but they can make a big difference to your employee’s work-life balance and wellbeing. From another perspective – your location needs to suit your clients.  How far away is your current office from your clients? Are you close to your competitors or would you rather be further away and have the market share? Would a different location be more beneficial? If so, an office refurbishment may not be the best solution for your business.

Limited floorspace

Yes, you can plan your office space more effectively. But if your headcount has grown significantly over the course of your lease – optimising your current office may not entirely solve your space problem. Equally, space planning and refurbishing your current workspace may create enough space in the short-term, but most commercial leases last five to ten years. Will your office refurbishment continue to benefit your business in the future – or are you likely to run out of space again in a few months’ time?

Disruption to employees

An unavoidable pitfall to an office refurbishment is the disruption it will cause employees. To lessen this disruption, you could move into a flexible workspace operator while the office is refurbished. And, your chosen design and build specialist should be able to phase the works for minimal disruption; creating swing-spaces and working out-of-hours if necessary. If you were to choose an office relocation, the work could be carried out in the new workspace while your employees continue to work as normal in your current space. Of course, if you do decide to refurbish, the disruption will only be temporary and the benefits will be long-term. But it’s worth considering none-the-less.

So, there we have it: the pros and cons of an office refurbishment. Still undecided whether to stay or go? Our design experts can assess your current workspace to help you decide the best next-steps for your business.

Leaning more towards an office relocation? Read our article, 10 Steps to the Perfect Office Relocation.