Tips for Managing Timings When Completing an Office Refurbishment

By | Office

An office refurbishment project is no simple undertaking, and I can speak to experience thanks to the many customers we have helped. Not only are there tons of design choices and decisions to be made, but often the office needs to remain functional and operational while the refurbishment is taking place. This adds an extra snag in the plan to what is an already hectic time.

If you’ve got plans for an office refurbishment then managing the time is crucial. This helps to ensure everything stays on schedule, gets done in the correct order, and that your business is affected for the least amount of time possible. Here are some tips you can use that will help you manage the timing of the refurbishment and help to move things along in a smooth and organised manner.

Look for Outside Help

One of the first tips I like to share with businesses ready to embark on a refurbishment is to get help with the project. No matter how small or large your refurbishment project is, your focus still needs to be on the operation of the business itself – not a renovation project. That’s where us here at MC Interiors can come in very handy. We are able to provide partition walls, furniture, fit bulkheads, put in suspended ceilings, and create a design that is both functional and attractive.

The fact that we have renovate offices in Manchester, Cheshire, Liverpool, and Warrington makes us very flexible and easy to rely on. Our experts are trained in taking all your needs and wants into consideration and then putting together a design that exceeds your vision.

Make Sure You’ve Got the Go-Ahead to Perform the Refurbishment

Another tip is to make sure you get your landlord’s permission to do the work. A formal design should be submitted to the landlord and then should be signed off. This can take some time so it’s wise to allow one to three months for this process.

Consider the Fact You May Have to Temporarily Re-Locate Your Operations

While not ideal, there is a chance you may have to temporarily re-locate during the refurbishment. Once you’ve got your design plan laid out and the steps clearly described, then you can start to look at things a bit more critically and determine if it’s still possible to conduct business in the space.

Get Rid of Unwanted and Unneeded Items

In order to clear space and allow the refurbishment team to get its work done faster and smoother it’s a good idea to sell any unwanted or unneeded furniture and equipment in advance. It just makes it easier for the refurbishment team if they aren’t having to step over all kinds of things. Selling the items can also make you a little extra money which can then be invested in the refurbishment. Anything that doesn’t sell, should be disposed of before the work begins.

Thanks to these tips you’ll be able to keep your refurbishment project running smoothly and on time.

How to Create a Happier, Healthier Workspace

By | Office

Happy, healthy employees are productive and less likely to take time off work because of physical and mental illness. Unfortunately, many organisations fail to take their workforce’s health and happiness into account. Instead, they push employees to the limit and then wonder why they drop like flies.

The good news it is easy to create a happier, healthier workplace – and you don’t need to spend a fortune in the process. Let’s look at how you can do this without tearing down your existing office and building a new one from the ground up.

Encourage Collaboration and Socialising

The best way to encourage collaboration and sharing is by designing an open plan office. Many modern offices have adopted this approach and so long as you monitor noise levels, they are extremely effective.

The great thing about open plan office spaces is that they are extremely flexible, which allows you to accommodate itinerant workers and hot desking visitors. Employees can collaborate on tasks, socialise within the office space, and give each other support – all without leaving their desks.

If you do need to create separate meeting rooms, offices, or workspaces, it is simple enough to erect partitions.

Increase Natural Light

Natural light is very important. People are like plants: they don’t do too well when natural light is in short supply. Oodles of natural light makes us feel happier and more positive. This is, in part, why depression is more of a problem during the winter or in countries where days are short for many months of the year.

Open plan offices encourage the dissemination of natural light. If you do need to include partitioned areas, consider using glass. However, be aware that desks adjacent to windows will be uncomfortably hot in summer unless you fit blinds to control sunlight.

Reduce Noise Levels

Modern offices are often very noisy. Ambient noise levels tend to increase as more people enter the workspace, which can make it difficult to focus. Hard floors and other surfaces only compound the problem, so it is sensible to look at ways of reducing ambient noise levels.

Suspended ceilings do a good job of controlling acoustics in an open plan office, but other strategies include using carpet tiles instead of hard floors, fabric blinds, and even plants.

Design a Functional Office Space

Think about the layout of your office space. Does it encourage employees to move around or are desks crammed into every available space?

It is useful to design an office that encourages employees to get up and walk around. Provide break rooms or breakout areas where employees can take a break, eat their lunch in peace, or have a meeting with colleagues. Install a water cooler at the opposite end of the office so people are forced to take a walk to grab a drink.

Add Plants

Where possible, add as many plants as possible. They clean the atmosphere and boost employee well-being. If you lack green fingers, hire plants on a supply and maintenance contract.

The way your office is designed has a huge impact on your employees, so pay attention and spend time creating the perfect layout and design.

Office Design Tips to Attract Millennials

By | Office

Millennials make up the biggest sector of the workforce, so if you are hoping to attract forward-thinking, talented millennials, you need to pay close attention to your office design.

Open Plan Office Design

Twenty years’ ago, most modern offices consisted of a series of small, cramped cubicles. Employees typically spent their working day isolated, surrounded by screens. If they needed help or to brainstorm with a colleague, they had to leave their desk. It wasn’t exactly productive.

Today’s open plan office layouts are perfect for millennials. The flexibility and relaxed nature of an open plan office encourages collaboration and brainstorming, which is something millennials specialise in.

Break Out Areas

In an open plan office layout, it is easy for employees to chat between desks and hold casual meetings, but it makes sense to provide some breakout areas where employees can entertain visitors, spread out, and get away from their desks. Break out areas are also useful for remote workers in for the day.

Plants and Greenery

Plants don’t just look good from an aesthetic perspective – they also offer significant health and well-being benefits. Plants absorb harmful toxins from the environment and “clean” the atmosphere. Plants also absorb CO2 and add oxygen to the atmosphere, which is good for productivity. Lastly, research shows that offices with plenty of plants enjoy lower absentee rates, so add a few spider plants, or if you want to create the “wow” factor, install a living wall.

Communal Chill Out Space

Millennials appreciate chill-out spaces at work. Many of the larger tech companies, such as Google and Microsoft, take this to a whole new level with sleep pods and gaming rooms, but you don’t need to go this far to attract millennials. A communal lounge with comfy sofas, a kitchen area, and perhaps a TV on the wall is enough to provide a relaxing space away from the main work area where employees can chat, chill, and enjoy their lunch. If you have outdoor space, consider adding an outdoor seating area, too.

Ergonomic Furniture

Millennials are very interested in health and well-being. When they are not at work they can usually be found competing in triathlons, marathons, and other extreme sports. As such, it is important to provide ergonomic furniture to ensure your employees remain in the best of health.

Work-Life Balance

It is only in recent years that we have come to fully appreciate the benefits of a good work-life balance. Too much time at work speeds up the risk of stress and burnout. Caring employers understand this and so do millennials.

Millennials actively choose to work for companies that offer workplace perks such as on-site gyms, cafeterias, and nurseries. It helps hard working staff juggle their work and personal life more efficiently.

Coffee Machines

Don’t underestimate the lure of freshly ground artisan coffee in the workplace. Throw out your cheap instant coffee and invest in a top-of-the range coffee machine for your employees. It should prove to be a great hit with visitors, too!

Create a functional and aesthetically pleasing workplace and you will find it much easier to retain valuable staff. It’s the smart thing to do.

The Benefits of Open Plan Offices

By | Office

Open plan offices are extremely common. From startups to global corporations, businesses have moved away from small cubicles and embraced the idea of open plan workspaces. This style of working doesn’t suit every organisation, but there are several important benefits. Let’s take a look at the advantages of open plan offices.

Cost

It is relatively cheap to transform a vast open space into a functional working environment when you don’t have to spend time building walls. Partitions can be used to subdivide areas and structural beams covered with bulkheads.

Resources such as printers and scanners can be shared more easily in an open plan office space. Instead of buying a printer for each office, a company can rent a large printer and install it in a central location.

When budget is an issue, and you don’t have the cash to spend creating a series of bespoke rooms, open plan is the way forward.

Aesthetics

Open plan offices are appealing to senior management because they make a company look modern. A sweeping shot of diligent employees scurrying around like busy worker ants looks great on marketing literature.

Flexibility

Arguably the greatest benefit of open plan offices – and the main reason why this style of working is so popular – is the innate flexibility of the design. A traditional workspace layout with small cubicles and separate offices doesn’t cope so well when you have a sudden influx of new employees. You are limited by the number of rooms within the building, which makes it harder to squeeze in extra desks.

Open plan office layouts are highly flexible. Desks can be moved around, partition walls erected or moved to suit the needs of the organisation, and hot desking remote workers accommodated.

Productivity

It is far easier to collaborate with colleagues when they are sitting a few desks away in your line of sight. An open plan office encourages collaboration and brainstorming. You can hold an impromptu meeting without moving to a different room, or help a colleague without moving from your desk. For tech and creative businesses, this is a great productivity boost.

It is also a lot easier to monitor worker productivity when they are in full view of management. Employees can’t take an afternoon nap on the sly or watch inappropriate material on their company PC when they are surrounded by colleagues and supervisors.

Employee Happiness

Not all companies make the happiness of their employees a priority, but an open plan office can work for many companies because it removes social barriers within the workplace. Everybody must share the workspace, no matter how senior they are, which makes people feel more at ease.

Of course, it isn’t all good. There are some disadvantages, most notably acoustic problems. Noise levels can be high in open plan offices, but a suspended ceiling can provide acoustic insulation and help dampen down excessive noise levels. The other issue is that not everyone enjoys working in a goldfish bowl.

For an open plan office to be effective, it needs to be carefully planned to meet exacting standards of employee well-being and ergonomics. Does your open plan office fit the bill?