We spend as much, if not even more time at the office than at home, hence the importance that this environment is pleasant. Indeed, the layout of an office can have a noticeable impact on the satisfaction rate and by extension, on the productivity of the employees.
Thinking about transforming your corporate office, but don’t know where to start? In this article, we will present 10 renovation projects to create an optimal working environment. We will also present some other related information, especially so that you can better target your needs and those of other employees.
Signs that you should change the layout of your company office
Before launching an office renovation project, you must take the time to organize the process well and make wise choices. To begin preparation, first make daily observations in the office. Watch how people use the spaces and take notes. Then approach people to find out what their needs are, what they would like to improve, and so on.
Here are some complaints we often hear in offices:
- Noise complaints;
- Decreased productivity;
- Layout not optimized;
- Lack of light;
- Increasing energy bills.
Here are our 10 planning tips to renovate your business office
Important note: if you use the services of a contractor, he must have his permit from the CQC because the project will be considered commercial. The prices quoted in some of the articles presented below will therefore no longer be valid, as the prices for commercial projects are different.
1) Improve the insulation and soundproofing of spaces
As noted above, one of the most common employee complaints relates to noise issues. This is even more true in open-plan offices, which are very trendy these days. If there is only one project to implement to create a pleasant working environment, soundproofing is the top priority.
When it comes to insulation, you may have heard some comments from employees about the temperature in the office. If you live in an older building, it may be difficult to control the temperature, as the insulation on the walls and the doors and windows will not be as good as in a recently constructed building. In this case, insulation became a requirement.
2) Renovate and paint according to a chosen color code
Working in a beautiful environment can have a positive effect on the mood of employees. Of course, decorating tastes vary from person to person, but certain criteria remain the same when it comes to planning. As an example, it’s usually best to determine a color code that will serve as the basis for the entire office.
This color code will be used to choose the colors of surfaces (walls, floors and doors), furniture, and accessories. Often, companies will opt for colors that are already part of their visual identity and will add certain colors that correspond to their tastes.
It should also be taken into account that certain colors create a more pleasant and productive environment for employees. Indeed, chick yellow walls could stimulate creativity, but they could also prove to be stressful for those trying to concentrate. You will therefore need to assess what kind of mood you are looking to create, and possibly concentrate the bright colors in certain places.
Here are some examples of colors that are recommended by experts in an office environment:
- Forest green;
- Light blue.
3) Modify the layout of the rooms
Sometimes the company hires new employees and their offices are located where there is available space. This arrangement is fine for a while, but the more offices pile up, the less logic continues. If this is your case, maybe you should take a look at how the furniture is laid out.
Create a plan of the office rooms in their current state and see if you can move some items around to create a more ergonomic layout. So you might even save space!
4) Install removable walls or glass partitions
Movable walls are getting better and better. Gone are the “sheet of cardboard on rollers” type walls that were prevalent before. Now, there are innovative products on the market which isolate and soundproof spaces quite satisfactorily. Knowing this, you might consider removing some permanent partitions to install removable walls that will allow you to make the layout more versatile!
Glass partitions, on the other hand, can be interesting if you are looking to increase the brightness in certain parts of the office. You can install removable or fixed glass partitions, and decide whether the glass will be transparent on both sides or only one (in order to create some privacy).
5) Open concept office or closed sections?
The question was not directly addressed in the previous points, but if you are thinking about a major transformation for the office, it is worth asking yourself. Open-plan offices and closed offices each have their advantages and disadvantages.
Here are some important points to consider before making your decision:
The advantages and disadvantages of each are presented together, as some can be seen as both positive or negative, depending on the perceptions.
Open concept office
- Spirit of sharing;
- Can get noisy;
- Promotes communication;
- More affordable;
- Employees isolated from their colleagues
- Concentration aid
- Takes up more space
- Employees more difficult to supervise
- Spaces that can be personalized for each person
6) Add storage spaces and furniture
Lack of storage can lead to various problems in a work environment: decreased productivity, organizational problems, employee frustration. Establishing storage systems following a clear and infallible logic will therefore help you on several levels!
Depending on the needs of the business, this system can be very simple or more elaborate. For example, if you already have shelves and furniture dedicated to storage and they just lack organization, you could buy bins, dividers, and other accessories that can be used to distribute things better.
If your office is sorely lacking in the organization, then you will have the opportunity to create a system that is completely personalized and adapted to the needs of your business. Shelves, drawers, filing cabinets, and accessories can be part of your plan. Everything can be bought in-store, or made to measure by a specialized company.
7) refresh the decor
Does the office decor lack charm and personality? In addition to painting and other wall coverings, you can also brighten up spaces by choosing accessories and elements that add life. We can think of plants (real or false), carpets, and works of art, among others.
Paintings, sculptures, and other forms of artistic expression can add a certain vibrancy to the decor. You can have photos printed, buy picture frames at IKEA, or browse your favorite art gallery to find pieces that will coordinate well with the decor.
Did you also know that it is possible to rent works of art, for example, at the Artothèque in Montreal and at Imageothèque in Quebec? This type of service allows individuals and companies to host magnificent works for a few months in order to decorate spaces.
8) Change the floors
If the floors in your office are no longer in good condition, a renovation project may be in order. Is the floor covered with rugs? If the latter has not been cleaned recently, dirt that has entered the material could affect the air quality. The carpet has certain advantages, in particular, because of the soundproofing properties. So you might consider replacing it or having it cleaned.
Besides carpet, the most common materials in offices are vinyl, laminate and concrete. That said, hardwood and natural stone can also be very well suited to this kind of environment.
9) Adjust lighting to avoid dark areas
Lack of lighting can be harmful to the working environment because, despite the brightness produced by the screens, it is not enough to create a pleasant atmosphere. Obviously, some spaces such as editing rooms do not need the same type of lighting as a call center.
Good lighting will make people more productive and more awake. You will therefore need to think about several elements, such as the type of light fixture, the arrangement of the lamps, and the type of bulb.
A quick tip: avoid neon lights as much as possible, which can cause migraines and accelerate fatigue in employees.
10) Declutter surfaces and hide wires
Everyone has their own working technique, but although some people feel more comfortable in a chaotic environment, it is more often the opposite. Most employees will feel better in an organized workspace, with uncluttered surfaces.
One of the often-overlooked projects is hiding the many wires attached to the devices people work with – computers, printers, monitors, speakers, and so on. The wires on the ground can be hidden with mats or systems specially designed to conceal and organize them.
As for the wires on the desks, accessories are available to prevent them from tangling. With all this space you will gain, you can install plants and storage accessories!
Should you consult an interior designer for your office remodeling project?
If you decide to launch a large-scale office renovation project, it is strongly recommended that you hire the services of a planning expert, an interior designer. This expert has the experience as well as the knowledge necessary to make the best decisions and adjust realistically to your budget.
How to manage renovations so as not to affect working conditions and employee productivity.
Last question, but not the least, what to do during this period when the work will cause disruption? First, you have to determine the time frame for the work. Chat with the entrepreneur and see what the priorities are. Would it be more effective to close the office for a few days to get the job done quickly? Or, the project could be broken down into stages that would be completed one by one evening and on weekends while the office is empty.
If there is an emergency, you could also arrange for employees to work from home for a few days, or be moved temporarily to a part of the office that is not affected by the work. Finally, you could also rent a coworking space for a few days or weeks to keep employees productive.