Refurb or relocate? Three steps to help you decide what your workspace needs.

Should you refit your existing workspace or move to a new one? Unless your organisation has no choice but to move to new premises, you may be stuck in this dilemma. In the second of our eight-part series we offer three steps to help you decide whether to stay or go.

There are so many reasons why businesses move office or undergo a fit-out But what’s driving the change in your business? 

Time to move

If you’re building new premises from scratch, switching from leased to owned premises or moving closer to potential clients, there’s no decision to be made — a relocation is imminent. [But read on, because every refurbishment needs a relocation, and every relocation needs a refurb — it’s so rare to have one without the other.]

Stay put and refit

On the other hand, your lease may be up for renewal, you could be growing so fast you can't seem to fit everyone in, or you might need a better fit to reflect the evolution of your brand. It may just be that an upgrade is way overdue as your workspace may not be fit for purpose. In all these cases, you might be able to use the existing space more efficiently with the right fit-out partner. More about that below.

Shrinking office space

According to research, workstation occupancy rates average less than 50%. Increased demands from a more choosy, diverse talent pool, combined with lightening-speed technology advances and increasing rents have created the remote workforce, flexible working policies and the gig economy.

Explore all the key components of a successful office move in our ebook. 

As a result, savvy businesses are making more efficient use of their space by reducing the ratio of desks to employee and slashing underused areas like conference rooms and breakout spaces in favour of agile workspace design. So, before asking the question: ’should we stay or go,’ see if you can make better use of your space.

Here are three steps to help you decide >>>

Step one: workplace consultancy

A space usage audit can be done with online surveys, on-site traffic monitoring or high-end software. You’re looking for a workplace consultant for this. [We happen to know someone if you're stuck.]

Combine this hard data with soft feedback from users to discover how they use it. Involve everyone who uses the space in this. That way, whatever changes you make will get stakeholders on-side from the outset. (By the way, for businesses with more than 50 staff, it’s against the law not to inform and consult everyone about a change that may affect them.)

Quick checklist:

  • Space usage audit with a workplace consultant
  • Staff feedback on how they use the space
  • Collate & review the results.

This first step should give you a decent start toanswering the ‘stay or go’ question.

Step two: business-critical strategy

You may be at a turning point in your business trajectory, entering a growth phase or undergoing a brand redesign. So, does a new space meet all these challenges? Most importantly, ask your decision-makers and budget-holders three questions:

  • Why are we doing this?
  • What do we want from the new workspace?
  • How will that help us solve our problems?

The answers to these questions should help you decide who to start calling first, commercial estate agents or office design companies. You will need to call office design companies at some point, regardless, because every relocation needs a refurb.

Step three: meet the designers

If you’re still undecided, meet with interiors and fit-out specialists at the top of their game. The best ones will not just be super-creative designers, but holistic, full-turnkey solution providers that mitigate some of the common pitfalls of an office move or fit-out. Some time with them will help. But be warned, go through steps one and two first. Otherwise,you may get blinded by pretty things and cool ideas.

“This indecision’s bugging me”

As The Clash says in this song, Should I Stay Or Should I Go?,“ this indecision’s bugging me.” Well, it doesn't have to bug you. This blog should help. Okay, this song is about a personal relationship, but the refurbish-move dilemma is about your firm’s relationship with your work environment, which is as important as your business strategy. Environmentis fundamental to our work so our work should dictate our environment, no?

As Joe Strummer (The Clash’s lead singer) says: “If I go there willbe trouble, and if I stay it will be double.” We hope neither presents problems for you. But if you’re worried, confused or just curious, come and have a chat with us.

Discover the pros and cons of moving office in our Ultimate Office Move eBook, a step-by-step guide and checklist.

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