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How an office refurbishment can help boost profitability

An inspiring office space is key to motivating and engaging staff, allowing you to retain your best team members and develop competitive advantages. By combining a good office design with modern furnishings you can drive productivity and long term profitability.

Office design involves the integration of factors like floor space, storage, partitioning, furniture, carpets, meeting rooms, kitchens and stylistic concepts for overall effect. Every year, organisations all over the world spend millions of pounds refurbishing their offices in order to project a particular image of their firm.
Accountancy firm Deloitte, for example, combine contemporary furnishings with neutral colours, including frequent use of pure-white, to project the idea of clinical professionalism. Their furniture is minimalistic and artistic, creating the notion of a modern approach to traditional services.

On the other hand, Google Ireland’s office includes colourful chill out areas with giant soft chairs and an ocean carpet design. Extravagant craftwork hangs from the ceilings and staff are encouraged to work collaboratively in open plan, sporadic desk areas. This office design encourages creativity and ‘doing things differently’.

While both workplaces will inspire staff to be productive, Deloitte’s staff will be more likely to work accurately and efficiently; Google, on the other hand, will be rewarded through greater free thinking and collaboration, with new ideas and innovative concepts.

While your business may not have the budget for such elaborate office designs, small adjustments can go a long way. For example, making use of your office’s natural light, by opening blinds or introducing large panoramic windows, can create a more positive working environment. Using natural colour schemes, with earthy colours, is more likely to make staff feel at home.
Staff are more likely to enjoy their work if they feel their workplace reflects their aspirations, in the same way as their home does - trendy, artistic furniture is likely to make them feel stylish and creative; classic furniture, used frequently by solicitors, is likely to make them feel authoritative and intellectual.

Desk layout has a huge impact on the way we encourage staff to work. For example, large open plan office spaces encourage departmental viability and cross-functional interaction. Close-nit, sectioned desks, alternatively, will encourage people to work on their own, and therefore suit software developers or call centre agents. If you would like to encourage more informal communication, create a coffee bar area in your kitchen and furnish with high stools.

For informal workspaces, design chill out areas with soft chairs where staff can take their laptops and finish off their e-mails; not all work needs to be done in front of the desk, all of the time. London’s innovative commercial property provider, Workspace, for example, successfully combines open plan office designs with comfortable chill-out zones.

For more formal meeting room environments, use a long desk and more rigid seating, encouraging professionalism and open discussion.

Office design should also include an appreciation of environmental factors. By using energy saving light bulbs and cavity insulation, you can reduce your energy bills and encourage staff to become more environmentally aware.

An Office Refurbishment doesn’t need to cost the earth, just combine a few simple ideas with some good quality furnishings and you can improve staff productivity and your bottom line.

This article was written by Cathie Sellars, head of marketing at workspace.co.uk.

Posted by Chris Johnson on 21 August 2013