Mike Culverwell, strategic lead at POS Interiors, outlines key considerations when planning to improve or relocate your business to a new office.  

Deciding to refurbish your existing office or relocate to a new space is a major decision

The quality of the physical work environment has a significant impact on people’s performance, health, happiness and overall business success. Coupled with the building-related and capital expenditure that can be involved, it is crucial to establish a clear plan.  

Drivers of change  

Numerous events will drive the need for change such as business growth, cost reduction or the necessity to ensure the workplace is fit for purpose. Investing in modern ways of working also shows people they are valued, helping to retain and attract talent and boost market reputation.   

Keep track of upcoming lease reviews and the related obligations this may present. This can be a major trigger, which can involve prolonged effort to ensure the right decisions are made and any exit and relocation runs smoothly.  

Establishing a business case with a clear brief to guide your decisions and plans is essential.  

Establish your requirements  

Considering the size, location, your type of business and future plans are important. However, it is as important to gather insights from your people to define the crucial purpose and function the office needs to play.  

Learn more about their work activities and patterns, functional and emotional needs, , aspirations towards activity-based and hybrid working and what is necessary to provide a happy, healthy and productive environment. Aligning these insights with your future business plans will determine the impact you wish to achieve with any investment.  

Think about the impact you wish to have on achieving sustainability goals. Such as with energy efficiency, the materials and products used, ongoing maintenance requirements, social connectivity and long-term adaptability. 

Determining these requirements will be invaluable to assessing the suitability of a space and the capital investment required.    

Budgeting and timescales  

Establishing a clear breakdown of all the potential costs will be instrumental in considering your options and ensuring long-term benefits will be realised.  

As well as building-related expenditure (like rents, service and maintenance charges), typical elements to fully consider include professional services, design consultancy, fit-out specifications, IT infrastructure, specialist works, furniture selection, AV installations, move costs and potential use of temporary offices.  

Performing this analysis will also highlight opportunities to seek contributions from the landlord if there is a clear, beneficial improvement to the premises. 

Ensure a realistic timescale is fully considered. As example: 

  • 18-12+ months: check your existing lease and establish the business case and requirements for refurbishment or relocation, including obligations and costs for dilapidations. 
  • 12-9 months: obtain a preliminary design and budget analysis to gain internal consensus and inform any lease negotiations.  
  • 9-6 months: finalise the target budgets, design details and construction plans for use in obtaining necessary landlord or building approvals and to engage potential contractors. Plan for potential disruption to business as usual and engage your people with the excitement of the planned improvements.  
  • 6-3 months: depending on the scale of the project, building work should begin and furniture and products ordered.   
  • 3-0+ months: finalise the logistics for any move and complete the fit-out, installation of furniture, AV, IT, branding and final touches.  

There will be snagging after the move, but ultimately the space should be ready for you to occupy, enjoy and grow! 

Don’t underestimate the size of a project 

Involving workplace consultancy firms, construction industry professionals and commercial property advisors early will help you focus on the pros and cons of refurbishing your existing office or relocating to a new space. 

Workplace consultants provide essential insights into creating highly successful work environments. From establishing your requirements and the best use of space, to evaluating the suitability of premises, to providing guidance on budgets, local regulations, project plans and potential lease negotiations.  

POS are passionate about creating beautiful, functional and sustainable workspaces. If you’re planning to improve your office environment, to refit, refurbish or relocate, get in contact with our team.