Office space has a big impact on creating a safe, clean office and supporting employee productivity. If your company is currently not meeting expectations in these areas, it might be time to convert your office space to adhere to safety guidelines.
To follow safe distancing standards, you may be considering reconfiguring, renovating, or redesigning your office. You may have heard these three terms used interchangeably, but they shouldn’t be. Knowing the distinction between them can help you determine which method is best suited for your needs.
So should you reconfigure, renovate or redesign your current office space?
In this post, we'll break down the differences:
Reconfiguring office furniture simply means changing the shape or formation of your office space. Some refer to it as remodeling. It's a great option when your goal is to get the most out of your current resources.
Today, many workplaces are scrambling to reconfigure their office furniture to reduce density and increase physical distance.
Office reconfiguration can be used to:
As you plan your return to work, consider reconfiguring your office furniture for safety. That could mean arranging desks in a back-to-back position, or keeping workspaces at a specific distance upon re-entry.
Knowing that the first step to get back to the office would be to create safe distances between desks and occupiable spaces, you may feel like you're scrambling to ensure a safe, productive environment. These are unprecedented times, and returning to the office can feel like a daunting task.
You can automate that process with iOFFICE's new Space-Right™ safe distancing feature. This tool can help you:
Here are some other strategies for reconfiguring your office:
Over time, what you need from the office changes. Improving the office should help your employees get work done, and it should allow them to be productive, connected, and collaborative.
Here are a few quick tips for a successful office reconfiguration:
It's a lot cheaper to reconfigure office furniture or buy a few new pieces than it is to pay for construction and labor costs. If you're looking for an affordable solution you can implement quickly, this may be your best bet.
With an office renovation, you refresh or revive your workplace by fixing what’s already there and perhaps adding some new elements.
Sometimes you need more significant change than an office reconfiguration provides. This is a great option for updating your office to match the way your employees work.
You might consider renovations that help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Here are some other reasons you might choose to renovate:
Your renovation efforts may include adding a better quality air filtration system, changing surfaces to germ-resistant material, such as copper, or possibly installing a disinfection system with UV lighting.
Other examples of ways to renovate your office:
For a total office renovation, you’ll need to keep your entire staff out of the office space during the renovation period. If you aren't planning to return to work until 2021, this might be an ideal time to renovate. If you have a temporary space to go, or if you’re just renovating a few areas, renovations can happen while employees continue working in the office space.
Issues tend to arise that you didn’t plan for, especially with older buildings, as you begin your renovation plans. These unexpected costs can quickly exceed your original renovation budget.
Renovations are a faster solution than redesigns, and cost a little less, too. But if you have to keep employees in the space during the renovations, that can slow the renovation timeframe down and be distracting for employees.
Pricing is based on square footage, as well as the extent of demolition and reconstruction. Today’s average office renovation costs about $187.50 per square foot. Plan on paying contractors around $70 per hour.
An office redesign means you’ll be designing your office space again, just in a different way by changing its appearance, function and/or equipment. When your space no longer meets the needs of your workforce or isn't being used efficiently, it may benefit from a redesign.
Here are some scenarios an office redesign could address:
Density will be problematic in the post-pandemic office place. If reconfiguring desks isn't an option, you may need to change the design of the office to provide different types of space. For instance, if you have several large conference rooms, they may need to be converted to accommodate the need for more private spaces.
In addition responding to COVID-19 concerns, there are several other ways a redesign can improve the office.
As you begin this process, start by getting clear on your office redesign's top priorities. Do you want to reduce health risks, change the atmosphere, or just make better use of the space you have?
To identify and stay focused on your priorities, you should:
A total office redesign is the most expensive choice of the three because it requires the most material resources and time to complete.
Whether you choose to reconfigure office furniture, renovate or completely redesign your workplace, you'll need to consider how your employees' habits have changed since the pandemic.
While most employees do want to return to work, they may not be in the office every day. You need an agile work environment that allows them to book desks or rooms whenever they need them.
Your new workplace should include room scheduling software that allows you to easily limit room capacity and show employees which rooms are available.
You also need mobile desk booking solutions that allow employees to make touchless reservations.
Normally, you'd have to purchase all these solutions separately. But this is an unprecedented time, so we're offering an unprecedented deal. Our new Return-to-Work Starter Kit includes: