As we approach the end of the year, we reflect on our personal and professional progression throughout the year and also begin to plan for 2020. In the new year, some of you will plan a renovation of your office. Whether it is a renovation to enhance the entrance to your office or carve out more space as your team expands, there are challenges you should be mindful of and understand possible solutions you can take. For a workplace setting, it is important to look professional but it does not have to be boring.
We have compiled our case study on the challenges and solutions of Office Renovation in 2020 with a number of key scenarios that will hopefully provide a reference to your company.
Enhance The Entrance To Your Office
For clients, the entrance to the office is the first space that gives the first impression of a company. Space also portrays a company’s values and image. It is common to work on the enhancement of an office’s entrance, and indeed, many undertake minor renovation every four to seven years to refresh the space. The main challenge with a private entrance to an office is finding the balance between having a warm welcome by the receptionist yet allowing guests to have a quiet moment in the waiting area.
Understanding the purpose of the entrance will be key to making a successful enhancement to your office’s entrance. Is it also the main route for all employees to enter and exit? If so, you will need to scrutinize the location of the reception desk, the entrance and exit points, as well as the waiting area. The relationship and visibility of the reception desk when one is entering the main door for the first time is important, so guests feel welcomed and attended to. Remember to closely plan the enhancement works to minimize disruptions to business hours.
Accommodate More Staff In The Same Area
As a business develops, it is common to employ more staff. This also means allocating sufficient desk space to accommodate new staff comfortably. It is not always possible to simply add a new desk. In an office space, many surfaces are pilled with work and there is a lack of common and private storage space. As the square footage of offices is precious, our suggestion is to build the maximum storage space from day one. By allocating sufficient storage space for papers, folders, samples, etc, each employee will have a dedicated space to organise their items and can maintain a clean desk. Therefore, by planning in storage solutions from day one, or renovating a space to add on storage on the walls / perimeter of the office, each employee’s desk space can be reduced from 1.5 meters in width to still a decently sized desk at 1.2 meters. In short, where there were 4 desks, now you can now fit five desks, without leasing another space.
Expand To Adjacent Spaces Seamlessly
Not too dissimilar to the above challenge, some businesses expand rapidly and lease adjacent spaces to accommodate the company’s growth. Depending on the proximity of the adjacent spaces, you may need to consider if additional meeting rooms, kitchen, and bathrooms are required. These facilities and services may take up a huge amount of space and can add a significant amount to the total cost. To expand adjacent spaces seamlessly, it is recommended to maintain the same design language between adjacent spaces. For example, if you occupy Ground Floor and First Floor now, and expanding to the Fifth Floor, you want to renovate and furnish the Fifth Floor with the same design language so someone entering from the Ground Floor will still feel the same atmosphere when arriving in the Fifth Floor. A simple solution is to look through your past design and invoices to find the specifications of the existing office, then renovate and furnish the adjacent space in the same manner.
Modernize Your Office
Every four to seven years, companies tend to modernize and upgrade the areas that look dated and tired. If you’re working with a listed building, hire an architect as you may require additional consents such as the Listed Building Consent. Alternatively, you may hire an interior designer to carry out the works. Think about your required timeline and ideal budget. As this will likely be a repeating exercise in the next few years, you want to invest in quality and classic pieces that will complement other elements like soft furnishings and perhaps artworks that can be rotated to change the vibe of each space.
We encourage discussions and would love to hear any questions, comments and contributions to any topics discussed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yvonne Chua, Architect | 4th December 2019
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