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How to Fast Track Your Office Refurbishment

Office Refurbishment Timeframe

Is your office cramped and you need to increase capacity quickly? Perhaps you need your refurbishment completed before a busy part of the year. Whatever your situation, you're looking to complete your office refurbishment as quickly as possible.


As a design & build company, we've been carrying out fast-track office refurbishments in occupied spaces for over 15 years. Whenever we speak to someone in this situation, timeframe and cost are their first two questions. In many cases, these companies are surprised by how long office refurbishments take.


In this article, we'll share with you 8 ways we complete our refurbishment projects as fast as possible, why they matter, and how to apply them to your project. By the end, you'll know how to avoid time-consuming mistakes and fast-track your refurbishment project.


Thorough Planning

If you need to fast-track your office refurbishment, you may be tempted to rush through the planning phase as quickly as possible. However, this is a mistake. It greatly increases the chances of making costly and time-consuming mistakes later on during the project.


To avoid this, you need to spend the necessary time and effort creating a thorough refurbishment plan. This includes project motivations, workspace strategy, project objectives, and key milestones. While it may be frustrating to spend this much time and effort in the planning phase, the most efficient office refurbishment programme is one that avoids mistakes. Thorough planning is crucial to making that happen.


Clear Communication

One of the main reasons many office refurbishments take longer than expected is poor communication. Office design & build projects are complex, and a lot of information needs to be relayed. If your company and your refurbishment partner are slow to communicate, it will have a huge impact on your project timeline - every delay adds up.


What this does mean is that having a clear communication structure and process can save huge amounts of time during your project. You need to agree on achievable timeframes with your refurbishment company and stick to them. You should also agree on how you will communicate (email, phone, meetings, etc), and how quickly you will respond.


Streamlined Decision Making

Slow decision-making is another very common reason office refurbishments are delayed. This is partly a result of the two factors already covered - a lack of planning creates uncertainty and conflict, which is compounded by slow communication. As a result, decisions are often a lot slower and harder than they should or could be.


To improve the speed and quality of your decision-making, you should keep your internal project team as small as possible. You need the necessary expertise and authority, but too large a team will create delay and conflict. Using a RACI matrix is also helpful to ensure people have the right level of input in each decision. It's important to make sure no one is overloaded, otherwise, they will become a bottleneck and slow the project down.


Ongoing Accountability

A common concern we encounter when speaking with companies about their projects is a lack of visibility and accountability. They don’t know what's going on, and they can't hold anyone to account. This applies equally to design as well as delivery. As a result, they don't know if the project is off-track until it is too late.


To prevent this from happening in your office refurbishment, you need to establish a clear accountability process with your design & build company. You should get weekly reports of exactly what has happened on site. You should also be able to speak to the delivery team at any point about their progress compared to the project programme. This will enable you to resolve any issues and keep the project on track.


Partner Selection

Over 85% of construction projects are delivered late. According to a survey by Cornerstone Projects, the most common reasons for this were poor/ unrealistic planning (31%), resource issues (19%) and information issues (16%). Unfortunately, most design & build companies are conditioned to compete on cost, which causes a host of time and quality issues.


To complete your project as fast as possible, you need to work with a refurbishment partner with expertise in fast-track projects. They should have a clear process and demonstratable track record of delivering similar projects on schedule. They should also provide you with a detailed project programme before the start, and keep you updated as to progress compared to schedule. This applies to the design phase as much as the delivery.


Simple Design

Many office refurbishments are, by their very nature, complex. In many cases, this is exacerbated by an unnecessarily complicated design. A complex design scheme will not only take a lot longer to design, it will take a lot longer to deliver.


Simplifying your design package can significantly reduce your project timeline. It is especially important to minimise partitioning, HVAC, and life systems works, as they are complex and time-consuming. A simpler design package could reduce your project timeline by as much as 30%. It's important to keep your refurbishment as simple as possible without making your office feel bland and uninspiring.


Optimised Procurement

Long lead times for materials are very common in construction and can have a major impact on your project timeline. For HVAC and equipment, lead times are commonly 2-3 months. Bespoke joinery or furniture can also take up to 3 months. If your project is reliant on long-lead time materials, you could miss your completion date.


Optimised procurement is a key benefit of using a design & build company over a specialist designer. A design & build company will be a lot more aware of lead times and construction complexities, so they can create a design that avoids long lead times. As a result, your refurbishment can be delivered a lot quicker.


Active Quality Control

Another reason your refurbishment might take longer than expected is if you discover issues at the end of your project that need reworking. These may be delivery errors, such as poor specification, or design changes that you want. In some cases, these can delay project completion by weeks or even months.


To resolve this, you should take an active approach to quality control. If you have good communication with an accountable delivery team, you will be able to identify issues or required design changes much quicker, saving time and cost.


Fast Tracking Your Office Refurbishment

You now know the 8 most important ways to ensure your office renovation is completed as quickly as possible. You know the most common causes of delays, and how to mitigate them in your project. As a result, you can fast-track your own office refurbishment - saving you time, money and effort.


Ready to take the next step? Great. You need to create a thorough project plan to set your refurbishment up for success. To learn how to do that, download your copy of How to Plan Your Office Refurbishment. Inside, you'll learn how to prepare for a comprehensive and high-quality refurbishment, from defining the brief right through to signing the contract. To learn more about refurbishment timelines, read How Long Does an Office Refurbishment Take?



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