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Top 7 Ways to Modernise Your Office

Improving Your Workspace

Has it been several years since your office was updated? Have certain areas or features become worn? Perhaps your culture has evolved, and your office hasn’t. If so, you're likely aware that your office is outdated. What you might not be aware of is the impact this is having on your people and company.


52% of UK office workers say they find their office design uninspiring. Even worse, 1 in 3 said their office was outdated, uninspiring and in need of a complete office refurbishment. If your office is outdated, your staff will be less engaged in their work, and the design of your space may also limit their performance. It might be easy to overlook the impact of your outdated office on the performance of your company, but that doesn’t make it any less severe.


The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to completely refurbish or even relocate offices. Sometimes, a few modernisations may be all that is required. With that in mind, here are 7 of the best ways you can update your office ready for 2024 and beyond.


Add Branding

You might think of office branding as a few feature walls in company colours and a company logo in the reception. However, office branding goes much further than that. It encompasses the entire experience your people have while in the office - from the layout to the amenities. If your office has little/no branding, or your brand has evolved and your office hasn’t, then your office will be outdated. As a result, you will struggle to create a great culture and retain your best talent.


There are several easy ways to update your office branding. First, consider the wall finishes. You could also look at the flooring, to see if it matches your brand. Furniture is crucial for your branding, as it is the element of your workspace that your people interact with the most. It needs to reflect your brand, both in the colours and the type of furniture. To learn more about creating an office that reflects and enhances your culture, read this article.


Add Collaboration Space

At a time when many staff are reluctant to return to the office, attracting rather than forcing them back is crucial. Research by Microsoft has shown that 85% of employees would be motivated to go into the office to rebuild team bonds. This makes collaboration a crucial role of your office. Even if your staff are back in the office already, if they don’t have collaboration space, then they wont be able to work together effectively. By increasing and/or improving your collaboration space(s) you can improve team performance and job satisfaction.


To do this, you need purpose-designed, dedicated collaboration space(s). Most offices we survey have 10-15% collaboration space. Based on our research and industry studies, collaboration space should take up 30-50% of your total office space. Exactly what this collaboration space should look like will depend on the job roles and team dynamics at your company. Things to consider include team size, the type of tasks they work on, and the technology they required. To learn more, read 5 Ways to Improve Collaboration With Office Design.


Upgrade Technology

Technology is a crucial part of personal performance and office design. However, many staff struggle with outdated technology in their offices. 55% of workers say their company’s technology is antiquated. Outdated technology limits the productivity of your people. This is made worse by how fast technology is advancing. Only 1 in 4 companies regard their technology package as mature. If your workspace technology has not been upgraded in the last 3 years, then it's likely outdated.


To update the technology in your office, you should first consider personal technology, such as laptops. Collaboration technology such as hybrid meeting suites and smart whiteboards can help improve productivity as well hybrid working. You should also consider your space technology, such as access control. Updating this could make your space much more efficient and secure.


Improve Utilities

Utilities are the systems in your offices that keep the space running, such as HVAC, fire alarms, power, data, and lighting. In many offices, these systems are very old, and they may also not have been maintained properly. As a result, they do not perform as well as they should. Older systems are also much less energy efficient that modern versions.


To improve the utilities in your office, you should analyse them all to check how old they are and what state of repair they are in. You can then see what repairs or replacements are needed, and prioritise accordingly. Modern HVAC systems are up to 50% more efficient than systems from 10 or more years ago. Lighting is another common upgrade, as daylight-balanced lighting results in improved productivity and wellbeing. While utility upgrades may seem expensive, it's important to consider the payback time and overall ROI of the investment.


Enable Customisation

A major indicator that your office is outdated is that the design is very inflexible. Your staff are all different and work in different ways, so they require different things from their workspace. As a result, you may have to update your office to include customisation. Customisation doesn’t mean letting staff put family photos and personal effects on their desks, though it may include this. It's about making sure your staff have the wherewithal to work in a way that maximises their performance.


There are several ways you can modernise your office to enable customisation. Whatever you do, you must get input from your staff to ensure it meets their needs. Having a variety of spaces will enable your people to work in an environment that suits them. Installing movable partitions or zoning furniture will allow staff to increase and decrease the size of rooms as needed. Modular furniture will also allow staff to adapt their environment to suit their needs. To learn more about including personalisation in your office, read this article.


Improve Acoustics

One of the most common reasons staff dislike their office is because it is too noisy and/or distracting. 63% of employees feel distracted by their office environment. This has a drastic knock-on effect on their performance - distracted staff are 15% less productive. If your office is too cramped or has poor acoustic design, then it will be very noisy and distracting. This will be very irritating for your people. Acoustics is one of the most common ways offices are not good enough.


The good news is that it is relatively easy and cheap to improve your office acoustics. First, you should consider if your office is too cramped. If you have less than 100 sq/ft per person, then your density is simply too high, and you need more space. If you have enough space, you could install acoustic wall or ceiling panels to help absorb sound. There are many types of office furniture designed to absorb sound, from desk screens to work pods. You could even consider installing a sound masking system to reduce distractions. To learn more about eliminating noise pollution in your office, read this article.


Add Biophilia

If your office has a bare and utilitarian design, it will look very outdated. One reason for this may be the lack of biophilia. Biophilia is the human tendency to interact or be closely associated with nature. In office design, this means the use of natural features and finishes throughout your workspace. This can have a major impact on performance  - studies have shown that adding plants to an office can increase productivity by 14%.


Biophilia is another way to modernise your office that is simple and inexpensive. First, you should ensure you are making the best use of natural light by moving the most used areas of your office near to the windows. You can easily install desk and floor plants throughout your space. It's also important to note that biophilia is much more than just plants - including natural materials and colours throughout your finishes and furniture will also improve the biophilia in your space.


Modernising Your Office

If your office is outdated, it will have a detrimental impact on the performance of your people and your company. A bland and/or worn space will be a limiting and uninspiring place to work, which will not only limit the ability of your people to work but also their motivation to do so. Modernising your office can result in reduced operating costs, increased staff productivity,and improved talent attraction & retention.


Now that you know about the 7 best ways to modernise your office, you can assess your workspace to see if it is outdated. If so, you now know how to go about resolving those issues, setting your company up for improved performance in 2024 and beyond.


If your office does need refurbishment, your next step should be to download your copy of How to Plan an Office Refurbishment. It's a 7-step guide to help you plan your office refurbishment. It will take you from defining your brief right through to signing the contract!


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