Office Refurbishment Timeframes
“How long will my office refurbishment take?” is one of the most common questions we get asked when helping companies plan their office refurbishments. While the answer we give them will vary a lot based on the size and scope of the project, it’s usually followed up by “how can I reduce that?”.
There are several reasons why you may need to carry out a fast-track office refurbishment. If you are growing rapidly, you may need to reconfigure your office layout to fit more staff in. You may need to meet redesign your office as part of a rebrand, in time for the launch. Or your management team may have set you a challenging deadline for your project to be completed. Just because the timescale is challenging, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. There are several steps you can take to make sure your office refurbishment is completed as quickly as possible.
At Zentura, we specialise in fast track office fit out and refurbishments, and we’ve seen carrying out such projects across the UK since 2008. In our experience, there are 5 key steps you can take to minimise the amount of time required for your office refurbishment. In this article, we’ll explain each one, and how you can apply it to your project.
Without a doubt, careful and comprehensive planning is essential to a fast track office refurbishment project. While it may seem frustrating to spend plenty of time planning when you have a challenging deadline, time invested in planning will make your project much quicker overall by reducing mistakes, which are time-consuming to resolve.
Exactly what you need to involve in your project plan will vary massively based on your project scope. If you are removing a meeting room to fit in an extra bank of desks, then no workspace strategy is required. On the other hand, if you are carrying out a full strip out & refit of your existing office, you will need to create a full project plan. This includes 5 key items: overall workspace strategy, project objectives, key deadlines, new space requirements, and budget. To learn more about planning for your fast track project, download our office refurbishment planning guide.
Effective stakeholder communication is another non-negotiable when planning a fast track office refurbishment. Especially if your project is large, or involves a significant change in the working days of your staff, your plan may encounter a lot of resistance if the motivations and plans for the change are not communicated well. You will also need to communicate a clear business case for the project to your leadership team. Otherwise, your project may be over before it’s started.
Again, the amount and style of communication will vary depending on the scope of your project. If your office refurbishment involves a change of working model for your staff, comprehensive communication will be needed. In this case, you should create a stakeholder map, listing out all the different people affected from IT to leadership, and create a specific communication plan for each group. This should involve what they need to know, what they need to decide, and how the changes will affect them.
Your design & build contractor will be the ones actually delivering your fast track office refurbishment, so you need to be confident that they have the expertise and capacity to deliver the project to your deadline. All your careful internal planning and communication will go to waste if they can’t finish the project on time.
It’s difficult to compare the realistic delivery times of different contractors. Some might be optimistic with their project programme, while others prefer to under-promise and over-deliver. When choosing a design & build firm, many companies default to either the coolest design, or the easiest method of comparison. However, there are several other things to take into consideration when making this choice, such as disruption management and resource. To learn more about how to choose the best contractor for you, read “How to Choose an Office Refurbishment Company: 11 Key Criteria”.
Adapt Your Scope
Some parts of an office refurbishment are much more time-consuming to deliver than others. This is mainly due to labour intensiveness. Systems such as air conditioning and sprinklers take time to modify, because the entire system has to be decommissioned for works to take place, and the systems themselves are very complex. Building out partitions is also time-intensive, as they require a lot of manual installation onsite, unlike furniture-based alternatives.
To speed up the delivery of your office refurbishment, you can adapt your design and project scope to avoid or minimise these areas. For example, you could reduce the need for partitioning build out and HVAC reconfiguration by using an open-plan design with modular zoning furniture. You could further speed up your project by eliminating nice-to-haves from your project. These may look good, but will unnecessarily lengthen the timeframe of your project.
Consider Lead Times
Lead times are one of the most common reasons office refurbishments are delayed, and this risk is increased with fast tack projects. If you are carrying out a small scale reconfiguration, then the lead times for the furniture could be much longer than your project delivery phase. Most items on long lead times are specialised or customisable. For example, most furniture is made to order, and will take 6-12 weeks to be delivered. The construction industry is notorious for supply chain issues, so there could be many different materials required for your refurbishment that are difficult to obtain.
To minimise the impact this has on your project, you will need to work closely to identify materials required as part of your project that are on a long lead time. Your design & build company can then check the lead times for these materials, and see if they can be used without delaying your project beyond the deadline. If not, they will have to be respecified or designed out.
Planning Your Fast-Track Office Refurbishment
If you’re planning a fast-track office refurbishment, or are looking to speed up the delivery time of your project, then these 5 considerations will be able to reduce your timeframe significantly. Just because your deadline is challenging, you don’t have to rush and set your project up for failure.
By planning carefully, you can avoid many mistakes that will delay progress ensure and your refurbishment is delivered right first time. Good stakeholder communication will mean you avoid delays caused by resisting staff members or other stakeholders, and ensure they settle in quicker to your refurbished office.
Choosing the right contractor is a decision that can make or break your project, so it needs to be made carefully. While it may be tempting to choose the lowest cost or the coolest design, it’s essential to choose a company with fast-track experience and expertise. Working with your design & build company to eliminate long-lead-time items and reduce the most time consuming elements of your project scope will reduce the time required to deliver your project.
To learn more about office refurbishment timeframes, read our article “how long does an office refurbishment take?”. We’ll explain the stages of office refurbishment, and how long you need to allow each stage for the 3 different categories of office refurbishment.
If you're looking to get started with your fast-track office refurbishment, we’d love to hear from you. Whether it’s a light-touch refresh or a complete redesign, at Zentura, we have the track record to deliver your office refurbishment project with minimal disruption to your business. Book a call here.