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How to Persuade Your Company You Need an Office Refurbishment

Updated: Apr 24

Office Refurbishment

Are you convinced your office needs updating, but your manager isn't interested? Perhaps you haven't spoken to them yet, but you want to be sure that when you do, you can convince them that your workspace needs improving. Whatever your situation, you need to convince key people at your company that you need an office refurbishment.


At Zentura, we get enquiries every week from office managers and facilities managers planning an office refurbishment. One of their main challenges is demonstrating the value of the refurbishment to their manager or board.


Office refurbishments can be complex, time-consuming, and expensive projects. Because of this, your manager will likely only consider an office refurbishment when it becomes necessary. However, if your office isn't as good as it could be, it will be holding you and your colleagues back. So how do you convince your manager of the urgency?


That's what we'll go through in this article. You'll learn the 4 essential steps to successfully convince your manager that you need to refurbish your workspace. By the end of the article, you'll be prepared to build a compelling case for your office refurbishment plan.


Define Your Reasons

Your first step is to define exactly what is wrong with your office at the moment. What are staff complaining about that hampers their productivity and performance? Are there not enough collaboration spaces, so staff are overloading the kitchen area? Are there too many desks but nowhere to focus?


 The problems aren’t always limited to what is immediately obvious. Rising absenteeism or worsening culture may all be signs that your workspace needs improvement. It can be difficult to spot these problems. Making sure you keep in contact with staff about their wellbeing and performance, as well as the role of the office within that, is crucial.


By defining what is wrong with your office, you will help your manager see the issues for themselves. Establishing these problems at the start will also guide your entire project. This will make eventual success much more likely. 


Build a Business Case

There must be a sound business case for your office refurbishment. Your recommendations need to be based on facts and data, not just opinions and speculation. To build your business case, you need to explain how fixing each of the office problems will improve overall business performance.


The problem is that it can be very difficult to calculate the ROI of your office refurbishment. There are so many moving parts and different considerations, from operational costs to culture. There are also a lot of subjective elements that are difficult to quantify, such as wellbeing.


We can’t create an online calculator that will give you an exact ROI of your project (sorry!). However,  we have written an article explaining the most important benefits an office refurbishment provides, and how these will affect the ROI of your project. Check it out here.


It is hard to define the financial impact of some benefits like improved wellbeing. However, there is available research on how staff engagement impacts performance. Through the use of surveys, you can measure your staff engagement levels regularly.  By budgeting how much your office refurbishment will cost, you can help set your manager’s expectations of the investment required.


Get Key Support

Office refurbishments can be time-consuming and complex to plan and manage. It’s highly unlikely you will be dealing with this alone. Most office refurbishments have an internal project manager (normally the office manager), the decision maker (normally the CEO), and 3-5 influencers.  


All these people have differing (sometimes competing) concerns and priorities. If you prioritise the concerns of loud influencers over the important decision-makers, you risk derailing your project before it's even begun. By deciding who’s buy-in you need to make your project a success, you can make sure you are meeting their key objectives. It's also crucial that you stick to your key project objectives and not get sidetracked by distracting ideas from colleagues.


Be Proactive

Company executives are busy people, so it’s unlikely that they set aside time regularly to assess their workspace. If you can show your manager there is a genuine opportunity to improve the business through an office refurbishment, they are far more likely to take action.


It’s also important to think about the long term. The main reason many proposed office refurbishments don’t go ahead is that inaction is cheaper and easier than action – in the short term. By demonstrating the urgency of the project, your manager is more likely to prioritise it.


 While there may be several very irritating things about your office, if you just complain to your manager, they are unlikely to do anything about it if you don’t take it any further. You are far more likely to get buy-in from executives if you show them what is wrong, suggestions for how to fix it, and how changes will improve business performance. These suggestions need to align with their concerns and priorities. This will show them you are serious about making this office refurbishment a success for your business.


Planning Your Office Refurbishment

Office refurbishments can be hugely beneficial to staff and companies alike. However, many refurbishments fail before they begin, because company managers are not convinced of the need - or the solution (or both).


By defining your reasons for the refurbishment, you make the issues much easier to understand. You also make it easier for your manager to connect these problems with overall business challenges. By building a business case, you demonstrate the financial viability of the refurbishment for your business.


Getting key support from a variety of stakeholders ensures you have the expertise and authority to make your project a success. By being proactive, you not only demonstrate your expertise but make it easier for them to take action. This massively increases your project's chance of success.


Now, you're ready to bring together the information you need to present your case to your manager that your company needs an office refurbishment. For more help putting this case together, read:


Once you've convinced your manager of the need for an office refurbishment, the next step will be to start planning your project. For help with that, download How to Plan Your Office Refurbishment. It's a 7-step guide to help you plan your office refurbishment. This will take you from defining your brief right through to signing the contract, including brief creation, contractor selection, workspace analysis, concept design, detailed design, logistics, planning, and contract. Download your Refurbishment Planning Guide here.



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