top of page

8 Signs You Need to Refurbish Your Office

Updated: Apr 16

When to Refurbish Your Office

Is your office outdated? Perhaps your space is now overcrowded due to headcount growth. There's something wrong with your office, but you're not sure that it warrants the time and expense required to resolve it.


At Zentura, we often speak to companies who are aware that their office needs improvement in some way. However, by the time they have realised that they have a problem, a lot of damage to their staff and/or company performance has already been done.


Monitoring the performance of your office and picking up early warning signs is vital to keep your people performing at their best. Here are 8 key indicators that you may need an office refurbishment, including how to identify them and how to resolve them


1) Empty Desks

The most obvious sign that your office needs changing is large banks of empty or barely used desks. Due to more collaborative ways of working and the rise of hybrid working, desks are now much less important than they used to be.


Having the right amount and types of office space is crucial. In 2019, collaboration spaces took up an average of 10% of the office. In 2024, it is between 35% and 45%. If your office has too many desks and not enough collaboration spaces, the performance of your people will be limited, you should consider refurbishing your office. Learn more about creating the right types of spaces here.


2) Low or Dropping Productivity

Flagging productivity and performance levels may be hard to measure. That doesn’t mean it is any less damaging. In the last 3 years, most UK companies have seen productivity drops of 3-6%. Obsolete or ineffective office designs have been a contributing factor in many cases.


Research shows that a well-designed office can increase productivity by up to 20%. This is mainly down to providing a space that matches and enhances how your people work. An inspiring and engaging design can also create a more productive environment. If your people are not performing to the levels they used to, an office refurbishment could be part of the answer. Read this article about office design and productivity to learn more.


3) Poor Staff Wellbeing

Your people are your greatest asset. Keeping them happy and healthy is not only the right thing to do, it also has a direct impact on the success of your company. Low staff wellbeing contributes to poor culture, low productivity, and staff conflict.


If your staff are regularly raising issues with the office space, then you should consider if many staff have the same issue. If so, a refurbishment might be required. Common staff complaints with your office include a lack of natural light, uncomfortable furniture, and noise levels. For more help with wellbeing design, read The Top 5 Office Amenities to Improve Staff Wellbeing.


4) Recruitment and Retention Struggles

Your office plays a crucial role in attracting the best staff to your company. First impressions are crucial, and a well-designed office is central to this. Retaining your top staff is even more important than attracting the best people. If your office is a frustrating and unproductive place to work, your best staff may leave to work for a company that provides them with the workspace they need.


If you are having trouble attracting and retaining the calibre of staff you need, then it may be time to consider an office renovation. To learn about improving talent attraction and retention through office design, read this article.


5) Overcrowding

Often, companies don’t consider future growth when designing their office. Consequently, their office becomes overcrowded within 2-3 years. This leads to a noisy and distracting environment that reduces wellbeing and productivity.


 However, overcrowding in your office doesn’t always mean you have no option but to move. The average organization has 30-50% wasted office space. By redesigning your office using modern space planning technology and expertise, you could prevent the extra disruption and expense of moving. Learn more about improving space utilisation here.


6) Lack of variety

If all your office has is desks and meeting rooms, this lack of variety will be hampering the performance of your staff. Most of the time, they will be forced to work in an environment that doesn’t meet their needs. There is nowhere for the informal collaboration that is the backbone of hybrid working, or for impromptu 2 or 3-person catch-ups.


To maximise the performance and engagement of your people, your office needs to reflect and enhance the way they work. This means collaboration and breakout spaces, hybrid meeting facilities and spaces for focussed working. Learn more about variety in office design by reading this article.


7) Outdated Branding

Over time, brands and cultures evolve. Your office may have been the perfect representation of your business 5 years ago when you moved in, but is that still the case? Working in an outdated and tired office will harm creativity and collaboration.


Office branding is about much more than a logo in the reception and a few walls in the brand colours. It includes the entire experience your people have while in the space, from the layout to the spaces to the furniture to the finishes. An on-brand office can prove a valuable investment, so learn more about creating your own here.


8) Poor Acoustics

One of the most common complaints we hear when talking to companies about potential projects is the lack of privacy. An office that is too noisy becomes very distracting for your staff. If your office has poor acoustics, you could be reducing the productivity of your people.


Poor acoustics are not an inherent drawback of open-plan design – they are the result of poor space planning and acoustic design. The good news is that you don’t have to completely refurbish your office to improve the acoustics. By installing acoustic baffles or ceiling rafts, you can reduce the background noise in your office and add a design feature at the same time.


Do You Need an Office Refurbishment?

Now that you know how to identify and resolve 8 of the most common signs that you need an office refurbishment, it's time to consider your own office. Do you have any of these issues? If so, it's certainly worth planning an office refurbishment.


Preventing these issues, or picking them up early will mean they can be fixed relatively quickly and easily. If they become a major problem, then they are much harder to resolve, and will often require more than just an office refurbishment. 


If you’re wondering if it’s time you did an office refurbishment, read How Often Do I Need to Refurbish My Office? There, we’ll explain 6 key considerations you should take into account when deciding if it's time for an office refurbishment.


If you think you do need an office refurbishment, download our 7-step guide on how to plan an office refurbishment. This will take you from defining your brief right through to signing the contract! Download your copy here.



bottom of page