When planning your office refurbishment, you have a lot of decisions to make. Different office refurbishment companies will suggest different designs based on their perspective and expertise, and they won't always consider your real needs. It can be difficult to decide exactly what you need.
However, all the different suggestions you have for your office refurbishment will fall into 1 of 3 categories. These are reconfiguration, mid-touch, or strip out & fit out. Reconfiguration is the most popular option: companies fix a small, specific problem by moving their desks around or doing some small building work. Mid touch takes your ideal office design and then value-engineers it to use as much of your existing office as possible. Strip out and fit out involves stripping your office back to the concrete slab, and then building your dream office from scratch.
Needless to say, these three options all come with different costs: not only financial but time and disruption too. It can often feel like office refurbishment companies are pushing you to take on as big a project as possible, regardless of your needs. So how can you decide which is the best option for your company?
At Zentura, we’ve been renovating offices for companies across London and the UK for nearly 15 years. To help you make your decision, we’ve explained the 3 types of office refurbishment, and given some example situations where each would be appropriate.
The 3 Types of Office Refurbishment
Office refurbishment uses as much as possible of your existing office, adding new elements to adapt to the changing needs of your company. This is typically carried out by companies following a lease renewal or changing workspace needs, such as growth.
The least significant form of office refurbishment is reconfiguration. If components have become outdated, certain parts of your office (e.g., flooring or decor) may need to be replaced. If the size of your team has changed, some areas (e.g., desking or meeting suites) may need to be adapted.
Most reconfiguration works involve replacing high-wear elements like carpet or decoration. Another common reconfiguration is relaxation areas, such as breakout areas or teapoints. Reconfiguration won't transform your office, but it will fix minor and specific issues.
One of our favourite light-touch projects is our work for Red Consultancy. We reconfigured their open-plan office to fit more desks in and created an amazing breakout & teapoint area. This featured large collaboration facilities, soft seating for relaxation, and even a bar!
Mid-touch refurb looks to combine elements existing in your space with new components to suit the changing needs of your business. The scope of the works varies a lot depending on the amount of chang. It typically includes the strip out and re-installation of certain areas or elements throughout the space.
Mid-touch refurb is a lot less disruptive and complex than full strip out & fit out. A reasonable amount of your office will stay the same (or similar). However, key areas of your office that are worn out, or under-used are replaced with facilities that are more relevant to your needs.
Blinkhorns appointed Zentura to carry out their mid-touch office refurbishment. The result was a dynamic workspace, including spacious desking areas and a range of collaboration spaces.
Strip Out & Fit Out
Strip out & fit out involves stripping your existing office back to its Cat A state, and then installing an entirely new workspace. This means that as well as a full fit out, every element of your existing workspace will need to be removed and disposed of first.
This is the most comprehensive form of office refurbishment. While it may be the same floor in the same building, your new office will be almost unrecognisable. It's a completely new workspace but in the same location.
Recently, we carried out a full strip out & fit out refurbishment project at MI-GSO | PCUBED. Works included strip out to shell & core, complete replacement of the air-conditioning, and roof repairs. The result is a workspace that improves collaboration, staff productivity, and business performance.
Which is Right for Me?
There are 2 main reasons most people refurbish their offices: their team has outgrown their office, or the design has become outdated and needs refreshing. Which type of refurbishment is right for you will depend on how much your team has grown, or how outdated your office has become. It will also depend on the funds you have available, so it’s important you have an understanding of what office refurbishments cost.
Often, people think that if you have outgrown your office then you need to relocate, but this is not the case. The average company has 30-50% wasted office space. If your sales team has decided to hire another 4 staff, then a reconfiguration will probably be sufficient. You may be able to take a meeting room out or reconfigure all the desks in your office. However, if you plan to increase your headcount by 30% over the 12 months, then a mid-touch would definitely be necessary to accommodate this. Full strip out & fit out refurbishments are rarely carried out due to company growth.
If your culture has changed in recent years and your office hasn’t changed to reflect this, then its likely you will need a light-touch refurbishment to bring your office up to date. If your office has become seriously outdated and not been improved for 5 or more years, then a mid-touch refurbishment will likely suit your needs best. Over this length of time, high-wear parts of your office, such as teapoints and breakout spaces, will probably have become shabby and will need replacing. The most common reason for full strip out & fit out projects is obsolete services. Many systems, especially HVAC and Fire & smoke systems, are designed to be replaced after 10 or 15 years. To do this, the entire floor will have to be taken back to its core state, requiring a full strip out & fit out renovation
Planning Your Office Refurbishment
While there is no one correct answer as to which is the best type of office refurbishment for you, there are a couple of general rules you can use to help you decide. First, deciding exactly why you need to do a refurbishment project will keep you focussed on the outcome you need to achieve. Deciding how severe the need is will define what level of refurbishment you need. if it’s a minor or localised issue, then reconfiguration will be sufficient. If key parts of your workspace are beyond repair, then a mid-touch will be best for you. And if your space is very outdated or your utility systems need replacing, then a strip out & fit out will be necessary.
Not sure how much to budget for your office refurbishment? Check out our article, How Much Will it Cost to Refurbish my Office? There, we go through the 6 key factors that help clients to set an initial budget. These are scope, size, specification, state, services, and setting. We’ll explain each one, and why it affects the bottom line of your quote.
A well-designed office refurbishment will increase your company’s productivity and attract and retain talent. Whether it’s a light-touch refresh, a mid-touch refurbishment or a complete strip out & fit out, we have the track record to deliver your project with minimal disruption to your business. Contact us today to get started on your office refurbishment journey!