There are many different reasons for refurbishing office space. It could be necessary to create space for more staff, to upgrade and integrate new systems and technology, or to adapt the work environment for new operational procedures.

A fit out could follow a decision to rebrand the company, or because it is felt a fresh look with better use of space will boost staff morale and productivity. Or it could simply be because your office is looking a little out of date and dowdy, and it is high time it was modernised.

Whatever the reasons, whether you are a tenant or landlord, two golden rules apply to all office refurbs – you want to make the maximum impact for the minimum investment. Creating a great-looking modern office space doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are our tips for keeping costs low and results high.

Choose your refurbishment partner carefully

Choosing your fit out specialist is the most important decision you will make in your whole refurbishment. Here is one case where it is unwise to choose purely on price. Quality refurb specialists are worth paying a little extra for up front. You want a supplier with proven credentials in your industry.

Look in particular for client feedback and references relating to their design skills and the quality of their installations. Ultimately you want a fit out which will maximise your use of space and help improve staff productivity, without having to spend time and money repairing snags just a few months down the line.

Design around base fixtures

The real expenses in an office refurbishment start to mount when you take on altering core structural features like ceilings and floors. Unless you have no other option, for example because they are in a state of disrepair and need replacing, always try to work with the core fixtures present.

Using free-standing rather than fixed furnishings can also save on installation costs. If you are a tenant, this will save you money further down the line if you vacate the premises and have to return them to their original state as part of dilapidations agreements.

Maximise use of natural light

We tend to think of the UK as a dark and gloomy place. And while this might be true for three or four months of the year, the prime cause of dark and dingy office spaces is not a lack of sunlight but not enough window space to let it in.

With modern double glazing and laminate insulation, there is no reason not to increase your window space considerably wherever possible. Not only will it save on lighting bills, natural light has been proven to improve people’s sense of well-being, helping them to be as productive as possible.

Integrate technology

Technology is nowadays an integral part of virtually every job role. Whether it is working from a computer screen or communicating on the move with a mobile device, most of us depend on digital equipment in one form or another to get our jobs done.

This can be reflected in office refurbishments to impressive aesthetic and practical effect. Features from building charge points into desks to mounting screens that staff can wirelessly connect to in different work spaces help to create a modern, tech-savvy office environment that supports flexible approaches to work.

Fairhurst Estates are a leading firm of Chartered Surveyors and Commercial Property Consultants. If you need an advice on any aspect of commercial property and asset management contact our team and we will be happy to help you.