How to Refurbish an Office and Stay Almost Completely Sane

By David Keane | on January 31st, 2018

Creating a Cat B fit out can drive sane people to the brink of bonkerdom. The mess! The noise! The forks have gone missing! Here’s how to survive the madness.

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You know how you come back from a week’s holiday and your inbox is bulging with 10,000 emails and it’s so stress inducing you want to turn around and hop on the next flight back to Cuba?

Well, refurbishing an office is a bit like that.

Instead of operating like a well-oiled machine, your office is about to get messy, noisy and turned upside down. You might have to temporarily swap your luxury work space for a munchkin-sized desk near the toilets. And you won’t have a clue where you put the forks.

In order to keep your sanity, you’ve got to spend some quality time with your refurb. Just like tackling those pesky emails, you’ll sleep a lot sounder if you apply a bit of management to get things under control. Here’s how to get started.

Ring-Fence Some Space

Ideally, you’ll move out while the refurbishment is taking place. Even if your work areas are not out of bounds during the construction, the work, the noise, the mess and disruption could make it a crazy-making place to be. Trust us when we say that things run a lot faster if we can work in a vacant space. Could you rent another office while we sledgehammer yours?

If that’s not possible, no worries. Like all the reputable interior fit out contractors in London, we’ll work with you to move you into one floor or section of your building while we tackle another floor or section. Or we may be able to work overnight, at the weekend or on a Bank Holiday when the office is not being used. Either way, you’re going to have to ring-fence some space amid the chaos.

Working in a dirty construction zone with plaster dust on your favourite Pop! figure will not make you a very happy camper.

Plan for Food and Storage

Cat B fit out

Not necessarily in that order. Be prepared to clear shelves, cupboards, filing cabinets and kitchen areas and store all your gear where you have easy access to it. This is a great opportunity to chuck out any unwanted files, equipment and clutter and get all your archive files into storage.

If you’re staying on site, see if you can set up a makeshift kitchen. A kettle and a microwave will do, as long as it helps staff keep a normal eating routine (and save on expensive lunches). People will be a lot happier if you don’t take away their creature comforts or completely destroy their routine.

Manage Your IT

At some point, your IT systems will go down. If they do this when you’re not expecting it, it can be seriously costly and frustrating. Make sure your contractor knows exactly what you need from your communications. A quality office fit out firm (like us!) will pull out all the stops to keep you wired up during the fit-out process. Make sure you’re communicating these milestones to your team so they can plan ahead. Communicating about communication seems a bit meta, but it’s vital to keep everyone in the loop.

Have Someone On Your Team Take a Lead

Appointing an internal refurbishment guru can be helpful in a number of ways. First, it streamlines communication with the Cat B fit out team so everyone knows what’s happening. Second, it means that someone’s cracking the whip with third party service providers so you get everything you need when you need it. Trust us, you need someone responsible on hand to know where the bloomin’ sticky notes are.

Have a Plan A…and a Plan B… and a Plan C, Too

Delays will happen, things will get broken, supplies will go missing, the construction schedule will take a minor hit. It’s annoying, it’s frustrating, but it isn’t a life or death situation. Yes, you should have a game plan for your renovation, but also have a few contingency plans in place in case the you-know-what hits the fan. It’s never a big deal if your employees have to work from home for a couple of days.

Always Attend Progress Meetings

We know. Meetings. Big Yawn. But it’s really important to keep in good contact with your Cat B fit out
people. There will be key decisions to make in relation to finishes, changes to the programme and many other mission-critical issues. You’ll be far more confident about the process if you’re up-to-date with all the moving parts.

Work With the Best People You Can Afford

Interior Fit Out Contractors London

Whatever disruption crops up during a fit out, these are always more manageable if you have a great team by your side. Building work is stressful enough without worrying whether the team you’ve hired is up to the job. Want to know if you’ve hired the dodgiest interior fit out contractors in London? Read our handy guide to avoiding the cowboys.

Have a Drink and Relax!

Everyone handles stress and disruption differently and for some team members, the works will be a bit of a roller coaster. It’s incredible how stress relieving it is to vent a little! So head to your nearest bar and let everyone freak out if they have to. Top it off with a dirty martini and you’ll feel better in no time!

Want to fit out your office and avoid the madness? Speak to the finest interior fit out contractors London! And if they’re busy (ha!), click here to get a free consultation with our very own office refurb wizards. Stay sane, everyone!

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020 7971 1132

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