Office renovations are an important part of doing business. They make better use of existing space, can be helpful in attracting top talent, and are sometimes necessary in the event of unplanned disruptions ranging from temporary equipment or systems failures to more serious events such as the impact of natural disasters. But they also introduce some risk and can be stressful for the facility teams who manage them. Renovations can pose significant financial risk when they go over budget or over schedule. They can be disruptive to the day-to-day operations of a company and can put all employees through the stress of temporary relocations or aggravating construction noise, dust, etc.
The Risk Is Necessary
Workplace renovations can sometimes be delayed during the lengthy capital expense approval process. During that time, employees and staff may suffer while necessary improvements get put on hold. Conversely, optimizing an existing building or facility can impact a company’s bottom line by enabling productivity-related cost savings and improving morale.
There’s a direct link between the physical environment and office productivity. This is often an overlooked area of cost saving. In one example, increasing productivity by just 3.8% (18 minutes a day) had the same financial benefit as cutting real estate costs by 25%. This can be achieved in a number of ways, including introducing more collaborative space and transitioning employees out of traditional offices and high-walled cubicle farm environments.
Modern work spaces that emphasize natural light and utilize open floor plans, bright colors, natural elements and opportunities for co-working tend to make employees more engaged and focused at work. There is an array of other reasons to renovate, including meeting sustainability standards and incorporating wellness into the workplace.
The 5 Drivers of Space Renovation
Restacking: Create opportunities for saving in place
The move to alternative work environments has created new types of space which are better suited to new ways of working. This means employees or teams are using space more suited to specific tasks and move around much more often.
In today’s digital age, people have laptops and can easily work from anywhere, meaning the “single desk per employee” model is no longer valid. With the amount of employees regularly working from home, or out of the office on vacation or visiting a client at any given time, it’s easy to save on existing space by better utilizing underused space.
Sustainability: Green your office space
Companies and employees are increasingly concerned about environmental health. This growing public concern coupled with the need to keep up with EPA regulations means modern workplaces need to keep sustainability in mind. From LEED certification to recycling programs to energy efficiency initiatives, office environments are expected to retrofit older spaces to meet the latest standards in environmental quality.
And there are some real cost-saving benefits to companies who undergo these retrofits. In one example, a medical center conducted an energy retrofit by switching out fluorescent lamps for LEDs. They took their electrical usage from 1,712,550 kilowatt-hours down to 495,278 kilowatt-hours. The savings even covered the cost of the conversion to LEDs while making the facility compliant with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.
Millennial Engagement: Building for the leaders of tomorrow
Millennials represent the largest percentage of the U.S. workforce (more than half) and they are redefining the way business is done. They’re also changing office environments.
Millennials favor offices with open floor plans, they care about office locations being walkable and close to shops and restaurants, want natural light and collaborative working spaces. According to the International Facility Management Association, currently, about 70% of US offices have an open concept office plan. There’s a huge HR imperative to pay attention to these trends; millenials will jump from one job to another in order to find these things. Following these trends can help attract and retain top talent.
Wellness-driven Workplaces: Preparing for future needs
Where work/life balance used to be the ideal marker of job health, there is a new push towards wellness in the office. The Global Wellness Institute estimates that the wellness real estate sector grew 6.4% between 2015 and 2017, and it reached a value of US$134.3 billion in 2017.
There’s an emerging concept in business called the “healthy building.” This concept is based on research that links the design of a space and its and operational policies to overall employee wellness. Examples of healthy buildings include initiatives based around improving indoor air quality, incorporating art and nature into design, and providing designated spaces for breaks, workout or in some cases, areas to sleep.
Employees increasingly expect their place of work to incorporate wellness initiatives, and not just with perks like free memberships, but in the actual place of work.
Disaster Recovery: Reducing time out of the office
In the face of increasing natural disasters and unpredictable events such as a fire or flooding, one purpose of office renovations is getting operations back up and running quickly. Part of the ongoing solution to disaster recovery is to be prepared in the first place. Having a contingency plan with various scenarios planned in advance helps companies react faster and more effectively.
But to make sure your office renovation happens smoothly, a space planning and space and asset platform is necessary. This coupled with broader solutions that can be fed by your space and asset inventory including scenario planning, move management and project management can provide your organization with every tool necessary to get your space back online fast.
How does facility management software help?
Today’s offices are in a constant state of flux. The adoption of digital technology has changed how we do work in a rapid way. Companies need to adapt in order to attract and retain talent. Modern employees expect their offices to be retrofitted to meet sustainability and workplace wellness goals.
But remember that office renovations can be incredibly disruptive to employees. In worst case scenarios, employees are simply notified by email just before a move is expected to occur.
Having a software solution and team in place can ease the transition in the following ways:
- Keep people informed to keep anxiety at bay
- Eliminate inefficiencies to get employees settled and working faster
- Save costs by pre-planning your renovation effort
- Keep leaders on the same page with detailed plans accessible from anywhere
Interested in learning how to maximize your space renovation?
Watch our on-demand webcast, “Why Facility Management Technology is Critical to Proactively Oversee Your Workplace Renovations” which will discuss how IWMS technology (Integrated Workplace Management Solution) is critical to proactively managing planned and unplanned facility renovations to alleviate risk and avoid disruption in the workplace.