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Keeping The Doors Open During An Office Refurbishment

For many businesses stopping work or taking a break while their Kent or London office refurbishment is completed just isn’t an option. Avoiding disruption as much as possible is a must. Ensuring your business can keep working while an office refurbishment is being carried out can be a challenge and may seem like a tall task but it is doable. Below we look at the problems most companies will hit when they refurbish while the office is occupied and how they can be managed.

Planning Is Vital

As mentioned above, avoiding disruption is one of the major considerations when you are planning your Kent or London office refurbishment. Of course there are options other than remaining in your workplace while your office refurbishment takes place e.g. temporarily relocating your office and staff to another building however this comes with the price of having to move everything that is essential to running your business to another space. Then there’s the issue of finding a suitable space and the cost of renting that space while also paying for your current office. So it’s easy to see why this isn’t a popular option.

The solution to staying in place while your office refurbishment takes place and avoiding disruption depends on what type of refurbishment your office is undergoing. If you are simply looking to refresh your office look through installing new furniture; desks, chairs, meeting room tables, simple furnishings and some decoration, then this can be scheduled when staff aren’t in the office, perhaps in the evening or at weekends if staff don’t work during these hours. However if you’re looking to carry out a more comprehensive refurbishment e.g. changing your layout completely, knocking down walls, taking down or putting up new partitioning, adding a suspended ceiling etc. minimizing disruption takes more work. Of course planning is vital in all office refurbishments but it takes on a whole new granular level when the office is going to be occupied while refurbishment work is taking place.  

It’s important to plan each stage of the refurbishment work including the stripping out, all building works, install of suspended ceilings, laying of flooring, install of electrics, plumbing and HVAC; decoration and finishing touches and new furniture and how this impacts the working space.

Once planning has taken place it’s also important to ensure that everyone within the office that the refurbishment will impact clearly understands what will be involved and when it will be taking place. Communication is therefore key and can help to avoid many problems. When everyone knows what to expect it can make it easier to make the transition easier.

Contingency Planning

Working with the right office refurbishment company with the right experience, especially when it comes to refurbishing an occupied office space can help to mitigate any issues. However unforeseen problems can occur in any project, no matter the amount of planning that’s in place.

When you need a project to go to plan to avoid disruption it’s important to put some contingencies in place to try to help circumvent delays. Contingency planning helps to give you some breathing space to deal with issues if they arise and to make sure they are dealt with quickly thus allowing your office refurbishment to progress without further delays.

Separating Working Areas

Even with the all the planning in the world office refurbishments can be noisy. As with any type of building or construction works, noise can be a major issue if not addressed through various measures. Even what would be considered relatively quiet tasks can be distracting in a quiet office environment. Building works can also generate a great deal of dust. Unfortunately dust is an unavoidable by-product of all construction work and can an issue if not controlled.

To try to minimize noise, working areas should be sufficiently separated from where any refurbishment work is taking place. The use of temporary partitioning can be helpful in creating a noise barrier between areas. Sound absorbing materials can also help form a barrier to try to reduce noise levels. If the work to be carried out is deemed to be likely to cause very high noise levels it’s worth considering doing this work outside of office hours.

Dust generated during construction can impact health. Dust can cause allergic reactions, respiratory conditions like asthma and dust related disease such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung cancer. To minimize the dust generated during an office refurbishment air cleaning equipment e.g. air purifiers or scrubbers can be used to remove dust from the air by “filtering” the air area to remove dust particles while the office refurbishment is taking place.

Phased Works

If your office refurbishment project is large and it proves difficult to plan it without causing major disruption to your staff and working practices it may be worth considering a phased work plan rather than attempting to complete the whole project in one go.

If a phased work plan is possible you’ll need to look at how best to divide the work up and how to schedule each part of the work that has to be carried out in a way that minimizes disruption and allows normal office working to continue. 

Carrying Out Work Outside Working Hours

If all of the solutions above do not allow an office refurbishment project to take place while the office is occupied and it would still be too disruptive, the project building and refurbishment work could be carried out outside of normal working hours. This would mean there would be no overlap of workmen and office staff and both could work uninterrupted.

This may prove to be the best option for larger projects where the impact on normal working is deemed to be too intrusive however it’s important to note that there is a cost implication involved in out of hours working. However out of hours working can mean the project is completed more quickly and avoids the disruption that side by side construction and office working can cause.

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