6 Hacks For Office Renovation

If you're an owner or manager making the move back to office life, or just trying to improve your home-based workspaces, you're probably floating some ideas for major change. From getting the right permits to hiring the right builders, the idea of renovating the office can seem intimidating at first. Thankfully there are plenty of hacks out there to help make the process simpler and more effective. Here are six low-key tips for office renovation projects.

1. Consider a "Smart" Upgrade

So much work is done online these days that it only makes sense that the digital environment of a workplace should get just as much attention as the physical. The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing all the time, with high-tech items like chips for artificial intelligence being included in many mundane office devices as a matter of course. Start building your office around this pervasive automation. Include plenty of ports for devices like smartphones and laptops to be plugged in and recharged. Consider secured areas for storing sensitive devices after hours. Plan for the future now

2. Think Sustainability

Modern businesses are embracing sustainable design in record numbers. Altruism is only a part of this trend; it also makes increasingly good business sense. Federal, state and local governments are offering an array of incentives for installing solar panels on both residential and corporate properties. An office that's running independently of the electrical grid is also less vulnerable to outages and price volatility. With Energy Star appliances being about 9% more efficient than their counterparts, going green is a powerful long-term investment. 

3. Optimize the Ambient Environment

A study by the National Institute of Health concluded that indoor temperature alone makes a 38.5% contribution to overall productivity. That's not the only environmental aspect that builders should take note of. The color pallet of a room affects the mental state of workers and visiting clients alike. For example, green has been shown to limit eye strain and nervousness, while research shows that white is one of the worst colors, evoking a clinical feel. In other words, it pays to think holistically about ambiance. 

4. Incorporate Ergonomic Design

The design of workspaces can also have an outsized effect on efficiency. According to one field study, the benefits of adding a scientifically-designed chair to the workplace were 25 times the cost within 12 months. That's what ergonomics is all about, and the effect isn't limited to single devices; it's a philosophy that looks for ways to minimize the impact of work on the entire human body, thus mimizing productivity lost through discomfort and health issues. Take a look at all of your infrastructure and try to find ways to apply ergonomic design principles. 

5. Facilitate Wellness

The past two years have underscored just how critical our health is. Collective wellness is just important as individual wellbeing since nobody lives in a vacuum, and office redesigns should reflect this reality. This means more than just adding hand sanitizer stations (though that's always good). Offering healthy snacks and lunch options in the breakroom is a great idea. The food we eat impacts our physical and mental health, and certain nutrients like magnesium, phenylalanine and choline have been on the radar of managers for some time owing to their brain-boosting potential. Research the science of wellness and find solutions that work for your business. 

6. Have Contingency Plans

Sometimes the best-laid plans don't survive contact with reality. It pays to have multiple versions of the same general vision in the works in case one of them doesn't pan out. If the project threatens to go over budget, consider the value of upcycling old materials. If building codes change and you can't make the space expansions you want, think about making more of your office functions, like meeting spaces and organizational systems, fully digital. Look for ways to leverage technology to make the process easier. 

When making your office renovation plans, it always pays to be flexible and creative. Sometimes when necessity is the mother of invention, you find options you didn't know you had. 


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