Fraser Projects’ MD Ryan Fraser was interviewed by the Yorkshire Post recently, enabling them to publish an advice-led article for SMEs overhauling their workspace on a budget.
If you missed the coverage, you can read Ryan’s interior fit out, building refurbishment and furniture recommendations, in full, here:
- Understand the purpose of the overhaul – for example to motivate staff, drive efficiencies or simply to provide a safe working environment – and let this drive decision making.
- As obvious as it sounds, allocate a budget and stick to it! If money is tight, concentrate on key areas of the project, e.g. if you want to make the right first impression for visitors, focus on delivering a real wow factor in front-facing areas. Alternatively, if staff engagement is a priority, budget would be better apportioned to their workspace and breakout zones.
- Compile a project plan, including timescales and the areas being overhauled, before carefully scheduling the works to ensure minimal impact on the wider business. There is little point overhauling a workspace on a budget if the cost to productivity or staff welfare is high.
- Invite your employees to share their ideas – their job satisfaction is crucial.
- Look at the lighting – subtle differences to how an environment is lit can really enhance the mood of a workspace, with minimal investment.
- Don’t be tricked into thinking your workspace layout is fixed. Stud walls are a very cost-effective way to divide open space for instance, giving instant privacy, and/or the ability to create departmental organisation, professional meeting rooms, a welcoming reception or separate recreational areas.
- Floors and ceilings attract more attention than some might think. They cover such a large area, after all, and can make a room look fantastic on a budget.
- Décor really matters. It goes without saying that dark colours should be avoided for small spaces, but beyond that, don’t be afraid to be brave. Even if the workspace only requires a quick ‘spruce up’, there are ways to make a real statement with a lick of paint, the addition of wallpaper or even eye-catching vinyls. Is there a way to project your brand through workspace decoration?
- Ensure the budget is spread across the entire project lifecycle – so many overhauls quickly eat up cash which means the quality of furniture, for example, suffers. Poor quality furniture can stand out like a sore thumb, however impressive the surroundings.
- Don’t forget the finishing touches, e.g. interior landscaping doesn’t just inject a touch of nature into a workspace – studies have also shown that plants can boost employee productivity by 15%, whilst increasing workplace satisfaction, levels of focus and perceived air quality.
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