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Revitalise Your Workplace: The Ultimate Guide to Office Refurbishment in Melbourne


How long have you been meaning to give your tired, outdated office space an overhaul and take it from dull to dynamic? Probably long enough.

We get it – whether we’re talking about a full-scale refurbishment or minor adjustments, it can be difficult to know where to start – especially when you don’t have the time or resources to do it yourself.

But the fact that you’re willing to go the extra mile and create a space that looks as good as it feels is worth applauding. And when it comes to getting the job done, this guide is here to give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about office refurbishment in Melbourne. That way, the next step is easy – all you have to do is take it.

Defining Office Refurbishment

Let’s go back to basics first and define office refurbishment. Office refurbishment is the process of refreshing, modernising, or renovating your workspace to create a more inviting and productive environment for you and your team. It may involve replacing old furniture, giving the walls a fresh lick of paint, upgrading tech, improving ventilation and lighting, and similar.

Refurbishment vs. Office Renovation

The question that often follows is: “what’s the difference between office refurbishment and renovation?”

In most cases, refurbishment projects are shorter in duration, smaller in scale, and involve relatively minor changes (compared to office renovations). This is because the office fit out process has been largely completed in the existing space, and you’re simply making changes to what has already been set up.

Renovations, on the other hand, are typically larger-scale projects that involve major structural changes – such as knocking down walls or replacing windows and doors – to create an entirely new layout for your office.

To put it simply, refurbishment involves refreshing what’s already present in a workspace. Renovations are more ambitious projects that involve making substantial changes to existing structures.

Why Refurbish?

If refurbishments are simpler than a full-scale renovation, why bother, right?

The answer is simple: refurbishments can have a significant impact on your workspace without the need for major changes. A few small updates to furniture or light fixtures can make all the difference in creating an inviting and productive workplace. It’s also far less expensive (and time-consuming) than complete office renovations.

Plus, refurbishments are a great way to give your workspace an update without disrupting the day-to-day operations of your business too much. Additionally, if you’re looking to improve morale and productivity among employees, refreshing office furniture or adding artwork can go a long way in creating a positive work environment.

Benefits of Office Refurbishments

Speaking of why refurbishments are worth the effort, here’s a rundown of all the major benefits of office refurbishments for businesses.

Create a Space That Mirrors Your Way of Working

Imagine that you operate in a creative industry, where collaboration and brainstorming are key. But your office has been designed primarily for individual, heads-down work. This is where cubicles, private offices, and long corridors dominate. Does the space reflect the type of work that you do and how you do it? Of course not!

This is where office refurbishments come in: by making a few changes to your workspace, you can encourage and facilitate collaboration, from adding whiteboards or pinboards to eliminating cubicles and office partitions and replacing them with collaborative areas. The result? A workspace that better reflects the way your employees actually work, leading to increased productivity and creativity.

Better Manage Hybrid Work

Hybrid work came into the spotlight ever since the pandemic, and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Today, more than 28.2% of employees all over the world are working under a hybrid model. However, most office designs didn’t consider hybrid work when the commercial office fitout process took place.

The result is that office spaces are typically designed for full-time, in-person work. But what happens now when employees are split between working from home and at the office? Office refurbishment can help you create a space that better reflects the way your employees work while maximising floor space simultaneously.

This might mean adding some extra desks, chairs, and equipment like laptops or monitors that can easily be moved between workstations for those who choose to come into the office. It could also mean introducing adjustable furniture or even demountable walls to allow offices to fit different types of work and easily switch between them.

Improve Staff Morale

Comfort and productivity go hand in hand: if your employees are comfortable in their work environment, then they’ll be more productive.

In fact, good workspace design won’t only make them productive – they’ll also be happy and less stressed – as 33% said in a recent report. Unfortunately, however, 21% of employees claimed that the internal design of their workplace is what they would like to change most about it, and that’s not a good sign.

Therefore, by giving your commercial space a facelift and paying attention to the smallest details (because they aren’t so small after all), you’ll be able to boost staff morale and create an overall better working environment.

That can be achieved by providing ergonomic furniture, sufficient lighting, plenty of natural materials like greenery, plants, or wood surfaces, and a few decorative elements that help bring the place together. It’s also important to provide enough space for employees to move around freely and work in a variety of positions.

This, in turn, will help your employees feel appreciated and more engaged with their jobs – something that will definitely increase their productivity.

Attract New Talent Through an Engaging Office Environment

As reflected in the statistics above, workspace design plays an important role in retaining your best talent. But it also plays a big part in attracting the right people for the job when you’re trying to fill positions. For instance, today, 71% of employees have come to “expect” flexible workspace designs, with 73% coming to a consensus that the flexibility should include having access to flexible working arrangements. What’s more, 90% agree that they perform their jobs better in well-designed workspaces.

As such, commercial office refurbishments are crucial not only for your existing employees but also for prospective ones. They’re a great way to show both old and new hires that your business is focused on providing the best possible working environment.

So when you’re looking to improve your commercial workspace, think not only about how it might help boost employee morale but also how it could improve your employer brand. A good-looking workspace can be quite the conversation starter and will certainly help you stand out from other companies in the market.

Reconfigure Spaces for New Uses

Last but not least, a commercial refurbishment empowers you to make use of your space more efficiently. Taking the previous hybrid office example, you likely won’t need as much space for desks anymore, but instead, what’s emerging is the need for dedicated meeting and breakout spaces.

These rooms should be set up in such a way that enables employees to take part in virtual meetings, collaborate on projects together, or simply take some time away from their desks when needed. By the same token, any unused space can be transformed into a lounge area or pantry. This encourages employees to take breaks and enjoy some downtime with their colleagues, which is important for keeping morale high.

In other words, refurbishments make it so that you can optimise the use of your space in a variety of ways. This not only eliminates underutilised areas but also ensures that each space caters to its intended purpose effectively.

Getting Started With Your Refurbishment Project

If you’re now convinced that a commercial refurbishment is what your business needs, then it’s time to get started. The key here is to make sure that the project goes as smoothly as possible. This requires careful planning and coordination of resources, not to mention staying on top of any unforeseen complications along the way. Here’s how you can get the best out of your refurbishment project:

Define the Scope and Budget

Before getting underway, the first step is to define the scope and budget for your project. When it comes to defining the scope, this involves mapping out what the project will entail. This means deciding on the objective of the refurbishment, figuring out which areas need to be addressed and, essentially, outlining every detail involved in making your plans a reality.

Once you have that established, you can move on to setting a budget. As with any commercial project, it’s important to set a realistic budget that takes into account all costs associated with the project. This includes materials, labour, and any other miscellaneous fees. When it comes to setting your budget, there’s no such thing as going too detailed. The more precise you can be here, the better.

Map Your Team’s Way of Working to the Space Available

Your objective for your commercial refurbishment project should be to achieve better efficiency and productivity. To do this, you’ll need to map out how your team works and how that can be best suited to the space available. This means assessing major activities in the workplace and finding ways to accommodate them accordingly.

For example, if a certain area requires extra storage solutions, then it’s important to make sure that there’s enough space for dedicated storage racks. Alternatively, if you’re looking to create an open-plan office layout, then it’s important to map out where all the workstations will go. This ensures that everyone has sufficient desk space while also allowing for open collaboration areas.

Choose Your Design

Following on from mapping out the space, it’s important to select a design that works best for your team. This includes deciding on a colour palette and furniture options as well as considering any additional mod cons such as air-conditioning or voice-activated lighting controls.

The key here is to ensure that all choices are practical and have a positive impact on workplace efficiency. This is why it’s important to consider the needs of each department and make sure that all decisions are made with their best interests at heart.

Furniture and Fittings: Re-Use or Replace?

Not all your furniture and fittings need to be replaced during the commercial refurbishment. It’s often possible to reuse existing items by repurposing them in different ways or simply giving them a new lease of life with some fresh paint or upholstery.

For those items that are beyond repair, it’s important to replace them with pieces that are ergonomic, stylish and fit in with your overall design plan. This could include anything from office chairs and desks to filing cabinets, shelving units and even kitchen appliances.

Just plan ahead and make sure that you have allocated enough budget for all of the new items that you require.

Update Your Office Technology and Systems

Today’s modern office requires more than just furniture and fittings. Technology is an important element of any successful commercial refurbishment and must be considered when planning the layout. This could include anything from computers, laptops, and tablets to printers, servers, and other technological equipment.

It’s also important to ensure that your office systems are up-to-date and operate securely. This could involve the installation of new software, security systems, or even implementing cloud computing solutions.

Get the Necessary Permits and Permissions

If your commercial refurbishment project involves making any changes to the structure of the building, such as installing partitions or changing wiring systems, it’s important that you take into account all necessary regulations and safety requirements. This could involve obtaining permits from local authorities or consulting a qualified electrician.

It’s also important to make sure that you are aware of any fire codes or health & safety regula

Revisit the Budget Once More

Lastly, it’s a wise idea to revisit your budget and ensure that you’re still on track with the expenses for your commercial refurbishment after these steps have been finalised.

If not, there are a few things you can do to help keep costs down. First, consider purchasing used furniture and appliances from classifieds or second-hand retailers rather than buying them brand new. This will help reduce your spending significantly if done wisely.

Second, shop around for the best deals online when it comes to items such as office technology and furniture. You may be able to find some great discounts, especially if you purchase in bulk or take advantage of any sales during that period.

Finally, it’s wise to consider using professional services where necessary; something like a commercial office refurbishment Melbourne service or commercial office fitout Melbourne service may be able to help you save time and money in the long run. They have the experience and expertise to ensure that your project runs as smoothly as possible while keeping costs low.

Office Refurbishments Melbourne Case Studies

At Bowen Interiors, we’ve been providing commercial office refurbishments in Melbourne for more years than we can count. We invite you to look through these two case studies and see how we’ve helped businesses create the perfect office environments for their teams.

Boyle Industries  Office Renovation

In celebration of their 40th anniversary, Boyle Industries, operating in the industry of art and craft supplies, decided to undergo a contemporary renovation & fitout of their office. The original office, which had been in use since the company’s launch, was in need of a modern makeover to bring it into the 21st century. From demolishing room partitions to additions of fin walls, breakout rooms, cabinets, and beyond, we took the office from dated to modern in no time.

CHR Hansen Office Refit

CHR Hansen, operating in the manufacturing industry, needed an upgrade of their ground and first-floor offices to create a vibrant working environment that was open yet separated by effective acoustics. Because the project involved heavy refurbishments, access requirements had to be met and Bowen Interiors was the perfect fit for the job. We provided a comprehensive package so that CHR Hansen could enjoy their newly refurbished office with minimal disruption to their operations.

Choose a Team That You Can Trust for the Perfect Office Fitout

Whether you’re looking for a commercial office fit out, a refurbishment, or a renovation, it’s not easy to go it alone. The steps are complex and the turn-around time is often tight. That’s why it’s important to choose a team that you can trust. The right partner can execute your vision perfectly, deliver on time and within budget, and help you create the perfect office environment for your team.

At Bowen Interiors, that’s precisely what we offer you. We’ve done it for countless of our clients, and now it’s your turn. So don’t wait any longer: book an obligation-free consultation with us today and get what you need for your office makeover.

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