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5 Secrets of Smooth Office Renos

May 01, 2013

5 Secrets of Smooth Office Renos

 

Are you contemplating an office renovation? Making changes can be a highly positive and motivating experience for both management and employees; however, it can also be a very stressful time. Understanding the triggers and preventative techniques before you begin can go a long way to ensuring that your experience is as positive as possible.  Here are a few tips:
 
1.  Make a point of involving all employees that want to be involved at an early stage. Explain that once their input has been considered the project will move on to the next phase where input is less welcome. Listen to their ideas and incorporate them wherever feasible. Even small changes can make a huge difference in employees’ feeling a part of the project. Be sure to acknowledge input and the resulting changes to the entire team. Taking the extra time to gain this kind of engagement from all members of your workplace makes for a much more positive work project and you’ll be amazed at the great ideas that emerge.  
 
2.  Assume nothing. Provide details, details and more details. There are generally two types of general contractors – the ones that allow you to make changes as you go and the ones that demand that the door close (once there is a door!) until the job is done. Trust me, go with the first one!
 
3.  Keep everyone involved up-to-date on changes and be meticulous about ensuring that all copies of the plan are updated as change decisions are made. If there are old copies in circulation, mark any areas that have been updated. Some people may find this irritating but believe me, it can avoid costly mistakes. On a recent project I was involved in, there had been numerous updates and changes during the first few months. The main plan had been updated and replaced but older versions still lingered. The day before a major wall was to be constructed I noticed the general contractor referring to an old version of the plan. Lesson learned!
 
4.  Count the cost before you start. We tend to be very focused on the financial cost of a building project and so we should be. However, the cost in staff time can be easily overlooked. Most likely there is one person taking the primary responsibility for working with the designer, the general contractor, furniture supplier and so on. Providing all the detail that your renovation team is going to require is very time consuming. Take it from someone who has been through a few such projects, the time will be spent – either up front in the design phase, or during the course of construction when the daily barrage of questions come. 
 
5.  Date all plan documents. That way you (and everyone else) will easily be able to spot older versions. 
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