You’ve decided it’s time for an office renovation! New paint colors on the walls, an updated bathroom
and an open-office design, while incorporating plenty of quiet-work space. But if you’re not able to move everyone in your office to a temporary location during your remodel, you’re going to going to have to work with the noise, the dust and the confusion. We’ve put together a few tips to help you manage this exciting yet frustrating time.
Keep the Information Flowing
First, remind your staff and clients although the noise and debris may seem endless, it’s temporary! To keep anxiety to a minimum, communicate with your workers verbally, through your company web site and via signage posted in common areas. Make it clear to them the company’s vision, the purpose of the office renovation and how it will improve their work environment.
To help your employees cope, try to:
- Create a timeline marking the start and completion date of the renovation, and adding project milestones along the way. Make sure to communicate if there are any changes to the timeline.
- If possible, hold a meeting where you can display project plans, sample boards and physical mock ups for everyone to review and to have an opportunity to ask questions. Depending on the time frame for the renovation, hold another meeting at the half-way point of the project, or more often if the construction is being done in phases. This is when you can update everyone as to why the project will be completed early, on time, or why it will take longer than was proposed.
- When it is safe, arrange tours during construction which can help the staff better visualize the renovation’s progress.
- If parking will be an issue, reassure your staff you will make alternate parking arrangements. Make sure to post any parking or traffic information where your employees can regularly check.
Second, keep your clients informed. Depending on your type of business, you may want to send your clients a letter informing them of the office renovation, how the changes will positively benefit them, if parking will be impacted and where to look on the company website for more information and updates. Placing “Pardon Our Construction” signs at public entrances would remind clients you’re aware of the inconvenience it may be causing them and how the improvements will positively impact them
Contain the Dust
This is easier said than done! It will be hard to escape the dust from sanders, electric saws and spray paint. To help limit the amount of dust that may travel from the work site, make sure it’s included in your construction contract that barriers such as heavy plastic sheeting or compression-fit temporary walls must be in use for the duration of the project. If possible, have your contractor fit equipment to filter dust.
To try to minimize the impact of dust on your office:
- Be sure your contract requires that your contractor is responsible for the final cleanup
- Consider hiring additional janitorial services to stay ahead of the daily debris
- Keep some compressed air on hand to occasionally blow dust from your computers and keyboards.
To make the process easier for you and your personnel you might want to decide if some of your staff can temporarily work from home. This would be a good option for those members of your company who suffer with breathing issues.
Keep Everyone Motivated
Because there will be construction delays and client and employee grumbling, keep the atmosphere positively charged. At different stages remind the staff of what the newly remodeled office space will look like. Post different phases of the office reconstruction next to the renderings of the completed work spaces showing fresh paint colors, shiny fixtures, restored or new furniture, lush plants and natural light.
Occasionally, create diversions with special days set aside for a variety of food trucks or host an off-site event, or happy hour. Celebrate successfully completed deadlines with a company party. Create stickers or novelty pins that claim, “I survived the first, second, third week, or X phase of our office renovation!” You could post photos of employees touring the construction site and giving thumbs up in their half completed office spaces. Most of all, keep reminding everyone, it’s only a temporary situation!