how to plan a successful office renovation

Planning an office renovation is an exciting time for a business that’s experiencing growth, or investing in its future. Renovations mean a readjustment in attitude, identity, and a clean slate. They also mean a carefully curated interior with a fresh aesthetic at its centre – but how soon should you plan an office renovation?

It’s easy to jump the gun and begin imagining all the incredible features and amenities you plan on implementing to your new office design, but there’s plenty to consider and prepare for prior to thinking about paint colours and finishing touches.

In this post, we’re taking a close look at how to plan a successful office renovation.


What to Build, What to Build?

Step number one in an office pre-plan is to decide what kind of office you want to build – and more importantly, what kind of office is going to compliment your staff, your industry, and your businesses brand identity. You’ll also want to consider modern and trending office design, features and the psychology behind different office layouts and theories.

Will your business benefit from an open concept space that caters to ample collaboration, and should you be adding on a designated space for dedicated focus? What are the latest ideas in conference room design, and Eco friendly considerations?

Before you begin to get the ball rolling, the first step in any renovation plan is to always consider the financial implications of your build – can you handle the added monetary requirements of a state-of-the-art renovation? Are you renovating for rapid company growth? Is company morale and employee well being a motivating factor in your desire to renovate?

Next, couple your financial thinking to that of a space audit. By investigating your existing space you can identity its pitfalls so they’re left behind in your new design.

This planning stage should ideally be completed, or at least on your collective organizational radar about 6-8 months prior to giving a general contractor the green light to begin. With this amount of time to your advantage, you’ll have no trouble fleshing out ideas, and assembling a team that can make your vision a reality.


When Should You Begin Planning?

Different office structures and teams will require different timeframes from which to plan their office renovation project. As a general rule, we recommend working with your design expert to determine an appropriate timeframe based on the needs of your project. You’ll want to  consider preparation time spent researching, consulting, exploring, and gaining knowledge on the many facets of design and productivity.


You’ll need this half-year to investigate and detail plans that include:

    • What’s driving this renovation, and why is it necessary to supporting your goals as an organization?
  • Issues that will affect the construction schedule
    • Will your renovation spell a temporary relocation, or can you work through the intensity of project while maintaining an efficient and motivated workforce?
  • Budget
    • What’s the budget look like, and does it include funds and resources for unexpected changes, permits, insurance, etc.

Doing this type of homework prior to giving your renovation plans the proverbial greenlight is critical to ensuring the project’s success. Background work helps eliminate problems that routinely spring up in hastily planned renovations, and allows your organization to iron out projected shortcomings before they happen, eliminating downtime, ensuring internal motivation, and getting you into your new space as quickly as possible.


Finding the Right Design Team

Finding the right design-build team for your office renovation is all about finding a way to articulate and recognize the importance of your business identity and your brand. This always begins by communicating and collaborating with your staff to find the things that they covet the most at work, and utilizing those insights to find a design-build team that exemplifies those values.

In short, a design-build team needs to compliment your values, embody your goals, and identify with your plans for your office renovation.

You can begin this search by investigating portfolios of design work, and asking your picks to introduce you to their design-build process. This initial communication is all about connecting with the people who you are going to build your new space with. You need to discuss ideas candidly, bounce ideas off one another, and last but not least – allow each other to do their jobs. When you find a design team you trust, this is a simple matter.

A professional design team will need a solid 4 months to work with your business to evaluate your space, make a comprehensive plan, and begin preparation stages for construction. Your design team will lead the charge through discussions regarding theme, workflow and office layout, furniture considerations, tech accommodations, green/eco -friendly design considerations, features, colour palettes, and finishing touches.


Always Invest in Modern Ideas & Tech

When you renovate an office, you need to be constantly looking forward to the future. There’s very little sense in recreating a new space and recycling the old way you used the previous space. This means investing in new technologies, new methodologies of organizational success, and learning the psychology of the modern workforce and how office design can impact productivity, job satisfaction for employees, efficiency, and talent retention.

This also means taking an in-depth look at the square footage needed to optimize a modern office and accommodate the breakthrough ways to develop your team. Invest in modern tech and ideas to help bring your office into the new age of integrated, mobile-friendly workflows, active space planning, and organizational adaptability.


Minimizing Downtime

In order to minimize downtime during your renovation process, you can work directly with your design team to investigate ways to eliminate an entire workplace shut down while construction commences. This could mean relocating a section of your workforce to a different section of the businesses building while construction gets underway, or finding a suitable off-site office solution to minimize distractions and exposure to the byproducts of construction like dust, dirt, and noise.

As a general rule, plan to be in a perpetual state of construction during the duration of your projected timeline – depending on the scope of your renovation plans. Major structural changes require architect and building code approval, and rebuilding a space from the ground up cannot be rushed.

Also, keep your staff informed of progress, and when things are happening, should you collectively choose to stay put during the course of renovations. When staff are left in the dark, it inevitably creates an environment of chaos and confusion. Host weekly meetings with department heads to inform the rest of the team about processes, and assist in answering questions that your staff may have. It’s one thing to give direction and updates on construction, and another thing to provide your employees with answers that alleviate stress.

You can also invest in Move Management Software to help manage company workflows, stay up-to-date on pressing goals and targets, and stay organized. Cloud-based tech like this allows your staff to operate using mobile and remote technologies – which are likely an addition to your new space – giving them access to the office from anywhere.




We recommend planning for about a year of constant discussions, and deliberations regarding your office renovation, from conception to completion.

Remember, an office renovation is a fantastic way to rekindle some of the energy, inspiration, and excitement your business may have lost over the years working in an outdated space. Newly optimized spaces are key to boosting efficiencies in the workplace, reducing costs, and improving staff morale.