Published: 24 Mar 2020
Category: Workplace Wellness , People Management , Human Resources

Tips to Keep Your Employees Productive During Office Expansion & Renovation

Tips to Keep Your Employees Productive During Office Expansion & Renovation

Congratulations! You’ve gotten to the point where your office needs the extra space to shore up your ambition. 

That’s great news, and it's time to get down to the next course of action - the renovation to expand your office space.

An office is an active environment. Upgrading works and managing expectations will be that much more challenging when employees are not expected to vacate during expansion works. 

With the office renovation tips listed here, you can help keep your employees productive and motivated throughout the process.
 

Tip #1 – Craft a Strategy

The fact that you’re reading this article is a good start. It means you’re already thinking ahead about how to approach the problem.

But don’t let it end here. The first item on your office expansion checklist should be to make a plan.
Your goal is to have a cohesive strategy before the work even starts. Coming up with solutions to problems as they arise is likely to frustrate both management and employees.

Think of likely scenarios particular to your office and how to deal with them if they arise. For instance, consider what would be a preferrable meeting if the existing one has to be cordoned off for renovation, or how to safeguard employees against debris of building material from the renovation site. 

You won’t be able to predict every little issue, but having at least the major ones covered will give you some peace of mind.

Tip #2 – Manage Expectations

Both the management and employees must have realistic expectations during the work.

Start with making sure you have a reasonably good estimate of how long the work will take. People will respond better knowing the work has a foreseeable endpoint. Ensure that the timeframe is communicated to employees effectively, even as it changes.

All parties need to be aware that there's a chance that productivity will be slightly compromised. If employees have to be moved around and routines are upended, it’s impossible to keep the same work tempo.

To that end, consider extending deadlines where appropriate and work closely with one another to figure out how to meet needs.

Tip #3 – Communicate

As mentioned earlier, communication is key. Keeping everyone in the loop goes a long way towards eliminating anxieties. Making an office expansion announcement is a good way to alleviate that.

If you’re conducting a renovation that will significantly affect workflows, consider making an office renovation notice to employee groups on messaging platforms. Any change brings about a degree of concerns. Some employees will handle it better than others, but it shouldn’t be dismissed.

The more information you can share with your employees, the easier it will be for them to stay on track, and be a part of the process. Whenever possible, ask for employee input and make sure they feel heard. For the most part, expansion or renovation is out of their control, so empowering them in other ways is vital.

If you can produce mock-ups of the designs, that’s another useful tool. When your employees can visualise the end product, they’re more likely to be excited about reaching it. 

Don’t forget to consider the contractors. They may share some space with employees, hence communication in between may apply, and it's best to convey certain house rules and need-to-knows where applicable.

Tip #4 – Mind the Dust

An office thrives when it’s clean and organised, but construction work isn’t particularly conducive to that. Expect the need to ramp up your office cleaning habits considerably. 

Dust and debris accumulate rather quickly in close quarters so you might want to increase the frequency of janitorial services.

Furthermore, it’s a good idea to ask everyone to pitch in, both contractors and employees. Make sure everyone is cleaning as they go, even when it's not directly in their zones. 

If possible, the final cleanup should be laid out in writing with the contractor as well. If your office has a lot of sensitive equipment, compressed air canisters are a good investment. It helps employees quickly and effectively keep dust off keyboards and monitors.

Tip #5 – Motivate Your Employees

In an office under renovation, some drop in morale is to be expected when employees are a little deflated while working in a less favourable environment.

So, come up with ways ahead of time to keep spirits up during the work. You might consider any of numerous diversions such as an off-site event or a catered lunch - some small measures to keep up employee satisfaction and improve productivity. 

Always remind employees that it’s a temporary situation and how much better the office will be when it’s done.
As sections are finished, and with the contractor’s consent, organise employee tours to show the end results by part. Make the employees feel like they have a stake in the process.

Productivity Doesn't Happen by Accident

These tips should help you manage an office space renovation and thrive thereafter. The key takeaways are to stay positive, communicate well with all the participants, and have a detailed plan.

If you can ace these three, operations will bounce back to normal soon after your office renovation. Hong Kong and Asia Pacific based offices operated by Compass Offices have the most up-to-date amenities to support your business operations even as you need to renovate. Expansion plans will be handled with the utmost efficiency. 

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