Published: 09 Mar 2023
Updated: 06 Dec 2023
Category: Serviced Office , Office Space , Workspace

Your Comprehensive Guide to Office Renovation


The age of cookie-cutter, segmented cubicles is drawing to a close. Employees are coming to expect enhanced functionality, better aesthetics, and more collaborative flow in modern workspaces in order to motivate them to return to in-person work, after the comforts of remote work which became a norm during the global COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re embarking on an office renovation to build an optimised workspace, which can be a resource-heavy and time-heavy project, read on to discover just how to get the most out of this huge undertaking for increased employee morale, satisfaction and productivity.


What is office renovation?

An office renovation or redesign involves upgrading an existing space with new design features. It is a more involved undertaking than office repair, which refers to restoring structural integrity or bringing a commercial space up to code in regard to electrical or fire hazards.

Renovation is different from office conversion, which involves repurposing an existing space for a different use, e.g. warehouse to corporate office space, and office reinstatement, which involves returning a space to its original condition before any modifications or returning to a landlord.


Decide if you really need to renovate

Commercial office renovation is costly, both financially and time-wise. Identify the pain points of your space to determine if remodelling is necessary: is your company outgrowing its space? Is there not enough flow in the floor plan? Is the office just looking rundown? The two latter issues could be fixed with cosmetic retouches or a bit of organisation to reconfigure the layout.

With flexible floor plans like the ones in Compass Offices' business centres, you can add partitions, manager suites, choose wall colours, and design floor plans to incorporate meeting rooms and business lounges to your specifications at a much lower price than a complete overhaul of the office. Relocating to a furnished serviced office may even be more affordable and keep your team from losing any downtime.

However, if you determine that a comprehensive remodelling project is necessary, then the next step is to define a specific goal for the renovation.


Define the goal of your office renovation

It’s essential to identify the 'why' of your office remodel to ensure the final space accommodates your business’ needs. Keeping a main goal in mind also aids in decision-making to identify crucial design elements, and avoiding scope creep which would push up project costs. There are a number of reasons an office space renovation may be necessary:

Accommodate growth

An office renovation accommodates a growing business by expanding the space or by improving the floor plan to better suit the needs of a larger headcount.

Enhance branding

A business office remodelling can be an opportunity to enhance the branding of a firm. This may involve incorporating the company colours, logos and other branding elements into the office redesign.

Improve functionality

One of the main reasons for an office renovation is to improve space use efficacy. This may involve removing obstructive elements or adding features that make it easier for employees to work efficiently.

Increase productivity

Upgrades to lighting, acoustics, and other factors impacting employee well-being could help increase productivity by creating a more comfortable and inspiring work environment.

Increase property value

Finally, a corporate office renovation can also increase the value of a commercial property. By updating the space and making it more attractive to potential buyers or tenants, the property owner can potentially increase its resale or rental value.


How much does office renovation cost?

The myriad costs of a full-on office remodel differ from contractor to contractor. Contractors usually charge per square metre or hour. In general, office renovation costs depend on the following factors:

●    Building grade: Building grade, which refers to the age, quality and condition of commercial properties, can impact the amount of work required. For example, if the building is in poor condition or has structural issues, the renovation may require more extensive work to bring it up to code or make it safe to occupy.
●    Office size: The larger the office space, the more materials and labour required.
●    Project complexity: If more complex changes need to be made, like adding a new room or getting rid of a supporting pillar, costs will be higher.
●    Material quality: The quality of materials will also depend on the commercial building grade, e.g. nicer materials may be more appropriate in a Grade A building.
●    Labour costs: This varies depending on the complexity of the renovation, number of workers needed, and skill level of the workers.
●    Project timeline: If a project needs to be completed quickly, it will cost more due to the need for overtime work or additional labour.
●    Permits and approvals: Depending on the scope of renovation, certain permits may be required.


How to find a suitable contractor

Working with the right contractor/renovation company is crucial. A good contractor can effectively execute your design vision within the budget and time constraints, so it’s important to find someone you can communicate effectively with from the beginning. Contractors with a rich network can also assist with onboarding a designer or engineer if required.

Take advantage of online reviews, word-of-mouth reviews from past clients, and check that the renovation company has project experience in the type of business office remodelling you’re doing. Of course, contractors should also be able to give you proof of proper licensing and insurance, so that you aren’t held liable in the event that a worker is injured.

Finally, it’s best to request quotations from multiple contractors in order to be able to compare their service offerings.


Define a renovation timeline

Next, it’s key to determine a timeline with your contractor to avoid overrunning costs. An office redesign can take anywhere from weeks to over a year to complete based on the complexity of the project. Typically, office space renovations involve the following steps, each of which should have a certain amount of agreed time allotted to them:

1.    Planning and design: This may include space planning, furniture selection, and other design elements.
2.    Budgeting: This should take into account all costs, including design fees, materials, labour, and contingency.
3.    Permits and approvals: All necessary permits and approvals should be obtained before the commencement of the renovation work.
4.    Find temporary space for employees: House staff in a nearby flexible workspace or vacant area of the building.
5.    Demolition and preparation: Clear out the existing space and prepare it for renovation work.
6.    Construction: This involves the actual renovation work, which may include structural changes, electrical and plumbing work, flooring, lighting, painting, and other finishes.
7.    Quality control: Regularly inspect the work to ensure it is progressing according to plan and that the quality of work meets expectations.
8.    Final Inspection: A final inspection must be conducted to ensure all work meets local building codes and safety standards.
9.    Move-in: Once the renovation is complete, your newly outfitted space can be furnished, decorated and prepared for use.
10.  Post-occupancy evaluation: Afterwards, ensure the renovation meets the objectives set out in the planning stage.


Tips for office renovation design

Cool to neutral colour lighting

A colour temperature of 3000 to 4000 K (Kelvins) is ideal for employees to focus without seeming barren or cold.

Choose your colour palette carefully

Besides incorporating brand colours, the hues you choose for overall design and furniture can be a big part of determining productivity levels. Yellow has connotations of creativity and community; taupe is relatively neutral without being dreary; green is calming and easy to match with other design elements.

Embrace third spaces

More research is showing that effective space zoning can lead to more productive deep work and boost employee health. Dedicated social breakout areas for informal brainstorming and leisure lead to more natural breaks throughout the day, counteracting the effects of sitting for long durations of time, and draw a line between focused workspaces and collaboration spaces.



Compass Offices is your expert in modern workspaces with business centres located in nine major cities in the Asia-Pacific region. We offer customised workspaces with tailor-made office layouts for companies of all sizes. Or if you’re in need of a swing space during your office interior renovation, we provide short-term office rentals in Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Singapore, the Philippines, and Japan. Get in touch to discuss the best workspace solution for your needs.


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