A New Space for the New Year

By Gregg Schoenberg Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When the time comes to remodel your business’s office space, or to move into a new space, it is easy to think of the process solely in terms of cost.  After all, no matter how nice a conference table or how attractive a desk you purchase, it is hard to imagine them adding anything to your bottom line.  But by taking a holistic, rather than a piecemeal, approach to remodeling, and viewing your office as an asset that can yield returns in terms of efficiency, productivity, and employee performance, you can realize long-term cost savings and benefits from a well-planned office from the ground up.

If you are considering an office remodel then you’ll want to focus on maximizing the utility of the following features in order to get the best return on your investment.


Once you’ve owned your own business for some time—and been through the ups and downs of a few economic cycles—you come to realize that it’s not just the amount of space you need that can change, but also the way in which that space is configured.  Moveable walls are a great solution that can save you a substantial amount of money compared to fixed walls, while also offering the flexibility to change the layout of specific spaces (e.g. from a set of private offices to a conference room) virtually overnight.  Moveable walls come in a variety of durable materials and finishes including some that incorporate glass, allowing natural light to flow further into a large work setting.


Increasing the amount of natural light that enters your workspace has myriad benefits.  In addition to being aesthetically preferable to artificial alternatives, natural light will reduce your energy bills and has been shown to boost worker productivity.  Besides designing your office to take full advantage of available natural light, installing a lighting system that works in conjunction with natural light by dimming or shutting off entirely when there is ample natural light can save you additional money on utility bills.


With an office remodel it’s not so much the floors as what’s underneath them that can add the most value. By taking advantage of raised-access technology it is possible to house the majority of your power, data, and communications cables underneath the floors and out of sight.  On top of the obvious aesthetic benefit, the under-floor setup provides outstanding flexibility for the inevitable future configuration changes and furniture reshuffling.  If you are doing a major remodel, or starting fresh in a new space, it is also worth looking into an under-floor HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, which can offer increased energy efficiency, improved air quality, and a safer alternative to traditional wall-mounted systems.


Outfitting your remodeled space with new furniture should be the last step in the remodel.  Hopefully you’ll have taken into account the advice to create a flexible workspace when choosing walls and floors, so you’ll want to select furniture that is flexible as well. There are lots of choices in both modular office furniture and adaptable workstations that can help keep you from having to purchase new items every time your needs change.

By carefully planning your remodel with an eye toward increased efficiency as well as future organizational change, you should be able to recoup some of the cost of the remodel and wind up with an office that allows your firm to adapt to whatever changes lie ahead.

*Disclaimer*: Harvard Business Services, Inc. is neither a law firm nor an accounting firm and, even in cases where the author is an attorney, or a tax professional, nothing in this article constitutes legal or tax advice. This article provides general commentary on, and analysis of, the subject addressed. We strongly advise that you consult an attorney or tax professional to receive legal or tax guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. Any action taken or not taken based on this article is at your own risk. If an article cites or provides a link to third-party sources or websites, Harvard Business Services, Inc. is not responsible for and makes no representations regarding such source’s content or accuracy. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Business Services, Inc.

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