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Fall back in love with your office

Over the past couple of months along with managing projects for our clients, we’ve been busy refurbing our new office.

This is a bit of a change for LCMB as we were able to be the client, which doesn’t happen very often! We had our own internal project management team who managed the fit-out, contractors and all elements of the refurb from start to finish. Here are our experiences from this project:

The Highs

We’re well aware of some of the challenges involved in getting your staff to fall back in love with office working, after two years of the new normal. Yet there are many benefits of returning to the workplace, including greater collaboration and the opportunity to re-connect with your team, let’s face it MS Teams only goes so far!

LCMB preach resource optimisation and sustainability in order to improve workplace performance, and so we’ve made improvements to our own working space, which align with our ethos, and create a space that inspires our staff.

To that end, we’ve removed the existing partition walls to create an open workspace which has increased the light coming into the office, as we have windows on the 3 sides of the space.

Zones have been created to denote, task working, large meetings, breakout spaces and a number of meeting pods have also been included.

We’d made some practical yet impactful decisions including installation of a new ventilation system, air quality monitors and reconfigured the existing air con system to ensure the environment remains at an optimum level for our staff. We have also installed low energy LED lighting to help reduce our energy consumption and impact on the environment. 

Part of this journey was also about maximising the space to suit individual needs of our team and so additional extras such as a shower room was added for those that travel to work by bike or on foot or for those who’d like to go for a run during breaks.

The Lows

Any Project Manager will tell you, occasionally things don’t always go to plan and so adaptability is an important skill to have. We were able to mitigate a lot of potential delays and failures due to restricted product availability which affected our desired timescales. We know this is something affecting many in the industry as COVID has resulted in a number of delays for parts and material deliveries and so some design alterations were made in order to push forward project completion.

A key takeaway has been to keep staff informed during the process and ensure their concerns are considered within the design. We have plenty of tips on how to achieve and manage expectations, reach out to one of industry experts for an informal chat.

Office Reopening

LCMB are now open and operating from our new office and we have some top tips for your business and staff to safely return and occupy your buildings.

  • Ventilation and air con – We’ve taken steps to ensure our air quality remains optimum.
  • Cleaning regime –  We’ve implemented a cleaning schedule to keep our spaces operating well from a hygiene perspective.
  • Risk management – We have procedures for working at home, working in the office, vulnerable working, travelling to client sites and any other activity our staff may undertake. These are updated at regular intervals, for example twice weekly lateral flow testing has been implemented to ensure we are keeping each other safe.
  • Keep staff informed – The office is new for all of us and with anything new it can take time to get used to things. We’ve created an office handbook which includes everything our staff need to know about the office and working within it.
We have produced a short briefing document to offer some simple tips on creating a Safe return to your workplace. Download the free guide here.
 
If you have found this useful and if you have questions on managing projects, facilities management or a safe return to work from a covid perspective, please contact me for an informal chat [email protected].

Joseph Wright, Senior Consultant

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