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Barnes Interiors Ltd

How an Office Refurbishment Can Improve Business Productivity

focussed office workerMany businesses start an office refurbishment project because they are moving offices, because they are running out of space, or simply because their offices are looking a bit dated. However, a number of studies have found that office refurbishment can have a big impact on productivity levels. Doing an office refurbishment specifically to improve productivity can pay for itself by making your workforce more efficient and effective.


Planning for focus

Most modern offices in the UK use an open plan layout. Open plan offices are supposed to encourage collaboration and idea sharing by removing barriers for workers to communicate with each other. However, an increasing number of studies have shown that open plan layouts are bad for focus and bad for productivity.

An ongoing study by Gensler looking at the opinions of 90,000 workers has found that almost 90% of workers say that ‘Focus Work’ is the most critical part of their job. This is a number which has been steadily increasing over the last few years. It is not meetings, or co-working, or brainstorming that workers think is critical to success but the ability to quietly focus on their work.

This ability to focus is particularly important in knowledge based jobs where people are writing reports, designing a new product or coding a new piece of software. It is common in many modern offices to find workers who do these kinds of jobs listening to music on their headphones to try and drown out the noise from their open plan office.

When asked to rate the effectiveness of different office environments workers put a private office at the top. Their next preference is for small group offices, then cubicles, then cubicles with small partitions and so on. Finally, right at the bottom of the list, comes a fully open plan office environment.


Creating areas for focus

In most businesses it is not practical to give everyone their own private office. Nor do you need to. What you do need to do is think about how office space is allocated.

Many office refurbishment projects are now including the creation of spaces for people to work in when they need to focus. Often these are done as modular pods within an office, partitioning off a corner to create a quiet space free from noise and distractions.

Of course workers are still going to need to ask each other questions, to discuss problems and collaborate on new ideas. Therefore space needs to be created in an office for this to happen, either as a formal meeting room, informal meeting spaces or just as part of the main office.

Studies have shown that giving people the choice of different types of spaces to work in increases their job satisfaction. Managed correctly giving people space to focus can also increase the productivity of the business.


Barnes Interiors are a full-service office refurbishment company. We can plan your new office space, handle all of the refurbishment work and project manage. Barned Interiors are based in Essex and handle a wide range of office refurbishment projects. To find out more give us a call on 01376 528627or email us at

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