Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to make improvements to your office space. This is an important decision and an exciting time for your business. It also ushers in a wide variety of options for you to choose from. Most of all, you’ll need to know where to put your money for the greatest impact and return.

Here are 5 practical guidelines–straight from a professional interior designer–to help you know how and where to invest, versus merely spend your money.

1.  Set a goal

There are many reasons why you may want to renovate your office space. Perhaps things have become outdated or run down over time, neglected during Covid shutdowns, disorganized, or less uninspiring overall. Regardless, before you start your renovation, get clear on why you are doing it. Are you looking to:

  • Recruit top talent: A well cared for space can create the impression that your organization is a place to learn, grow and advance one’s career.
  • Attract and retain customers: If your customers visit your space, it’s critical to reinforce your brand and instill confidence that you are the best choice for their needs.
  • Improve efficiency: Upgrading for improved efficiency can save you money, and increase productivity.

Once you’ve established your goals, share them with your designer, contractor, and all your vendor partners to invite their best ideas to your project and increase your level of success.

2.  Understand that investing for owning and leasing is different

When you are leasing, you only own the contents of your space. It may be tempting to paint, move a wall, or update a kitchen area, but putting your money into what you can take with you when you leave–and perhaps spend a little more for these items–is an investment because you will reap the rewards for a long time. Investments versus expenses might include:

  • Height adjustable desks
  • Task chairs with lumbar support or other ergonomic features
  • Custom conference table
  • Water Filter instead of bottled water
  • Wall art
  • Plants
  • Comfortable, casual break furniture

Owning is different because you are responsible for the entire structure. If you own and occupy, you may want to invest in both the structure and the contents. If you own to rent, your best investment strategy is to get and keep your structure in top shape inside and out. Doing so can help you attract higher paying tenants who may be willing to sign a longer lease. Consider investing in upgrades such as:

  • LED lighting
  • Safety features
  • Increased electrical capacity and internet speed
  • Window upgrades
  • Improved HVAC and air filtration
  • Safe, convenient parking
  • Landscaping

3.  Smart-size your space

Regardless of your organization’s post-pandemic return-to-work policy, and how many employees are in the office and when, it is always prudent to review your overall workspace configuration along with your strategic staffing plans to identify ways to maximize your space, minimize waste, and save money. Imagine your office space as an open, blank canvas. Then, invest in working with an interior designer who can study your employees’ workflow and create a workplace strategy to improve space utilization, and potentially increase efficiency and aesthetics. Sometimes, strategically reorganizing the workstations allows for more users in the space, while repurposing existing areas may provide fresh opportunities for collaboration, innovation and informal gatherings.

4.  Know the quality of the items you purchase

As inflation escalates, it may be tempting to buy slightly less expensive materials and finishings to save money. It’s important to know that certain materials, surfaces or items that cost less and look good, may actually not hold up as well over time, and force you to replace them sooner than planned. This is referred to as a product’s “lifecycle”. Working with a professional designer who knows which materials and manufacturer’s products provide a longer life cycle can guide your investment to items whose price fairly match their quality and will last the duration.

5.  Use your money to make you more money

Aside from a talented workforce, some of the smartest business investments are in processes or items that can increase efficiency and boost productivity. Whether you own or lease, one rule always applies: Your office space should make you money.

Workspace designs and furnishings that help keep a workplace uncluttered, clean and organized, ergonomic, and inspirational are worth their price. A well designed work environment motivates and inspires employees, and increases their productivity. Comfortable, safe and functional workspaces can promote wellbeing.

Design Your Monday works with clients to build efficiencies into the design of their office space. In this way you can modernize your space, re-energize and motivate your employees, increase productivity, and know that you haven’t spent a dime. Rather, you have invested wisely for a measurable return.