In March 2020, many of us left our offices in the wake of the pandemic. It was a pivotal moment that would change the way we work forever. It ushered in a new style of work, one defined by flexible and hybrid models, where time spent in the office is supplemented by the ability to work from home (or another location) for a portion of the working week. Today, around 66% of UK businesses offer flexible working models.

Although working away from the office some of the time has allowed professionals more flexibility, a lot of organisations have realised it may not be the most efficient way to work. With companies struggling to keep their employees motivated and productive, we’ve seen a sharp rise in the number of office refurbishment projects in London. So sharp in fact, office refurbs in the capital are currently at a 20-year high.

The Rise in Office Refurbishments

A recent survey by Deloitte found that 37 office refurbishment projects were started in recent months – a figure not seen since Deloitte first started tracking this data almost 20 years ago.

Overall, 50 refurbs and new-builds have been registered in a six-month period this year. If we compare that project tally to 2022’s figure of 31, we can see a 76% rise has taken place.

What’s Behind This Increase in Office Refurbishment Projects?

The steep increase in refurbishment projects in the capital can largely be attributed to companies trying to attract hybrid workers back to the office on a more permanent basis.

Despite calls from younger generations to keep hybrid working, many CEOs are still of the opinion that people work better, more productively and more collaboratively when in an office environment. To ease the transition, companies are choosing to refurbish their offices and design fresh-feeling spaces that workers genuinely look forward to working from every day. With this change in tactic, it’s not hard to see why the number of refurbishment projects has risen so quickly in London.

Similarly, after a tough time for the supply chain during COVID, there have also been a number of companies that have been waiting for some time to commence new projects. Some of these refurbs can therefore be attributed to pent-up demand from the past couple of years.

Common Office Refurbishments

Refurbishing your office to attract existing and new talent isn’t about knocking your office down and starting from scratch. It’s more about adding more attractive amenities that make spending time at the office that little bit easier and more enjoyable for all.

Some of the most common refurbishment tasks include adding more sustainable features, providing collaborative workspaces, wellness rooms, and luxury amenities such as coffee facilities and high-tech desktops.

Thoughtful Office Design for Satisfied Employees

If you want to start getting your employees back into the office permanently, it’s important to rethink your approach to office design.

Employees are no longer supportive of the traditional office spaces that we knew before the pandemic. Instead, they want a space where they can get their work done, collaborate with their peers, and feel good about what they’re doing.

With thoughtful design, it’s possible to create a space that is welcoming, enjoyable and promotes productivity and motivation.