Is your office feeling cramped, cluttered or shabby? Follow our tips to give it - and your staff - a new lease of life.
- Speak to staff and customers. Ask employees how they think your premises could be improved. Involving staff is good for morale and they may suggest changes which improve their productivity. Ask customers, too, and focus your efforts on areas they identify.
- Get rid of clutter. If your premises are cramped, clear out unused items or documents. Tidy surroundings can have a calming effect. Creating an uncluttered working environment is also good for staff productivity and more welcoming for visitors.
- Ensure that you follow the WEEE regulations when disposing of electronic and electrical equipment. These laws allow you to send back equipment to the manufacturer for disposal, free of charge.
- Use free programmes such as Freecycle to get rid of old furniture. By signing up to the scheme's email alert service, you advertise your unwanted furniture and arrange for its new owner to collect it.
- Make the most of space and light. Move your furniture or equipment around, so that your employees have as much breathing space as possible and the full benefit of daylight.
- Review your interior decor. There may be small changes you can make that create character or improve the atmosphere - for example, a restaurant or café might use pictures, mirrors, lampshades and candle holders, all of which can be bought cheaply from second-hand antique and charity shops.
- If your walls look shabby, give them a lick of paint. If yours is a creative or community-based business you could consider inviting local artists to paint your walls, providing a canvas for them to display their talent in return for brighter, more interesting premises.
- Consider updating your facade. This can dramatically change the appearance of your office, shop or plant without costing as much as a full refit. You might just want to order new signage or clean up the outside of the building, but there are also agencies that specialise in designing facades.
- If you have a shop window, make sure the display is changed regularly - otherwise, customers may think you have nothing new to offer them. Don't clutter your display, ensure it is well lit and make sure the contents are timely.