How to Remodel Your Office Without Disrupting Your Workflow

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Staying in your office forever can have drawbacks over time. Offices get outdated, and they start lacking the materials and capabilities that a growing company needs.

That’s why an office remodel can help revitalize even the most outdated, ’80s-looking workspace. Not to mention, renovations can be an incredible perk for your employees, even increasing overall productivity. 

But as someone who has watched an office being built – literally – all around my employees, the process can be tricky to pull off while work is still happening. Here are a few things I learned to make your office renovation meet all of your company’s needs.

Collect Feedback from Employees First

Office Remodel

If this is so obvious, why do so few companies do it?

During any office remodeling or renovation project, maintaining open lines of communication with employees helps to mitigate decreased productivity. The more information you can get from and provide your employees, including timelines, the more clear-headed your workforce will be throughout the changes.

Moreover, I encouraged employees to provide feedback on the changes I was thinking about making. After all, the employees who are in the office daily can offer valuable feedback and suggestions I had never thought of to make the workplace run more efficiently.

How do you do that? Make a survey! Customized questions about your workplace can help you to get the best answers. If possible, ask questions that require a more in-depth reply than just a simple “yes” or “no” response.

Some example questions I used:

  • What do you like/dislike about the current workspace?
  • What changes would you make to the existing workspace?
  • What areas of the office support your work? What areas are lacking?
  • How much time gets spent in meetings? Are meeting rooms sufficient in space?
  • Does your existing workspace help keep you connected with colleagues, peers, prospects, outside and inside the business?
  • Is there enough privacy to be successful?
  • Where is the majority of your workday spent in the office?

You’ll likely find your employees have some great ideas that never came to your mind. Consider working some of your employees’ ideas into your office remodeling project wherever feasible. 

Make Use of a Storage Container During an Office Remodel

Office Remodel

Just because you are overhauling your workspace does not mean the work stops. But trust me, it’s entirely too difficult to store your office equipment and supplies somewhere you can’t get to them easily. I quickly realized we all needed access to our stuff, even while the hammers were going. 

Luckily, I figured out this moving container lifehack. The flexibility of a portable container meant a short walk to the parking lot to grab an additional monitor, rather than a long commute across town to some storage space.

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With a phone call, one of these portable storage units can be delivered right to your office door. (If you need more than one, you can arrange for that too.) With a loading capacity of up to 3,000 pounds and roughly 300 square feet of space in each container, I found you can probably fit your entire office into one or two units. 

Also, if you’re flat-out moving your office, there are cheaper ways to move your office rather than getting a massive, one-size-fits-all-quote from a single moving company.

If you need professional labor to move your office in and out of a storage space, a lot of these moving container companies offer discounts for booking both at once.

For storage-purposes though, most of these containers are water-proof (i.e., they can be stored outside), so you can stuff all of your technology, equipment, and supplies without fear of weathering. Across the board, this is a more cost-effective and convenient alternative to off-site storage. It allowed my firm to maintain productivity while staying within my budget.

Consider Going Virtual

Whether it’s noise pollution interrupting conference calls, or fumes from metalwork, sometimes no matter how hard you try, the best-case scenario is to encourage your staff to work from home. In times like this, a virtual office offers a flexible workspace solution.

If you incorporate web-based chat software such as Slack, G-Chat, or Skype, you can still communicate with your team without missing a beat. Slack offers a free version that works for smaller companies, though there are alternative, cheaper to license clients out there, such as Mattermost, if your renovation timeline warrants the investment.

My staff saw this as an added benefit to work because they finally got to work from their living room in their pajamas. (However, it is important to communicate to them that this is not a long-term solution. Sorry, team.) 

Make the Small Stuff Seamless

If your office remodel consists of just a few smaller cosmetic changes, you don’t want to disrupt your current operations with a total uprooting. Find ways to make the upgrades seamless.

For instance, if you are planning on painting the office, consider finding contractors who are available to complete the work on a weekend or after business hours. By doing so, you are eliminating the risk of distractions that lessen productivity. It’s crazy to me how many companies try and do something like paint during office hours!

Ask Your Contractor for Office Remodeling Advice

Office Remodel

Once you’ve surveyed your employees and made all the appropriate decisions about the office changes, you’ll want to be sure to communicate these concepts with your chosen contractor.

But make sure you ask your contractor for their advice too! So many people skip this step, when a contractor has seen it all, and will probably have expert ways to help your space out.

Do you want a brighter environment? If so, contractors may know ways to enhance the natural lighting, how to make improvements to your existing office lights, or how to use other approaches to brighten the environment. Perhaps you want to improve the acoustics, so the office isn’t deafeningly loud? If this is the case, your contractor might advise on solutions that help to dampen noise. For my office, she helped me find dividers with special materials to help out in our call-center. 

Lead With Confidence (and Have Patience)

There are two important traits for leading a team during an office remodel. The first is to maintain an open line of communication (e.g., an open-door policy). The second important trait is to never stop conveying certainty to your employees

Understand that these projects rarely are completed without a hitch. Demonstrate realistic patience and flexibility if a curveball is thrown your way. (And if you trust your ability to hire the right contractor, you’ll be better off when things don’t go to plan.)

If you are feeling stressed, there is a good chance your employees are too! Attitude and disposition are reflective of leadership, so keep a positive outlook and a smile on your face.

Because at the end of the day, this is all temporary; there is a payout at the end of the long journey, and it comes in the form of a brand new office space. Hopefully, it comes complete with all the bells and whistles, and some money saved along the way!


Dominic LoBianco is a multiplatform content creator for Smartbox Moving and Storage. Dominic has covered a wide array of topics ranging from long distance moving to collegiate storage tips.

What You Should Bring, Could Bring and DON’T Bring When Moving Into a Dorm

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‘Tis the season for college dorm room shopping! If you’ve been to any of the big box stores lately, we’re confident you have seen all the colorful storage things just screaming “take me to college!”.

Some college students are eager to start prepping for their new “home away from home”, while others aren’t too interested in putting in much extra time. Whichever you are, we aren’t judging. We’re just here to make sure everyone is prepared for the excitement!

With that in mind, here’s an in depth synopsis about what you should bring, what you could bring, and what you don’t bring to college come fall. Be independent and avoid having mom and dad come visit (with the essentials you forgot) less than a week after moving into your new digs.

What You Should Bring

Towel, Toiletries and Laundry Detergent

Whether your dorm is equipped with private bathrooms or community bathrooms, this is the number one must: multiple towels, toiletries and shower shoes. Most college students opt for a shower caddy, which is a handy way to corral all of their shower essentials when traveling to and from the shower. Be sure to choose a shower caddy that can drain any water from the shower, because you don’t want it to become moldy from sitting water.

Unfortunately, college life also comes with learning to do your own laundry, and usually, the laundry facilities aren’t anything to get excited about. Stock up on plenty of laundry detergent, softener and dryer sheets to keep your clothing looking its best (and your parents at bay) all semester long.

A Microwave and Mini Fridge with Snacks

Tried and true for a reason: make sure you pack a microwave with some snacks! Healthy or unhealthy, we’re definitely not judging, just reminding you that having your own stash of food is important. You don’t want to find yourself starving and the cafeteria is closed, nor do you want to pay cafeteria prices. You probably don’t want to buy food in bulk because you won’t have a ton of places to store it, but having some snacks stashed away to hold you over until the cafe opens is essential.

Speaking of snacks, most dorms also allow you to bring your own microwave and mini fridge. You can always cut down on the costs of these items by arranging with your roommate to each bring one of the two, that way you only have to invest in one, not both.

Plenty of Power Strips and Extension Cords

Laptop, printer, phone charger, microwave, mini fridge, blow dryer, iron, string lights, coffee maker…. all these things hog outlets. Dorms only have a few outlets though, and you’ll likely be sharing them with your roomie on top of it. What can we say, the struggle is real! Along with all of these everyday essentials, be sure to pack at least one power strip and possible extension cord so you never get caught with a dead cell phone or no coffee! That could be bad.

A Secure Box for Very Important Papers

Focusing on the basic must-have stuff makes it easy to forget about this essential. Make sure you bring your driver’s license, insurance card, social security number (or card as long as you can keep it safe), emergency contact and medical info, paperwork for refillable prescriptions, and any other documents you may need while you’re away. We hope you never have to use some of these, but having them with you just in case is necessary.

What You Could Bring

Carpet Squares or a Cool Rug

Some dorm rooms come with commercial grade carpets, but most of these carpets have seen high traffic for several years (at least!). Packing an additional rug or carpet squares to add to your dorm will not only make your room look a lot cuter, but it will make the whole space feel a lot more warm and cozy. Consider a cool rug because this tiny upgrade will make such a difference… and may even keep your room a bit warmer in the winter if it experiences any kind of drafts like our dorms rooms did.

A Bunch of Cleaning Supplies

No matter your lifestyle, living in these cramped quarters all day every day means that your dorm room is bound to get a little messy! And since mom or dad isn’t tagging along to clean up after you, it’s important to pack some cleaning supplies so you can keep the place clean… especially during flu season.

Here’s a list of some basic items you should consider buying a few or all of, especially if you have a closet space:

  • Vaccum
  • Disinfectant
  • Duster
  • Swiffer mop
  • Windex
  • Bleach wipes
  • Dish soap

A Printer

Before going out and splurging on a new printer or lugging your large printer into your dorm room, be sure you actually need this piece.

Although having a personal printer is a huge perk when it comes time to last second papers, most schools offer a free printing lab that can do the same job. Plus printers are large and take up some valuable space in your room. Not to mention they can be costly with ink refills and necessary repairs, so be sure it’s a definite must (or a fancy luxury) before you add it to your shopping list!

What You Don’t Bring

Twin Bed Sheets

Although it may appear as though you will have a twin bed in your dorm room, most dorms actually have XL twins instead of the traditional twin sized bed. So packing twin-sized bedding will be a big mistake since you’ll find out pretty quickly that these new sheets won’t fit on your new bed! We speak from experience. If you want to double check, try social media to get some inside intel.

An Office Chair

Almost every dorm these days provides their own chairs. Coupled with how much space these things take up in a car, you absolutely do not want to make the mistake of doubling up. And if you’re really attached to your chair at home? Considering how big dorm rooms are, now’s the perfect time to start learning to love other seats!

Your Pet

Do we even have to say this? Apparently, we do. We know, we know… it’s hard to leave home, and even harder to leave home when you’re leaving your beloved pet at home. But unfortunately, dorm rooms do not allow pets of any kind. So sadly you can’t sneak in your pooch, kitty or even turtle into the halls of your new home.

Any Luggage at All

We urge you to skip the bulky luggage. Unless you need it for frequent flights back home, luggage is an item that will take up so much valuable space in your tiny new digs. Instead, try packing everything you have in oversized duffle bags (or even trash bags) that can be broken down and stored under your bed or somewhere else less invasive. The duffle bag will still allow you to pack up and travel, yet won’t waste valuable space like large luggage would.

Communicate and Consolidate! Whatever Your Roommate Is Bringing

It’s important to touch base with your roommate before the move-in day so you can coordinate what you are both bringing so you don’t double up! Space is very limited and sometimes so are funds, so splitting these items up will not only ensure your room isn’t overflowing with doubles of everything, but will also help cut down on costs for both of you.

The countdown to college is officially on. Hopefully, now you are fully prepared for what you should bring, could bring, and should NEVER bring to move-in day!

Movehack: How to Perfectly Wrap an Office Chair in Under 3 Minutes

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When you move, protecting your furniture is a huge part of the deal. And for most people who move, we’ve noticed the hardest piece of furniture to truly protect is none other than the common chair.

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