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      How to give your office a makeover without breaking the budget

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      To help give some ideas on how you can give your office a makeover without breaking the budget, founder of and money saving expert at PIWoP, Charlie Stopford Sackville, shares his top tips.

      As the weather begins to cool down, employees are starting to spend more time inside the office rather than going out into the sunshine to enjoy their lunch. However, sitting in the same four walls for more than eight hours a day can be extremely tiring and de-motivating.

      It has been found that a well-designed office can increase productivity by about 20 per cent – it’s surprising what a lick of paint and some new desks can do. However, refurbishing an office can be an expensive task. Seating areas, computer screens and desks are not cheap and if you have an office with a high number of employees, the price soon racks up.

      LED lights
      A great way to save money in the long run is to invest in LED lightbulbs. Using far less energy compared to standard bulbs, these lights will help cut down the initial cost when refurbishing your office, as well as having a longer duration time. Portable lights rather than ceiling lights are also a great purchase should your office be a large space to light. Moving lamps around, especially at night can reduce the monthly bill costs too.

      Another alternative is to make the most of natural lighting too. If your office only has one window, look to move the meeting area closer to it. Combining the natural light with bright walls will help spread around the room, without costing you a penny.

      “Don’t be afraid to ask or discuss a discount with suppliers, especially if you’re purchasing large volumes.”

      Whiteboards versus projectors
      As modern technology advances, having a giant computer screen or projector in a meeting room is not out of the norm. However, while they’re a great way to show a presentation, the price of projectors can be through the roof and something not every business can afford to fork out for. Look to take things back to basics. Consider whether you can do the same job on giant whiteboards, which can be found for bargain prices while still doing the job.

      Bulk buy
      There are many items that you can’t avoid purchasing, such as desks and chairs. Supplying brand new chairs for an office that takes up the whole floor of a building isn’t going to be cheap. Don’t be afraid to ask or discuss a discount with suppliers, especially if you’re purchasing large volumes. Many stores will offer the opportunity to buy in bulk and give you a discount on the total price. If you’re planning on buying other furniture from the same company, this could also be a way to organise a potential partnership or deal.

      Refurbish rather than buy
      The majority of the time, as soon as we notice a chest of drawers is marked or scratched, we instantly think about replacing them. However, sometimes all it needs is a little TLC and a new coat of paint for it to look brand new again. Think about redecorating your furniture before throwing it out – you could save heaps!

      Shop at the right time
      End of season sales are your best friend when it comes to decorating and it’s your chance to grab some real bargains. If you’re concerned about the price of an item early on, you’ll be glad you waited those extra few months before buying. Using technology is also becoming an incredibly popular method when finding discounted items. Tools like PIWoP allow users to make lists of items they would like, but can’t quite afford yet. After setting the price they’re willing to pay, the tool will alert you when it drops to the desired amount. Having that extra bit of patience when looking to buy could pay off dramatically.

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      AUTHOR

      Jade Burke

      Jade Burke, Editor for PA Life

      All stories by: Jade Burke