3 Things To Consider Before Your Office Fit-Out
Fitting out a new office will be one of the biggest expenses your company has to pay for, so it’s important to get it right the first time. From the look and feel of the office to its available facilities, you should take into account what will increase staff productivity and improve your company’s brand image.
Planning and designing are a crucial part of any office fit-out project. You need to plan exactly what, where and how to place things to maximise your office space, as well as create a design that complements a variety of different corporate aspects.
Planning is a fundamental part of any office fit-out project. A well-planned office space makes for a stress-free environment that both your staff and clients will appreciate. To help make your new office fit-out enjoyable and successful, here are 14 things to consider before you take the plunge.
Ask Yourself The Big Questions
A new office fit-out, whether it be a refurbishment of an existing location or relocation to a new office, will benefit your business in many ways. From better staff performance to increased workflow, better lighting, and easier movement throughout the office space. Then there’s the more obvious benefits like presenting a more modern space to clients and customers.
Before beginning your new fit-out, you should know what you want. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do you need a new office?
- What kind of fit-out do you want?
- Where will your new office be?
The answers to these questions will help determine your budget, the length of time it takes to complete the fit-out, and provide guidance for functional and aesthetic choices.
Planning for the future
While your workplace needs to reflect the current climate of your business, it should also be able to adapt to future changes. Along with the ‘big picture’ questions above, write down the answers to these ‘future direction’ business plans:
- How is your business / industry going to change and grow over the next few years?
- Can your current space accommodate company expansion?
- How will technology trends impact the size and shape of your office?
- Is your space flexible enough to adapt to rapid change?
If your existing facilities are outdated and unsuitable, then you should start looking for a new space to house your office. On the other hand, if you have the space but are looking to upgrade your workplace environment to improve company image and enhance productivity, a refurbishment might be the answer.
Know Your Budget And Get A Comprehensive Quote
Hunting for quotes on office fit-outs is better when you already have a budget. While you might have to do some initial fact finding to determine the rough price range for a fit-out that reflects your ambitions, generally knowing how much you can spend will help avoid wasted time dealing with contractors that are outside your budget or unable to deliver on expectations.
Items to consider in your budget include:
- Costs associated with the move.
How much and how long you might have to store equipment and furnishings.
- The overall design of the fit-out.
- The costs of new furniture.
- IT and telecommunications infrastructure.
Quotes and responsibilities
Quotes are an information gathering exercise, both for your company and the contractors involved in your fit-out. A quote isn’t a promise to engage, so utilise them to make informed decisions. Use pro and con lists to compare different companies and consider the total picture. If you’re a good project manager, this should become second nature. If it’s outside your scope, you might want to consider engaging someone to manage your project, perhaps from within your own organisation.
If you engage a single interior design company to handle the fit-out, their quote should include:
- Design brief.
- Technical plans.
- Delivery of materials.
- Building assessment.
- Project management and construction.
Make sure the initial quote includes all possible costs so you can effectively budget for the fit-out and not have to worry about unexpected costs down the line.
If you’re managing the project in-house, you may have to engage independent contractors for each step of the process. You’ll also be responsible for supplying technical plans and building assessments to on-site contractors and take control of the process, insurance and scheduling from start to finish.
Be In Sync With Your Brand Identity
The design of your office should reflect the vision, mottos, ideas, values, culture and desired appearance of your company. It should also be an extension of your advertising and marketing collateral (and vice versa). This means that clients get the same impression walking into your office as they would when viewing your company’s website or marketing collateral.
It’s best to involve your marketing department in this process, they probably know your brand better than anyone. Kick the collaboration process off early and ensure you create an office that reflects your company’s values.