Moving or fitting out a new office can prove to be one of the biggest expenses a company can make. So, it is important to get it right the first time. Design and planning are crucial parts of any such endeavor. Depending on the industry we find ourselves in, some aspects might deserve more of our attention while others deserve less. The common denominator for all such projects is productivity, comfort, and company or brand image. Any fit-out should be done in such a way that it optimally promotes these three aspects of a workplace. No pressure, right? It might appear as a very stressful endeavor to partake in. But it does not have to be so. Here are some key points to go over so we can make it as stress-free and non-disruptive as possible.
1. Knowing our budget
First of all, a clearly defined budget is what we always need to start with. From there we can interpret what our options are. Combine that with some basic research on what the rough price would be for the desired undertaking and we have a winning combination. There are multiple aspects that we need to consider when planning our financial portion of a fit-out. Costs of new furniture, IT and telecommunications infrastructure, storage costs, downtime losses, and the overall design are just some of them. Gathering quotes or information is something for our company and our contractors to get involved in. It is not a binding obligation to commit, they are informed decisions. Quotes should include but are not limited to design briefs, technical plans, logistics, assessments, and project management and construction. What is important is for the initial quotes to include all possible expenses. No hidden charges should appear at any point so we can effectively budget the project.
2. Planning with future in mind
We can mitigate hidden costs and expenses, but hiccups and problems with the project’s actualization is an ever-present issue. That said, it is not wise to plan a move or refurbishment for the busiest period in the working year. What are the best dates and time frames for our business and industry to partake in these projects? Having clear deadlines and expectations early will save us a lot of headaches, money, and missed opportunities. It does not mean to double our timeframe just in case, but rather to be a little more liberal with it. It does not have to be the tightest of fits when it comes to time and money, a bit of flexibility can go a long way. If all of this seems too complicated, there are companies that deal with such projects professionally, like Maxam commercial fit outs. Outsourcing these projects to professionals is often the most economical and hassle-free option.
3. Following modern trends
Before actually starting with our fit-out, we need to research all the latest office designs. An IT company does not benefit from a layout of a fabric processing facility, for instance. Open office plan is all the rage these days, but might not be the best option for everyone. Some of the trends involve the most basic workplace tools. Desks, for instance, come in more variations than ever before. Moving desks with wheels can, in the right circumstances, turn out to be very handy. They enable employees to move wherever they need to be along with their work. Standing and convertible desks are the latest craze as they promote productivity and health. Maximizing natural daylight has been proven time and time again to promote productivity, mood, health, and general wellbeing of the employees involved. That is why we are so many large windows for new business offices. Natural materials are having an increasingly important role in today’s world as companies are becoming more environment-conscious. Shared space promotes collaboration, communication, and inter-office engagement.
4. Minding the clients
If our business is client-focused, our office will have the main role in selling what our company is offering. That means first impressions count. We need to make sure to take advantage of the blank slate we have when planning a fit-out with the purpose of impressing our clients. Some of the things to keep in mind are: comfort and engaging reception area, decorations such as artwork or plants, aesthetically pleasant atriums or public thoroughfares that make people feel good when walking past our workplace. What are the types of clients that we are trying to attract? A carefully thought-out fit-out is a great way to achieve that.
Our office needs to reflect on our attitude and professionalism. It also needs to facilitate everyone’s needs, open communication, and productivity. Plenty of businesses are putting off office fit-outs for much longer than it is recommended. With these things in mind, whether we are moving or simply renovating, a fit-out can go smoothly and serve all of our needs.