An office fit-out is often a big project, as you must ensure the fit-out meets your business needs and helps your bottom line. This requires ample planning that lays out the entire process. With planning comes many steps you will need to take to achieve the best results.
When planning a fit-out for your commercial office space, there are several key considerations that will influence your strategy. The following are some of those considerations to keep in mind.
What to consider before undertaking an office fit-out
Before you begin planning a new office fit-out, you need to establish its specific purpose. You shouldn't simply make decisions on a whim with a fit-out, whether you're moving into a new office space or upgrading an existing space. Think about what you want to achieve with the new fit-out and how it can help your business.
The ideal office space should provide a consistently satisfactory environment for employees or clientele. The design should also reflect your brand. Make sure your office fit-out aligns with your company's unique visual elements along with its vision, values, and message.
In addition to purpose, you need to consider your budget. You'll want to avoid spending too much on an office fit-out to the point where it hinders rather than helps your business. Keep in mind that office fit-outs are more costly today, making it necessary to take the right approach to get the most from your budget.
When deciding on the right approach, one foundation for your budget could be your long-term plans. Are you relocating to a new office where you plan to stay for several years? A bigger budget may be worth it. Alternatively, you may be planning an office refurbishment as your business prepares for a shift in the future. In this case, you shouldn't set your budget so high that it keeps you stuck in the same location.
An office fit-out is a potentially huge undertaking with many steps and elements involved. This is why the timing for it needs to be impeccable. Even if the perfect timing isn't possible, you must take into account every aspect to successfully plan the fit-out.
Some of the main steps involved in a fit-out may include:
- Working with a commercial agent to find a new location
- Developing a floor plan for the designated office space
- Choosing a contractor to move forward with the fit-out
- The design process
- Furniture selection and ordering
- Installation of furniture
- Relocation to the new space
Each step can take several weeks to complete, which is why you should determine how to accommodate the fit-out based on your schedule. Engaging in a fit-out at the right time will minimise disruption and keep your operations smooth as you make the transition.
A fit-out will entail far more than configuring the interior and aesthetics of the office. You'll also need to take into account the various systems that will make the space truly functional. Everything from your electrical systems to the windows should feature efficient and reliable designs.
There are many elements of system design to consider. One might be your office temperature control systems, which should have well-designed and well-placed venting, air conditioning units, and other equipment. Other considerations here might include:
- What kind of lighting you use to illuminate the office space
- The locations and operation of windows
- How many electrical sockets you need for office operations
Restructuring space and staff needs during refurbishment
If your project is a workplace refurb, you will need to make sure your operations can continue in the meantime by restructuring the space. Your staff should be able to continue working efficiently during the refurbishment.
There are a couple of ways you can approach this. One is to try to fit out the office after hours when it will cause the least disruptions. The other is to gradually complete the fit-out around different areas of the office space to avoid interrupting critical operations. You may also want to facilitate more remote work if possible. Additionally, you'll need to maintain reliable communication channels for employees and clients during this time, which brings us to our next point.
All office spaces require technology that they can count on at all times, including IT and telecom systems that enable operations to run smoothly. During your fit-out, you may change your existing system. But this could negatively impact your tech systems if you're not careful. Your new office should also have a system that's just as reliable as your current system (if not more so).
You can keep your office's technology working optimally by strategically integrating IT and telecom solutions into your fit-out. Moving to the cloud can assist your business hugely during this process. This step is crucial for any fit-out, whether you're accommodating existing equipment or transitioning to new technology.
Take the right steps for a successful office fit-out
Regardless of your plans, accounting for each of these considerations will help keep the fit-out process efficient and minimally disruptive. The key is to formulate a strong plan and work with the right partners to help you successfully realise this plan.