Planning an office fit-out
Whether you’re moving to new premises or updating your existing workplace, an office fit-out or refurbishment can be stressful and time consuming without careful planning.
CONSIDER YOUR NEEDS
Are you fitting out or refurbishing because you’ve run out of space? Are you down-sizing, merging with another office, or simply updating your look?
Whatever your reasons it’s important to think about your needs, both now and in the future – you don’t want to be going through the same process in 12 – 18 months because you under-estimated your needs this time.
Things to consider:
- How many people you need to accommodate
- Your growth projection
- The ratio of open plan to cellular office space needed
- Meeting space requirements
- Hot desking requirements
- Informal breakout spaces including café/restaurant spaces
- Collaborative working spaces
- Storage requirements
- Office furniture needs
- IT needs
- Your budget & timescales
THE PROJECT TEAM
There will be many elements involved in planning and managing an office fit-out. Whilst it’s advisable to appoint a “Go To” Project Manager to oversee the overall project, he or she will need the support of a team to ensure that all relevant aspects can be considered and addressed within agreed timelines.
The key personnel involved in an office fit-out project will obviously differ in each organisation, but the following should have some level of involvement:
- Project Manager
- Managing Director/CEO
- Finance Manager
- Facilities Manager
- HR Manager
Consider holding regular team briefings so that those colleagues not involved in the project team feel included. Don’t just tell them what’s happening – ask for their feedback, and where possible circulate an employee questionnaire so that their recommendations and / or concerns can be considered.
CHOOSING A FIT-OUT PARTNER
Appointing an experienced fit-out partner to oversee the fit-out of your new office will save you time and money and ensure that your stress levels are kept to a minimum! A reputable company offering a full design and build service will take care of all aspects of the project. This removes the need to manage multiple contractors and gives you one point of contact.
A good fit-out contractor should offer the following services:
- Building feasibility studies
- Advice on planning & building control
- Project management
- Workplace audits
- Space planning & design
- Detailed drawings and 3D walkthroughs
- Heating & air conditioning (including advice on energy efficient options)
- Data & IT cabling
- Flooring, finishes & décor
- Office furniture
- Move management services
- A reliable after sales service
Before commissioning a fit-out partner:
- Ask for and check their references
- Ask to visit one or two of their recent fit-out projects
- Make sure that their quotations include everything agreed
- Agree budgets and timescales
- Make sure you feel comfortable with their project management team