Office fit out is the process of transforming an internal space into a place for people and businesses to work. This process isn’t one size fits all, varying levels of fit out can be provided depending on the unique requirements of every property, business and project.
We believe to best prepare for an office fit out, there are five fundamental questions to answer. Answer these questions and build a strong foundation to succeed. Preparation is key!
Let’s dive in…
Question 1: What do you need from a new office?
Start with the basics. It’s advisable to define your motives for an office fit out before you begin, that way a clear and actionable set of goals can be worked towards. A good workplace consultant will guide you in this process to find your key motivators .
Four common reasons for an office fit out:
- Size: Have you outgrown your existing space or need to scale back? The amount of space your business requires depends on a variety of factors from team size to the function of the office itself (operational requirements, collaboration areas, storage requirements etc.)
- Flexibility: Due to this new era of flexible working, businesses are adapting to provide more flexible workplace solutions. The BBC’s Future Forum Research found 72% of people surveyed want a hybrid remote-office model which means building agile workplaces is key.
- Boost morale and productivity: Change is a wonderful remedy for low morale. A new office fit out provides the opportunity for space planning, workplace strategy, research, updated furniture, and bespoke design. When done well, these components can effectively increase productivity.
- Brand and culture: Your office sells your business just as much as your people do. First impressions count for a lot. How do you want your team and clients to perceive your business? How can your office help to achieve this?
Question 2: What are you willing to take on?
The parameters of your fit out are decided by you. Ask yourself how much time and resource can you realistically commit?
Below are some options:
- Serviced office/coworking space: Minimal input required as the landlord will typically provide everything for the tenant.
- CAT A +: A modest CAT B, landlords include practical design features for a 'ready to work' space.
- CAT A to CAT B: Put your stamp on a new workplace. This is where you create the workplace of your dreams starting with the essentials already in place such as mechanical and electrical services, raised flooring, suspended ceilings etc.
- Full refurbishment: Usually heavier construction is required for a full refurbishment transforming a dilapidated space into somewhere your team and business can thrive.
Whatever option you choose, a good project manager will make the process as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Should you choose a larger-scale project, an experienced fit out partner will find the best deals with their supply chain and product knowledge.
Question 3: What is your Time frame?
Envision your ideal move in date, what time are you working with from now until then? Your fit out partner will collaborate with you to build a timeframe around your move in day. They will also advise how to use the preconstruction period effectively to minimise the time on site.
Once a timeframe is in place, do your best to stick to it, and give your business a level of accountability to ensure you hit key milestones.
Milestones to consider:
- Notice periods.
- Lease expiry date.
- How long your team are operational in the building.
- Dilapidation works to your current space.
- Overlap period between moving.
- Occupation & move in date.
- Rent free period (complete as much of the fit out as possible during a rent free period).
Question 4: What is your Budget?
Calculating and setting a budget upfront saves time, money, and hairlines. Transparency is the winning ingredient. A trusted fit out partner will work to deliver the best value for your project, and can scale depending on your requirements. A well thought out budget will consider the following:
- Size of space.
- Planning permission.
- Relocation costs.
- Building age and condition.
- Heating and ventilation.
- Lighting and flooring.
- General fixtures and finishes.
- Design and other professional fees.
Question 5: What do your people want?
This is an important one. Engage with your team, find out what they need from a workplace. What do they like or dislike about the existing office? How can a new office increase their productivity and support wellbeing?
Team input promotes positive associations with the move and gains automatic buy-in. When people feel included, they are more likely to embrace changes and become advocates for the cause.
If you are considering an office fit out, please get in touch with our team on 020 3488 3447