If you are planning a commercial office fit out or renovation in the near future, there are a few things you should go over before you start.
Planning a renovation is definitely a matter of ‘Measure twice, cut once.’ This is not something that you want to have to do over if you don’t get it right the first time.
Office renovations are never anything to rush into. It is not only a matter of money; the effort and organisation that goes into planning an office move is something you really only want to execute once in a blue moon.
So, to help you get it right the first time, here are some things you should consider before commencing a commercial office fit out.
Talk to everybody
Talk to your staff at every level, not just the most relevant people such as management, marketing and IT.
Find out what your staff would request of their office space if they could ask for anything.
Find out what would help them to work better, as well as what they think clients would like to see.
Happy staff is the single greatest way you can maximise your productivity, so you would be very wide to use this opportunity to get their input and see what you can learn from them.
You will not be able to grant everybody’s wishes for the ideal office, but you might be very surprised by some of the insightful ideas you are given.
Build padding into your budget
This is true of every renovation budget ever imagined; it was too low. Without a doubt you need to keep 10%-15% of your budget for emergencies and blowouts and any unforeseen expenses that will crop up.
The total amount you have to work with needs to be what you think everything will cost, plus this extra padding. You will be very glad that you budgeted for this in the end.
If you are planning an office renovation, then you are obviously already thinking of the future. You are either upgrading your team to a new office or setting one up for the first time. Either way, you are imagining what your needs will be. Here’s some great advice; imagine bigger!
Before finalising your commercial office fit out you should be planning for the best-case scenario in your business’ near future and incorporating these plans into your fit out as well.
Consider the following questions:
- Do you have enough room for staff teams to grow?
- Do you have data capacity to support new staffing areas?
- Are there new trends or developments emerging in your industry that may affect how your people work?
- What kind of storage will you need?
- What kind of flexibility will your new staff need?
- How will they commute? What kind of transport support can you offer?
- Does your décor allow for your branding to develop and evolve as needed?
If there are ways you can improve your new office space in anticipation of the wants and needs of your future staff, you will be far ahead of them.
This kind of forward thinking will attract and keep more talented staff, as these are the types of areas in which smaller businesses can compete against bigger employers.
One wonderful way to plan well for the future is to build an office that will adapt to your needs, especially the ones you couldn’t predict. Creating a flexible office space will allow your business capabilities to grow as your needs grow.
This may include incorporating some of the following into your design:
- Instead of traditional offices or cubicles, consider creating team spaces, and adaptable spaces for different uses.
- Areas for swapping ideas, networking and brainstorming
- Areas for presentations or socialising
- Quiet areas for work that requires high concentration
- Desks that convert from sitting to standing
- Wireless capabilities, or hidden digital and power outlets
This is your very best opportunity to build the greenest office you possibly can. A green office is not only better for the environment, it is more attractive to your staff and gives your business a social conscience which looks better to customers and investors.
Create an eco-friendly office with the lowest carbon footprint you can manage. Arrange for recycling of resources, start with using reclaimed materials in your office fit out design. Implement solar power and work with nature instead of against her.
While you are doing this, you can create a space that allows your staff to connect with their natural environment, which is another great way to keep them happy. Use natural finishes like wood and stone, incorporate water features and living plants, and design a fit out that lets in plenty of natural light and air.
Consider Space Planning
Talk to an expert on office space planning to fully consider your layout options before you create them. Chances are, even if you have some fantastic ideas from all of your considerations above, there is still more you yet haven’t considered.
Space planning involves more than just economically using the space, it considers:
- what staff will need
- how to best use natural resources
- clever storage
- hidden data
- adaptable workspaces and communal areas
- and so much more.