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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 contactor 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
  • Partitioning
  • Lighting
  • 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

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