Things To Consider When Planning An Office Fit-Out

  June 3, 2024      Offices

A new office fit-out for your business can be exciting, but it can also be a daunting process. The day to day of running the operational aspects of a business can be difficult enough, even with a dedicated operations team, adding an extra project doesn’t sound like a good idea.

Like everything to do with operations, planning and executing an office fit-out is all about planning and staying organised. That planning and organisation needs to start early, well before you start speaking with a builder to complete the fit-out project.

To that end, there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account when you start planning an office fit-out project. While it’s good to have a lot of this worked out before speaking to a builder, a good builder should also be able to help you and your business work a lot of this out too. So consider these things, but also be prepared for them to change.

Why Are You Completing This Fit-Out?

One of the most important office fit-out considerations is determining why the fit-out is happening in the first place. It may sound obvious for some, but defining the reason for a fit-out will help keep the project focused and on track. Some reasons for a new office fit-out include:

  • Needing more office space;
  • To better align the office with the company’s brand;
  • Updating and modernising an office;
  • To better appeal to employees;
  • To better appeal to clients.

It’s normal for an office fit-out to happen for a number of reasons, but there should be a central reason to the project. For example, if a business is expanding, it’s not uncommon to move to a larger space and also modernise the office at the same time. However, the central need is for more space; modernisation is secondary.

The Logistics Of An Office Fit-Out

Considering the logistics of a fit-out early is extremely important, and they depend on the scope of the fit-out and how it’s happening.

If you’re relocating your office, things beyond the fit-out also need to be planned and considered. This includes not only the fit-out of the new office, but moving furniture and equipment that will be needed in the new office. It also includes vacating the old premises and completing a make good. For a project like this, time frames can often be a lot more specific and constrained because you and your builder are working towards an exact date that the old facility needs to be vacated by.

If your business is simply doing a new fit-out in an existing office or an office refurbishment, it needs to be determined what will happen during the building process. If planned properly, portions of the office may still be useable during the fit-out/refurb process, however, the whole office may need to be temporarily vacated. A plan for employees and their work needs to be made for this.

Your Budget For The Office Fit-Out

The budget for an office fit-out can be difficult to determine. Without a lot of experience in the building industry, a business may not know what a reasonable range is for a fit-out. They may estimate too much or too little.

Because of this, when determining budget during the initial planning stages of a fit-out, it’s important to remain flexible.

To stay flexible, go back to the reasons of why the fit-out is being completed in the first place. From there, determine what is absolutely needed for the fit-out and what’s simply a nice to have. This way you can quickly make decisions about what to cut if a budget is beginning to get out of hand.

Work Out Your Time Frames Early

Just like a budget, it can be difficult to estimate how long a new office fit-out will take. So, just like a budget, stay flexible until the plan becomes more solid. This also goes to show that it’s important to start planning an office fit-out early. This way you can take everything into consideration and present your needs clearly to your office fit-out company for a quote and timeline. The worst case scenario is that you allow too much time and the project goes more smoothly. If, on the other hand, you start planning too late, there may not be enough time for the fit-out project to happen and it will be rushed.

Don’t Forget To Plan Utilities And Technologies

Utilities aren’t often missed for “standard” office fit-out projects. This is because utility needs for standard projects are for standard businesses that don’t have any special requirements. However, if your business requires specific lighting in a certain space, needs specific water requirements for an adjoining warehouse (for example), or something else unusual, it’s best to take these into account early.

Similarly, it’s easy take technology requirements for granted too. Businesses can often fall into the trap of “keep doing what’s working” for technology in meeting rooms and around the office. This means they’re not aware of, nor do they take advantage of, new technology in these spaces that may make these spaces better. And retrofitting these technologies can be difficult. Do your research early.

Take Your Plan And Ideas To A Builder

While we encourage you to get organised early, ultimately you’re working as a team with your builder. Having a plan and ideas in place is good, but ultimately a builder is there to help too. So feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your next project.