By Penketh Group Insights Team
23rd November 2018
While an office fit out is an extremely exciting and transformative process, it may also be one of the biggest investments of time and money that you inject into your business. For this reason, it’s important to stay grounded and do your research to ensure a seamless process.
With many years’ worth of experience in the industry, we’ve compiled a list of four core essentials that you need to fulfill for a successful office fit out:
- Understanding the different types of fit out
- Clearly defining your aims and objectives for the space
- Outlining a realistic budget and then adhering to it
- Finding the perfect fit out partner to manage the process
Now let’s look at these in more detail…
1. Understand the different types of fit out
Before you do anything else, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you’re clear about the differences between the different types of office fit out available.
Perhaps you’ve got a completely empty space that needs starting from scratch, or maybe you’re just looking for some interior construction work to reconfigure the layout of the space. You might even just be looking to install some new furniture or brand manifestation…
However, it is you see your space transforming, it pays to be aware of which category this falls under so you can enlist the right services. To help you do this, here’s a short summary of the various fit out categories:
Shell & Core – Transforming the shell of the building to create a functional blank canvas. This stage typically includes things like cladding, staircases, lift shafts and internal structure.
Category A – Cat A offers a standard level of finish whereby bespoke requirements can start to be applied such as suspended ceilings, partition walls and any mechanical or electrical installation work.
Category B – This is where the aesthetic and personalisation of space really come together with elements such as fabrics, decoration, branding, specialist lighting and flooring. This stage also includes the installation of different workspaces, kitchens and technology.
Click for more in-depth information on Shell & Core, Cat A and Cat B fit outs.
2. Be clear about your aims and objectives
Knowing the extent of fit out work you require is made a whole lot easier when you have consolidated a set of aims and objectives that you want to get out of your new workspace.
When a client comes to us wanting to transform their workspace, we have numerous meetings and sometimes even carry out workshops and surveys in order to establish these goals. Doing this enables us to evaluate the current workspace and then highlight any workplace issues that can be combated through design and product.
We get to know the business, its people and how that all ticks so we can the merge the client’s requirements with our own experience and industry knowledge. However, if you choose to set out your objectives without the help of a professional, here are some quick questions to get your creative juices flowing:
- Does your workspace provide enough privacy for individual focus work?
- Are there enough collaborative work areas?
- Would acoustic office solutions improve communication lines and concentration?
- Are your brand values and messages being communicated effectively?
- Do your staff have access to the technological resources they need to share ideas and information efficiently?
- Is your workspace designed with physical health and mental wellbeing in mind?
3. Set a strict, realistic budget and then stick to it
Another key to success here comes down to being honest about the budget you can afford to throw at your fit out and then being realistic about wriggle room around this figure, if any at all.
It goes without saying that the cost of an office fit out depends heavily on the size of the space, the requirements involved and the overall specification. For this reason, there isn’t a prescriptive price list which you can pitch against but when it comes to paying for this kind of project, here is our advice:
- Don’t commit to embarking on a fit out unless you can really afford to – this is an investment and you need to have the financial means by which to support your aims and objectives.
- Be honest with any partners you work with from the start to avoid disappointment further down the line. You don’t want a company to specify furniture out of your price range, for example and then have to waste time rectifying this later on.
- Don’t forget to factor in down payments and deposits that may need processing before the official project start date.
- Explore your payment options and discuss this with any partners you choose to work with.
For more info, head over to the Knowledge Centre where we address the FAQ: how much does an office fit out cost?
4. Pick the perfect commercial fit out partner
We may very well be biased but the benefits of partnering with a fit out specialist really are endless. Not only will they be equipped with the skills and experience that you will probably be lacking in and offer insight into industry trends, they will also be able to ensure that your business remains compliant throughout the entire process.
Another fantastic advantage that comes with enlisting the skills of a professional is that they will be able to act as a single point of contact. This means you won’t have the deal with time-consuming hassle that comes with managing and liaising with a network of sub-contractors. Operating in this way will able mean you can guarantee minimal disruption to the continued running of your business while the fit out project is underway.