Our guide to managing your office fit-out

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Our guide to managing your office fit-out

Whether you are starting from scratch in a brand new space or you’re refreshing your existing space to better suit your people’s working styles, there is a lot to think about when it comes to an office fit-out.

We’re here with some advice on how to manage your office fit-out.

How do you know when you need a new office fit-out?

It might be as simple as your business moving into a new space to meet the needs of your growing business. It might even be that a pre-fitted space now requires your brand’s personal touch. We recommend investing in the refurbishment of a space every 5 to 7 years. Always keep in mind that your goal should be to improve company culture, motivate your staff and provide them with a space they feel proud to work in. Another thing to take into account is the recent change in people’s attitudes toward their work-life balance. How are you going to attract new staff in a post-Covid era? Everybody is rethinking the purpose of the office and a new workplace is a great way to  encourage people to come back to the office.

Where do you start?

Whether or not you have experience managing an office fit-out project, you need to select the right professional team who can help and guide you through every step of the project. You can choose to do your fit-out project with a separate architect and contractor or you can use a turnkey D&B company. It’s all about finding the right people, both internal and external, to manage the project. Get a team of stakeholders and establish what objectives you want to accomplish.

We work together to deliver successful projects

How do you choose the right partner for your office fit-out project?

Find people that you want to work with. This is one of the most important projects your business will undertake. Fit-out projects can be challenging, so you want to find people that you will work well with. When choosing a contractor, ask to go and see some of their completed projects. You’ll get a good sense of a company’s approach to quality by doing this. It’s likely that they will take you to their flagship project so, if the quality isn’t up to scratch, it’s a good indicator of how your project could turn out. Be sure to do your research! There are lots of companies out there with different specialities and experience. Choose a company that you share a similar vision, approach and style with.

How do you know whether to take a traditional route or work with a Design and Build company?

A traditional fit-out process would generally involve appointing a partner project management company and a Quantity Surveyor who will help you choose an architect, other necessary professional support teams and a main fit-out contractor. ODGroup offer both of these options: traditional fit-out (ODInteriors) and Design & Build (ODCreate). The choice will depend on your desired level of involvement, budget and timeline expectations.

How do you know how much space you need?

Data, data, data! You can work with your architect or the ODCreate design team to gather information via a workplace consultancy exercise and an occupancy study specific to your business. Regulations stipulate a minimum of 11 cubic meters per person, based on a ceiling height of 2.4 meters (which equates to approx. 4.6 square meters per person), however based on our experience and current market trends we’d recommend a minimum of 8- 10 square meters with a more comfortable ceiling height of 2.7 meters. The role of the office is changing, so consider how your people want to work going forward and factor that into you decision.

How do you establish a budget and ensure that the project stays on it?

Establishing a budget is key in any project. Get some advice on how to best spend your budget early on in the journey. Your office fit-out is likely to be the biggest investment your company will make in terms of cost, time and impact on your team. When establishing your budget, you will need to work closely with your Quantity Surveyor or ODCreate commercial team to establish what your priorities are. Spend your money wisely! You need to have a holistic picture of both the ongoing property costs and the one-off fit-out budget when choosing your space. Consider the costs of technology, furniture, finishes etc.

Helping you manage your office fit out

Round up: What are the 5 most important things to consider when managing your office fit-out?

Once you’ve established your team and are ready to get going here are some important factors to consider:

  1. What are the objectives for your project? – It’s important to establish early on what you what to achieve from your project. Don’t leave important decisions for later. Make sure that all stakeholders are properly consulted and invested from the get-go. Establish if you want to achieve any sustainability credentials as this needs to be considered from the very start.
  2. How does your business want to use your space? – Data is your best friend here. Find out how people are using your existing space and what they’d like from a new work environment. Take into consideration that different work settings suit different activities and roles.
  3. Is your company changing size? – This may impact whether you move or stay in your existing office space. If you need to move, it will of course influence the amount of space you take. Understanding how your people will work is also important. Will you have designated desks or a flexible approach or a bit of both? What technology will be required to support you?
  4. Timelines – It’s important to establish a realistic timeline for your project. Don’t cut it too fine and ensure that there is enough time at the end of the project for snagging, cleaning, setting technology up and getting the space ready to go live.
  5. Budget – make sure you have a clear and realistic idea of what you’ll be spending. Work closely with your quantity surveyor throughout the project and keep in mind that last-minute changes are where you can occur additional, unbudgeted costs.

For more information and advise on managing your office fit out, get in touch

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