Office Fit Out Checklist

An office fit out is a total process that transforms an internal work space, making it suitable, workable and a really pleasant work environment. Importantly, a good fit out creates a well-designed space that suits your company’s needs perfectly. An office refit is necessary if you are moving into a brand new office that is ‘just the shell’, moving into a rented space that doesn’t meet your needs well or if your current office space is looking tired and dated, or no longer suits your needs.

It is a surprising fact that 30% of office space in the UK is either wasted or under used. A well designed office space that fits your work requirements will ensure that floor space is maximised and that staff members can work comfortably and easily. The knock on effect is that if your employees are happy, their sense of well-being is enhanced and so is their productivity. Office fit outs must be carefully planned, designed and executed because a ‘one size fits all’ approach is no good as the design needs to be carefully tailored to your company’s individual needs. A good design will be one that is well thought through, energy efficient, with clever ideas and built in flexibility for company growth.

A total fit out is not something to be undertaken lightly, as you will need minimal impact on working conditions throughout. A specialist fit out company is the ideal way to achieve the ultimate fit out for your work space. The project will be managed throughout by an experienced people-focused team who will manage all elements of the project from the design board to completion. They will bring onboard professionals to deal with the mechanical and electrical jobs, plus other specialists who will be responsible for the flooring, lighting, interior decoration and furnishing – as well as a final touches.

A total office fit out can be extensive as it covers such aspects as:-

  • Raising the floor level, fitting false ceilings and improving insulation.
  • Installing all facilities including double/triple glazing and good lighting for all staff
    members as well as new telephone lines and good broadband and IT.
  • Going greener to help cut energy bills. This will include LED lighting and the latest
    heating ventilation and air conditioning using HVAC technology.
  • Designing a reception area, where customers can be welcomed and a second area,
    where a meeting can be held without interruption.
  • Installing work stations and well planned communal areas for printing, customer orders.
  • Creating a suitable rest area for staff to relax and enjoy coffee and lunch breaks.
  • Ensuring that your company meets health and safety legislation.

First considerations

Should you move?

It is important to understand why your current office space is no longer serving you well. If other important factors such as location and parking facilities are good and your customers know exactly where to find you, a fit out may well be preferable, quicker and cheaper than moving new premises.

Choose your fit out company carefully

It is well worth making good research about local fit out companies to find out which ones really do excel at their work. A really good fit out company will save you time, money and stress. A really good company like Think Contracts has a group of top professionals who can guide and advise you through every stage. They will discuss all aspects with you, but it is they who will co-ordinate the work, so that you are able to continue ‘business as usual’.

Know your budget

It is essential to have a good idea about how much you can afford to spend. Whilst having a low budget can work with good planning, a really low budget might well not yield the finished results that you hoped for. Your chosen fit out company will be able to give you a price guide early on, but will not be able to give you an accurate estimate until its specialists have met you and discussed exactly what you have in mind.

Establish the time frame

At this stage, it good to decide whether you really need a total new fit out as the work could be both disruptive and costly. You will need to establish with the fit out company, what the expected time frame is for the key stages and to compare this with your business diary to ensure that it will avoid any particularly busy periods. You will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you have along the way as you will be meeting your fit out specialists regularly.

Get inspired!

You may well have visited several similar companies and liked their work space or maybe there were several reasons why you didn’t like it! It is a good idea to draw up a list of essential requirements and other ideas about what features you would like incorporated in the design. Inspiration can be found on a variety of websites. Fit out companies like Think Contracts, have had plenty of experience so will be able to suggest all sorts of clever and innovative ideas

Talk with staff members

Well before the planning stage, it is worth discussing your ideas with your staff. Do not be surprised if some of them resist them because many people are ‘creatures of habit’! You will be able to gently coax them round to your way of thinking, particularly if you ask their opinion about what they would like incorporated in the design – after all, staff well being is crucial to the success of the fit out.

Having decided that the ultimate office fit out is definitely for your company and that the designs provided by the fit out specialists really will be like a dream come true, there are a few other points for consideration that will ensure that the project runs smoothly….

An important point for renters…

If your company premises is rented, your rental agreement might well state that you must hand the premises back as you found them. Whilst the landlord will not be disappointed if you are making changes that will benefit his property, you do need to discuss them fully with him. If is essential that you also discuss reinstatement costs under the dilapidation clauses in your lease agreement with your fit out specialist. Luckily, much of the office layout can be defined by the cleverly use of furniture and temporary walls etc.

Plan your spring clean too!

If you are having a fit out, what better excuse is needed for a ‘spring clean’! Every company has boxes of rubbish that need to be dealt with! Do you have endless files going back to the year dot? Are your old fax machines stored under the stairs? This is definitely the ideal opportunity to de-clutter and deal with such things. If you feel you cannot part with some of the paperwork etc., ensure that plenty of sleek storage space has been factored in to the new work space!

Don’t forget your branding!

Your company fit out is a good opportunity to both maintain and enhance your branding. Whilst you are looking forward to starting afresh in your new office space, it is a shame to lose your company’s history and heritage. This can be preserved with photographs and selected memorabilia. Corporate branding can be developed and enhanced by the clever use of colour throughout and the development of your company logo or introduction of a new slogan on the wall in your new reception area. It is important to remember that the reception area is of key importance as it is where customers and potential customers get their first impressions. The ultimate office fit out will ensure that your company portrays the important message -’ we are here and ready for business’…..

Give us a call – 0121 543 4940

Think Contracts is a commercial refurbishment and interior fit-out specialist that can bring your designs to life!