What is an office fit-out?

‘Office fit-out’ is a descriptive term that describes the work required to make an interior space meet the needs of the company that will be occupying it or to give it a much-needed makeover! Often a company buys/rents a space from a developer or landlord that could be just a shell or has a very generic layout that is simply not the most suitable for the company’s needs or the company has been occupying the same premises for years and its needs have changed and so has interior design!

In both cases, help is at hand from a specialist fit-out company like Think Contracts, who after discussions with your designers and appointed agents about what is required, will work with highly experienced tradesmen and top professionals to create an office or work space that is attractive, practical and comfortable- what better way to please your staff and get your company noticed?

When new premises are described as ‘shells’, this usually means that whilst the exterior and even the landscaping can look complete, the interior of the building has been fitted with only the bare essentials. Often buildings like this have bare concrete floors and exposed ceilings – almost like getting a blank canvas. The reason for this is to make them appealing to a spectrum of different companies who can have the office or work space fitted out to their individual requirements.

The other common scenario is that the work premises have been adapted by the previous occupants to suit their needs – which are unlikely to be the same as yours and as your company moves in there are going to be some challenges! The solution to both problems is just a telephone call away….

Why is a fit out essential? 

Finding the ideal premises for your company can be tricky – if not impossible – and other points such as location, customer parking and access to arterial roads feature far higher on the ‘tick list’ of requirements when company owners are searching for suitable work premises. Although they are delighted with many fundamental aspects of the new work space, in reality, they know that it will not meet all of their needs and they will have to compromise – although a specialist fit-out company can easily provide the perfect solutions to these problems.

Business premises are often prepared for re-sale/ let by the owner/landlord who completes their own type of ‘fit-out’ in preparation to sell /rent the premises and in the trade this is called a ‘Category A fit-out’. All fixtures and fittings used by the previous occupant are usually removed to make the building look more appealing and workable to new companies. There is planning and environmental legislation as well as health & safety guidelines that must be followed in this case by the owner/landlord. The work usually includes the installation of electrical and mechanical services that meet current standards and can also include minimal decoration. Other basic fittings can be installed such as suspended ceilings and lighting and basic fire and security protection – but in reality, few companies would find the work premises ideal.

Do your work premises need a makeover?

Is your company well established in its current premises and doing well? Have you recently noticed that the interior of the building is looking tired and even dated? Office or the work space could be diminishing too, because of lack of storage space as your company has grown but your work space hasn’t. An office fit-out by a dynamic company is the ideal solution as their experts will be able to help pin-point how your company has evolved and how its current requirements have changed and in doing so, define the company’s branding.

What exactly do office fit-out companies do?

Office and other work space fit-outs are done by specialist companies whose experienced staff members sit down and discuss all aspects of the work that need re-evaluating. Because these companies specialise in this type of work for many different types of business, they can offer great solutions to a variety of problems and suggest clever ways to adapt the building’s existing layout and facilities to meet current and evolving needs.

Consider the work space layout.

The first question to address is whether the room layout/ configuration is truly workable. It is important to ensure that space is well utilised but also that the design of the work space is practical. If there is a reception area, for example, is it welcoming to customers? A reception area needs to be attractive, well-designed and comfortable, because this is the one area that customers will see and from it will draw a number of opinions about the company itself.

Comfort for your staff…

Office/ work space must be well designed, not only to make life easier for staff, but also it has been proven that working in a pleasant work environment has a positive impact on staff morale and productivity. Facilities for members of staff need to be carefully considered and these include adequate toilet facilities, a kitchen area and an area where they can relax and enjoy their breaks.

Having a comfortable work environment is of paramount importance to everyone and can impact either positively or negatively.  Whilst the premises may well have air-conditioning and lighting, it is essential that both are truly effective throughout the day. Good ventilation and efficient heating are also important considerations. As many hours are spent in the work environment, quality flooring, comfortable desks and chairs are also essential as well as window blinds and staff lockers for personal possessions.

Good storage is important.

One of the main concerns for staff is adequate storage facilities. Gone are the days of cluttered offices with ring binders falling off shelves, sleek wall units that are cavernous behind their doors are also a real necessity. If you have customers coming to collect orders, do you have a smart storage area where boxes can be adequately stored even in your busiest periods?

Branding essential…

Good branding for your company and its products are essential and what better place to start than with the work premises? Eye-catching name signs and logos on the front of the building leave no doubt in your customer’s mind that they have found the right building and if this colour scheme is continued throughout the interior this reinforces the message – both to customers and staff.

Choose the best fit-out company.

It may well seem daunting to consider an office fit-out as well as juggling all other aspects of your company and it is well worth ensuring that you are confident of your chosen fit-out company. Check out the company’s reputation and take a look at some of the projects that it has completed – it is important that you like the style of the company’s work. Before you contact the fit-out company, it is important to check that there is nothing in the small print stating that your business building is a listed building or that you need permission from the landlord (if the premises are rented) to make any alterations. It is good to think about your available budget for the project as there will be a substantial cost, but it will represent good value. Importantly, you will need to feel comfortable with the fit-out company specialists and feel that you can easily talk with them about any queries that arise.

Think Contracts

Think Contracts is a dynamic interior fit-out company that once the client’s requirements have been fully discussed and an action plan drawn up, leaves you to carry on with your  business whilst we collaborate with your designers, surveyors and team, to turn the plan into reality.

Think Contracts works to the highest standards and delivers all you have asked for….and more.

We’re Here To Help!

Why not transform your commercial space to make it really attractive and workable and in doing so, boost the level of productivity in your workplace? It really is possible with a single telephone call to Think Contracts – professional office fit-out and interior fit-out specialists.

Call us today! – 0121 543 4940


(Think contracts undertake refurbishment and fitout work on behalf of clients’ and their appointed agents, however we do not provide design & build services.)