How to plan for a fit-out project

For anyone, planning a fit-out is a significant task never mind when its for an office which is where the magic happens and the money is made for your business. In order for your fit-out to be successful and without hindrance, it must be planned for properly with risk mitigation thought through carefully and end goals considered.

 

The first question to ask is what is a fit-out? An office fit out is the process of designing and transforming an empty office space into an office which is fit for purpose. Companies will typically undertake a fit out project when they move to a new office or if business needs change and their current space no longer serves their current and future requirements. There are a number of benefits that can be reaped through completing a fit out project such as better talent acquisition and retention rates but also improved efficiency and well-being.

 

You may be wondering where the best place to start is. I assure you that the best way is not to start arranging contractors and ordering materials but for your team to outline the reasons why you have decided to fit-out an office - is it for expansion, to increase productivity, to improve your brand image or maybe to improve health and safety within your building? Doing this will help you to gain an idea of what particular features you may need in your office, for example if the aim is expansion then you will need to consider a space-optimising design.  Once this has been decided on, the next step would be to pick a project management team. These would represents the whole organisation so it's important to make sure that all the departments are included so that their interests can be heard. This team can then head up the decision-making process.

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Just as important as contacting an organisation is deciding on an appropriate budget. Most office refurbishment companies will provide a quotation complete with cost estimates for free at the start of the project. The total fit-out costs vary depending on many factors, including what’s required, the type of building, and how old it is. When budgeting, it’s important to account for hidden costs not included in your initial quote too. These hidden costs include things like fire plan assessments, planning permission fees and extra insurance costs. Its advised to add an extra 20% to the total cost of contingencies, this is so you have allowed for the fit-out to go over budget.

 

After deciding your budget, you could get in contact with an organisation that manages office fit-out and have a chat so that they can understand your business needs and advise you on the next steps. Whether your priorities are wellbeing, company culture, employee retention, productivity or all of the above, they will be able to transform your vision into a tangible space, delivering the greatest ROI. Many businesses would collect quotes and designs from a variety of fit-out businesses and choose which one they prefer the most, this could be because it has a better suited design, ethical background, budget and many other reasons.

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Once you have chosen your preferred fit-out company, you should be able to take a step back and allow them to do the work, however it may be appropriate for you to have regular meetings with them to check back on how the fit-out is proceeding and once finished, you should have the office you had dreamed of!