When is a good time to start planning an office fit-out?

Technically, any time is a good time to start planning an office fit-out. However, it’s important that you are prepared for the cost, time and disruption that may be caused.

 

Good planning is vital for an office fit-out as it is often one of the biggest expenses for a business. Advanced planning can therefore help to eliminate unnecessary cost and also help the fit-out process run smoothly.

 

Whilst it is very difficult to say a specific time period that you should allow for when planning an office fit-out, as it very much depends on the size of the building, the specification, the type of fit-out etc.. A well-planned office fit-out will also help reduce stress, aid communication and minimize the risk of mistakes being made, as well as helping the project staying on track and reach completion date on time.

 

By considering the following aspects up front, it will help you identify when it is a good time to start planning your office fit-out to ensure it runs smoothly and that you get the best possible end result.

 

  • Establish the why

 

Your reason for going ahead with an office fit-out will be different from other businesses, and in defining why you want to have an office fit-out and what it is you want to gain from it, it will help to get an idea of the different features or solutions you'll be offered. For example, if you wanted to improve the culture or looking to enhance the health and wellbeing of your employees, there are certain methods that can be incorporated into the design to ensure that either of these goals can be met. Defining your end goals will help in planning for the office fit-out, help you realize your vision and ultimately help you make decisions easier along the way.

 

  • Creating a budget

 

Due diligence and research may be required if you don't have any background knowledge of the fit-out industry. Setting a budget is an important task and can help avoid wasting time looking at contractors or other consultants that are don't come into your price range. When creating your budget, think about the costs of new furniture and the specification you want - do you want bespoke joinery, brand signage, flexible working solutions or maybe suitable technology infrastructure? It is worth remembering that up to a third of the budget will be taken up with critical elements that aren’t seen like, HVAC, structured cabling, structural works etc. The specification you require will have quite a significant impact on your budget, but it's also important to remember that the investment of the office fit-out is in view of a long-term reward. Investing in some higher spec items could make the difference in terms of meeting your long-term goals.

 

Consider using an online cost calculator to create your initial budget and help you make a decision on whether your budget is likely to be correct.

 

  • Gather quotes

 

Gathering quotes will help give you a better understanding of what time scale your office fit-out will take and how far your budget is likely to stretch. Using a design and build company will generally shorten the project timeline as they take responsibility for the whole process. Quotes will help you make informed decisions and can help when comparing prices to your budget. Going for a traditional build method may make the planning process a lot longer, and more complicated. The process of finding and choosing different consultants such as contractors, builders and designers can be time-consuming, and you will need to make sure that you have covered each aspect of the fit-out.

 

  • Consider the brand


If you are aware of some major upcoming changes to your brand, you could consider it as a sign to start planning for an office fit-out. This way you can ensure that the design of your office adequately reflects your new branding, vision, and culture of your company. Even if you are not aware of any brand changes, it is recommended that your office should mirror what you are as a company. This way, your office space can work as a marketing tool, impressing potential talent and clients and making sure they know what your company is about.

  • Utilising the space

 

Defining the needs of your staff and what is needed in your new office will help ensure that the end result is a working solution and that will maximize return on investment. At Officeinsight our team go deeper at this important define stage to explore the key drivers, issues, challenges and desired outcomes.

 

Utilizing our Define tool our team are also able to give your staff a chance to feedback on how they will use the space, how often, ideas on how wellbeing and productivity could be improved, helping to evidence the ultimate needs of the space from those who use and move around the space. This then creates an informed, data led, design brief.

 

Depending on the depth of the employee survey and workshop this stage can take between 2-4 weeks, so it’s worth factoring this time in into any advanced planning.

 

 

To read more about the Define element in Officeinsight’s unique 3D office fit-out process, please visit: https://www.officeinsight.co.uk/about/our-process