12 easy steps to achieving a successful office fit-out

Office-fit-out: 12 tip to success

An office fit-out guide: 12 top tips

Whether you are considering relocating to a new office or refurbishing your current workspace you are essentially investing in the future of your business. 

Planning your office refurbishment can be a daunting prospect. To ensure you get the maximum return on your investment, these simple guidelines will help walk you through the process to successfully managing your office transformation and making it enjoyable and cost-effective.

1. Why do you need a new office?

A new office, whether a refurbishment or relocation, can be beneficial in many ways. 

Think about why you want to undertake an office fit-out. Do you really need to relocate or would refurbishing your existing space be a more cost-effective option? 

Have you recently  reorganised your business or expanded your workforce? Maybe you need to boost staff morale and productivity or perhaps you’re looking to revamp your company’s image.

What benefits can be gained from a new office? Perhaps Environmental and Eco  considerations might have an impact on your decision.

Tip: Think long term when considering an office fit-out; make sure that your workplace can adapt to any future changes in your current business values 5 years down the line.

2. Who should be involved in your office fit-out?

Making sure the fit-out project is carried out on time and on budget is paramount – involving the right people for the job will make sure things stay on track.

By choosing only one member of staff to lead your project team with the necessary attributes, will help to make your office fit-out run like clockwork. Make sure you also utilise the skills of your other key departments. By involving your staff in this way will create buy-in during your office move or refurbishment and help maintain staff morale.

Identify your stakeholders and also keep them informed and, above all, choose a reputable office design and refurbishment contractor to carry out the works.

Tip: Key project manager attributes should include: a skilled motivator, excellent knowledge of your business, highly organised and senior enough to make decisions.

3. How much should I budget?

An office fit-out is probably going to be one of the biggest outlays your business will make, so setting a realistic budget is crucial. But be aware of any surprising hidden costs and make sure you get quotes for everything before drawing up your budget.

Include costs for any temporary furniture storage during the fit-out if you decide to go down the refurbishment route and ensure you are fully insured. Check your Public Liability and Professional Indemnity and Contractors ‘All Risk’ insurance is valid and up to date.

Tip: Always make sure you budget at least an additional 20% contingency for unforeseen changes and any extras that might occur throughout the project.

4. Choosing the right office fit out partner

Working with an professional and experienced office interiors specialist will help you to maximise your office space and make the most of your budget. There are many office fitters out there, so how do you choose the right one for you?

There are 4 key areas you should consider before appointing someone to deliver your project including:

  • What services do I really need?
  • Do I need a turnkey service?
  • What knowledge and experience do they have – do they have case studiestestimonials they can show you or arrange a site visit to a projec tthey have completed?
  • Are they compatible with you and your business?

Tip: Read out blog on choosing a fit-out specialist»

5. When is the best time to carry out an office refurbishment?

If business as usual is foremost, your office design and refurbishment partner should be able to offer useful advice on when is the best time by establishing some key facts.

Consider how much work can be done either during office hours or in the evenings or weekends. 

Always plan for swing space: where will your staff be sitting whilst works are in progress? And always make sure staff know where they will be temporarily moving to well in advance – as this helps prepare them for disruption and helps maintain productivity.

Talk to your fit-out partner about what other measures they might need to put in place to minimise disruption.

Tip: Ask your office design partner for case studies of similar fit-out projects where weekend and evening work was carried out.

How important is office design?

Very important! A significant number of hours are spent within the workplace, so it’s fundamental that your new office presents a comfortable and welcoming environment for staff and guests.

6. Space planning

Good space planning is an essential part of the process. Whether you space is big or small, time spent on the layout will maximise your use of the space and can lead to significant gains in productivity.

Working closely with your office design team you will be able to develop layouts to get a real feel for how the office can work in the space. It also allows you to try out different ideas and approaches in a risk free way i.e no money will have been spent on furniture!

TIP: 2D plans are good but 3D plans are better! Get your design partner to give you a 3D representation or video fly-through of the new office layout as its much easier to visualise what it will be like and will better inform your decision making.

7. Open plan… noise, partitions, meeting space

Open office have issues that good design can overcomeOpen plan office space makes great use of the available space but does present some challenges including office noise and a lack of privacy. With effective office design you can overcome these problems with a clever layout  and a range of solutions including office screens, partitions, glass walls, meeting booths, meeting pods and acoustic panels.

TIP: Read our blog on 17 ways to cut office noise»

8. Furniture

The space planning  will also help you understand the best configuration of office furniture, whether it’s re-using existing furniture or buying new. Often a simple reconfiguration of desks can lead to big space savings and increase productivity.

Most importantly, ensure both ergonomics and health and safety isn’t overlooked when choosing office furniture.

TIP: Before buying new ask whether existing furniture can be reconfigured, reupholstered etc.

9. Look & feel

The layout is optimised, you have the right furniture configurations, now you need it be inspiring.

Consider everything from colour schemes and materials to finishes and fittings. 

TIP: It’s worth putting together some mood boards to discover the look and feel that’s right for your brand identity.

10. Be good to the environment

Make sure that energy efficiency is a key requirement of replacement lighting, heating or ventilation systems. Not only will it save you money it will also help your commitment to a better environment.

TIP: If you’re disposing of office furniture check out whether your office fit out partner is doing so responsibly, as much of it could be recycled for charity.

Making it happen…

11. Safety on-site

Under the CDM Regulations, you are responsible for Health & Safety during the fit out.

Your design contractor will be able to provide you with all the Health & Safety advice and assistance you need.

Things to consider:

  • Designs need to comply with CDM regulations.
  • All contractors should receive an induction before commencing work on site.
  • Weekly site meetings will help to clarify any problems.

TIP: Ask for regular progress reports and always agree a sign-off procedure for any changes that might be required.

12. Track your waste

Keeping track of managing environmental waste will allow you to meet the current legislation and remember to recycle where possible.

Tip: You are required by law to keep a record of all waste that leaves your site. Choose a fit-out contractor with excellent environmental credentials.

It’s time to party…

When you’ve moved in to your new office, the dust sheets are off and the final design has been unveiled it’s time to celebrate your success; throw a completion party and invite your staff and clients.

Then you can relax, go on holiday and put your feet up (or get back to the day job)!


Office interior experts…

Contact Source One on 08456 031 585Source One Consulting are one of the leading office design experts in East Anglia and eastern England. Working with clients, big and small, with a variety of budgets, Source One delivers creative and cost effective office fit-outs  and refurbishment projects.

To find out more about how we can help you call us on 08456 031 585 today.