Office fitouts can be a challenging project to undertake, but they are also a golden opportunity that any business can embrace. After all, fitouts offer a wealth of opportunities that can greatly benefit the business in the future, providing the chance to create an office that is designed exactly as your business needs it to be.
However, before you can enjoy your new office fitout and the multitude of benefits it offers to your business as a whole, there’s a lot to consider. Below, we’ve put together a guide to the questions you’ll need to ask yourself in order to plan the perfect office fitout for your company.
#1 – Complete a thorough evaluation of your existing space
If your business is moving into its own office for the first time, then proceed to the second consideration. However, if your business is already established in an office, you can use your experience of your existing fitout to influence the new project. To do this, it’s helpful to list the problems your office has caused for your business. For example:
- You have found you do not have enough space to provide each member of staff with their own desk
- You have found that your communal areas are lacking in seating options
- You have found employees are continually distracted when walking from one part of the office to another; for example, staff have to pass by the desks of other workers in order to visit the stationery cupboard, causing a distraction
By establishing the issues you have with your existing office, you can prioritise the resolution of these issues when developing your plans for your new fitout.
In addition, you should also note down the elements of your existing office space that you like and have found to be conducive to your business performing well. You can then seek to replicate these successful measures with your new fitout.
#2 – Consider trends
There are several trends to be aware of when considering your new office fitout:
- Hot-desking, which involves employees working at whichever desk is available rather than having a desk pre-assigned. If you wish to implement hot-desking, you will usually need to opt for a more open design
- ‘Active’ spaces are also becoming more common; areas that are used for non-work purposes, such as a ping-pong table or climbing wall
- Standing desks have also proven popular over recent years, as more and more research has indicated that workers remaining seated for long periods can be detrimental to their health
- Private areas have also become more common, especially for offices that are otherwise relatively open-plan in their design. A side room (or several side rooms) where employees can retreat when they need privacy to better focus on their work could prove to be beneficial.
- Designated ‘loud’ and ‘quiet’ areas. This idea is useful if you prefer to have an open-plan office rather than private spaces, but also wish to ensure workers can move to a quieter environment if required. The ‘loud’ space can function like any other office area, but in the ‘quiet’ space, noise – such as conversations or media presentations – are not used.
Of course, the trends as mentioned above might not be suitable for your specific business, but they are all worth considering!
#3 – The proper use of space
A conventional office setup is usually something along the lines of…
- One large, open-plan space, usually containing desks for the majority of the workforce
- Private offices for managers and executives
- Larger conference and meeting rooms for staff
- A space to entertain clients or customers
- A kitchen or informal seating area
If this kind of fitout suits your business, then go ahead – the conventional layout works for you, so no need to change it. However, it’s worth considering whether you actually use the spaces as intended. Many businesses, for example, find that their conference and meeting rooms have gradually dwindled from use thanks to technological improvements – it’s now possible to technically be in a meeting while sitting at your desk, after all. Try to plan an office fitout where every inch of space will actually be used on a near-constant basis in order to ensure you get the most from the space you have available.
In addition, it’s also worth thinking about desks and the surrounding space. More and more businesses are opting to allow employees to work from home, again thanks to the benefits of technology. If you have followed this practice, you may find that you can reduce the amount of space you have dedicated to desks, and instead opt for a larger seating area, kitchen, or active spaces instead.
#4 – Brand identity and values
A good office fitout is a fitout that creates a space that is truly representative of your company as a whole. If your business is highly professional and formal, then your fitout should reflect this, utilising subtle colour shades and potentially opting for a minimal design. On the other hand, if your business is more relaxed and carefree, you can be a little more chaotic, bright, and vibrant. Ideally, any visitor to your office should immediately get an idea of what your company is about by setting foot into your office.
In addition to the overall presentation of the space, your new office will greatly benefit from branding – for example, artwork of your company logo, or a colour scheme similar to the colours used on your company’s website or business cards.
#5 – Think about storage
Storage is a vital consideration for any office fitout, as it influences two key areas:
- Storage influences your employees’ ability to work effectively. If staff are constantly having to search for items related to the business, every task they attempt to complete will take twice as long as it should.
- Storage also influences the perception of any client or customer who visits your business. If your office enjoys plenty of storage space, the office will look more organised – surfaces and floors can be kept clear, and the entire presentation will be more professional and streamlined. However, for offices without storage, the overall presentation is the exact opposite: cluttered and haphazard, negatively impacting your client or customer’s perception as a result.
In terms of choosing storage for your office fitout, there’s really no such thing as going too far. Look to include as many storage opportunities as possible, thinking outside the box and examining ideas such as storage furniture, ceiling rack storage, and shelving units – your clients, and your employees, will be suitably impressed as a result of your efforts.
#6 – Choose the right colours
As we’ve mentioned above, it’s often best to opt for a colour scheme with colours that align with your brand. However, if you have a large space with many different rooms and areas, a single colour scheme reflective of your brand can become a little too uniform. As a result, you may want to consider introducing other colours in order to ensure each area of your office has its own distinct identity.
Furthermore, it’s worth considering the way that colours -influence the way that people feel. For example:
- Blue is thought to be an inherently calming colour, which could be suitable for use in a high-paced, stressful environment
- Yellow is considered to be a striking, inventive colour that can help stimulate thoughts and stimulate creativity
- Green and orange have both been linked with productivity and memory retention, which could be useful for businesses where an ability to focus on fine details is essential
- Red is usually considered a poor choice for office design as many believe it promotes negative feelings or aggression. However, red is a good choice any area of your office where you intend host clients you are pitching to or broker deals, due to its ability to stimulate feelings of urgency and spontaneity – which could, in turn, result in more sales.
In addition to the tone themselves, the shade of colour is important too. “Warm” shades – such as russet brown and deep orange – are usually considered to be friendlier and more approachable, while “cool” shades – such as mint green and light plum – create a professional, modern vibe.
By considering all of the above elements, you can be certain of achieving an office fitout that is capable of benefiting your business in a variety of different ways. Good luck!