An office fitout is a complex project, one that needs to be managed professionally. This is true of all projects of this nature, from small projects in which few changes to the existing layout are made, to major office renovation projects which transform the current office layout into something that’s unrecognisable from its previous form. In a good way, of course!
However, while there are a lot of complex issues involved in an office fitout project, especially one in a major city like London, it is possible to fit out an office on time, on budget and with little to no stress. If you’re to do that, you not only need to work with an experienced interior design team but also have a good understanding of the potential problems that might come your way.
The following fitout problems are some of the most common issues that businesses experience, but they’re far from the only ones, so bear that in mind when preparing to embark on an interior design project that will transform your workplace from the ordinary into the extraordinary. And with the word ‘preparing’ in mind, make sure you comprehensively plan your project, as the difficulties of a London based office refurb can be avoided to a great extent by working with the right interior design team and planning the entire project to a tee – success lies in the preparation.
Office Lease Limitations
If your business is renting an office space, as many businesses do, you need to check the lease thoroughly to ensure that it allows you to carry out the fitout work that you have in mind. As many business organisations have found out the hard way, some projects are unfeasible (these projects often seek to make significant changes to the space) due to the stipulations in the lease.
Having said that, if your office fitout project is relatively simple and straightforward, as most are, and you’re not planning anything drastic, you won’t experience any problems, though still be sure to thoroughly read through your lease before you get started. The interior design team you work with can advise you on the changes your lease allows you to make.
Insufficient Budget Planning
Office fitouts cost money, and depending on the extent of the changes that will be made to the existing layout and the scope of the project, they can run into the tens of thousands of pounds. While most projects aren’t going to set the clients back anywhere near as much, a sufficient budget needs to be allocated to the project and that means a budget needs to be planned. Bear the following points in mind when planning your office fitout budget:
- The cost of the fitout project will usually escalate
- You should allow an additional 10% for extra costs
- Keep all project stakeholders informed at all times
Budgeting is essential to any successful project and office fitouts are no exception. Even when you work with a top interior design team and source top suppliers you can still expect to see your costs escalate slightly because, chances are, you may want to make changes, for example, opting for a different style of chair, desks or workstations. It happens, so be prepared for extra costs and budget accordingly.
Inadequate Power Points
In a day and age of interconnectivity, it’s essential that everyone in the office can power their digital devices (computers, smartphones and tablets) and to achieve that, it’s vital that everyone has access to adequate power points. While there has been a shift away from bulky office equipment, like fax machines, photocopiers and the like, we’re more reliant on energy in the office than ever before, making it crucial that all businesses allow for adequate power points when having their new office space designed by an experienced interior design team.
- Power points should be located at the right height for convenient access
- Power points should include traditional access points as well as USB points
- Power packs can be used in the office but their use should be minimised
When discussing your needs and requirements with the interior design team, discuss your energy needs and the layout of power points around the office. Changes often need to be made to increase the number of power points that employees can access with which to power their devices.
Poor Workplace Lighting
A good interior design team can help you increase the amount of natural light in your workplace with an innovative layout, but you still may find that due to factors such as the positioning of the building, the position of neighbouring buildings, the floor on which the office is located and a wealth of other factors, that you need to increase the lighting in your workplace to provide staff members with sufficient light.
What’s more, it isn’t important to provide employees with sufficient light – ‘Goldilocks light’, the right amount of light – as the light provided must be the right kind of light. Fluorescent lights are a no-no, as these lights are well-known for their harsh properties that affect the eyes and often lead to headaches.
LED lights are a great choice in this regard, plus they also boast energy saving properties which makes them an even smarter choice in a day and age of escalating energy costs. And lastly, while on the subject of lighting, the placement of lights is very important, so be sure to consider this important issue and discuss it with the design team when designing the office layout and the placement of workstations.
As you can see from the points discussed above, there are many office fitout problems to be aware of and do your best to avoid, including office lease limitations, insufficient budget planning, inadequate power points and poor workplace lighting. These are far from the only problems that you need to avoid, as there can be many others. However, as has been stressed throughout this article, most potential problems can be avoided with proper planning and by working with a skilled interior design team.