FAQs – What to consider when planning an office fit out

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Do I need an office fit out?

There are many factors that contribute to this decision, but you could start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Does the workplace support business growth?
  • Does the workplace define your brand?
  • Does the workplace help to retain existing staff and attract new talent?
  • Does the workplace support your sustainability credentials?
  • Is the workplace cost-efficient?

If the answer to two or more of these is ‘no’, then your business would probably benefit from a fit out in order to optimise the workplace.

How could an office fit out benefit my business?

There are many potential benefits to refreshing your office environment. These include:

Staff satisfaction

The happiness of the people who make up your company is of utmost importance, and good morale can have a positive impact on profits. Therefore the working environment should be made as comfortable as possible.

Brand recognition

First impressions really do count when it comes to the space that represents your brand. A carefully thought-out office refurbishment will show existing and prospective clients that your company cares about how it is perceived by others.

Space optimisation

Planning a fit out involves looking at the overall layout of your workplace and deciding where space is needed or could be better used. Making these decisions is no small task, but Dale is on hand to help you create the optimum space for comfort and productivity.

Safer environment

Investing in a fit out will ensure your workplace is as safe as possible for your employees and conducive to their health and wellbeing. Layout and furniture are an important part of this, and Dale can advise on the best options for you during the planning process.

Will I need to change my furniture?

If you’re planning to refurbish your workplace, it’s a sensible time to invest in new furniture too, particularly since a more contemporary office design is likely to incorporate furniture that’s both aesthetically streamlined and practical for the user. But that’s not to say there wouldn’t be some pieces you couldn’t keep: shelving or storage units, for example, or any vintage pieces that might fit with a retro-styled office.

How do I know which design is best for my office?

Dale’s team will help you create a design concept that’s completely bespoke to your business and workspace, but in general it’s good to consider incorporating the following:

As much natural light as possible

A no-brainer really, but natural light is far better for your eyes than artificial lighting and has been shown to increase alertness and productivity

Enough space

This is a practical and safety issue, as staff need to move about freely and be able to exit the office in the event of a fire

Enough storage

Not to be overlooked, this is an important element to incorporate in design plans

Quality furniture

Furniture should not be scrimped on, as this could compromise the comfort and safety of your employees; not to mention look cheap and poor quality to clients

Attractive reception area

Creating a true first impression for visitors to your business, the reception area is worth thought and investment to ensure it conveys your brand and values

Do I need planning permission for a fit out?

Rather than planning permission, you’re likely to need to obtain building regulations approval, so it’s advisable to check beforehand as part of the planning process. You can also see our building regulations advice for further information.

How long does a fit out take – would there be much downtime?

This will of course vary depending on factors such as the size of the office, the number of employees and the extent of refurbishment taking place. But we find that a typical fit out lasts around 8-12 weeks from start to finish. You can take a look at a typical schedule of work in our Guide to an office fit out – from decision to implementation.

How do I prepare for a fit out?

We help all of our customers to prepare ahead of any project we undertake, but here are a few pointers to follow:

  • Appoint an internal project team

This ensures staff are involved in the plans while delegating some aspects of the project. The team should include a strong project leader and members of key departments in the business.

  • Do your research

As part of your plans you should establish what works in the office and what doesn’t, what the long-term strategy for the business is and how your refurbished workplace should reflect that.

  • Ask questions

We like our clients to remain engaged throughout the entire fit out project and welcome any questions you may have so that you remain fully aware at every step in the process.

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