Guide to an office fit out – from decision to implementation

Should I move to a new office or improve my existing one?

Changing your office environment is no small undertaking and can understandably cause stress and disruption to the business. But when you consider the benefits it could bring to staff wellbeing, morale and productivity, as well as client perceptions, the investment is well worth it.

Many businesses go through the process of considering whether a refit of their current office space is the best option, or whether it would simply be easier or more cost-effective to relocate to another office.

Here are a few pointers to help you decide:

Relocating to a new office space

Redesign/fit out of current office space

Opportunity to upsize or downsize space as needed

Opportunities to refresh and optimise existing space through clever design and fit out

High initial costs, including migration fees and cost of dilapidations

Potentially lower costs, no migration fees

Upheaval of organising the move – viewing offices, deciding on location, budgeting etc – which can distract from day-to-day business

Can be disruptive but usually less downtime than a full move – if necessary staff can be moved to a temporary onsite office

Risk of losing staff if new location is unfeasible for them to commute to

Reconfiguring existing office can free up additional space that could be sub-let

Starting afresh can increase productivity, impress clients and attract new staff

A good redesign and fit out will make the existing space feel just as fresh, renew staff motivation and impress clients

Considering the potential investment and upheaval of coordinating a full office relocation, Dale is on hand to help you find alternative solutions wherever possible to minimise disruption and maximise the effectiveness of your business. This includes providing on-site accommodation for staff if necessary during the refit.

Before and after: Dale transformed the office space of Sheffield-based company Zoo Digital with this successful fit out project

How long will the fit out take?

This is one of the most common questions we’re asked, and we’ll be able to give you a timeframe tailored to your individual project so that you can prepare for it in good time. But to give you an idea, take a look at our typical fit out schedule.

Do I need to move staff off site during the fit out?

Not necessarily. While it can depend on the scale of the improvements being made, we aim to avoid it where possible by:

  • Carrying out as much work as possible off site
  • Working in zones on-site that allow part of the office to remain operational
  • Employing staff who understand the need to minimise disruption.

If we feel a smart way to keep your business running smoothly is to relocate staff temporarily, we will plan this with you in advance and arrange for temporary cabins to be set up on-site for your staff to work out of.

How do I manage my staff through the office fit out or move?

Here are 5 things you can do to support staff through the change brought by an office fit out or move:

5 tips for effective change management

  1. Be transparent

Employees need to be kept in the loop from the beginning about the plans. Make sure you ask for their opinions and input on what should be changed.

  1. Listen

Taking on board the feelings of your staff is crucial to making changes successfully, otherwise resentment can build. An online ‘suggestions box’ where staff can leave comments anonymously can be a good idea.

  1. Share the workload

Another way to involve staff is to delegate parts of the project to them, allowing them to contribute to the end goal and think creatively.

  1. Show enthusiasm

Positivity goes a long way and placing value on the plans, but also the team members helping to implement them, is key to a successful transition.

  1. Be adaptable

Staying open to the prospect of changing elements of the plan as you encounter obstacles is important, but keep employees engaged by remaining focused on your goals.

Interested in updating your office environment? Contact the Dale team on 0114 233 1115.

Further resources

See examples of our projects

Visit our advice centre

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