10 Tips for a stress-free fit-out
They say that moving is one of the most stressful things you can do, and the same can be said for furnishing your office.
But where to start?
Whether you're moving into a new building or just upgrading your existing premises, you want it to go with a minimum of fuss.
Here are our top 10 tips for a stress-free office.
1. PLAN AHEAD
Even the smoothest move will have problems, so set some realistic deadlines.
You may want to stay on your current premises and make better use of your space. If you are moving, give yourself plenty of time to organize the installation of telephone lines, broadband, and other technical requirements. What you don't want is to move in and then find that you have problems accessing the internet or phones.
Make sure you set the date for the installation of the telecommunications equipment as soon as possible.
2. FIND THE RIGHT PARTNER
You need a fit-out partner who is perfectly suited for the job. Meet with them to see if you feel comfortable with their style, visit their premises to see the quality of their work, and ask them to visit some of their previous jobs, look at their reputation in the industry, and verify that they have experience in your field. sector and can understand how your business works, test their knowledge of the latest legislation and regulations and ask them for health and safety advice. You will instinctively know if you can work with someone, but it never hurts to find out as much as you can about them.
Make sure you are 100% satisfied with the supplier you choose.
3. FIT-OUT CHAMPION
Nominate someone who can manage the project "in your company", oversee the design of the office and keep staff informed. Everyone needs to feel motivated and informed, and it's always easier when there is one person who can answer any questions and provide feedback on any concerns employees might have.
Make sure you assign a Fit-Out Champion.
4. IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS
Focus on detail and make a comprehensive list of everything from the smallest job to the largest. Failing to address something as insignificant as getting enough bins for the office could slow things down later and even cost the company money.
Make sure you don't lose sight of the little things.
5. SMALL PRINT
Get out the magnifying glass and check for any legal issues. Check your existing rental terms. Are you moving to a listed building? Is it in a conservation area? You may have to take that into account. Do you need the landlord's consent to make changes? If so, this will need to be obtained before work begins on site.
Make sure you check the terms of the lease and assess the condition of the building.
6. MONEY MONEY MONEY
You're in a Catch-22 when it comes to setting a budget. Until you know what you want, it's hard to know how much you need. This is likely to be a large investment that only comes around every 5-10 years, so it's important to be realistic with your budget. Don't forget that this is also your opportunity to create a culture in the business and communicate the brand through the design of the office equipment.
Make sure you get estimates for everything (even the kitchen sink)!
7. REMOVING POLLUTION
Moving an office or changing its layout is the perfect opportunity to take a close look at your storage needs. Do you need more? Does Jo use all the shelves in that massive storage unit in accounts? Are your employees making the most of their desk space? This is your chance to decide if you are making the best use of the space and give your office some clarity.
Make sure you take a serious look at your storage needs.
8. TO REUSE OR NOT TO USE
That's the question. Would you like new furniture or do you plan to use the modern office furniture you already have? If the tables and chairs are still in good condition, then maybe consider replacing the furniture in the front of the house just to make it look fresh and up to date. If you are going to reuse existing furniture, a detailed inventory of the relevant items will need to be drawn up so that the furniture can be rearranged into a new arrangement. You will need to factor the cost of this into your budget.
Make sure you have a clear idea of what is being reused or exchanged.
9. OUT OF THE OFFICE
During the preparatory work, there may be situations where staff will not be able to work from the office for health and safety reasons or because IT/telephone systems are down. What is the solution? Remote work either from a temporary office or perhaps from home? You need to look at all the options and have a plan to protect you in the event of a worse surprise.
Make sure you have a temporary worker plan.
10. CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK
It may seem obvious, but you should check that everything in your new premises is in working order, both before the contractor starts work and again at final occupancy after the modifications are complete. Do all windows open and close properly? Does the rear door close properly? Do the toilets flush properly? Are any of the ceiling tiles contaminated with water? Do you have all the keys? Does the alarm set as it should? Who has the alarm code? Do you have all the keys? Who has the alarm code and how is it activated/deactivated?
Making sure your systems are up and running in your new office can mean the difference between a good move and a bad one.
Make sure you check and recheck all your systems.
Now that all the hard work is over and you have a new office to show off, you should celebrate! Throw a party and invite clients to tour your new office. Inform as many people as possible by spreading the word on social media. Tweet, share, and enjoy!