Setting up an office is a big challenge and one that demands careful planning, with a layout that promotes productivity and inspires your employees. The typical office has around 15-20 people working within its perimeters, each with specific roles and responsibilities and the layout of the space needs to be such that people are close to colleagues they interact with as part of their job.
Here are some critical aspects of an office fitout to consider when you are planning an office relocation.
- Functionality – When thinking layout, functionality must be at the top of the list, above aesthetics. Find a company that carries out Canberra office fitouts and they have a team of office space designers to ensure that your new office is productive. The locations of workstations are critical; look at various employees and place them close to colleagues they work with, while office equipment should be centrally located. The design team would schedule a meeting with you and this should lead to an approved layout and with this information, a price can be quoted. There’s a lot to choose; flooring, wall covering, lighting, furniture and fittings and the design team would go through every detail.
- Closed/open plan – The perfect office begins with an open space, then you add full and half partitions to create spaces within a space; start your layout with a bare space and build around that, adding workstations and rest areas in the right locations. If the new office space is closed, you might need to remove some partition walls to give you more open space; this is something to discuss with the fitout designer. Half partition panels are interchangeable and you can create semi-private spaces for employees, while also having communal spaces that promote dialogue.
- Budget – In a perfect world, money would have no bearing on your office design, yet in our world, your budget determines the scope of the project. When you first approach a fitout contractor, you should have a firm budget in mind, as they will want to know their financial limitations. The contractor can’t quote until they have gathered all the information they need and a design is agreed; an all-inclusive quote should be just that, regardless of any issues, the bill should not exceed the price quoted and you should clarify this when receiving the quotation. Some contractors will happily recommend extras and add them to the bill, which ends up as a nasty surprise for the client; you need to clarify that the price is all-inclusive from the very outset. The quote should be detailed and easy to follow; most contractors are transparent with their pricing, which lets you see where your dollars are going.
- Lighting & screening – Most offices prefer vertical blinds for screening, as this allows you to fine-tune the lighting at any given time. Aside from general lighting, you will need spots for task lighting, or desktop lamps, depending on the nature of the work. Installing a few spotlight tracks allows you to relocate units and direct them at specific locations, while you might need a meeting room with blackout features for showing videos. LED lighting uses less energy and while the units are more expensive than candescent lighting, they do last longer. Click here to learn more about co-working spaces.
- Climate control – It is critical that you have good climate control and airflow plays a role in maintaining an ambient environment, a few extractor fans at one end with air intakes at the other end will create an airflow and that keeps the space fresh. Most offices use an HVAC system that can keep the office cool in the summer and warm in the winter and this should be energy efficient. Have the HVAC system serviced prior to occupation and you should have no temperature issues; it is important to provide a comfortable and hygienic place in which to work and reliable climate control is essential. Click here for the codes of practice for managing the workplace.
An established office fitout company would have connections for acquiring office furniture and IT hardware, which means you pay trade prices, and from carpet to ceiling, the contractor has you covered. You might be relocating from a smaller office, in which case you already have a lot of the furniture and hardware that you need and the contractor can order items to add to the list, such as extra office chairs and desks.
Once the new office is ready for occupation, your office removal partner can begin to deliver furniture and IT hardware, which the fitout team install in the background. A good office fitout company would take pride in their ability to work around the client, facilitating the relocation in every way. Once everything is complete, you are invited to tour the office and the team will remove their tools and equipment and you are good to go.