Have you decided that in order to meet your business goals, you need a new office space or an office renovation of your current space?
Do you want to create an inspiring environment that helps your people thrive?
Office fit outs greatly influence workplace culture, staff productivity, and business reputation — so it’s essential to get it right.
Let’s examine why office fitouts are so important and help you choose the right commercial fit out company for your upcoming project to make your space come alive.
Why is it important to choose the best commercial fit out company for your project?
The design and layout of an office space has an immense impact on the work performed there. Just as people are a product of their environment, businesses too are influenced by their functional space. Your workplace significantly impacts workflows and efficiencies, while also affecting less tangible things like staff wellbeing and workplace culture.
Your office space sets the tone for your business and acts as a launching pad for the value you create.
What is a workspace design partner?
Despite the importance of office spaces, fitouts are often managed by people with little-to-no experience in commercial interior design. Office managers are often given this critical task, as are personal or executive assistants and other decision makers within the office.
Great results are about more than choosing a service provider; they require a trusted partnership with a commercial fit out company with industry expertise. Working with a dedicated workspace design partner is essential to ensure the best possible results.
The top 10 considerations to ensure you choose the best office fitout company for your needs
If you’re ready to upgrade your working space with an industry partner, you’ve made a great decision.
Understanding the importance of external support is just the first step, however. Next, you must find the right company to bring your space to life. When making this difficult choice, the following considerations are a great place to start.
1. Listens to you and understands your company vision
Professional partnerships depend on open and honest communication. Whether you’re looking for external IT support, accounting, or office design, you need someone who listens to your needs and values your input. They might be the experts, but no one understands your business quite like you.
Every business has different needs for its office space, and design templates will only take you so far. The best commercial fit out companies work with you to create tailored solutions based on your specific needs, scenarios, and goals. Solutions should always align with your business culture and strategy, whether you want to overcome existing workflow challenges or build for the future.
2. Supports your end-to-end project
Designing an office space is a complex project that takes time to complete. Whether your workplace is located in a mid-tier suburban office or in an entire inner-city office building, expert input helps to ensure professional results. Outstanding workspace design companies understand this, providing expertise and advice from design conceptualisation right through to project completion.
Along with consistent support and comprehensive service delivery, ongoing consultation and flexibility help to ensure the best possible outcomes. If adjustments are necessary at any time, you need someone who will listen, give appropriate advice, and change direction if required.
3. Can articulate a defined approach and process
When designing a new office space, it’s essential to have a well-defined approach. Proven results over a long period of time are always the product of defined working methods. When your workspace design partner has a structured plan based on repeated steps, it provides you with clarity and confidence moving forward.
A defined approach offers a range of benefits, from the quality of the work itself to the scheduled timeline and operating budget. If your design partner is experienced and an expert in their field, they will provide you with a comprehensive plan and deliver against it. In addition, a defined end to end approach helps to eliminate bottlenecks and project delays, which helps to avoid cost overruns and supports business continuity.
4. Can show a compelling portfolio of experience and successes
While testimonials and reviews highlight trust and relationships, portfolios showcase project scope and specific services of past work. Most established companies will present a portfolio of projects on their website, including client information, site images, and detailed project information.
A portfolio of demonstrable experience can help you choose a trusted workspace design company. Instead of relying on marketing promises, you can access in-depth data about past projects and clients. Once again, it’s important to review projects similar to yours to get the most accurate overview of capabilities.
5. Has project management expertise
Office fitouts can be very complex, with good management the key to every successful project. There are many things to consider, from workflow considerations to technology integration, spatial constraints, and compliance demands. From the initial consultation to planning, implementation, and review, workspace design partners must have experienced and expert project managers.
Successful project management is about planning and meeting goals within defined parameters. Project information is described at the beginning of the development process, and a designated project manager coordinates teams and ensures deliverables are met at every stage in the project on time and within budget. The primary constraints for an interior design project are scope, time, and budget, with good management the key to delivering all three.
6. Focused on the best outcome for your project budget
Like most things in life, money plays a key role in every office fitout. A workplace design company needs to satisfy your demands while respecting the constraints of your timeline and budget. Whether you run a medium-sized office or a sizeable multi-floor facility, setting and sticking to a budget is an essential skill for any office fit out company.
In most situations, you will be offered a working quote at the end of the consultation phase. While minor adjustments may be required, and large changes are possible in exceptional circumstances, you want to work with people who can create and manage an accurate budget. It’s important to be honest about your financial expectations and ask questions early in the process to ensure a great outcome.
7. Focused on workplace safety standards and procedures
Like all workplaces, modern offices need to abide by certain health and safety standards. Professional office fit out companies understand this, with all work completed to meet the standards and all compliance obligations satisfied. From heritage orders to emergency exits and council approvals, there are lots of elements to consider.
In Australia, there are many standards to adhere to, including the Building Code of Australia, The National Construction Code, and multiple State Government policies, directives, and guidelines. In addition, the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 is also relevant, as is the Building Act 1975 and various anti-discrimination codes and standards related to accessibility.
8. Is creative and has innovative ideas
While design companies need to have a defined process based on known variables and repeated results, innovation is also vital. Interior design is a creative pursuit, especially when you’re dealing with offices and commercial workspaces. From the smart use of technology and equipment to integrated storage, flexible working zones, and collaborative spaces, innovation is central to modern office design. The way we work has changed significantly in recent times impacting the way workspaces are now designed.
Professional office fit out companies are aware of the latest design trends, including materials, technologies, working methods, and sustainable building practices. It’s important to balance proven design and building techniques with creativity and innovation. Just like businesses themselves, good design is all about people at the end of the day. Importantly, modern design initiatives are informed by new approaches to teamwork to inspire new levels of productivity and growth.
9. Offers environmentally sustainable commercial furniture solutions
Choosing a fit out company that is committed to sustainability and the environment means that you are consciously making decisions resulting in good practice for the climate and the world we live in. When a commercial fit out company’s furniture supply is approved by internationally recognised sustainability ratings, it means that your office environment is supporting sustainable manufacturing methods.
10. Takes a completely transparent approach
A workplace design company is much more than a service provider. They’re a trusted partner working by your side to improve your environment and transform the way you do business. Working with a specialist workplace design partner makes your life easier in so many ways. Instead of getting lost and confused trying to do everything yourself, you can take a step back and focus on what really matters — running your business.
Whether you want to redesign your current office space, move to a new office, or start a brand new business, we can assist you every step of the way. Please contact our friendly team to discuss your workspace design and office planning needs. Together, we can create the perfect space to inspire your people and allow your business to thrive.
What are important questions you can ask a prospective commercial fit out company?
Finding the right commercial fit out company for your fit out project can be daunting.
Here are some of the top questions you should ask the prospective fit out companies you are interviewing:
- Do you have a proven track record of demonstrable successes for businesses like ours?
- Are our project timeframes realistic?
- Can you provide references from previously completed projects?
- What are your aftercare services?
The right fit out company choice for your upcoming project will be able to answer all your questions to your satisfaction.
How do you find the best fit out company?
Finding the right office fit out company for your upcoming project can be particularly challenging if you don’t know where to start. Here are three simple steps to help you get started.
1. Search online
A great place to start your search is online where you can find many resources. The services included on each website will give you a better sense of what they offer or specialise in. Based on website presentation, experience and content, start creating a list of prospective commercial fit out companies you would like to interview. Simply contact them via their inquiry form or contact details on their website.
2. Use our top 10 considerations above as a checklist of criteria
The considerations we’ve compiled for you in this article make for a great checklist to guide your decision-making process.
3. Interview your top selections
Use the common questions we’ve included above for your conversations. While cost is always a leading factor, pay attention to the detail of the responses when you speak to potential fit out partners.
How each commercial fit out company responds to your questions will give you a better idea of whether they are the right for your business and what you can expect from them.
What are some of the pitfalls or adverse consequences of choosing a fit out company that may not be right for your business?
Here are a few pitfalls to avoid when making your final decision.
The final workspace doesn’t inspire productivity or wellbeing.
Your workspace needs to foster a greater sense of community, encourage more meaningful team communication and interactions, and create private spaces where people can attend to their personal business. If it doesn’t, there may be declines in productivity experienced and even employee turnover.
The workspace design isn’t customised to your needs.
The final workspace needs to be customised to the unique vision and needs of your business so that it is functional and productive, both now and into the future. If it isn’t, there may be adverse consequences to productivity and staff wellbeing.
The project budget and project timeline are not efficient.
Blowing out a project budget or delaying occupancy of your new space needs to be avoided. Make sure you determine a commercial fit out company that can stick to your project budget and timeline.
Ready to choose the best office fit out company to inspire your people and business to thrive?
Whether your fit out project is for an office refurbishment, an office relocation or a new office, as a leading interior design and fit out company we can assist you every step of the way.
Contact us today to discuss your workspace design and office space planning needs. We’re here to help you create, inspire and thrive!