Your office design & build project questions answered
The office design and build world can be a complex beast to get your head around. Office fit-out questions you may have vary depending on your project, but to help you out, here are some of the most popular questions we get asked.
How do I know when it’s time for my business to move office?
There may be a host of reasons why you might want to move your business into a new office location.
For many COVID-19 and the emergence of hybrid working models have led to a desire for “smaller but better” space that flexes with their business and gives employees reasons to want to come back into the office.
On the other hand, maybe a period of growth means your workplace is cramped. Maybe your lease is ending, your future plans do not match the capability of your current floor plate, you want to attract and retain more or better talent or you want to boost staff morale and wellness.
However, although you may think you need to move, don’t underestimate what can be achieved with a refurbishment of your current space. Simply talking to an expert can help you to make a decision about whether to move or improve.
How much space do I need in my office?
Most people find it difficult to envision the square footage they need for their office, particularly if they are signing a pre-let on a development site. Many businesses don’t utilise their workspaces efficiently and therefore over-estimate the size of the premises that they require.
It’s critical to calculate how much space is needed by your organisation prior to shortlisting new premises. We will examine the requirements of your company and turn that into a spatial organisational structure to help determine the net internal area required for your goals – the optimum size for your workplace.
We will make recommendations based upon our data collection and propose ways to improve your space utilisation, which may mean you actually need less space than you thought, especially if you introduce flexible working and hot desking policies.
Do you just do office design?
Design is a substantial part of what we do, however this is not where our services start or finish. We work with clients from the initial stages of a project, to the handover. We often begin a project with a workplace strategy consultancy to define exactly what’s needed. We then move into the design phase, before our Project Manager and Site Manager move on-site and work with our trusted sub-contractors to deliver your project to the highest standard.
Subsequently, our dedicated Aftercare team will be assigned to you to deal with any changes or issues that come up after the project is handed over.
What’s the difference between a Cat A and Cat B fit-out?
A Category A fit-out, is usually carried out for landlords or developers, which involves fitting out a space to be a blank canvas, ready for the tenant to move in and install the finishes and design that will suit their workplace.
This will typically involve, raising the floors and building suspended ceilings, floor coverings, basic mechanical and electrical services, fire detection and smoke alarms and basic finishes.
Once the Category A fit-out is completed, then the Category B fit-out can commence, which brings the space to life. This is where all the design and bespoke elements will be installed to give the space a sense of identity and personality.
This phase is crucial in creating a functional, effective and inspirational working environment.
This will typically include works such as;
- Fully-fitted kitchens and breakout areas
- Designing and installing partitions for meeting rooms, offices and boardrooms
- Installing furniture
- Building bespoke joinery
- Installing data and IT infrastructure
- Re-routing air-conditioning
- Installing power points
- Graphic and branding details.
Can you help us to negotiate our office building lease?
Absolutely. We often work with clients from the very early stages of their relocation or refurbishment. We put together the design proposal based upon surveys from existing builds, which allows us to understand any unforeseen faults or costs. These can then be relayed back to the landlord to negotiate. We can also obtain contributions from the landlords towards the works, to improve rental agreements.
Can you help me find a new office space?
Yes, we have insightful knowledge of many local buildings and we have fantastic relationships with property agents. We liaise with them to ensure all of your requirements are met in the search for your new space.
Why can’t I just do my office design and build in house?
If you have the contacts, expertise, knowledge and resource then there’s no reason why you couldn’t. But the only companies who typically have all of those are design and build firms. Without these aspects you will end up with something that is sub-standard.
When is a good stage to engage with a workplace design and build company?
Always give yourself enough time to understand the opportunity, the options and the costs before you commit yourself. Often thinking about the space you occupy will reveal lots of questions about how you best leverage a workplace to maximise your biggest asset – your employees.
What makes you different to other office design and build specialists?
We have 29 years’ experience delivering what we call Perfection at Pace, working with ambitious organisations to harness the power of their culture and create workplaces in which their people can thrive. We like to let our work speak for itself.
I’m not really sure about where to start with my new office plans, how can you help?
The best way to start is to go back to basics and ask yourself what you want, and why. Once you’ve figured this out, we will help you make the decision about how much space you need, if you can better utilise it, or whether the best option would be to relocate.
We would then survey your building, create specification plans, and collaborate with you to realise your aspirations.