Think HBR


Fitting out an office is a very important task for any business. It needs to create an efficient and aesthetically pleasing result, within budgetary constraints and with as few problems as possible.
The following are some of the common mistakes businesses make when undertaking an office fitout.
1. Failing to plan a proper budget
An accurate budget must be put together so realistic decisions can be made and to prevent cost blowouts. It is usually best to begin with an initial estimate and fine tune to ensure a good design that keeps within budget.
2. Not using outside help
Unless the job is simple, it is invariable best to seek outside expertise to manage the job. This will produce a better result, a smoother process and reduce the likelihood of expensive mistakes. When choosing outside expertise ask about experience with similar jobs and what results they produced. If you know of someone that has used the contractor ask about their experience and if possible view their actual results.
3. Not consulting the landlord
Make sure the landlord is informed of what is happening and they are happy for it to proceed. Also take note of any restrictions in your lease, particularly restrictions on hours, access, noise etc.
4. Not consulting with employees
Employees should be involved in the process. They can make valuable contributions to the design and will be happier with the process if they are part of it.
5. Not including enough lighting, power or data
This sounds obvious, but is sometimes not properly considered. Better planning at the start will prevent the need for potentially expensive additional work at the end.
6. No balance between private and group areas
There needs to be both private work areas as well as collaborative areas for meetings and discussions. Also consider staff amenities such as a kitchen area, a water dispenser, coffee machine etc.
7. Not having a cohesive design throughout
Individual components should blend in to create a cohesive design throughout. Colours and material should be selected to reflect the business brand.
8. Not planning beyond the fitout
You may create the perfect fitout that truly suits the needs of your business but it is also wise to consider some design flexibility in case your needs change, particularly in terms of team numbers or their function mix. At least consider this as part of your planning to help streamline future operations.