What Does a Commercial Fit Out Involve?
If you are planning on opening a store, you should probably solicit the services of a commercial fit out company. There are a lot of shop fitters in Australia that can provide the tools, equipment and fixtures required for a high quality office environment, tailored to suit your style and your budget.
When you hire commercial shop fitters, they will work with you to find the perfect look for your shop. This will start with a Project Control Team coming out to see the property and to help with the design. This team will oversee the management of the office fitout, and will keep you informed as the project progresses.
While you could, in theory, fit out your office yourself, this is a risky proposition and it could easily go very wrong. Hiring an experienced team to work on your office fit out means that you can be confident that the project will be managed well.
Some of the best commercial fitting companies offer in-house manufacturing of a lot of the fittings for the office. This means that when you hire them to take care of your office they can measure up the space and start manufacturing standard workstations and other joinery immediately, while they work on the designs of other more mundane parts of the office.
This ensures that all of the other parts of your office are well taken care of, and you don’t have to worry about delays or the company running out of stock of certain items.
Since the project management is being handled by an experienced team, you can be confident that the project will be completed on time and within budget. The team gives you regular updates throughout the project, and you will have the opportunity to meet with the project managers on several occasions, so you will not have to worry about the designers delivering an office that is far away from your expectations.
Other Reasons to Hire Professional Fitters
Another reason to hire someone to do a commercial fit-out for you is so that you can benefit from their design expertise. There are several schools of thought when it comes to office design. Some people prefer the cubicle style offices, some favor separate rooms, and some prefer the idea of having an open-plan office in the way that Google and Facebook have been leaning towards. There are even some companies, such as Valve, that give employees mobile desks and a lot of autonomy as to where they position themselves and how they work throughout the day.
Each of these types of office is a valid choice, for different reasons, and if you are considering getting an office renovation or moving in to a new property and you want to make sure that your office is as well-designed as possible then you should have an expert sit down and talk you through your options.
There are several things to consider – for example, cubicle style offices are great for collaboration, but have lighting issues. Open-plan offices could have problems with glare and with noise pollution, and offices where each person has something similar to a discrete room to work in can have problems with natural light, ventilation and people feeling isolated.
In addition, you have to consider things like cabling and storage. Health and safety is an often-overlooked concern with cabling, and coping with clutter and paperwork is something that most offices struggle with.
You cannot afford to have paperwork lying around, because there is always the issue of data protection. If your customer’s personal details are left in plain view then you run the risk of a disgruntled employee taking that information and misusing it. There’s also the possibility of industrial espionage, and theft. As a part of your office design, you should make sure that your employees have secure filing areas to put important documents.
Marking Out Your Brand
No employee wants to work in a boring, bland office, and your visitors will not be impressed if they turn up and see row after row of cubicles, 1990s call-centre style. When you are arranging your commercial fit out, take a moment to try and get a design for your office that reflects your brand. Simple things like color-coordinating the cubicle walls and carpets, using unusually (but still ergonomically friendly) shaped desks and adding decorations that reflect your brand can all help – as can using stylish blinds to filter out the glare from the sun.
Try to ensure that your office has plenty of natural light, and that it is well ventilated. This will help to ensure that people do not develop headaches or other “sick building” symptoms. Again, the company doing your fit out will most likely be able to offer you tips about the bets way to lay out an office.
If you are on a tight budget, explain your priorities to your fitting company. They can advise you on where to focus during the initial stages of your office design. You may be able to do a multi-stage rollout, starting with some basics today, and then adding more to your office as time goes on. If you make smart buying decisions now you can add to your office as you invest your profits into improving it, and you won’t have to throw away the improvements that you invested in at the start.
Existing Office Fittings
If you are already in your office, or you have invested in an office that already has some hardware in it from previous occupants, then you may be able to cut costs by keeping some of that equipment. Talk to your fitting company and have them assess the existing desks, carpets, cubicles, dividers and other equipment to see whether they can keep it as a part of the design that they come up with. With luck, this will save you a lot of money, and a lot of time over the course of the project too.