1. Employees first
Typically property costs are a much smaller percentage of the total overheads of a company compared with employee expenses, however, workplace design can make a major impact on the productivity, morale, and engagement of employees. Even a modest investment in something like an office fit-out can potentially make a big impact on your staff. To ensure it is a positive impact, first speak with your employees. Get opinions from your team members to better understand what their work needs are – how they want to be organised in their workspace to do the best job -in addition to their personal preferences for such things as sound, colour, ventilation, space, and light.
2. Break barriers down
One of the biggest trends now is collaborative working, so break away from the outdated tradition of having partitioned offices and rows of desks. Have activity-based zones created for one-on-one meetings, socialising, and brainstorming, in addition to individual workstations. When PwC moved to its flagship new More London office it eliminated permanent desks and introduced new technologies to promote more collaborative working opportunities. Each morning employees log into a central system to have free space allocated to them within zoned business areas. Greater collaboration is encouraged since staff members sit next to a different person every day, and valuable square footage is freed up to fit in more client and social spaces.
3. Call the professionals
Whenever companies are faced with having a tight or small budget, they often make the decision to do have their fit-out designed in-house and directly employ individual trades in an attempt to save money. It is a false economy almost every time. No matter what a company’s budget happens to be, the workplaces that are the most effective are those that are built by a specialist contractor such as Woodhams Group and designer who work together with you. A scheme will be specified and delivered to you that will be feasibly built within your budget, will minimise disruption to your workforce, and most importantly will provide the positive employee impact that you are looking for from your fit-out.
4. Future-proof your workplace
Have your new workplace designed to be as future-proof and flexible as you can to avoid having to spend more money later. Cloud and wireless technology can free space up that is allocated traditionally to server rooms and trunking. Work with your build and design team in order to protect against future technological changes, but also make sure that it will be easy to reconfigure your physical space as the needs of your business continue to change. For example, these days sliding walls can be fully sound insulated, smart and solid.
5. First impressions matter
Make sure to overhaul worn out reception areas and entrances by replacing soft furnishings, lighting, flooring, and doors. Entrance areas being branded using affordable vinyl wall transfers, along with images, phrases or keywords in the colours of your brand can provide a true sense of what your business is all about from the minute that customers and employees walk through your door.
6. Use a showstopper
When it comes to making small changes within your office, a little can go a long way, however using a showstopping element also can be effectively used on a limited budget. In recent years we have seen tremendous advances in technology for the workplace – wireless displays, intelligent surfaces, interactive walls, and so forth. In the meantime, consumer technology has proliferated and driven prices down on flat panel displays and many other items.
7. Go green
When you are working on getting your office transformed, make sure to include your outside spaces as well. Millennials or Gen Y and tablet and wireless technology advances have encouraged the need for workplaces to provide a flexible mixture of environments. Make sure that your fit-out takes advantage of underused door space in order to maximise your square footage as well as help with attracting young talent to your company.
8. Use a flexible approach
Whenever the build finally starts, being flexible about the time the work gets done in your office can help to significantly lower your fit-out costs. If you specify an “out of hours” schedule where work only can be done after business hours, might lengthen the project time and increase your costs. Hiring a specialist workplace fit-out contractor means you will have a professional who is well-versed in knowing how to work around employees while minimising disruptions.