A new year and a new you? If you’ve already broken your resolutions, consumed your body weight in cheese and failed to make it to the gym, don’t fret – 2016 can be a new year, a new workplace.
January is a brilliant month to re-evaluate your office environment. In the cold light of day, when the Christmas decorations have been packed away and the gloomy winter light casts shadows, you can really see where your workplace needs an overhaul. If this is your first time in charge of a refurbishment budget or if you haven’t had an office fit out for a while, here’s MPL’s quick step-by-step guide to office refurbishment:-
Research office design and shop fitting companies
Ask fellow businesspeople in your industry for recommendations and read the trade press before creating a shortlist of companies. When you do make contact, be sure to ask for case studies and testimonials, and research their longevity in the office design and shop fitting sector.
Choose your refurbishment partner carefully
‘Concept to completion’ is the ideal offering as you’ll have peace of mind knowing every element of the project is coordinated and managed by one single company, including design, manufacture, trades, deliveries, installation and aftercare.
Be budget wise – it’s not unheard of for refurbishment projects to way exceed original forecasts and estimates. Look for a shop fitting partner who operates an ‘open book’ policy, where a fixed lump sum contract is offered as a final figure, with little or no variation when the bill arrives. Ask if a company will be transparent about bids from service providers and contractors so you can see the mark up.
Meet the shop fitters on site – after an initial telephone exchange, a good refurbishment company will want to get on site to perform a survey, take accurate measurements and discuss the project in detail with key stakeholders. After the meeting, you’ll have a better idea of what’s achievable within your budget, predicted timescales and the impact on your workplace environment.
Involve yourself in the interior design and space planning process – a good design team will create mood boards, 2D space plans and 3D layout designs during the planning process. To get the most from your refurbishment, have an open dialogue (and an open mind) during this phase. Feed your ideas to the Project Manager as early in the process as possible and respond to all information requests so not to cause delay.
The installation phase – once the final interior space plan and outdoor signage design has been agreed, a Project Manager – ideally a single point-of-contact – will oversee the on-site work. This entails coordinating deliveries, scheduling trades and service providers, and providing regular updates to the client.
Project sign off – any snagging and sign off should be overseen by a senior member of the refurbishment company, with the client present. Aftercare is an important part of any shop fit out too, so ensure your chosen refurbishment partner has a strong post-fit out support system.