Category: Office Design
When embarking on an office design project, it is absolutely essential that you get the preparation phase right and do all of the necessary planning. Regardless of whether you are planning to refurbish your current office, or move into a new building, design projects can be complicated and it can be surprisingly easy to miss steps.
To help you out, we have compiled an essential pre-office design checklist, explaining the key stages you need to go through before the work is carried out and your office is transformed.
1. Assess How Space is Used
The first step is to survey your current workplace and pinpoint which aspects work and which need improvement. In particular, you should focus on the way space is used. Do some staff members have too much space, while others have too little? Do you have meeting rooms or storage areas which aren't used at all? Carrying out a utilisation study will help you to make better use of space and can save you money with your re-design.
2. Ask Staff For Their Opinions
Ultimately, your office needs to work for employees and a great way to make sure your new design does this is by going to the source. Survey your staff and ask them what they like about your current office, what they don't, whether it helps or hinders productivity and if they have any suggestions. Make sure all staff take part, as this will allow them to feel like they are part of the project, and will also help you to make informed decisions.
3. Identify Technology and Storage Needs
Next, it is important to identify exactly what your new office's storage and technology requirements are. Speak to your IT department and find out what your business needs in terms of computers, printers, wireless technology, data storage, audio/visual equipment and so on. Similarly, find out exactly how much space is required for storage, making sure you take into account fluctuations that may occur throughout the year.
4. Create a Robust Design Brief
After you and your staff members have settled on a list of needs and wants, you need to create a robust design brief, which outlines the planned project. Ideally, a design company should be able to read this brief and have a fairly clear idea of exactly what the project consists of. It should explain your vision, your goals, your brand values, the needs of your business and should also outline any themes and furniture style choices.
5. Secure Finance
Once you have an idea of what your needs are and how you plan to meet them, it is time to speak to your finance department and set a budget. You may also need to speak to a bank in order to secure finance. During this stage, you may find that your original design brief is too ambitious and you do not have the finances to pull it off. In this case, you will need to revisit the previous stage, with your new budget in mind.
6. Build an Effective Team
In order to complete the project, you will need a team of internal staff, who can help you. Most importantly, you will need to appoint a team leader and ensure at least some senior members of staff are in the team, so that important decisions can be made swiftly. Your team should be made up of people who are able to work together constructively, so avoid staff who are likely to clash with others.
7. Choose the Right Professional Designers
Finally, it is time to find the right professional office designers to help bring your project to life. It is important to speak to multiple companies, so that you can get a comparison. The designers you settle on should:
- Specialise in designing offices;
- Have a portfolio of previous successful projects;
- Be financially stable;
- Have the appropriate accreditation.
Although the design firm you choose needs to be able to work within your budget, you should make the decision based on more than just the cost. Speak to different companies and see which one you build a rapport with, which one takes most interest in your project and which one has the most relevant experience.
Posted 26th October, 2016< Back to articles