1. Do Think About Integrating Flexibility For Expansion
Think about your company's short and long term plans. If you are dealing with a long term lease and an anticipated expansion in the near future, you can integrating flexibility within the layout for expansion.
2. Do Make Sure The Design Reflects Your Brand
Your office space is an extension of your branding, website and company materials. When it comes to new customers, first impression of your office counts. A simple example would be to make sure your chosen colour palette matches your branding and is sending the right message to your customers.
3. Do Create An Accurate Budget
From early discussions with your design professional, work with them to create a realistic and accurate budget. The signed off budget should then be made available for the project manager to closely track during the duration of the project.
4. Do Plan with Your Project Manager
Have a thorough discussion with your project manager to ensure the priorities, budget, timeline and quality that needs to be met. Set out and communicate your expectations, plus agree on the channel to flag any concerns to you.
5. Do Think About Storage
Do not underestimate the need for storage. Consciously carve out storage space for you and your team to organise project information to office stationeries. With sufficient storage in place, the workspace can be kept neat and uncluttered.
6. Don't Ignore Your Team's Needs
Before meeting your design professional, have an internal discussion to find out the working environment your team wants. If you notice a few repeating elements, it could be an important element that is missing in the office that could potentially improve the office and boost your team's comfort.
7. Don't Assume All Design Professionals Are The Same
Whether you are working with an architect or an interior designer, do not assume all design professionals are the same. Each design professional's expertise, aesthetic, fee, management style etc can vary, so look for one whose portfolio is to your liking. The most important part is then to ensure they are qualified within their professions. If you are working with an architect, make sure they are registered under the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and have professional indemnity insurance in place that matches your project value. If you are working with an interior designer, there is no governing body but a good place to start is by looking through the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID); there is a BIID Registered Interior Designer status.
8. Don't Assume All Contractors Are The Same
As each contractor have their own teams, work with different sub-contractors and suppliers, make sure you carry out due diligence to ensure what you are looking to achieve is feasible with the hired contractor. I like to look at contractor's past projects, and whenever possible, a five minutes in-person experience of a project is worth more than a thousand photos.
9. Don't Forget The Environment
Take advantage of energy saving technology for the benefit of the environment as well as save money in the long run. Work with your design professional to make natural lighting a main source of lighting. Seek modern systems that have a high energy efficiency and rating, do not require fossil fuels, and do not produce carbon dioxide.
10. Don't Forget To Work Out Temporary Office Arrangements
Lastly, do not forget to manage the temporary office arrangements during the renovation, especially if you are renovating an existing office. Work out the time required for your usual IT requirements to be in place and find a least disruptive day for your move in upon completion. Anticipate a minimum of half-day downtime even with the most efficient teams.
We encourage discussions and would be happy to receive your questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yvonne Chua, Chartered Architect + Co-founder of Pitch Your Concepts | 29 July 2019
Pitch Your Concepts is an online platform for architects, interior designers, property owners, business owners and landowners. Simply post your project requirements, receive pitches, and work with the best design professional. Soft launching now.