12 Common Mistakes In Office Fitouts – And How To Avoid Them
Moving to a new office or overhauling your current one is an exciting time for any business. It’s an opportunity to start afresh, better reflect your brand identity and give employees a working environment they can enjoy and be productive in. But it’s also a big undertaking that comes with a lot of potential pitfalls.
Here are 12 common mistakes businesses make during an office fitout – and how to avoid them.
1. Not Leaving Enough Time for Planning
Planning is key to any successful fit out, and making sure it’s completed on time and within budget will be dependent upon how well you plan. It’s important to take into account all of your needs and wants, whilst maintaining a realistic timeline for the project. Being realistic about your timeline means considering and allowing enough time for consultation with designers, contractors and other professionals, as well as approvals and final changes. Rushing through the process can lead to delays, mistakes and overtime hours increasing the cost of the fit out.
2. Not Defining the Purpose of the Space
Before you start thinking about colour schemes and furniture, it’s important to take a step back and think about what the purpose of the space is. What kind of culture do you want to foster? How do you want employees to feel when they’re in the office? What kind of work will be done there? Once you have answers to these questions, you can start making decisions about the design of the space that will help you achieve your desired outcomes.
3. Not Utilising Existing Space Properly
Moving to a new office is not always necessary. In many cases, businesses can save money and get exactly what they need by improving the utilisation of their existing space. This might involve adding partitions to create private offices or breakout areas, installing storage solutions or utilising areas such as hallways or landings.
4. Not Incorporating Flexibility into the Design
Flexibility is key in today’s workplace. With more businesses embracing remote working arrangements and employees staying with companies for shorter periods of time, it’s important that office designs can easily adapt to changing needs. This might mean opting for modular furniture that can be reconfigured as needed or designing open-plan spaces that can be divided up with partitions if necessary.
5. Trying to Do Too Much Yourself
An office fitout is a complex process with a lot of moving parts. There’s the interior & services designs, managing compliance, certification, trades, furniture selection and installation – to name just a few elements. Trying to take all of this on yourself is a recipe for disaster. Not only will you likely end up spending more money than necessary, but you’ll also end up with an inferior result that doesn’t meet your expectations. It’s important to partner with experienced professionals who can guide you through the process and ensure everything is done properly. Here at TACTIC we offer an end-to-end solution to handle everything for you, Contact us to find out more.
6. Overlooking Building Regulations
Building regulations exist for a reason – to keep people safe. The Australian construction industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world so it’s vital that your works comply with local building regulations to avoid undesired heartache. This includes ensuring load-bearing walls are not removed without proper supports being put in place, disability compliance, ensuring electrical work is carried out by qualified professionals and complying with fire safety regulations just to scratch the surface.
7. Neglecting IT & Data Considerations
In today’s day and age, almost every business relies heavily on technology so it’s important that your office design takes IT & data considerations into account from the outset. This might involve ensuring there’s dedicated space for server equipment, running data cable through ceilings and walls or specifying raised access floors to accommodate cable runs. Failure to do so could result in significant delays and added cost surprises further down the line.
8. Failing to Budget Adequately
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re planning a fitout, and before you know it your costs have ballooned out of control. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to create a realistic budget and stick to it – no matter how tempting that new piece of furniture is! Make sure you account for all the elements involved in the fitout, from furniture and fixtures to construction costs, IT & data cabling and decorative touches. Additionally, it’s important to factor in a contingency for unexpected costs generally 10% of your budget depending on how well you have planned – as these are almost inevitable when renovating an office space.
9. Mismanaging the Construction Process
Managing a construction project is no easy feat, and it’s important to get this aspect of the fitout right. Make sure you select qualified contractors who can handle all the work required, be clear on your expectations and timeline, and regularly review progress against your plans. Proper management of the construction process is essential for ensuring that everything runs smoothly and is completed on time and within budget.
10. Overlooking The Importance of Acoustics
Acoustics are often an afterthought in office fitouts – but they shouldn’t be. Poor acoustics can have a serious impact on employee productivity and well-being, so it’s important to give them due consideration from the very beginning.
There are a few different things you can do to improve acoustic comfort in your office, such as installing sound-absorbing materials or dividing large spaces into smaller, more intimate working areas.
11. Not Managing Stakeholder Expectations Properly
Office fitouts don’t happen in a vacuum – they involve multiple stakeholders with different expectations. It’s important to create a clear communication plan that involves everyone who has an interest in the project and ensures all expectations are properly managed. This means setting realistic goals, keeping stakeholders informed of progress, and proactively managing any issues or discrepancies that arise during the planning and construction process. Pitfalls can occur when multiple stakeholders have different ideas of what they want resulting in design changes pushing the time out or changing plans midway through construction which can be costly and create delays.
12. Not Thinking About Post-occupancy Evaluation
Finally, it’s important to think about what happens once the office fitout is complete. This could involve evaluating the performance of your new space and making any necessary adjustments or modifications, ensuring all stakeholders are happy with the end result and assessing how successful you have been in meeting your goals. Post-occupancy evaluation is an essential part of the fitout process that should not be overlooked as it can provide valuable insights for future projects.
Carrying out an office fitout is a big undertaking but following these simple tips will help ensure it goes smoothly and you end up with an end result that meets your expectations. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can make sure your business ends up with an office that fosters employee productivity, creativity and enjoyment.
TACTIC’s End-to-End Service
TACTIC is committed to connecting businesses and their people with their perfect space. We offer an end-to-end service so we can support our tenants throughout their whole office leasing journey.
We have pioneered our innovative Direct-To-Trade process, designed to deliver more accurate pricing, more time-efficient trade scheduling, and reduced variation potential.
This has led to us producing stunning market-leading spaces, we have delivered projects early, and have even returned money to clients due to the cost efficiencies.
Below is an example of the traditional method of a tenant using a leasing agent, and then finding a designer, fitout company, and managing all the third-party contractors vs our Direct-To-Trade approach.
Our Most Recent Project
With 22 active projects and collaborations with big-name brands such as REA Group, Elders, Stefan Hair and ASICS, the reception for our offering has been incredible (as of November 2022).
Below is our recently completed fitout for REA Group.
Your Next Step!
If you need help with finding office space, planning your office design, or fitting out your office our team at TACTIC can help. Contact us for a complimentary consultation here.