CHOOSE THE RIGHT COLOURS
It’s not superstition; certain colours can improve the look and feel of an office. Consult with your interior designer and project manager to think of creative implementation with the following tones and hues:
- High saturation colours are more stimulating, while lower saturation creates a more soothing ambience.
- The colour blue will stimulate or soothe the mind, and is great for logical work like accountancy.
- Yellow stokes creativity, emotions, confidence and ego, and is better suited to daring marketing strategists, creative agencies or collaboration spaces where sparks fly.
- Green offers a sense of balance, but can also feel inert or stagnate if used incorrectly. Great for finalising contracts, signing documents or in breakout areas.
- Red shines in physical work, movement and the body. High saturation red markings are perfect for zoning areas when contractors are on-site, while low saturation reds will soothe and calm the body.
The right colour combinations provide multiple benefits and are ideal for achieving colour sensitivity without compromising on brand colours and design cues.
BUILD IN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPAND THE SPACE
There may come a time where you’ll want to hire more staff or buy more equipment or furniture, so make sure the office design lets you easily accommodate new staff members or new equipment, particularly if you want to avoid relocating. This includes:
- Exterior doorways, aisles and halls that can easily fit trolleys and equipment.
- Modular design for repurposing spaces.
- Consideration for mezzanine levels to expand workspace without floor space
It might not always be possible to just rent the floor above or open the office out, so planning for more collaborative spaces and scheduling remote working and agile environments can help you expand without relocating or overspending on floor space in the future.
USE NEW CLOUD TECHNOLOGIES
To put it simply, cloud technology is computing based on the internet. The increase in cloud-based technologies means that companies are able to get rid of outdated infrastructure, freeing offices of equipment and allowing more room for free space. Cloud computing also offers flexibility in that it enables some staff to work from home, which contributes to the overall agility of the workplace.
When designing your new office fit-out, consider the impact of moving IT infrastructure to cloud-based alternatives, and how that could affect the size or your server or communications room, as well as pipelines around and out of the office.
Cloud hosted infrastructure not only increases flexibility, but allows for better disaster recovery, document control and potential benefits for remote staff and mitigating cyberattacks.
Cloud technologies could be anything from hosting files off Google Drive, to using cloud based Event Management software like Eventbrite or Ungeboeck, to full MS Office solutions like Office 365. For complete hosting of web and databases, Amazon Web Hosting remains a popular choice.
Tip: Plug in for productivity and power
When considering electronics, you’ll also want to think about power points. Chances are your current office fit-out is making able use of unsightly and less than workplace compliant power boards to power the myriad of dual monitors, computers, charging stations and additional electronics. Make sure work areas cater to the electronic needs of today and the future.
Having your company on board with sustainability can provide a number of benefits, not only to the bottom line but also in terms of improving reputation both internally amongst staff and externally. There are a number of ways you can reduce your office’s carbon footprint:
The environmental benefits of going paperless are countless. Turning your office paperless helps to reduce energy usage in the paper industry, lessen fuel consumption in terms of paper distribution and courier services, as well as save thousands of trees! For example – 24 trees are cut to make one ton of non-recycled printing paper.
Along with this, paperless offices save money across infrastructure (printers) resources (paper and ink) and record keeping (filing cabinets).
Invest in solar technology
Meanwhile, your new office might offer opportunities for solar power, which can help power lights, heat water, and slash the electrical bill. Under optimal conditions, your company could even be selling energy back into the grid, a great way to not only reduce your carbon footprint but be rewarded for it as well.
Make use of existing sunlight
Going green also means designing your new office layout to take full advantage of sunlight by positioning workstations perpendicular to the east / west trajectory of the sun. This avoids glare while providing best access to sunlight, improving workplace morale and lessening the need for overhead and desk lighting. When you are choosing lighting, opt for LEDs over halogens, as they provide better efficiency over the long term.
Along with environmental sustainability, putting plants in the office can make your employees less stressed, more productive, increase performance and even aid memory retention.
IMPLEMENT EFFICIENT SYSTEM DESIGNS
Your new fit-out is about more than just great interior design and space saving modern features. Basic systems like lighting and temperature control can be modernised to be more efficient and ‘smart’, but they should also have manual failsafes in place in case of power loss or disaster recovery.
Consider your current and future office needs for the following and how they might be best designed to compliment your office fit-out.
- Windows and louvres: Can and should they be opened and closed manually or remotely?
- Air conditioners: Where are the best points for their installation? How are they controlled? What is the most efficient schedule?
- Lighting: What types of lighting will you use? From overhead luminaires to desk lamps and wall lights, office lighting throws up a lot of options and considerations.
- Electrical sockets: Do you have enough to meet the needs of your staff?
- Thermostats: Who has control, and from where?
- General HVACs: How is it ducted and installed? Who has control? What are some ways you can make it more efficient?
While you won’t have to be an expert on every aspect of your fit-out, you’ll want to consult closely with maintenance staff, designers and contractors to ensure you get the best features and implementation for your budget.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS RUNNING DURING THE FIT-OUT
When fitting out your office, you can leave key departments or work areas undisturbed at important times during business hours. Or you can choose to carry out your office fit-out after business hours. This is especially important when migrating your IT and telecoms systems to a new location in order to prevent disrupting communications. Your clients should still be able to contact you via phone or email during the design and construction phases of your new office fit-out. Here’s some things you can do to ensure your office fit-out goes as smoothly as possible:
- Redirect inbound calls to a mobile or office independant line during critical operations.
- Migrate business technology to the cloud so you team can remain connected.
- Overlap office migration to mitigate risk.
- Coordinate with team leaders and managers to work around large projects or important deadlines.
- Schedule workplace retreats, company picnics, training and team building to get folks out of the office but remain productive during the fit-out.
SAFEGUARD HEALTH AND SAFETY
From start to finish your new office fit-out should promote health and safety and remain compliant with OHS standards. This includes during the build and over the course of your tenancy. Remember:
- Only engage certified contractors.
- Ensure first aid kits and fire extinguishers are on site.
- Post proper signage to prevent unauthorised entry, notify people of works, offer detours etc.
- Know your OH&S standards.
- Consider running seminars for your staff about impacts and proper behaviours.
- Engage an OH&S inspector to certify the work area.
- Consult your insurance policy and update as necessary.
The site should be free of any potential health and safety hazards at all times. Work towards mitigating risk and prevent accidents, injuries or illnesses for which you could be liable.
COMPLY WITH THE LAW
You can never be too prepared when it comes to complying with rules and regulations in British Law. If you engage a design firm to handle your project, ensure they are have a reputation of safe and timely project execution.
You can find breakdowns of the relevant H&S standards at the following website: www.hse.gov.uk/
FITTING OUT YOUR NEW OFFICE WITH ACCOLADE
Preparing for an office move? Accolade will prompt you on all points listed in our checklist but being prepared doesn’t hurt and making decisions in advance means that the project won’t be held up.
We take the time to listen to your needs, provide a positive, stress free experience and can help with the planning and organisation of your office fit-out.
Contact us today to get a free quote or call us on 01785 228877 and one of our friendly professionals will speak with you shortly. With more than 20 years’ experience, you can rest assured that your fit-out will be handled with ease and speed.