Put a table and you’re in business.
Back then starting a business might be as easy as that. But times have changed and as a business owner, you now have to consider a lot of things aside from putting a desk.
For example, you have to think about the ergonomics and workflow. Other office fitout considerations also include the following:
- Office layout and furniture
- Lighting (artificial and natural lighting)
- Thermal comfort and indoor air quality
- Spaces for meetings, collaboration and individual work
- Electricity, data, phone, water and other utilities
- Energy efficiency, minimising environmental impact
- Provisions for future employees and expansion
The goal is to create a productive, safe, comfortable and aesthetically-pleasing workplace. After all, you and your staff will stay at the workplace for at least 8 hours each weekday. It has to be an amazing place where technical, managerial and creative works are being done.
Office fitouts are on the rise
Right now there might be over 2 million small businesses in Australia. In NSW alone, more than 300,000 new jobs are created between April 2015 and July 2018.
As a result, there’s a rising demand for new offices and commercial buildings to accommodate new and growing businesses plus their competitive employees. Despite occasional news about other countries taking away our work and industries, our local economy continues to grow and support many jobs and businesses. In fact, the government has been generously giving funding and other types of support to startups and several priority industries. Scholarships are also being generously given to many types of trades and technical fields to fill in the current and future demand for certain types of professionals.
Aside from the people, the infrastructure should also be prepared so work can be done. More offices are now being built to house the entrepreneurs and professionals. But there are no shortcuts. Each office fitout should result to a safe, comfortable, productive and aesthetically-pleasing workplace. The workplace should always be inspiring so people can do their best work and contribute to the business and local economy.
But how do you achieve that as a business owner or a contractor focusing on doing a cost-effective successful office fitout? There are many facets in achieving an ideal workplace. In general though, the focus will always revolve around costs, aesthetics and functionality.
The cost of an office fitout
Expect to spend at least $500 per square metre in this type of project. It can even go as high as $3,000 per square metre depending on your technical specifications and requirements. You also have to consider the following:
- Office furniture including chairs, tables and for storage
- Conference rooms, management suites and/or boardrooms
- Kitchens and break rooms
- Toilet facilities
- Individual and shared workstations
- Media suites
- Desks and counter units for your reception area
- Equality of access (disability)
- Electrical appliances
- Waste management
It’s an incomplete list but you get the idea. Each additional feature can significantly increase the total costs of the fitout. It’s especially the case when everything’s customised (e.g. fitted office furniture so you can maximise the space and usage).
The total investment could all be worth it because take note that you and your staff will be spending at least 8 hours each weekday at the office. This might last for several months and years to come unless you move into a bigger office. And yes, any investment that may improve productivity and wellbeing is worthwhile. The returns could go beyond financial because with an amazing office you’ll also be able to improve your overall health and focus.
What about aesthetics?
Our work environment affects our performance more than we realise. After all, what we see around us can prime us for professionalism and success.
For instance, a clean neighbourhood will often have lower crime rates than the unsanitary communities. A clean and orderly home primes us that everything’s in order. This helps us focus more on our academic or professional endeavours.
This applies similarly to our workplace. Notice that huge corporations (and even startups) invest heavily on their offices. That’s because they understand the huge effect of work environment on the performance of founders, managers and employees.
For instance, more and more offices now have incorporated wood elements in their designs. Whether it’s the fitted office furniture, feature ceiling or the wall panelling, the wood elements bring us closer to nature. It’s especially the case in highly urbanised areas in Sydney. Many office environments look and feel more artificial and sterile. But adding a touch of wood in the office brings back the feeling of being close to nature.
Wood also signals history, heritage and stability. These are important traits to be emphasised especially if you’re planning to be in the business for the long term (at least 10 years). It’s important to show your long-term commitment so business partners, investors, suppliers and potential clients will feel confident about you and your business. And the way your office looks like forms strong impressions about you and your business. It’s recommended to make it outstanding so your workplace can best reflect your professionalism, credibility and commitment to excellence.
The functionality of offices
It’s a workplace after all. It’s a place to work and get things done. That’s why the office should allow things to be completed promptly, safely and efficiently.
How can you accomplish that? One priority is to provide enough workspace for you and your staff. The place should not be cramped not just for comfort and ventilation, but also for ensuring a smooth workflow. This is especially important for highly creative and technical work such as programming, writing and graphic design. People working in these professions often require a lot of private space and time.
A good recommendation is to provide at least 10 square metres for each person. This is good enough for most purposes and will allow each person to work efficiently and productively. There should still be enough room even after the desks, chairs, drawers, filing cabinets and other necessary office furniture and equipment are placed.
Aside from sufficient space, the space itself should be maximised so you can get the most value out of it and improve the overall workflow in the place. For example, fitted office furniture are great for open office spaces and individual rooms. Every square metre of the office space will be put to good use because of the fitted office furniture. In addition, this allows for a high level of personalisation. The workplace will best reflect your personality and values because of customisation. Your clients, suppliers and investors will know and feel that the place is unique. This will set your workplace apart from competitors.
A successful office fitout
To stand out and make sure your workplace is safe, comfortable, productive and aesthetically pleasing, it requires various skill sets and specialisations. Take note that there are several office fitout considerations (costs, interior design, functionality, utilities, joinery, lighting, office furniture, ergonomics, safety, sustainability). It’s a worthwhile investment only if everything’s done right.
It’s a complex project that requires various trades and expertise. For instance, here at Signature Joinery & Design, we specialise in commercial joinery and perform the following:
- Freestanding or fitted office furniture designed for open office spaces or individual rooms
- All types of kitchen joinery from modern snack bars to traditional office canteens
- Meeting rooms that maximize your convenience and comfort
- Management suites, board tables, and all other joinery needs for your boardroom.
- Wall panelling and feature ceilings
- Advanced speaker cabinets, sound insulation systems, and seating facilities for the media suites
- Desks, coffee tables, seating arrangements, and counter units for your reception area
With our expertise, we can help create an inspiring workplace for you, your staff and business partners, suppliers, investors and clients. The results we deliver often have a huge impact on the workplace’s aesthetics and functionality.
We also design, build and install commercial shelves, custom cabinets, and bespoke storage facilities. We collaborate with architects and interior designers so you can have a personalised workplace suited for your requirements and vision.
Commercial joinery is just a single aspect of having a functional and personalised workplace. But it’s a crucial one because it can greatly influence your work performance. You can also be proud to ask your potential clients and investors to meet you at your beautiful office.
Contact us today and our joinery experts and craftsmen will study your requirements. We understand that each project is unique, which is why we tailor our approach and solutions to each project.