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A brand new office fit-out has the potential to transform and improve any business, contributing to elements such as employee satisfaction, productivity, safety and efficiency.

The design and fit out process of a new office comes with a number of challenges, and if something was to go wrong, the business would be greatly affected. Not only do these mistakes set them back in terms of productivity, but it could also cost a lot more than once expected. That’s why, like with any project, careful planning and research is crucial.

Here are 8 common mistakes that businesses make when designing and planning their new office fit out. 

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Neglecting the planning stage

No matter how big or small your office is, planning is crucial to ensure that everything runs smoothly. For smaller projects especially, it is easy to abandon this part and only cover the basics of the fit out, but there will be so much more to plan when you really get into it. Typically, businesses will invest in a fit out company that will cover a big part of the planning process but will still require your ideas and preferences along the way. 

Another important thing to have in place is a backup plan. Things that you can fall back on if things go wrong, there are delays or your original plan just isn’t going to work out.

Limited collaborative working spaces

Depending on the nature of a business, having a collaborative workspace is not only a huge trend at the moment but is also a big contributor to things such as productivity, office morale and improved communication. Make sure when planning your space that you’re thinking of ways in which your employees can work together and collaborative working can take place. Even if you’re not wanting an open plan office, considering features such as pods, meeting rooms and break out rooms is a necessity for modern day business. 

Confusing layouts

During the design process, it’s easy to get carried away with all the fun parts, from choosing your office colours to investing in a funky entertainment zone. But one of the most important parts of any office fit out is the layout and space planning process. Will employees and visitors be able to navigate their way through the space? Is it accessible? Does the layout provide enough space for furniture and flexible movement? Having a confusing layout will be a huge negative for visitors or clients so should always be prioritised before walls and partitions are put in place.

Have a ready through our space planning guide or visit our service page for more.

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Choosing DIY

With so many fit-out and refurbishment companies out there, some businesses still attempt to DIY their office themselves, which isn’t worth it if something were to go wrong. Although you might be saving in the short term, DIY can become really expensive if worse comes to worse, especially in terms of electricals and wiring. When it comes to a business, it’s always best to work with professionals who will ensure everything is done properly and your teams can be up and running in no time.

Lack of natural lighting

Having natural light in an office will offer not just a bright environment but also windows for ventilation and adequate airflow. When planning an office fit out, it’s so important to consider the lighting and air that is coming into your office as it will impact productivity, health and safety and employee wellbeing. If your new space lacks natural light and has minimal windows for airflow, this could result in employees getting ill, air being poor quality and even building damage such as mould. 

Ineffective budgets 

Effectively budgeting for an office fit out is one of the biggest priorities for business owners. Be mindful of your payments and don’t improvise your budget as you go along as small figures will add up in the end! Make sure to thoroughly plan your budget and take everything into consideration, with an emergency fund also. 

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Branding, or a lack of

Some businesses prefer to add branding and personal touches after the fit out as they might be planning to change their style or are constantly swapping up their look, however, if you have a solid brand in place, it’s important to implement this into your office design to represent the company, create a welcoming atmosphere and create a sense of community. Although adding branding can be done afterwards, there might be certain parts of the fit out such as wall structures, flooring, commercial design and lighting which should be a certain way.

Only looking at the short term

When creating a new office space, it is critical to consider the future of the business and look further than the short-term position. For example, you need to consider your employee growth, new technologies, amenities and where you can see the business in a few years time. There’s no point in building a small office that fits 10 if you’re looking to grow to a team of 30. You will also want to consider finances and ensure that everything you are investing in is sustainable in the long run and things such as energy efficiency and bills are what you can comfortably afford. 

Office design and fit out solutions by ACI

Looking to create a new, modern workspace for your employees to thrive in and turn your old workplace into a place of opportunity?

ACI are office fit-out contractors based in Nottingham, covering the whole of the UK including Derby, Birmingham, Leicester and Manchester. We’ve created a wide range of office design solutions for our clients across many different industries. Our work is completely tailored to each client, so whether you know exactly what you have in mind or if you’d like our experts to point you in the right direction you’re in the right place.

Give us a call on 0115 697 1943 or drop us an email with your project enquiry and we’ll be in touch.