Office Fit-Out Problems and How to Solve Them
Fitting out an office space with new equipment, decorations or even just new furniture can transform not only the way it looks but also employee productivity and wellbeing. Office fit outs can be hugely important to a company’s success and employee retention, among other things. However, there are a few potential roadblocks along the way to designing your dream office space, and, thankfully, solutions.
Common Office Fit Out Problems
As a dedicated office fit out contractor, our team at Vanguard Contracts has seen all manner of unique challenges, but there are five problems we encounter most often.
Space Utilisation Challenges
Workplace Safety and Regulations
Let’s dive into some of these common issues and how you might be able to go about solving them.
1. Space Utilisation Challenges
The way your office space is divided and used is arguably one of the most important aspects of your office fit out. Happy employees are productive employees, and creating an open, comfortable environment for your employees can help bolster your business’s efficiency.
This applies to all aspects of your design, not just how your desks are situated. You should also consider how your meeting rooms, break rooms, kitchens and all workstations are laid out and how they interact with each other.
If you have awkward building elements, such as unhelpfully placed pillars or curved walls, an extra dose of creativity might be required to ensure your final design incorporates these elements, rather than making them stick out like a sore thumb.
Providing your employees with welcoming open floor plans can be an immediate booster to how your office space feels, especially when combined with modular furniture that flexes to suit varying employee needs and compliments your space. You can also lay out your new office in such a way as to allow maximum cooperation between team members, putting an end to the days of isolated cubicles.
2. Budget Constraints
Budget constraints are a common roadblock for businesses, considering an office fit out, and may leave you feeling like you’ll be stuck with your tired office space forever. However, there are solutions for a budget-friendly office renovation.
a) Open-plan design – an open-plan office relies on lots of open space with a minimal number of closed rooms, and many having just one closed office for the most senior team members. This limits your required spending on furniture, while providing employees with an open, spacious working environment.
b) Budget-conscious furniture – there’s no harm in opting for the lower-cost options when selecting your office furniture. You may miss out on some of the more feature-laden items, but they will still get the job done.
c) Lean into a minimalist aesthetic – if you know your office refit budget is tight, lean into a clean, minimalist aesthetic. White walls and simple, functional design can make a space look more high-end than its budget would let on.
3. Design Dilemmas
Even the best designs for office functionality can sometimes fall short when it comes to aesthetics, and they can often be overlooked. However, the way your office is decorated can be just as important as its layout or furniture.
Human beings are emotional creatures at their core, and tapping into this with the use of design can be key to ensuring people are motivated and comfortable. Something as simple as your choice of colour palette can make a difference. For example, yellow has been shown to fill people with optimism, blue can be calming, and red has been shown to raise heart rates and make people feel alert.
That being said, we’re not suggesting that you should go throwing yellow paint about in huge swathes to make people feel happy, or any colour for that matter, intelligent use of colour is the key. The same is true of other elements such as plants, that can be used to promote a sense of wellness, but too many could bring its own challenges.
Another tip is to try and incorporate elements of your company branding into your office aesthetics. Provided it’s not overbearing, this can help foster a sense of togetherness and team identity.
4. Technology Integration
In its 2023 ‘Future of Jobs Report’, The World Economic Forum stated that the integration of technology will be one of the primary features of the working world over the next 5 years. With this in mind, it’s important that seamless tech integration is achieved from the outset by including it in the design stage of your office refit.
By building around tech in a way that allows it to be updated as times change, you can ensure your business is able to make the most of innovations as they come.
Additions such as smart HVAC systems to keep indoor climate conditions comfortable, digital space monitoring solutions to monitor how efficiently your office space is used, and modular, electronically adjustable furniture can all help you improve employee comfort and space optimisation.
5. Workplace Safety and Regulations
Workplace safety and employee wellbeing are crucial, and making sure your workforce feels safe in their jobs should be one of your main concerns. For example, desks and chairs should be set up in a way to help avoid strain injuries, corridors and hallways should be well-lit, emergency exits should be clear, anti-slip materials should be used in high-traffic areas and exterior areas should have plenty of lighting.
It’s possible to view safety concerns as an obstruction to aesthetically pleasing office design, but if safety is considered and integrated into your design from the outset with intelligent design elements, such as adjustable desk furniture that allows staff to adjust their workstations for comfort or lighting that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing, you can have the best of both.
Solutions for Office Fit Out Problems
All of these issues could potentially cause you problems with staff morale and motivation or even safety later down the line if not addressed at the design stage, not to mention leading to the waste of crucial resources such as space or energy.
However, there are solutions to all of these issues, and, through effective design and office refitting, you can make the most of your office space.
Implementing Effective Solutions
The overarching solution in almost all cases is to make sure you consider all of these elements at the design stage. By building around them, rather than shoehorning them in at a later stage, it’s possible to create an employee-centric, productive office environment that’s largely future-proofed.
There are a few key things to remember when planning your office fit out that can help:
a) Open floor plans with effective traffic flow can boost teamwork and promote spontaneous interactions, while also leaving space for furniture and equipment
b) A budget-friendly office fit out is possible, and can be achieved with the use of open space and functional design
c) The way your office looks is important as the way you use elements such as colour and light can promote employee wellbeing and should be considered
d) Tech is now a crucial element in most workplaces and is expected to be even more so as time goes by. Building around technology can not only future-proof your office to some degree but also offer other benefits such as smart HVAC systems for employee comfort and space usage monitoring tech to help reallocate under-utilised parts of your office
e) Workplace safety is hugely important, but if you consider it at this stage and build your office fit out around it, it doesn’t have to interfere with your design choices
Kickstart Your Office Fit Out Today
Because of the importance of getting your office fit out right, and the potential for impacts on employee wellbeing, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.
You can turn to our expert team at Vanguard Contracts, with years of experience in office fit outs for some of the UK’s leading firms, we can help you design a stand-out new workspace that meets all of your needs.
Call us today for a free site visit to discuss your needs and a no-obligation quote to get you started.