The ultimate guide to office fit out and relocation planning

The ultimate guide to office fit out and relocation planning

Business can be hectic. But your office fit out or relocation projects don’t have to be. Let us run you through our ultimate guide to office fit out and relocation planning to help you create a smooth-sailing office transformation from start to finish.  

What are the different types of office fit out?

First, let’s clarify something. Many people get confused between what is meant by office fit out and office refurbishment; it’s not surprising when they are quite similar.

Office fit out is slightly different to office refurbishment, however, in that it’s concerned with the full transformation of an office space in order for it to be occupied and used, and is primarily to do with new builds or spaces. Office refurbishment is about updating and renovating a space which is already in use or has been used; more of a refresh, if you like. 

And with office fit out, there are three main kinds:

1. Shell and core

Just like it says on the tin, this type of office fit out starts from an empty-shell framework, with a space showing a blank canvas inside. You will have the ‘hard shell’ with features like electrical supply and water systems in place, but things like flooring, partitions, wall coverings and lighting etc. will need to be sourced and installed. 

2. Category A

All the basics that make an office able to function are covered in a ‘Category A’ type fit out, just without those finishing touches you’ll get in a ‘Category B’ office fit out project. Think suspended ceilings, wall coverings, electrical distribution, toilets, fire detection and alarm systems etc.- these are the kinds of basic features you’ll get with a ‘Category A’ office fit out. This type is more concerned with structure and necessities rather than design, style and personality and are often carried out by property owners and landlords to make buildings and spaces suitable for commercial use or renting. Also, if a company needs to change any electrical systems and such, they will need a ‘Category A’ fit out. 

3. Category B

For a ‘Category B’ fit out, you basically need to install everything that isn’t specified in a ‘Category A’ fit out with the added finishing touches of office interior design and office furniture – all with a brand or business’s work dynamic and workplace needs in mind. This fit out project encompasses everything from lighting, IT infrastructure and desking to woodwork, meeting rooms, reception areas and branding; it’s why this is the most common type of office fit out. Here you can get everything you need installed. What’s left is choosing a layout and decor to fit your brand and work dynamic.

Have a nosy here at our office fit out case studies to see how we’ve helped transform some notable brands.

Visualisation, even in 3D

When beginning an office fit out project or even imagining a dream office, it starts with a vision. Many office fit out experts can help you in your visualisation by getting to know your brand and where it sees itself in the future, what direction it wants to take and where it needs to be. Only a few, however, can allow you to truly visualise your new or reimagined office space with clever technology. 

For instance, here at Diamond Interiors we have 3D visualisation tools to help you see exactly how a project can look, enabling you to make informed decisions before any construction can take place. A 3D visualiser can create an interactive, visual model of any design to give you a tour, giving you a feel for a new office space. With this, you can address any changes that may need to be made which you may fail to notice until the finished project.

Interested in using a 3D visualisation tool to see what a new office could look like for you? For any questions or more information on how this works, contact our friendly office fit out and design experts today.

Research first

Along with a vision, to start off any office fit out project right, you need good research conducted. Questions to think about are:

  • Who does my workplace need to accommodate?
  • Where will my new office be located or should be located?
  • What are the basic necessities for the office?
  • How important is the expression of branding in the office, will we have a lot of visitors?
  • How can I uphold good health and safety in the workplace standards?
  • Where do I see the brand and business going?
  • How accessible will the new office be?
  • What would drive productivity?
  • Would my business benefit from an open-plan layout?
  • Do I need breakout areas or relaxation rooms?

All of these questions need to be answered first. You may find more cropping up as the project runs, but so long as you have a strong foundation of research to understand how your new office should look and how it should accommodate employees, you will have a more efficient and smooth office fit out project ahead.

Project management

It’s all about having a strong and dedicated project management team behind you when it comes to office fit out. Having a project manager with experience and expertise will help in ways you couldn’t imagine. Not only will you save time and money (you’ll have fewer hiccups and less need for fixing failures or mistakes) with an office fit out project manager, you’ll also be fully reliant on an expert in their field to source the perfect additions for your office space that meet all your requirements. A fully dedicated project management team will keep an eye on budgets, construction, surveying and sourcing, whilst you can get on with business. 

Get help with your office relocation planning

When it comes to relocating, you need time on your hands to search and survey suitable locations that will fit your business and workplace requirements. When deciding where you want to rehome your business for the foreseeable future, you need to get it perfect from the start. This means researching good locations, comparing costs and surveying properties to avoid any nasty surprises further down the line, and all this can be done by a trusted office relocation planning & consultancy team. Check out our ultimate office relocation checklist for everything you need to remember

The expertise of office fit out specialists

It really is one of the smartest decisions you can make to use office fit out specialists when it comes to transforming or relocating office spaces. Having the experts behind you, paired with invaluable experience, is simply good business due to the time and money you’ll save as well as the stress you’ll miss out on. From sorting architectural issues to sourcing suitable, ergonomic office furnishings, it’s thanks to office fit out experts that will help you achieve a brand-new office design in no time.

Install office furniture that fits your workplace needs

Whatever your workplace needs or brand goals, under an office fit out project, you can source and add in a range of perfectly-fitting office furnishings to encourage workplace productivity. Not only that, office furniture products sourced by experienced office designers will be of the highest standard that will optimise space, satisfy workplace health and safety needs, as well as suit branding. You just need proficient office furniture installers behind you to get the job done in a speedy time with the least amount of fuss but without compromising on safety. Adding in those finishing touches will bring your new office to life and shape the workplace up nicely, ready for productive work to be done.

Get your office removal and storage in order

Make sure you’ve thought about where all your old office furnishings are going to go. Or, maybe you need somewhere to hold all of your new office additions, whilst the office fit out project is in a construction phase, or it’s in the phase of building the ‘shell’. 

A specialised office fit out team can take care of all of this with office removal and storage services and facilities. You can also rely on the experts to safely transport, remove or store valuables and any data backups. They can also package items up as well as dismantle furniture for you professionally, so you don’t have to worry about damaging anything. And when it comes to the big moving day, you can rely on stored items to be already packaged up securely, ready to travel to their new business home. 

Post-project support

Once an office redesign or fit out project has completed, you should have help ready for any possible changes. Employees, after testing the new office space out, may have some feedback for you or modification requests. Whatever the change or need, a post-project support team will be there to save you, as they won’t just call it a day and wave goodbye to you when the new office has been put together. They’re there to review and amend any design or workspace set-ups if needs be. If there are any issues, it’s with post-project support that you can resolve them in as little time as possible.

Are you looking to relocate? Maybe you need a brand-new office space but need help with fitting it out? With decades of experience behind us, you can rely on Diamond Interiors with your office fit out projects; contact us today or reach us on 0845 340 4195.