What should we expect?
The powerhouse group project team
The fear of the unknown or the uncertain is often an unwanted addition to the workday, especially if that day involves responsibility for your office fit out project. To help alleviate the anxiety that often accompanies high value, brand dependent endeavours, we put together a brief overview of what to expect when you’re expecting a beautiful office fit out.
A brief discussion
The success of this initial meeting depends heavily on one word: preparation. Without it, the discovery phase can be quite heavy going as you, the client, try to corral disparate thoughts, needs and wants, while the fit out company you’re talking to, do their best to interpret. It’s always best for both parties to come to this meeting prepared to discuss everything, ask anything and leave nothing left unsaid.
By the way, this is the first step along the journey to a wonderful new office, be it at a new location or a refurbishment at your existing locale. Either way, be prepared.
Drawing on inspiration
Typically, an accomplished and experienced team will come back to you, having digested everything that was said, with some initial drawings.Images that demonstrate that you have been heard and your needs taken seriously. Expect the beginnings of practical solutions to some of the functional challenges not met by your existing office to surface. You will get a feel for how the layout might help alleviate bottlenecks, spatial issues and branding-related difficulties.
At this point, you will have a gauge on the approach and expertise being offered by the team tasked with transforming the environment in which you work.
Designing a home for your brand, business and people
At this point, you might expect to see beautiful renders, fabric and material samples, inspiring images, the works.And rightly so. But don’t overlook the deeper and ultimately more important issue of solutions. Remember, the primary role of a fit out, new or refurbished, is to solve problems. Colours are important, so are subtle differences that might elevate bench-style desks over workstations but never lose sight of the reasons why.
Also, expect to cast an eye over some technical drawings as well. What the eye cannot immediately pick up is most certainly just as important as what visitors, staff and clients see at first glance.Listen out for explanations relating to exits, egresses, statutory requirements in a word or two – due diligence. If something at this point seems a little too easy, perhaps scenarios have been overlooked. No harm in asking but an experienced team will furnish you with robust and in-depth documentation that covers everything.
Estimates, budgets and contracts
In that order. Sign-off on initial drawings will give the experienced fit out company enough to present an estimate. Only once the detailed drawings are done, due diligence has been taken care of and materials and so on have been agreed upon, will a budget be presented. Once again, expect more from an experienced team.In this case more, might mean a fixed figure which automatically provides some peace of mind.
If a budget is presented before all the aforementioned activity has taken place, you may need to brace for wild variations in cost, time or both. Remember, due diligence and robust documentation will save you pain, surprises and money. Guaranteed.
Onsite and on your side
Here, relationships, trust, experience, expertise are all prerequisites for success in this, the most visible and impactful aspect of the project from the “client-side”. To fully understand the importance of the relationship between the design team, project team and contractors, review our blog on how this group must work together to ensure the very best result.
So, while this is all coming together, what should you expect? Expect constant, clear and concise updates on a regular basis, the opportunity to speak to your lead contact as and when you feel it’s necessary and be assured and reassured as your project comes to life.
All systems over to you
Upon completion you might be expecting a congratulatory note, chocolates, champagne, things of that nature.
This is not to say you won’t receive those things during handover but at the top of the list, expect to see, feel and be impressed by the innovative (but not necessarily complicated) solutions to all the challenges you faced prior to embarking on this journey. It’s important that things not only look beautiful, but that they work just as you’d hoped, if not better than you imagined.
Once the streamers and the ribbons have been disposed of, the story shouldn’t end just there. We’ve always felt that this business is not just transactional but relational. Many of our clients have come back to us years later because they remember that we made things easy on them, were happy to offer advice and ultimately care about our legacy which was, and always will be, based on their satisfaction.
Expect nothing less on your journey between the initial idea and an ideal workplace you’ll love.