It’s true that once the hardest part of finding an idea and the necessary funding is long underway, other tasks in preparation for operating your own business become relatively easy. However, many details go into the very important decision of finding a workspace.
It’s not just a place from where you’ll conduct business; your office should reflect your company’s image and branding. So, a lot of thought should go into making this decision. You need to take the time to get familiar with construction-related language if this is an area of mystery for you.
1What is Office Fit-Out?
The first thing to consider is the meaning of office fit-out, which refers to the kind of “finishing” your office to-be will have when you first rent it. There are 3 common categories A, B, and Shell & Core.
The most basic one is Shell & Core, which essentially means you only have a building exterior with nothing on the inside. With Cat A, you’ll find electrical outlets and some basic flooring work and such, while Cat B refers to space fully equipped to receive tenants at turnkey.
Cart B is equipped with all the furniture along, with IT infrastructure, and meeting rooms. Now that these terms are clear, let’s check some main things to consider when deciding on the office fit-out you should go with:
If for whatever reason, you have a deadline by which you should move into your new office, like a near ending lease, you won’t have the luxury of mulling over the idea of renting a Shell & Core and customizing every single corner according to your taste.
But rather, you will need a Cat B space as explained by UK’s professionals Evolve Relocation who are experts in these kinds of fit-outs and vow inspired, artistic, beautiful and above all, productive offices. In contrast, if you have some time to spare, then find a Cat A or even a Shell & Core and build it from the ground up as you see fit.
If you decide on a Cat A or Shell & Core spaces, you have to make sure you have enough money to spare as you will need to spend a lot on creating the office layout and furniture. Of course, Shell & Core will cost you more.
Also, one important thing to note is that most landlords will ask you to turn the space back into its original condition once your lease is up, so you have to bear that cost in mind while working out your budget.
Some companies like to incorporate their branding in every single detail. So, for those, finding a blank canvas to start with like the case with a Cat A fit-out will be much more convenient to work with.
So, the level of customization you desire will guide you towards making the best selection that suits your needs.
If you choose to go for one of the basic office fit-outs like a Shell & Core, or a Cat A, you need to understand that this can be a very lengthy process. Even if you go for a Cat B fit-out, there are tons of details that need to be addressed. As a business owner, you will not have the time nor the attention span to spare on getting into such intricate modeling details.
This is why, you will need to either assign someone from your staff to take on this task on your behalf or better yet, hire an expert. Having a professional on-site will ensure a smooth operation and will save you any time or money costs for do-overs resulting from misunderstanding or unfamiliarity with fit-out issues.
Your target office size will affect the fit-out you eventually choose. In general, a bigger office will be more demanding when it comes to fitting out efforts. This factor alone can be enough to make you rethink your willingness to rent out a Shell & Core or Cat space.
Alternatively, if you have sufficient funds and money is not an issue for you, you might be encouraged to take on the rather big space and hire professional fit-out experts to take on such a challenging task. In such cases, it is very important to have a single point of contact with whom you can communicate and get the necessary updates.
One of the most important issues to consider when thinking about an office fit-out is safety. Many property owners will want to lease a place as soon as it is vacant without carrying out proper maintenance after the last tenants.
This means that it is your responsibility as a potential tenant to check that all safety measures are immaculately followed without exceptions. You need to check electricity works, plumbing, and carpentry; as nothing can be left to chance.
Especially if you are adding to a meeting room in a Cat B for example, you need to make sure that your staff performs their jobs without any interruptions and without being subject to any hazardous accidents.
As your business grows, you want to make sure that the place you are renting has the capacity to grow as well and accommodate the space needs of your growing team. If you are in the early phase of looking for an office to rent, or you are fitting out your current office, you must ask yourself if this fit out plan will still make sense a year from now.
This will help you in making fit out decisions like deciding to split a room into two to fit more desks. Or, you might have to forgo your initial plan of having an open plan office because you are planning to hire a dedicated customer service team who will be quite interruptive if they share the space with other employees.
Thinking about your new office fit-out is not something that first comes to mind when you’re thinking about your business. However, you need to decide on the kind of work culture you are promoting and how your space will have a huge impact on your employees’ morale and productivity.
With the above considerations, you will be able to find the kind of office fit-out that works for you.