When you sign a new lease, it is a commitment to occupying the space for a considerable amount of time, so you want to be sure your final space is great – supporting your brand and your business. Keeping in mind that your space not only represents you and your company, it is also a space which influences employees and clients alike. This makes your office space design critical for your business success. Follow these steps to make sure your final space is great.
Start with the Design Firm
In choosing the design firm that is right for you, take a look at their portfolio and then visit a few of your favorites in person. Design firms often have their own unique style, consistently utilizing certain materials and features in their designs alongside their client’s vision for the space. When you visit spaces they designed, look for features you appreciate (classic, cutting-edge, open, private, etc.). As you discuss your project with the design firm, listen for creativity, flexibility, and the ability to listen by presenting them with an issue that needs to be addressed for your space. Each firm you interview is capable of doing the work, but how they accomplish it according to your specifications is key.
Develop Your Real Estate Design Committee
Because your professional team will be working in the new space, it is important to get varied input to ensure the final outcome helps everyone work together successfully. Choose committee members from different departments as well work categories from administrative assistants to managers. Keep your committee small and allow them to offer input on areas of concern including problem spots and efficiency.
Clearly Articulate Your Vision to Your Design Team
If you know what you want, be specific and detailed when you describe your vision. If you aren’t sure, take note or spaces you like (providing pictures if possible) and share the information with your designers. In both cases, you want to be able to explain to your design team the message you want to share with your clients (and your employees). The more input and direction you can provide effectively, the more likely your expectations will be met in the final result.
Clarity from Your Design Team Means You Fully Understand What your Space Will Look Like
When your space is complete, nothing should be a surprise. The design team will provide you with one dimensional plans, pricing, sample boards of materials and finishes, but you will need to ask for more to truly visualize your space. Today’s firms and their state of the art technology should be able to deliver a virtual 3D tour of your space, so your final result reflects your expectations. If you need to, ask to see actual products versus photos and brochures of what you are committing to, after all, a great deal of money is being invested and you want to love your final space and all that is included in it.
Set Your Budget and Keep It
Rarely is money not a consideration, so at the start you need to set you budget, firmly. Your design team should be able to work within your fixed budget. Keep in mind the amount your landlord is providing in your Tenant Improvement Agreement and make sure your budget covers all project costs including design fees, project management fees, supervisory fees, furniture, moving, information technology, artwork, and audio visual. Be sure your design firm includes period checks for you to ensure everyone is adhering to the set budget for the project.
Enjoy the Process
While a process of this scope is not an easy task, it is one that only comes along every 10 or more years, making it important to enjoy the process, embrace every opportunity, and take advantage of it. This is your project and an endeavor that will positively impact your business. Look forward to meeting with your team of designers, project managers, and contractors as you anticipate the positives and successfully complete your final result – an excellent space in which to grow your company.