An office fit out refers to the process of designing and furnishing a workspace to meet the specific needs and requirements of a business or organisation.
It involves transforming an empty or existing office space into a functional and well-organised environment that promotes productivity, collaboration, and reflects the company’s brand and culture. An office fit out and refurbishment typically includes various aspects such as space planning, interior design, installation of furniture, partitioning, electrical and data cabling, lighting, flooring, and other necessary infrastructure. It aims to optimise the use of space, enhance employee wellbeing, and create a professional and inspiring working environment.
While there is no concrete answer to this question as there are too many variables to make it possible to provide fixed numbers. Later in this list we examine the difference between Cat A and Cat B fit-out; the more common being Cat B (or tenant fit-out). If we focus on that, there are a few rough guides which can help in setting a budget for your project, the first is that your office fit-out will cost the equivalent of 12 months rent. If we take into consideration the size and scope of a project, your office fit out could cost anywhere from Approx £70 /sq ft to £140 / sq ft. Variables that affect this include: Dilapidation and strip-out work, construction, amount of partitioning & glazing, Air conditioning & fresh air package, electrical & lighting, the furniture you choose, AV and IT, security.
Here are 6 ways to make your office more sustainable:
Building Management Systems (BMS) and Smart Buildings – Computer-based systems that control, monitor and regulate electrical and mechanical equipment. Put simply; monitoring occupancy means that when spaces are not in use the heating/colling, lighting & power don’t need to be on – minimising the energy footprint.
Waste stations – Easily accessible waste stations encourage people to dispose of waste responsibly, as it’s less hassle to do so.
Electric vehicle (EV) charging points – EVs have become more popular over the last decade, make sure to provide charging points for your team!
Circularity furniture – Could some of your furniture be ‘second life’? We can work with you to source the highest quality products which are designed from the outset to have a second life. And if you are having to dispose of redundant furniture, we can assist in putting it into the circular economy, to give it a new lease of life and recycle it instead!
Natural light – More natural light = less energy used for lighting! It also helps boost serotonin levels, a win-win.
Get certified – While voluntary, a certification helps keep your business on the straight and narrow. Schemes such as WELL, SKA or BREEAM set a high bar but also make a clear declaration about your organisation’s commitment to better Earth Stewardship.
Want some more detail on these sustainability pillars? Click here.
The category A (Cat A) fit-out is usually undertaken for the landlord or building owner. The main objective for this type of fit-out is to remediate anything left by a previous occupant, and to prepare the space for market – increasing its appeal to any prospective tenant.
CAT A scope of work generally includes:
– The installation of mechanical and electrical services (but generally only to a minimal level)
– The installation of new air conditioning systems (but not always fresh air systems)
– Raised access floors and ceilings
– Basic fire detection & sounders/intruder alarm systems
– General decoration to the perimeter walls
– Floor coverings
Learn more here.
A CAT B fit-out describes all works required to take the blank canvas of any prospective space and make it fit the needs, aspirations and personality of the tenant’s organisation. It’s the dash of personality every business needs to make their building their own.
This means that CAT B includes (but isn’t limited to):
– Installation of partitioning, glazing and internal joinery
– Adjustments to mechanical & electrical services to suit layout changes (e.g. air conditioning, lighting & switches)
– Installation of data cabling and floor boxes
– Ceiling details/bulkhead designs
– Feature lighting
– Custom branded decoration
– Graphics to walls, ceilings & floors, and glazing
– Floor coverings
– IT & audio-visual equipment
– Window blinds
– Custom joinery – reception desks, kitchens, break-out bars etc
– Storage wall and lockers
– All loose furniture
– Illuminated signage
Learn more here.
If you are inviting office fit-out companies to provide designs and ideas for your office project you will need to provide as much information as is relevant. Typically this will include the headcount (an org chart is always useful). It’s great if this can be broken down into those who work from the office and those who are remote, and a bit more detail on your organisations pattern of hybrid working.The pattern of meetings is useful to know; how many, how long, number of attendees etc. And do you host external visitors or, customers.
It is always good to have a grand vision for the project too – a stretch goal to work towards.
While companies in some industries are mandating that staff return to a 5 day week in the office, hybrid working has become accepted as an effective new norm for many organisations. If you are one of those organisations, you need to ensure that your office is somewhere that people want to work, a space that provides them everything they need to thrive. Consider:
– Are all aspects of the users’ day more than adequately supported in the workplace?
– Canvass the staff to find out what changes could be made that would enhance their sense of effectiveness and wellbeing.
– Solo Work – Focused working zones, such as pods
– Togetherness – Collaborative working zones, with comfortable seating areas for vibrant group activity (working and socialising)
– Boost natural light levels, as this triggers happiness chemicals in the brain
– Bring nature inside – Use minerals and textures, and green zones to increase oxygen levels and reduce stress levels
– Create a more efficient office layout. Nobody wants to work somewhere that’s frustrating to navigate!
Historically an office refurbishment or fit-out is a large lump of capital which is provisioned in the accounts and written off as an expense over a set period. This is not a particularly tax effective way to approach it, but in the past there were very few other options. However, you don’t have to use valuable cash or bank facilities to finance your office fit out should you no longer wish.
Instead of tying up large sums of capital, many organisations opt to use a lease facility, instead. Leasing is tax efficient and a cost-effective method of achieving your ideal workspace whilst retaining capital in your business.Financing your office fit out in this way allows you to:
– Retain valuable cash
– Maximise cash flow. No large deposit needed as the funding can be 100%
– Receive 100% tax relief on the whole project, many times it can work out cheaper than using cash
– Get your office project moving quicker
– Pay as you use your new facility
– Make fast decisions
– Relax your budget, allowing you to get the look and feel you want
– Retain existing credit lines
Want to talk finance? Get in touch with our specialists here.