A Guide to Fitting Out a New Office

September 29, 2021

The environment you work in is directly linked to job satisfaction, productivity and creativity. It also represents the business as a whole, dictating how customers and clients perceive you and whether they choose you or a competitor. So, getting the look and layout of your office right plays a critical role to your success as a business and the happiness and performance of your staff.

From changes to your business in terms of expansion to updating an outdated look or simply adjusting to the new demands of a post-pandemic world, there are a variety of reasons why you may be considering an office fitout. Whatever your reasons, here’s a guide to where to begin in planning your new office space.

What is an office fitout?

An office fitout is the process of adapting your office to make it more suitable for use, whether it’s improving the look or changing the layout to adding in partitions to make the space more practical for staff. Some business owners may be wondering whether to adapt their existing premises or relocate, but the two are actually connected.

A new space will almost certainly require a fitout to make it fit for purpose, from creating a layout that works with your business to decorating and interiors that will align with your brand. But if you choose to stay put, you may need to adapt the space to create a workspace that meets your needs, such as adding in a mezzanine floor to create more space or partitioning the space to create separate work areas for employees.

In a post-pandemic world when employees are starting to return to the office after a year of working from home, an office fitout can be a practical and convenient way to create a safer work environment that sections off rooms and workstations to create a more comfortable yet functional work area for staff.

What does an office fitout involve?

There are different types of office fitout, depending on how you intend to use the space. Shell and core is a common option, especially if you have an older property, which is designed to make the area suitable for new occupants. This fitout addresses any potential issues from a structural standpoint, from screeding floors and plastering walls to installing new heating or cooling systems and extending existing facilities.

Category A fitouts tend to include alterations such as suspended ceilings, internal surface finishes and raised floors, to make the area more appealing visually. Category B fitouts are used to complete an office space, such as creating breakout spaces and meeting rooms, adding desks and workstations and branding or final touches.

Finally, a turnkey solution comprises both fitouts and renovations, encapsulating every aspect of the project from décor and commercial interior design to making changes to the configuration of the office to suit your business’ needs.

Do I need planning permission?

The fitout style you choose will determine whether you need permission. An extensive fitout that includes building work may well require planning permission, although generally speaking, interior alterations that don’t change the structural integrity of the building won’t require planning permission. Partition walls, knocking down interior walls to create an open-plan office and similar changes are usually fine to go ahead with, but if you’re unsure, check with your local authority before starting any works.

Spacelink have extensive experience in creating stylish and practical office fitouts and commercial interiors that align with your business goals and branding. Get in touch today to discuss your requirements and to book a consultation.

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