The last decade has been a turning point for designers and offices alike. Long gone are the cubicles and unused conference rooms. The world now faces a wave of thoughtful design, created to benefit the mental and physical health of employees, thus boosting productivity in the workspace. Many large corporations are turning to such an environment in order to satisfy the growing demand from the millennial generation for an office that reflects a more unconventional mindset. In addition, the proven benefits of installing ergonomic furniture, incorporating nature and fresh air, and adapting the core values of the WELL standards are enough to make any large company reconsider how design is impacting their staff. But how much does this all cost, and what is involved? Below is a more thorough explanation of what to expect when giving your office a re-design. 1) Size of space This is the number one factor affecting price. The larger the space, the more work and material must go into it. Consider whether the space is being built from a shell or if it is just a refit of an existing office. Take a look at the amount of rooms, walls, and installations that could affect the process – these are all elements of ‘space’. 2) Size of your team The number of employees will greatly affect the cost of a design. Considering furniture, bathroom stalls, extra space for meeting rooms and break areas for a larger amount of people means incorporating more furniture and creating more space. 3) Timeline The quicker the fit-out, the more it will impact the cost. Ensure you have an expectation on speed of completion before entering in a discussion with a designer, but also have realistic goals. Certain aspects of any design will delay the process – make sure the designer is clear about these elements. 4) Quality of Materials A turn of phrase is “quality over quantity,” but sometimes in design you might need both. Choosing to go with ergonomic furniture – built for optimal comfort – will bring up the price tag, but will provide a return on investment that a sub-standard office chair couldn’t: for example through minimizing sick days due to back pain. Choosing to incorporate natural materials that are more environmentally friendly could also affect cost, as well as going for more durable materials or unique installations. However, it is vital to remember that the aesthetics of an office are just as important as the functionality. 5) Workplace Analytics Though applying workplace analytics could bring your total cost up, it can also bring it down. Workplace analytics focuses on studying the movements of an office from how much each and every chair is utilized, how employees collaborate and which rooms seem to be the favourite. An accurate analysis might show that fewer chairs are needed and less walls – which will bring down your cost in other ways. It is also a proven method to discovering which elements will bring the office up to optimum productivity and what can be left behind when the new design is implemented. Behind every great corporation is an office(s) that houses many employees throughout the day. A positive workforce is directly linked to a healthy and functional workspace - it is no wonder why companies like Google and Facebook have made unconventional, yet thoughtful, office design a priority. Carefully consider your intentions for your new design and express your expectations to a potential designer in order to get a fair understanding of the price level.
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