Looking to give your employees a new work environment is a big deal, but you may not know who would improve your business’ layout and who would make it worse.
Speaking on the My Business Podcast, QVS Commercial Interiors managing director Eric Brown and DCI Partnership director Richard deVries share three signs that you may be dealing with an amateur designer or commercial interior business.
1. The design favours beauty over practicality
“A lot of the time there's a practical disconnect. Sometimes designers [will] design something that might look beautiful, but in reality it doesn't work,” Eric says.
“Hitting the brief on the head is probably the most important thing you can get right, because once you've got that, the plan and the master plan, the builder can manipulate things in terms of cost or timing or whatever you need to do to get that up and running.
“But if you don't get that right from the start, I think it's a major issue.”
2. Details are glossed over
It is important to never skim over details, especially your business’ new layout.
If the details are not looked into during planning, then the new layout will be ripe for disaster.
“The planning concept … has to be right. The more detailed stuff is critical: the specifications, the compliance,” says Richard.
“The big things we comply with are the Building Code of Australia and the disabled access codes. Now, it's critical that we get that planning right so that they're compliant, because if it's not compliant, we won't get an approval from the certifying authorities and you can't build it.”
The more details given to the commercial interior business, the better the fit-out should be.
“We can't afford to be nebulous at all. We can't. There's no ifs, buts, or maybe,” Richard says.
“We plan it, we draw it, we cover our bases. Everything from furniture, electrical, data, air-conditioning, fire service, all those little bits. If that information is correct and well put together, [the commercial interior business’] job is one heck of a lot easier.”
3. Inappropriately spending money
First impressions are everything, but at the end of the day you need to stay within your budget. Just because a commercial interior business has their eye on something with a large price point, it does not mean it will automatically make your business better.
“It's about being very appropriate with the spend, and marrying that to the brand image of the company,” Richard says.
“For a top-tier law firm, maybe that 50-grand boardroom table is exactly what they need to engender confidence and a feeling of gravitas and all the rest, but for most businesses it's about allocating the funds properly and tying in with the brand image, but then spending the money in the right areas.
“Quite frankly, a desk is a desk is a desk, and we can do an expensive work station or a more modest work station. They're still of a certain size with a certain number of power points and data outlets.”
Richard says that while a bit more of the budget may be applied to front-of-house areas, it is important to ensure that the spending is appropriate. If too much is spent creating a flashy front, your business could potentially be “gilding the lily so much that we frighten your clients off”.