Workplace consultants and commercial office fit-out specialists, Blueprint Interiors has created the People-First Office Fit Out Guide to help employers create enticing office spaces that give their employees convincing reasons to return. We speak with Mary Keeling to find out what readers can expect to learn from the guide.
No one could predict just how much people’s views of the workplace would change in 2020.
Opportunities to ditch commutes and enjoy home comforts have changed what people will be looking for in the office spaces they return to.
Some employees simply can’t wait to return. But even they will be looking for more from their current and future employers. Greater flexibility will be expected, and tools that allow for teamwork and innovation will be more valued than ever.
People are much more aware of the things they need to be productive and happy. And they’ll also want these things to be provided for them in their workplace environment.
Employers and HR teams will need to take notice of what these things are and cater for them as they begin preparing their workplace for their return of their most valued asset – their people. The ones that don’t will risk losing their best talent to organisations that recognise the importance of meeting their people’s needs.
For many, the initial excitement of working from home in isolation is wearing thin. They’ve recognised the things that can’t be done as effectively from the solitary home office environment.
So, it’s vital that businesses explore how they can offer experiences that draw people back together, collaborating and innovating.
Blueprint Interiors has published The People First Fit Out Guide for 2021 so employers can answer that all-important question in their own organisation. Because unfortunately there isn’t one easy answer that applies to everyone.
1. SETTING THE SCENE
This highlights the three things that underpin everything we share in this guide:
- The belief that every company’s office should reflect their culture, values, beliefs and principles
- The WELL Building Standard™, which educates businesses on how to create and provide intentional and meaningful workspaces
- The Human Givens approach, which believes every human has fundamental needs that must be met for them to stay mentally and physically well
2. WHY CHANGE YOUR WORKPLACE?
It’s a big question. And the most important one to ask before going full steam ahead into changing your office with high hopes of getting your employees back in.
Our guide gives you the questions to consider when you’re thinking of a change. And in answering the ‘why’ we give you some things to ponder about how your people feel about your current workplace, and how you’re going to involve them in the project.
3. RE-EVALUATING AGILE OFFICE SPACES
Your office spaces may already be equipped for agile working, and that’s fantastic. But have you revisited the design since the world changed?
It might be time for an audit of how you could enhance your workspace for an even better employee experience that abides by health and safety standards. The ultimate aim is to keep your people feeling safe and comfortable whilst working in the office.
4. EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
We discuss how getting your people engaged forms the basis of a new workspace where people love to work productively and socialise with colleagues, and where clients and visitors love to spend time. You just need to make sure you’re communicating the benefits throughout the fit-out process itself!
5. WHAT TYPE OF FIT-OUT?
An office fit-out is the development of an office space where its main purpose and key functions meet the needs of the people who use it. Simple!
There are two distinct types of fit-out, Category A (Cat A) and Category B (Cat B), which the guide talks about in more detail.
6. SPACE REQUIREMENTS
If you’re embarking on a fit-out, it’s likely that your current space no longer works for your team. But is it because you haven’t got enough space? Too much space? Or that your space simply needs to be reimagined for new ways of working?
Homeworking has caused companies everywhere to re-evaluate how they might want to use their office spaces in future, so this is a hot topic!
The People First Fit Out Guide gives you specific questions to ask when you’re evaluating your company’s space requirements.
7. BUDGET INFLUENCES AND CONSTRAINTS
In the same way, business leaders need to consider how much space is required, and how it can meet current and future employee requirements, it’s also important to establish a budget for the fit-out to determine what can be achieved
By doing the groundwork and deciding the type of office that will meet your business objectives and employees’ needs to create a healthy, productive, and successful workplace, you’ll be able to define an appropriate and realistic budget.
8. MANAGING THE REFIT PROJECT AND CHOOSING THE RIGHT OFFICE FIT-OUT PARTNER
It’s imperative to choose the right project partner to help you achieve your workplace design vision.
Choosing an appropriate partner isn’t an easy task or light-hearted decision to take. It’s the difference between a project succeeding and a project failing.
There are a range of specialists – architects, interior designers, engineers – who can provide specific expertise on your future workplace.
The guide provides nine aspects on which to benchmark your chosen fit-out partners.
9. THE ULTIMATE WORKPLACE DESIGN: EMPLOYEE-FOCUSED & WELLBEING-CENTRED
It’s possibly an understatement to say that most workplaces have been through quite a bit of upheaval in recent times, so it’s more important than ever to put your team’s needs first. This means providing a thoughtful and meaningful workplace, designed to empower people to work at their best.
The guide goes into more detail about what to aim for with your final office design concept, and the frameworks our team uses to get you there.
TAX RELIEF – PAYING FOR YOUR FIT-OUT
The super-deduction tax break that was announced in April 2021, allows businesses that pay corporation tax to claim back 130% of expenditure for new (or first-year) business equipment against their taxable profits. This applies on qualifying purchases between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2023 and includes business equipment, so now might be a great time to make changes and take advantage of this tax relief scheme.
HOW TO GET YOUR COPY OF THE GUIDE
Redesigning your workplace is a huge step. Before you take the plunge it’s essential to do your homework, adequately prepare and be 100% confident that you’re making the right decisions, at the right time.
If you’d like to discuss any type of workplace fit-out, please do pick up the phone and call us on 01530 223111 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, the guide can be download from the website www.blueprintinteriors.com