While a runaway home renovation is the stuff of financial nightmares, it can seem like a proverbial walk in the park compared to an office redesign that surges beyond its projected budget.
Fortunately — and some business executives and managers might add mercifully — there are some proven and practical ways to keep an office redesign on budget. Here are three best practices to keep in mind:
1. Start with a robust, comprehensive plan.
The number one root cause of excessively and unexpectedly costly office redesign projects is the lack of a robust, comprehensive plan. This cannot just be a timeline with some numbers. The plan must also include the full project scope, budget constraints, contingencies, risks, mechanical and building assessments, a focus on future growth feasibility, and so on. Naturally, much of this input must come from executives and other key staff members.
2. Use value engineering.
Value engineering has been used for many years in the design build industry, but there are still many interior solutions firms that do not use it (because they do not know how to use it) for office redesign projects. This is not just a missed opportunity to measurably reduce costs by finding alternative sources for materials and supplies, but it enables key stakeholders to have more input in the overall budget before the project starts — which leads to greater cost control, and fewer unwelcome financial surprises.
3. Strategically select furniture and FFE.
One of the biggest cost categories in an office design is furniture and FFE. Indeed, a single workstation can cost well over $1,000, and an ergonomic office chair will cost several hundred. It is vital to identify what is needed — and price it accordingly — in order for the budget to be realistic in the first place. Otherwise, the budget will have to be re-baselined when the furniture and FFE bills start coming in, or undesirable concessions and compromises will need to be made (i.e. getting cheap, inferior furniture that isn’t going to last or may not be suitable for employees, etc). Neither of these can be considered strategic options. They are better described as conducting damage control.
The Final Word
A successful office design doesn’t just increase business image, customer experience and employee engagement — it should also boost the bottom-line and achieve ROI. The above best practices will help ensure that an office redesign is a profitable investment — not a regrettable expense.