Adding value by design

There are many benefits to engaging a professional designer to work on your building or fit-out –such as enhancing your corporate image and providing a competitive edge, creating new working communities and cultures within your business, as well as improvements in staff health and retention.

A designer is a business professional who develops solutions to commercial needs that require the balancing of technical, commercial, human and aesthetic requirements.

Interior designers and interior architects can be a valuable asset to business owners as they either develop their business or refresh their retail or office environment.

Office working environments have changed, driven by technology, flexible working hours and rising rents.

Drivers for change might relate to driving custom to your retail or office space, attracting and retaining staff or simply being too embarrassed to invite anyone to your office.

Office working environments have changed in many ways over recent years, driven by factors such as technology, flexibility in working hours and rising rental costs. There is an emphasis on team building and communication, rather than an autocratic style of management from the now-defunct large corner office.

Open-plan workplaces

Open-plan models of office design have also been motivated by the desire to provide enhanced environmental amenities for staff such as access to natural light, views and improved air flows.

Obvious efficiencies can be obtained by reducing the area allocated to each worker’s personal space and by grouping facilities requiring enclosure together.

There are upfront cost savings in constructing your fit-out, as services such as lighting and air-conditioning can be more efficient without closed offices acting as impediments. With energy costs rapidly rising, consideration of outgoing costs is significantly more important for both tenants and building owners.

A furniture-based open plan also provides prompt flexibility for growth and shrinkage of personnel numbers without costly changes to built form.

As technology has changed, we see staff working from home or from the road. An increased part-time workforce is creating a whole new hot-desking culture. Comfortable task chairs with adjustability to suit all body shapes are a good business investment by reducing back issues and repetitive strain injuries.

Staff turnover

As baby boomers continue to move into retirement, the younger workforce begins to represent a higher percentage of personnel. These workers have usually experienced more than one workplace and have probably already been exposed to open-plan offices with great amenities, therefore staff expectations have grown. An office without an in-house coffee machine and café/breakout space is really just not cutting it!

Staff turnover costs money.

We all know that staff turnover costs money. By keeping staff comfortable, happy and caffeined up, they are more likely to experience a positive working environment and stay with your company longer, saving recruitment and training costs.

Good design creates this appealing environment starting by obtaining a strong brief and creating a concept appropriate to your business. The concept should be embraced by all parties as it will guide the planning process and levels of connectivity between staff and departments, together with consideration of public and private spaces.

Designers & fit-outs

Creating change requires a new way of looking at the world. It takes imagination to see a brighter future with drive and passion to make it happen.

But that doesn’t mean designers can’t also be practical and manage budgets. Designers will usually manage the tender to builders and ensure construction is carried out in accordance with the documentation.

Be assured that the fee charged will be well-earned as this work can be very time consuming and complicated.

By having your designer look after the construction of your fit-out, you are able to continue looking after your own business and prepare your staff ready for relocation and all the positive changes ahead.

Sarah Gamtcheff and Neroli Hutchinson, Design Directors, Studio Tonic Members of Eastside BEC, SA