commercial construction

Commercial construction, branding and image: tying it all together

Building your business when commercial construction is complete is tough unless you’re a franchise. If you’re an independent business owner striking it out on your own, getting a brick-and-mortar shop is half the job done. The other half is making it customer and employee-friendly.

 

Think about how to tie everything together. This includes:

  • Your brand
  • Your image
  • Customer experience
  • Employee welfare

 

You also want to set yourself apart from your competitors. This is easy to do, right from the planning stage. Ask yourself ‘what can I do better?’ You can do things for both customers and employees if you include these in the commercial construction design.

 

Your brand and image

What sort of image do you want your office to project? High end corporate? Or would you rather the youthful vibe of a startup? When you’re part of a franchise, this is easy to take care of because you must follow a set design. Working as an independent operator, though, you have a lot more freedom.

During the design stage of the commercial construction process, collaborate closely with the interior designer and play around with ideas. You can collaborate with local artists for murals. Have exposed brick walls instead of traditional plasterboard. Buy furniture in block colours and use the cushions to play with patterns and textures.

 

Employee welfare

These guys spend their entire day at the office, so it’s important to keep them in mind at all stages of the commercial construction. Create spaces that fit  your company values and ethos.

You can have common rooms or collaborative areas where employees can ‘hang out’, or have a hot desk system so people can sit wherever they like every day. You mightn’t be able to provide tennis courts and swimming pools like the Google offices, but it’s okay to start small. A fun addition for both employees and customers is an outdoor entertainment area, like a patio or rooftop bar.

Customer experience

Like employees, you don’t want your customers to feel confined. Open reception areas that allow customers to look into the working area lends a sense of intimacy. They can look at the ‘worker bees’ doing their thing and see the faces behind the brand.

Your offices doubles as a meeting space for clients. Floor-to-ceiling windows facing a garden area will lend a relaxing atmosphere. After the commercial construction is complete, look at extra amenities that can boost your image with them. It can be something as simple as luxury soap like Aesop, or even a coffee machine for each conference room.

office-fitout-airbnb

5 more ways to make your office fitout look expensive

 

We wrote a previous blog giving you advice on how to make your office fitout look high-end. There’s so many tips out there, we thought we’d do another one! There are tasks you can help us with during the design process, and little extras to finish when the job is done to make your new headquarters look photoshoot ready.

 

  • Pick a scheme and stick to it

Choosing a paint colour is difficult, though most companies pick the same shade as their brand logo. If you want to do something different, pick a neutral colour for the whole office fitout and build up from that. You can add splashes of colour with feature walls (or wallpaper, furniture, and office accessories. Picking a base colour, such as an off-white, and then adding two shades like charcoal and gold will tie the whole space together. It’s better to have restraint sometimes.

 

  • Recycled furniture

It’s tempting to buy new furniture off the showroom floor, but it’s not the most cost effective. It’s just as good to buy second-hand chairs, tables, and more in excellent condition. Or you can buy an older set and get it re-upholstered in a more modern fabric. If you like timber desks or chairs, they’re also easy to source from a recycle shop. Just give them a splash of paint or a new layer of wood stain. You can make your own Scandi furniture at less than half the price!

 

  • Buy set stationery

Having a coordinated desk with matching stationery is satisfying to look at. Plus, it shows customers you mean business. You have a set colour scheme for your paint and furniture, why not your office trays and notepads?

 

  • Your floor matters

Polished concrete and wooden click-in floors are popular options. They’re also cheap. When clients order an office fitout or renovation in a warehouse, they’ll keep the existing concrete floor. Often all that’s needed is a repolish and a new coat of sealant, depending on the floor’s condition.

 

  • Be clean

When it’s clean and put-together, it looks impressive and welcoming. Your customers will notice it, too. You don’t need to cram books onto a shelf to fill space or put as many chairs as possible around a desk. Sometimes less is more.

 

You don’t have to spend big bucks to make your office fitout look expensive. These tips, coupled with the others in our previous blog, should give you some ideas on how to decorate, what to do with the builder, and how to make the end result look spectacular.

 

Liked this? You’ll love these:

  1. 4 ways to make your office fitout look expensive
  2. 4 reasons to get an office renovation
  3. Use these office renovation ideas to make the workplace welcoming
office fitout

4 ways to make your office fitout look expensive

Office fitouts don’t have to come with a big price tag attached. Specialists like Rod Johnstone Group know the importance of sticking to budget. We stick to the scope and use our network to get the best prices possible. After a few years and dozens of builds later, we know a few ways to make your office fitout look high end without spending top dollar.

 

Open plan working

Office cubicles are getting ditched for their confining feel. The popular trend of open plan living has reached to office spaces, and employees are loving it. You’ll also get more floor space if you order unusually-shaped furniture. Traditional styles take up more room.

There’s ways of defining each space. Different types of furnishings and even plants will break up the working and leisure areas. In corporate atmospheres, open plan offices often showcase the number of employees working there. Commercial clients like salons have open working spaces for stylists to move around and show off how many clients use their services.

 

Use light

Natural light is touted as a staple in employee well being; it boosts efficiency and creates a more welcoming space for both workers and visitors. Solid partitions are still a common way to make separate areas, but floor-to-ceiling glass partitions are another option. This way the light doesn’t get interrupted.

Another way to make your office look expensive is using stylish lamp fittings. For businesses wanting an industrial feel use plumbing and galvanised pipe-style fittings in their light fixtures. Pendant lights are another way to bring some style and character, too.

 

Bring the outside in

When choosing the finishings, look for wood panelling and any other natural elements. Click-in wood floors is a great look. Plus, if you need another office fitout in the future, it’s easy to remove the wood and put it back in.

Green walls are another option for bringing in more nature. The plants will bring a sense of calm to the office, plus it will boost the amount of circulating oxygen. You can have one long wall or little areas spread throughout the place, even in the reception area.

 

Little details

Final touches are just as important as the large tasks. Deciding on paint colour and what type of flooring will make a big impact of the overall impression of your office fitout. Polished concrete floors are a versatile, inexpensive option that’s easy to dress. Furniture with nice upholstery and accessories, as well as some custom artwork, brings some personality to an otherwise minimalist space.

If you want some more ideas, check out our blog on how to make an office space more welcoming.

office renovation

Use these office renovation ideas to make the workplace welcoming

Office renovation ideas are tough to think of on the fly; you need time to make decisions about all the little things that bring the project together. There’s size, colour scheme, and even furniture to consider. There’s plenty of ideas and designs saturating the internet, so we gathered a few general but popular options.

White on walls

Indoor offices don’t have lots of natural light and you don’t want to darken the atmosphere. White (in its many different shades) will brighten spaces without much effort. It’s also a neutral colour, so you can dress up the space as you like. White walls with dark furnishings is a popular look.

Murals

You have white walls but you don’t want them to stay barren. Project managers of office renovation, or the directors of the company, are making more room for art and creativity. Offices of companies like Google, Airbnb, and Evernote have spaces set aside to use as feature walls. Sometimes they commission artists to paint something unique.

office renovation

(Evernote Offices, California)

 

Bring the outside in

Plan your office renovation with employee comfort in mind. Psychological studies have shown that contact with the outside world in some form improves worker efficiency. A view of nature reduces stress. German legislation has even made access to nature in some form compulsory in office buildings (Herman Miller, Comfort in the Workplace).  

Wooden furnishings, plants or even pictures of plants are other ways to bring more nature inside. If it’s possible, consider floor-to-ceiling windows. They give workers access to views and sunlight.

Go over the design with your builder and look critically at floor space. Cubicles might save a few square centimetres but they’re suffocating. They’re gradually getting traded for larger desks with small partitions. This gives the office a more “open-air” environment.

Reception area

If possible, bring all these elements into your reception area. It takes less than three seconds to make an impression and you want to amaze your guests as well as welcome them.

(5D Office Designs)

office-renovation-trends

Office renovation trends

Office renovations happen because the spaces are outdated, small or a combination of both. Facebook feeds and blogs are now major sources of “renovation inspiration”. News sites provide a platform for companies to show off their new office space, designed to inspire awe and maybe a bit of envy. Here are some trends that are making a splash.

Open-air

Open plan living is more often applied to homes, but it does well in an office renovation. Cubicles are getting replaced in favour of desks where people can work but don’t feel “caged in”.

The benefits of open-plan offices apply to both the workers and the wallet. Employees feel like the office is less confined but they can still work in their own space. On the financial side, the office renovation budget is still intact because the project manager didn’t have to waste money on new cubicles.

Themed spaces

Airbnb is touted as a fun place to work because their offices aren’t the same as everyone else’s. The designers of the offices in Surrey Hills were told to bring a “sense of travel” to the offices. Employees can work in spaces designed and named after locations around the world where the company operates.

office-renovation-airbnb

“Coogee” kitchen in Airbnb’s Sydney office

(Photo credit: www.news.com.au)

When you start your office renovation and want spaces to follow a certain theme, it’s important to talk to the builder and interior designer. The designer will have plenty of ideas and resources to get the look you want. If you’re stuck for ideas, there’s plenty of online resources to get you on the right track.

Au naturel

Wooden panelling is more commonplace in office spaces. Darker woods give a “warmer” aesthetic and a feel of elegance. Recycled timber that was once painted and sanded down gives a more “bohemian” vibe. If the timber is recycled, it’s better for the environment and the budget (because of its low cost).

Another way of reducing the office’s carbon footprint is installing a green wall. The plants act as a “filter” by drawing on excess carbon dioxide and other pollutants. They then supply the space with more oxygen. Plus, from a design point of view green walls in an office are pleasant on the eye.

commercial renovation

Keeping costs down on a commercial renovation

Commercial renovation projects are an expensive practice. Before you’ve gotten the project off the ground, you must consider money and how much you have available. The building is already there; you just need to find a way to “refresh” it without emptying the budget.

Reuse and recycle

Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s useless or broken. Keep the employee’s desks but add a lick of paint. You might even consider restoring it. Freestanding furniture is easier to move around compared to ones that are built into the building. Therefore they’re easy to transport to and from a workshop.

If the furniture is beyond renovations themselves, companies have the option to buy in bulk to keep costs down. There’s second hand/vintage shops as well that can save lots of money without sacrificing quality.

Go green

Renovation means out with the old and in with the new and more efficient. Older buildings aren’t fitted with eco-friendly options. This means various bills, and the carbon footprint, are through the roof.

It’s important to discuss new fittings with the builder and where you want them. Contractors replace a lot of lighting and plumbing fixtures during commercial renovation projects.

Go minimalist

One of the points of a renovation is updating the space. This is used as an opportunity to get rid of items that clutter a commercial space. Discuss a minimalist approach with the builder’s designer and architect. They’ll find a way to make the space more “open” and airy. Open plan offices are getting more popular because they let in more natural light and boost productivity.

Rent

Buying new costs A LOT when it comes to tech. Photocopiers, monitors, phones and more will burn through cash quickly when bought fresh off the production line. Some businesses have solved this dilemma by renting instead.

Just because a space is getting renovated doesn’t mean money should get spent on anything and everything. Discussing the budget with the builder, restoring the furniture and going green are some ways to keep costs down.