This post is part of the series, SmallBusiness.com Guide to Office Design and Furniture: Ideas, insight and inspiration related to the basics of small office planning and furniture. You can browse other posts in the series below.
If your company’s plans for the coming year include moving into new office space, here’s the best advice anyone will give you: Hire a professional to help you design and plan your space. You may think it’s an expense you can avoid, but having someone who plans offices for a living can save you time, hassle and money. And in some cases, it may help you avoid wrongheaded decisions you’ll be regretting for years.
Three ways a commercial designer will likely save you time, money and hassle
Balance competing needs or desires
Whether it’s deciding on a color palette or laying out a budget and timeline for the project, there will be a constant parade of decisions that will likely include the question, “Do you want this or that, because you can’t have both?” Just a few of the topics that will likely need the help of a professional in the decision making process:
- Work Processes
- And more…
Take care of the basics
There are some big-picture decisions you’ll have to make, but like most things in life, “the devil is in the details.” A professional commercial designer should be an expert in the details. He or she will help you through a long list of considerations that you’ve never considered. Here are just a few of the topics–each with hundreds of associated details:
- Panel systems
- Conference rooms
- Wall systems
- Power and Phone systems
- Data systems and networks
- Regulatory requirements
- And more…
Answer lots of questions and hold lots of hands
A professional designer will ask you lots of questions. But more than likely, you will ask even more. Often, the questions will involve money and start with the word, “Why?”
Advice before starting the planning process
- If you purchase all your furniture from one supplier, they may offer to provide a designer as a free service. While this may be a good option for some, consider hiring a fee-based, independent designer who has no financial incentives to recommend one manufacturer over another.
- Appoint a committee of people on your staff to serve as a sounding board for the designer. Make sure the designer has the opportunity to ask everyone about the ways they work and any ideas they may have.