So, you have decided that it is time to give your commercial office a face-lift.
Great news. Optimising your commercial office is linked to increased employee satisfaction, productivity and well-being. In fact, a study by Future Workplace found that the right office environment can boost productivity by 67%.
But while commercial office fitouts offer a plethora of positive effects, they can also be a daunting and stressful experience.
One of the most common questions that we get asked is, ‘how much should I expect to spend on my fitout?’ this can be a tricky question as no two offices are the same in shape, size or set-up. Every office has unique needs and requirements that will naturally bring variations to costs and budget. Luckily, we know a thing or two about commercial office fitouts and can help demystify some of the costs that you can expect when taking the leap to upgrade your space.
Setting the Scope for Commercial Office Fitouts
Once you have decided to take those first steps towards a commercial office fitout, the first thing you should do is understand the scope.
What do we mean by this?
When planning your fitout, it is important to understand what improvements you want to make. Do you want more desks, meeting rooms, breakout rooms or anything else? What do you feel your current office is lacking, and what is your vision for your dream office? These are all important questions that you should ask yourself and your staff when planning your commercial office fitout.
Be sure to also take into account essential hidden services such as heating, cooling, data cabling and fire protection.
Designs are an integral part of any commercial office fitout. Once you have set the scope of what improvements you would like in your fitout, it’s time to design it.
This stage is usually done alongside the scope of works and acts as a consultation process with an architect or interior designer. Be sure to communicate all your needs for the fitout, including aspects such as; functionality, branding colours, feel, company culture and values.
While it may seem like a minor step in your commercial office fitout, the initial design brief is the bible for the project. It brings everything together and includes materials, fixtures, furnishing, layout and timelines.
Cost of Rooms
Different rooms have different needs and requirements. From primary work areas to small breakout rooms, each room has a different price tag attached to it. To help make it easier for assessing your budget, we will break down the costs of the most common areas we find in commercial office fitouts.
Main Work Area
The main work area of a commercial office is like the engine room. It is where the bulk of the work gets done and is fundamental to the success of any business.
Workstations can cost anywhere from $1,000 – $2,000 per station, depending on desks, chairs, wiring and power requirements.
Naturally, the cost of doing a commercial office fitout can largely depend on how big your office is, how many staff work in the office, and how many workstations you need. One thing to keep in mind is that the needs of your business are likely to change over time, including how many staff you have. We often suggest taking this into account when forecasting and planning the number of workstations you need.
One last aspect to consider with your main work area is that with the workplace revolution since COVID-19, many teams are not full-time working in the office, with many opting for a hybrid working arrangement. Be sure to bear this in mind when considering how much space, and how many workstations your office needs.
Small Collaboration Rooms
Small collaboration rooms have become a mainstay in modern commercial office fitouts.
These spaces are extremely useful and beneficial for teams to have a productive pow-wow without disturbing other employees around them. But they can be costly, with the build alone costing up to $5,000, with additions of up to $2,000 for mechanical, data wiring, fire safety, and soundproofing.
We recommend assessing how many small collaboration rooms your office needs, and if you require more than one, construct them side-by-side to reduce building costs.
Similarly, commercial office boardrooms are an essential think tank for any office.
These rooms have been a mainstay in commercial office fitouts for generations. They are versatile spaces, providing room for anything from an all hands on deck meeting, to a high-quality video call with distant clients and partners. There can be significant variation in price for these rooms depending on your requirements, such as size, audiovisual needs, soundproofing and airflow. The bulk of costs for a boardroom stem from the need for high-quality audiovisual and telecommunication specifications as well as electrical wiring for powered devices. A versatile, well-fitted boardroom can cost anywhere between $15,000 – $25,000 depending on your needs.
Kitchen & Breakout Rooms
Another room that we often see clients including in their commercial office fitout is a kitchen and breakout room.
What’s work without play, right?
Kitchen and breakout rooms are essential for office and employee happiness. These areas allow us to de-stress, take five and most importantly, get caffeinated. We won’t lie, kitchens are not cheap, and building from scratch can cost up to $10,000, which includes plumbing, joinery and appliances. But while expensive, in the long run, they can save you and your employees hundreds of hours in coffee and lunch runs.
Our tip to keep costs down: recycle old appliances, try to work with pre-existing layouts and plumbing.
Now that we have gone through the most common rooms that we see when doing commercial office fitouts, let’s look at something that is across all of them, flooring.
It is something easily forgotten when forecasting your budget, but if your current floors are not up to scratch, you may want to consider including them in your fitout.
You might be asking yourself, ‘why would I want to fitout my floor?’ well, studies have shown that professionally fitted floors can increase productivity by 20%. Additionally, old flooring can harbour potential health hazards such as mould, mildew and bacteria.
All in all, fresh flooring in your commercial office fitout will add around $60 per square metre.
All the Extras
Now that you have planned and budgeted the bulk of your rooms and spaces, it’s time for the fun stuff!
Furniture, lighting, decor and everything in between. These things can be incredibly alluring to spend your budget on and can really do wonders for the look and feel of your office. Helping clients and employees alike feel welcome, comfortable and creative.
While these extras may feel exciting, they are also rather expensive and do not offer the same level of functionality as other purposeful aspects such as workstations or meeting rooms. It is always a great idea to inject some new furniture and decor into your fitout, but you can always re-use old furniture to save costs.
Our suggestion is to prioritise your budget into rooms, hard fixtures and workstations; you can always buy new furniture down the track.
As you can probably tell by now, no two commercial office fitouts are the same. There can be substantial variations in shape, size and requirements, which affects their scope and cost.
Our recommendation is to budget for around $750 – $1050 per square metre. The lower end gets the essentials, with basic finishes and fixtures. The upper end gets you premium fixtures and finishes, while also allowing for luxurious furniture, lighting and joinery. This is not to say that the lower end can not get you great results. It certainly can, you just need to ensure you use your budget effectively.
Endless Possibilities With Agero
There is no denying that commercial office fitouts can be a daunting and stressful experience. Luckily, we are experts at them.
From design briefs to finishing touches, we are a one-stop shop for end to end fitout and refurbishment services. Instead of having countless contractors contact you around the clock, we act as a single point of call, ensuring that you remain in control of the project without having to take hours away from your business.
We design, build and style your dream commercial office fitout to make sure it fits all your requirements and budget, while also creating a productive and inviting space for clients and employees alike.
Want to see what’s possible? Click here.