How to Choose and Brief an Office Design Company

Hannah Watkins
Hannah Watkins|Updated December 18th 2018

A well-designed workspace can do wonders for both a team’s efficiency and their morale. In fact, a report published by Lifehack found that thoughtful office surroundings could increase a team’s productivity by up to 20% – that’s basically an extra day’s work per week.

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However, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, many employers still don’t consider workplace design a good business investment. Reasons why office space design may fall down the list of priorities include the price and size of the task. Luckily, there are plenty of innovative serviced offices out there who are well-practiced in the art of creating workspaces that are kitted out to fit employees’ needs, where all-inclusive rents are more than reasonable.

But serviced offices aren’t necessarily for everyone – some may prefer to opt for a blank canvas that they can make their own.

Fitting out your own office

Designing an office can be a long process – especially when you’re starting from scratch – and ensuring that all employees have a comfortable workspace environment in which they feel able to work as happily, healthily, and productively as possible is rather a tall order. That’s why sometimes, it’s best to hand over to the experts; the whole process gets a whole lot easier if you hire an office design company to do the work for you.

In this article, we’ll discuss when and why designing your own office might be the best option for you, who the best office design companies in London are, and how to brief a design company once you’ve chosen one.

Benefits of designing your own office 

  • The space will be your own

One of the reasons some teams don’t want a serviced office is that they feel that they’ll lose their identity. This is understandable – working in a space owned by a serviced office provider can mean that you’re limited as to how much you can make the space your own.

That’s one of the benefits of fitting out your own space. You can use your own branded mugs, adhere to your colour scheme, and welcome clients into a space dedicated to your business alone.

  • Create a positive brand image

If you have a cramped and untidy workspace, full of mismatched furniture, it says a lot about your brand – and not in a good way. The way that your company functions internally can have a huge impact on how it appears externally… so start from within and build your brand from there.

  • Boost employee satisfaction

Office design can have an enormous effect on employee satisfaction. Poor lighting conditions, bad ventilation, and too little space can make employees lethargic and demotivated. All of these things can be fixed easily by taking the office design into your own hands, and the knowledge that you want to do so can improve employee morale in itself.

  • Attract new talent

recent report on behalf of Glassdoor found that over a third of people believe that perks are their most important consideration before accepting a job at a company, and one such perk can be a thoughtful and well-designed office. When you think about it, your office will often be an individual’s first impression of your company; an attractive workspace can be a good indicator to them that you value your employees wellbeing, meaning they’ll be desperate to join your team.

London’s best office design companies:

If you’ve decided that designing your own office is the right path for you, then it’s time to go about finding your ideal design company. As is always the case, be vigilant: be sure to do your research, read reviews, and follow recommendations. If you’re not sure where to start, then here are five of the top-rated office design companies in London:

Thirdway Interiors

Thirdway Interiors are responsible for the stunning offices of Revolut, HelloFresh, and Transferwise. So if you like the look of those, this is the team for you.

In Thirdway’s words: “It’s our belief that design should be effortlessly functional. That’s why we take inspiration from the latest technological advances and human understanding. We want you to be delighted with your office space now and well into the future.”

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Maris Interiors

The geniuses behind offices of Uber, Ted Baker, and RateSetter are Maris Interiors, believers that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to office space. On their website, you can search and save images of your favourite works that they’ve done in the past onto a mood board, to show them exactly what you want.

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Peldon Rose

Peldon Rose offer all of the services you could possibly need under one roof, from furniture planners to mechanical and electrical experts. Their client portfolio varies from English Heritage and JustGiving to The White Company and Canvas, so they’re experienced in meeting the needs of a wide variety of companies. Here’s an example of one of their previous projects (you can actually find this workspace on Hubble itself):

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Area

Area is one of the UK’s most progressive and successful workplace design and fit-out specialists, and their creative solutions are built on four key principles: innovation, inspiring design, excellence in delivery, and great relationships. Their projects have even included a number of the serviced office offerings that we have on the Hubble platform, such as LEO – Nova North, and Work.Life.

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Oktra

Oktra are legendary office designers, with private offices of big names such as UNICEF and Gymshark under their belt. They also designed the stunning Elephant & Castle workspace The Ministry – a design-led office with modern and innovative features including a cinema.

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How to brief to a design company

Once you’ve chosen your design company, it’s time to brief them. At this point, it’s vital to ensure that you really understand exactly what it is that you want from your new office. This is also the perfect opportunity to get your team involved – what do they want from their office space?

Putting together a clear brief for a design team is key to helping them understand your vision, so take the opportunity to consider all aspects of the new space, from the kind of atmosphere you want to evoke to the type of charging points you’ll need.

Know what you have

Make sure you have a clear idea in your mind of the budget that you’re willing to dedicate to your office design – and the time that you are able to allocate to the work being done. Remember that renovations of existing spaces might have an impact on your team – from occasional noise interruptions to making a space impossible to work in altogether. Also be aware that some buildings may have restrictions on the amount and/or type of work you can do to them. Do your research in advance to avoid any nasty surprises later down the line.

Know who you are

Really knowing what your business is and what you stand for is essential when coming up with your office design. To ensure that your brand and company culture are successfully reflected in your surroundings, you need to be able to effectively relay exactly what they are to your design company. Are you looking for a relaxed and informal setting? Or is your business more formal, looking to impress clients? From here you can explore the finer details.

Know what you need

Make sure that you inform the company about any requirements you have – e.g. a presentation wall, meeting rooms, or AV equipment. A good designer will incorporate common office practicalities into their designs, but it’s also down to you to include these in the brief. If you tell them about any particular needs after the whole design process is done, it can get difficult for both parties.

Know what you want

Now it’s time to think about the fun part – the aesthetics. Tell the design company clearly what your expectations are – whether it’s as crazy as a fireman’s pole down to the board room or champagne on tap all day long. They will do a professional assessment of what is possible and what is not within your budget, so think outside the box!

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Not sure where to start?

We have 99% of London’s flexible office inventory on our online platform – including both beautifully designed serviced offices as well as blank canvases you can make your own. Get in touch at help@hubblehq.com, or search for yourself here:

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