How much does office interior design really matter?
If you’re asking yourself that question, consider a few interesting facts:
- 87% of employees would like healthier workspace options.
- Only 32% of employees feel focused and “engaged” in their office space.
- The #1 detrimental factor to productivity is poor office design.
What do you think? Does the layout, look, and feel of your office space have an impact on your business?
Absolutely! Whether you’re opening a new company or you’ve had an established space for years, there’s always room for improvement.
Hiring an office interior designer could mean the difference between a mediocre workspace and one that “wows” your staff and clients.
Wondering how to hire an interior designer? Here are 7 key points to keep in mind.
1. Know Your Budget
Before you begin your search for office design services, do you have a clear idea of what you want?
Start by making a list of the changes or upgrades you’d like in your current office space. Ask your employees for their input, too, as they might have some good suggestions you hadn’t thought of.
Next, determine your budget for your office makeover project. Depending on your finances, you may make a distinction between “needs” and “wants.”
You’ll need to find an office designer who’s willing and able to work within your budget. If you realize you’re short on capital, consider seeking a business loan or taking time to save more money.
2. Do Your Research
Once you’ve got your budget in mind, it’s time to get a ballpark idea of how much your vision will cost.
How familiar are you with the prices of high-quality office furniture? What about the cost of labor for the designer and their team? Keep in mind that professional designers can often source furniture directly from suppliers at reduced rates.
Will your project require extensive renovations? Now is the time to consult with contractors and get estimates for the required work.
The more information you can gather before hiring a designer, the smoother the process will be.
3. Ask for Referrals
Have you recently been inside an office you loved? Did one of your associates recently finish an office interior design project?
Don’t be shy—ask who they used to do the work. Were they happy with the designer’s work, rates, and communication style? Was the project completed on time and within the specified budget?
If you hear stellar reviews about a certain design company, that’s an excellent place to begin your search.
4. Start with a Consultation
Just like a first date, a consultation is about getting to know one another. Once you have a designer in mind, schedule a time to meet face-to-face to discuss your project.
Bring along a list of ideas, your budget, and any sketches or photos of how you envision the completed office space.
Are you interested in adding more natural light? Creating ergonomic work stations? Cutting costs by going green?
Whatever your vision, make your expectations clear from the beginning. This will help each of you determine if the designer is the right one for the job.
5. Consider Their Portfolio
A good office interior designer will have a portfolio that impresses you. (It should include actual photos of completed projects—not just renderings!)
The designer should be willing to listen to your ideas and show they understand them. They should also be able to provide suggestions and recommendations that could make your idea even better.
At the same time, you don’t want a designer who makes it all about them. No matter how accomplished they may be, remember that it’s your office they’re designing.
Your office and your brand have their own unique style, voice, and personality. A good designer will not only respect that but find ways to enhance it.
Take a good close look at their design portfolio. Does their style resonate with what you hope to accomplish? Have they done similar projects in the past?
Keep in mind that you don’t have to commit to the first designer you meet with. You should only hire someone whose work you truly admire.
6. Ask Specific Questions
During the course of your consultation, be prepared to ask plenty of questions.
Perhaps most important, make sure you understand the designer’s pricing policies. Will you be charged a flat rate for the project, or will they bill you hourly?
Will there be any additional charges, such as a procurement fee for collecting and installing materials? How often should you expect to receive an invoice?
What about the project’s timeline? Does the designer believe they can complete it in the time frame you have in mind? Do they have other projects that require a lot of time and attention?
How comfortable are you with the designer’s demeanor and communication style? If you don’t feel a good rapport from that first meeting, don’t sign a contract.
7. Review Contracts and Insurance
Speaking of contracts, this is one item you need to carefully consider.
More than just a receipt, it needs to specify what, when, and how the work will be completed. The designer’s responsibilities (and your own) should be clearly spelled out on paper.
You should also make sure the designer has the proper insurance for their business. Accidents can happen—pipes can burst, windows can break—so make sure they’re prepared to cover any damages that might occur.
With a little luck, your office makeover will go smoothly. Still, it’s always good to be proactive and make sure the proper paperwork is in place.
Once you’re satisfied with everything the designer is offering, it’s time to sign on the dotted line.
Congratulations—you’ve just hired an office designer!
Ready to Revamp Your Office Interior Design?
Having the right office interior is about more than just looking nice.
A new and improved office will boost employee morale and productivity. It’s also sure to impress any customers who walk through the door.
Rest assured that any expense you put out to hire an interior designer will be well worth it!
Did you find this article helpful? Check out our other recent office posts for more expert advice.