You have been appointed to chair the committee tasked with the fit-out of the company's new office. The whole journey can be exciting or daunting, depending on the expertise you have in the field and how much time you have to squeeze in this extra task in you already endless to-do list.
Office fit-out is a costly affair in terms of time and financial resources invested.
Office fit-out is a costly affair in terms of time and financial resources invested. In Nairobi, most leases range between 5 - 6 years. Therefore, decisions on such fit-out need to be sound to serve the company for, at least, the duration of the lease. It is essential that the fit-out selected is appropriate to serve the organisation for the duration of the lease without losing its lustre or looking outdated.
Flooring takes a considerable chunk of your fit-out budget, especially if you decide to go for wooden or carpet floors. There is therefore a need to ensure the right investment is made right from the start. There are various types of floors to choose from; tiles (porcelain/ceramic), marble floors, granite, carpet, wooden, laminate, epoxy, terrazzo, brick among others, all with different effects, prices and maintenance requirements.
Where your office is located is vital when considering the surfaces to invest in. It is important to consider the climatic conditions in the area and availability of paved/tarmacked passageways for your employees and guests. Cold floors are not ideal in areas that experience cold weather or where temperatures drop significantly in the mornings or evenings. The most ideal flooring for such locations would be warm flooring like wooden, laminate or carpeted floors.
2. Foot Traffic
It is important to consider the number of people in the organisation as well as the frequency of walking within the office when selecting flooring. If the office has a lot of employees who are busy moving in and out of departments, then it is important to invest in flooring that can be easily maintained without losing is look. The same applies if the office has frequent visitors or companies that serve the public. An example would be in a bank, industrial park, hospital among others.
Given points 1 and 2 above, how durable is the flooring that you are about to invest in? How long do you want this floor to serve you? Flooring chosen should serve the organisation at least, till the end of the lease period without looking worn out. Proper maintenance of the floor is of course necessary to ensure longevity of the floors. Some durable floors include tiles, wood, terrazzo, granite, marble and carpet floors.
There are two key points when considering cost; first, the initial investment required and second, the cost of maintaining the flooring? It would be a serious mistake to overlook one over the other. The tendency is to choose flooring that is trendy while forgetting the cost of maintenance. It is important to involve a facility manager when making such decisions.
5. Your Business
The nature of your business is also an important consideration. Besides dictating the foot traffic and durability, the nature of your business is very important when selecting the floor to invest in. Whether it is an office, hospital, school, hotel, restaurant, garage, gym, the nature of the business will have a huge impact on the type of flooring to select. Even various parts of a office will require different flooring. For instance, the boardroom may have a wooden floor, carpets for offices and corridors, tiles for the kitchen or breakout area and so forth.
Given the five points above, consider the location and foot traffic expected - given the nature of your business, the durability and the cost of the flooring and maintenance. Determining the type of floor to invest in is key when fitting out your office flooring to avoid costly ramification in the future.