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“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life,” so the famous saying goes. Indeed, there is nowhere quite like London – both for pleasure seekers and businesses. It has everything: great pubs and nightlife, iconic landmarks, and a buzzing atmosphere.

The only downside is the cost. If you’re visiting the pub, expect to pay £8 for a pint. If you’re renting, expect to go to the corner shop for a beer instead of the pub!

Jokes aside, it goes without saying that the hefty costs make both living and running a business a challenge in the capital. In fact, when it comes to the latter, London office fit out costs are said to be the most expensive in Europe in 2023.

Given that this is the case, in this blog we explore cost saving ideas for companies embarking on a London fit out. While some tips will help to shave costs, others can be considered part of a long-term investment strategy to maximise ROI.

1. Choose an Experienced Fit Out Contractor

When choosing a contractor for your fit out project, look for one with a track record of working on similar projects. This will help you avoid overspending, as the contractor will have experience managing similar works and budgets.

When you find a contractor with a relevant project portfolio, ask how they met their previous clients’ budget requirements. A good example of how a contractor might meet budget requirements is by suggesting alternative materials or products that still meet the project’s overall objectives. This can help you save money without sacrificing the quality of your project.

2.Keep it Simple

Not all companies can afford a state-of-the-art office, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a boring or ineffective design. If you can’t go for the maximalist look, go for a minimalist, “less is more” approach.

For example, a neutral canvas can help you capture the essence of your brand without overwhelming the space. You could use neutral finishes, such as whites and greys, on the walls and flooring and add branded elements for a splash of colour. This will create a simple yet stylish office that reflects your brand’s personality.

You could also go for a simple open plan layout with “anchor points” for each department. This means teams can work in the same space but don’t necessarily have to use the same seats, which is ideal for hot-desking or hybrid working.

“We often encounter clients that want to rearrange their layouts or adopt a more open plan configuration. However, they don’t always know where to start in implementing this. The first, and possibly one of the most important, elements for any designer to understand are the departments and how they interface within the business. Consideration needs to be given to the workflow of any office and the acoustic requirements.
“For example, if an office has a customer service or call centre department, they should not be placed in the centre of a working environment due to noise levels and not next to more data sensitive departments such as accounts. If a client can detail the working process of their company, it will greatly inform the most appropriate layout to be adopted.” 
Alice Carr, Designer

Check out Coopervision’s office for a simple but effective office design.

3. Buy Multi-Purpose Office Furniture

To make the most of your furniture, consider investing in multifunctional pieces. Manufacturers have developed many innovative solutions for businesses over the years, including the following:

  • Whiteboard Tables – Whiteboard tables are a great way to save space and facilitate collaboration. These tables have a flip-top whiteboard surface that can be used for presentations, brainstorming sessions, or just jotting down notes. They’re perfect also for workshops, meetings, training sessions, and any other type of group work.
  • Modular furniture – To offer a bit more flexibility without breaking the bank, you could introduce some versatile modular furniture. As modular furniture breaks apart, one option is to arrange it in clusters for collaboration. Alternatively, employees can literally “take a seat” for individual work in a quiet part of the office.
  • Plant Display Dividers – One simple, effective trick is to use plant displays as department dividers. This is a great way to map out your departments while adding some uplifting greenery to the interiors.

For more cool ideas, check out some of the furniture from our trip to Clerkenwell Design Week. There was a hybrid that caught our eye, as well as Mobili’s handy “Box” storage/display unit.

“There are so many multi-purpose furniture products to choose from to utilise space in almost any working environment. With an ever-changing furniture market, we are regularly excited to see new, innovative products being generated by our trusted suppliers. For a completely fresh and unique office space, we also enjoy creating our own bespoke products alongside our furniture partners to produce the perfect solution for our clients.”
Aimee Beazleigh, Designer

4. Go Hybrid and Downsize

If you’re nearing the end of your lease and looking for a new space, consider downsizing to facilitate hybrid working. By allowing employees to work from home some of the time, you can reduce the amount of space you need and make significant savings on rent, utilities, and other overhead costs.

If you feel it is the right time to downsize, make sure you find a London interior design company that has expertise in space planning. This will ensure your space design is comfortable, functional, and suitable for future plans.

Even if hybrid working isn’t for you, it’s still important to think carefully about the kind of space you’re investing in. Some companies even conduct a workplace assessment on their existing office to see how much space they need. Failure to find the right space could prove costly, so it’s important to plan carefully to avoid issues later down the line.

Learn more about workplace assessments here: How AI is Changing the Office Environment

5. Think Long Term and Put Employees First

High employee turnover can be costly for businesses. It can lead to lost productivity, increased training costs, and a decrease in morale. So, by creating a workspace that employees love, businesses can reduce attrition rates, save money, and attract talent that will increase revenue.

For these reasons, it’s important to get the office interior design right. Consider how it will meet your employees’ expectations. If you’re on a budget, prioritise the necessities, such as breakout spaces, tea points for refreshments, washrooms, and the main working area.

Furthermore, you can consult your chosen fit out company on products that are durable. Some products, such as metal framed desks and laminate flooring, can withstand a lot of wear and tear and are easier to maintain.

Related content: How to Finance Your Fit Out Project

Thank You for Reading!

The fact that you’ve read this article suggests that you’re far from tired of London! But with rising costs, it makes sense to scrutinise expenditure and find ways to make your money – and office – work harder.

So, when you sit down to start planning your fit out, remember some of these key points:

  • Find a contractor that can offer value and reduce risk.
  • Compromise on design: if you can’t go maximalist, then keep it simple while maintaining functionality and character.
  • Source versatile furniture that can save space and serve more than one function.
  • Consider downsizing to save on rent and utilities.
  • Think long term: prioritise necessities to keep staff happy and buy durable products.

By using these as reference points, you’ll be able to make wiser investment decisions that will benefit your employees and bottom line.


Let Rap Interiors Help with Your London Fit Out Project

At Rap Interiors, our team of experts can help you implement a cost-effective office design that meets your needs. We have a proven track record of helping businesses save money on their fit outs, without sacrificing quality.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your investment for your next office fit out, contact us today. We’ll be happy to discuss your needs and put together a proposal that fits your budget.

To get started, speak to our friendly team on 0333 600 1234 or fill out the form below.