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A warehouse fit out is an exciting step for your business – but it can also be very challenging. With so many factors involved in a project, it’s important to identify your key goals, anticipate any obstacles, and get expert advice where necessary.

In this guide, we unveil some essential tips to navigate your fit out. From maximising the available space to optimising workflow and ensuring the safety of employees, we provide an overview of the key aspects to consider before starting a project.

By taking on board these tips, you can create a functional and efficient space that makes a positive difference to both your business and employees. Read on to learn more…

Optimise Your Mezzanine

Often, our industrial and warehouse clients use a mezzanine floor for office operations. This can typically include one or more work zones, a meeting area, and a breakout room, offering a dedicated space for administrative personnel.

If you’re looking to do the same, start by getting some space planning and design advice. This can help you to uncover enhancements that can improve workflow, maximise the available space, and create a more comfortable environment for staff.

For example, our client DB Services needed help to optimise its small mezzanine for a staff reshuffle. After assessing the spatial and structural possibilities, we were able to add an extension to the first floor to create more space for employees. Such changes had looked like major obstacles beforehand, highlighting the importance of getting expert advice.

Learn more about out London fit out service here.

Ensure Compliance

Scania Warehouse Fit Out Project Conducted by Rap Interiors in Kent Scania Warehouse Fit Out Project Conducted by Rap Interiors in Kent
Roller Shutter for a Warehouse Fit Out Kent Roller Shutter for a Warehouse Fit Out Kent
Scania-Warehouse Fit Out Project in Kent Scania-Warehouse Fit Out Project in Kent

Any modifications made to a warehouse’s interior should adhere to specific buildings regulations. These regulations ensure the space is safe and functional for occupants, which is extremely important in busy warehouses where the risk of accident (e.g., falling or collision) is higher.

A quick look at the UK government’s approved documents for buildings will show you the lengths warehouse fit out companies go to in order to achieve compliance. From using materials to limit the spread of fire to avoiding changes that compromise structural integrity, meeting the criteria requires exceptional expertise.

Ultimately, achieving compliance is a must, so it’s worth sounding out fit out companies to make sure they’re up to speed with the latest regulations. These are updated regularly, so keep this in mind when evaluating project proposals from your company shortlist.

Improve Conditions for Staff

Employees shouldn’t feel like they’re walking into a Dickensian time warp when they enter your warehouse, with health and safety issues and drab surroundings. To avoid this eventuality, it’s important to prioritise their wellbeing and make them feel valued.

In addition to ensuring health and safety compliance, one great way to improve conditions for staff is to introduce amenities like a breakout area. Check out the Albion Fine Foods breakout space for a great example, which includes a deli-style servery, dining booths, and fitting modern-industrial features like pendant lights.

The Albion breakout space occupies an entire floor in a separate area from the work zones. This makes for a clear delineation between work and rest, which is important in encouraging employees to step away from their duties, recharge, and connect with colleagues.

Introduce Good Washroom and Shower Facilities

Another way to improve conditions for staff is to introduce good quality washrooms and showers. With clean, comfortable, and well-maintained facilities, your employees will feel cared for at work, which contributes to a more positive environment.

For the washrooms, we recommend opting for neutral colours for a spacious feel, allocating sufficient room in each cubicle for comfort and privacy, and installing touchless features to promote hygiene. Some should also be Equality Act compliant, with features like handrails for additional support.

Likewise, showers should also be well lit, inviting, and Equality Act compliant (e.g., with ample space and a fold down seat). These are ideal for operatives who start early and those with jobs that entail heavy physical exertion.

Enhance Your Layout and Workflow

Another key factor in creating a practical warehouse space is the layout. For all areas, it’s important to create an efficient configuration that facilitates a smooth, clear traffic flow and maximises the available space.

In regard to warehouse operations, make sure you leave ample space for pallets, employees, and manoeuvring forklifts around storage units. Vertical storage solutions like the aforementioned mezzanine or racking can help here, as they can maximise space utilisation at ground level.

When it comes to the office mezzanine, consider the number of occupants and how you’ll zone the space for different departments. While mezzanine offices are often compact, you can maintain a spacious feel by introducing glass partitions, like Simpsons Wine Estate in Kent.

Consider Finance

A warehouse fit out is a significant investment for any business. With extensive works involved, creating the ideal space may seem out of reach – but there is a way to make it achievable.

With finance, you can spread the cost of your fit out over an extended repayment term, rather than paying a lump sum at once. This means you can retain cash reserves to deploy in another area of the business that generates high returns, such as marketing or sales.

Furthermore, without the large down payment, you may be able to take on a more ambitious warehouse fit out project. This could help you to build a space that matches your growth plans and accelerate the business.

Related content: Benefits of Using Office Fit Out Finance

Find Suitable Storage Solutions and Furniture

We’ve already mentioned the importance of vertical storage in creating space on the lower level. Additionally, it’s a good idea to analyse your inventory before making choices on storage. For example, you may choose to put inventory with high demand on easy to access pallets.

For employees, one essential piece of furniture is a good locker system. This gives the workforce a space to store their personal belonging when on shift, which is especially useful for warehouse operatives who don’t have a fixed workstation.

Whatever furniture you choose, we recommend you go for sturdy, high quality items. This is important for both longevity and safety (unstable units may collapse under too much weight), making for a sound investment for your business.

Essential Tips for a Warehouse Fit Out: The Final Takeaway

Ultimately, if you invest the time and effort into careful planning, you will reap the rewards of a functional, efficient warehouse that empowers your business to thrive. Your employees will also benefit from a safe, pro-wellbeing environment, which in turn will increase retention, productivity, and morale.

From creating an efficient space design to choosing the right investment strategy, your early planning will help you to create a clear roadmap and avoid costly mistakes. Get this right, and you’ll put yourself on the path to a successful fit out and thriving business.

Written by Chris Sparham

Are You Considering an Industrial and Warehouse Fit Out?

If this blog has inspired you to embark on a fit out project, then we’d love to help. At Rap Interiors, we have a proven track record of creating efficient, practical, and visually impressive workspaces that make a positive difference to businesses. With an experienced design and build team, we can create a concept that meet your unique needs and manage the fit out works too.

To book a consultation, please call our friendly client care team on 0333 600 1234 or fill out the form below.