10 important points to consider when choosing a corporate interior design company
Post written by Paragon Interiors   November 3, 2016

1. Office design specialists

Corporate design is a specialist skill, very different to domestic, hospitality, or retail interior design. Choose a company that focuses on office design as they will have all the necessary experience required to design an office. Look out for customer satisfaction letters or referrals to put your mind at ease that the design company does their job well.

A company that offers a comprehensive service including space assessments, space planning, interior design, comprehensive construction drawings, procurement, and construction management will ensure the design intent is secure throughout the phases of the project, guaranteeing the expected outcome.

2. Creative reputation

Naturally, you are choosing an office interior design company to give your office that wow factor, so that your brand is portrayed in the best possible way. The design company you choose can make the difference between a great and simply amazing office space. Have a look at previous clients’ projects to get an idea of the level of professionalism and creativity of the design team at the firm. This can be seen on their website and by visiting completed projects. Make sure the design company has some diversity in design, project size and different industries or a similar industry to yours. This should give you assurance in their ability to accurately translate your needs into a functional, creative and productive work environment.

3. Experience

Whilst creativity is important, you need to be confident that the design company you choose has a wealth of previous experience to ensure that your project will run smoothly. There is a lot to consider and manage when running a corporate design project and only those with years of experience have ‘walked the walk’, and will be able to accomplish desired results on time and within budget.

4. Understanding the office is a place to obtain happy, productive results

All good corporate designers have research teams that are constantly researching how offices affect their occupants and know that there is more to an office than aesthetics. They will understand the needs of different job functions and offer design solutions that suit the physical space needs, the aesthetics and the affective component of the space, – essentially how users think and feel in the space. Look at the design company’s resource pages to see their involvement and research into these aspects of design.

5. Change management services

Moving or changing offices can sometimes cause stress and anxiety for employees, as they fear the unknown, often resulting in resistance to change. This is often caused by a lack of involvement in the process of the move and communicating regularly with them will drive engagement and reduce apprehension. This requires a professional approach by a trained and experienced individual or team, preferably led by an industrial psychologist. A good corporate design house will offer this service to help smooth the transition process.

6. Reputable for meeting deadlines

Inexperience can lead to deadlines being missed. In the corporate world, there is no time for delays, so choose a company that has a reputation for meeting deadlines within an agreed timeframe. Such a company will be able to present you with a project schedule that depicts the details of all aspects of the project from demolition to completion. Don’t be unrealistic, – if the time plan seems too good to be true, it is. Quality may be sacrificed to get the project completed in an unrealistic time frame. Allow enough time for the project to be completed well.

7. Independent from supply chain

Be wary of design companies that have links to supply companies. Firstly this doesn’t allow for freedom of choice when selecting products and secondly the prices are determined by the design company and you won’t have the option of comparing quotes.

8. Buying power & financial stability

A design company that has a good track record with its suppliers, treating them with respect and paying them within the agreed terms will be able to receive reliable and good service from the suppliers, thus ensuring a smooth construction and supply phase of the project. With a long history within the design industry, and designing for clients of various sizes, the design company will have better buying power, affording you, as the client more options to choose from and better prices.

9. Insurance

Professional design companies will have the necessary insurances in place for any mishaps on site and whilst you hope they are never needed, it is reassuring to know that you are safely covered in any event. Check that they have contractors all risks insurance and professional indemnity policies in place.

10. Health and Safety track records

Health and safety legislation requires that there are health and safety professionals inspecting the construction site to ensure that regulations are adhered to. A good design house makes sure that all documents, records, contracts and agreements are in place to ensure that you are in good standing with the Department of Labour. Enforcing safety procedures on site is non-negotiable and ensures your project is implemented without incident. Independent assessments will guarantee that health and safety regulations are adhered to. Ask the design company for their track records in this regard.