Workspace design budgets: where do we start?

2nd December 2019

We sat down with Jeanette Grover Rapport’s Project Director and our independent designer Will to find out what considerations need to be addressed when considering budgets for your workspace design or fit-out.

What’s your advice on workspace utilisation?

Jeanette: That’s driven naturally, given limited, available good quality space and the cost associated to today’s work space.  Space needs to be utilised effectively.

Will: In terms of the look and feel from a furniture perspective, creating flexibility’ while balancing privacy is an important aspect.

Open plan space has its benefits, enabling increased occupancy and flexibility to change within an organisation.  However, considerations to noise and privacy will be paramount to its users and their long-term health.

White noise systems, acoustic flooring, wall and ceiling panelling can all be incorporated effectively into the design of the working space, depending on the individual need.

A successful design/designer and management team should provide a functional space that’s realistic, flexible AND atheistically pleasing.

What building constraints could there be?

Will:  Older buildings with smaller floor plates can divide an organisation and increase fit-out costs.

Restructuring and improving departmental efficiencies by being more strategic in its designed environment is crucial.

Can a budget have an impact on the effectiveness of design?

budgets Jeanette: Budget comes in conjunction with the design process and building selection.  Some clients don’t have a clue what their budget is.

The selection of the most appropriate procurement route should always be based on client needs. Consider, as an absolute minimum, programme, cost and quality expectations.

You can design creating minimal cellular space within the right building and therefore, the budget is not going to be high.   Or you can design high spec, and the budget is naturally higher. One can’t come without the other.

Taking early professional advice, understanding your organisations’ future needs and planning at least 6-months before you need to move (dependent on your lease terms) or refurbish plans will all assist in managing project costs.

Jeanette: Rapport are well placed to offer an independent assessment to identify the best procurement route for our client. One of the benefits of appointing a company like Rapport is we independently manage the entire project programme.

A turnkey ‘Design and Build’ process whereby you have design and contractor working together can make it difficult to monitor costs closely.  Rapport provides clients with cost certainty, and we offer an open book tender process. Design and Build companies are useful if you have limited time and limitless budgets.

We can be appointed to work in two ways;

  1. We plan and detail the design packages. From this, we prepare the contract scope of works which in turn is tendered to main contractors.  Through an open book tender, we select the main contractor and manage the fit-out process on behalf of our client.
  2. As an independent unbiased advisor, we can be appointed to oversee a Design and Build Company.

UK Broadband and Jagermeister appointed Rapport in this capacity to check design practicalities and cost associations within the design and build process.  We can help monitor costs and performance through the programme as an Employers Agent.

With an excellent track record in project managing office fit-outs for end-user clients, our projects range in value from £20,000 to £1.2 million.

Having Rapport on your team ensures expertise on design, and removes additional costly contractor layers throughout the project programme.

We are always delighted to hear from those working on a workspace design or fit-out project.  You can speak with us on 01252 712590 or email us at

You can view our portfolio of work here