What I know about…employees & their role in an office fitout


Meet regularly: weekly meetings will give your team a clear focus says Tony Schiffmann

Put together an internal team at the start of a project and ensure they think beyond the ‘here and now’.

The BDO head office in Brisbane recently made the move into a new office that was completely re-designed from scratch internally, including some unique features in terms of layout and technology. We needed to put together a team of employees that understood where the business was going so we could plan an office fitout that met our needs now and into the future. The team thought hard about how we might work over the long term, as opposed to just how we work now. This also meant current and anticipated trends in office design were assessed in their appropriateness for our business. Our industry will look very different in years to come compared to what it does today, so this forward thinking approach was absolutely crucial to ‘future proofing’ our office design.

Draw upon your full leadership team across the business to ensure all bases are covered.

Our project team included leaders from across the business – from shared services managers to partners of our six service divisions. The diversity that existed amongst these service divisions added to the complexity of the design, because each of them required something different from their workspace. Drawing upon our full leadership team meant we covered-off all elements of our operations, from where to store paperclips to what size desks our staff needed!

Encourage the internal project team to be a voice for their staff.

Each member of our internal project group was tasked with bringing forward the ideas and concerns of their teams regarding the office fitout, allowing us to consider critical issues as they arose and to ensure our future workplace effectively met everyone’s needs.

Meet regularly in accordance with the needs of the project. 

The frequency of our meetings varied depending on what stage of the project we were in. At some stages they were weekly or even fortnightly. The fundamental decisions about the design needed to be made early and quickly because they set the tone for the entire build. Doing this meant we could extend upon those decisions throughout the course of the project, giving us a clear point of focus.

Understand the impact that being in the project team has on a member’s regular workload.

The members of our team were incredibly busy as the best of times, so the requirements of this project certainly became an added demand on them. It was a demand they saw the importance of though, so this meant they all managed to prioritise their duties to ensure it received the attention required.

Resolve all issues as they arise and know that success is just around the corner.

We worked hard to resolve any issues as they occurred, and I am confident we have nothing outstanding. We ultimately got what we wanted in our new offices and the internal project team is to thank for that.



“What I know about…” is a monthly series produced by Officeionado. If you would like to read our previous entries please go here


The articles on the Charter Build blog – Officeionado – are written by the CB team and edited by Jane Bright, our Design Director. If you have any questions regarding our content, syndication of our content or content submissions, please contact Jane via email jane@charterbuild.com.au. For notification on new blog posts either subscribe (top of sidebar on this page) or follow Charter Build @charterbuild and Jane Bright @1JaneBright.