Tag Archives: Office Fit-out

Building Design Ideas for Smaller Commercial Offices

Every commercial office space needs to be designed and constructed well, no matter the size. Small spaces in particular require more attention to detail and strategies to make it feel larger than it is and work with optimal efficiency. Building design and construction for your small office should reflect the goals of your business, enhance work processes, and support your desired company culture. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some modern building design ideas to refer to when planning construction for your small commercial office space.

#1 – Choose Minimalist Perfection

A minimalist approach suits smaller commercial offices because it actively reduces clutter, opens up the space, and creates a crisp, functional appearance. When undergoing a minimalist office fit-out, the key is to get everything just right – any small imperfections, the incorrect furniture, or a poor design element is going to stand out on this blank canvas. Go for simple, high-quality materials and fittings, a few stand-out elements that catch the eye, plain walls paired with glass, hidden IT infrastructure, and furniture that is correctly scaled to your space.

A great example of a minimalist office space that doesn’t lack warmth or elegance is the Guilherme Torres Studio in São Paulo, Brazil.

#2 – Go Bold

In architecture and commercial office design, bigger doesn’t mean better. In fact, smaller office buildings have the opportunity to be more experimental and exciting in their design, using boldness to make a splash without becoming overwhelming. Work with your office construction partner to discover a unique personality for your organization’s space, using external and internal elements to create a sense of delight, innovation, creativity, or strength – whatever fits best with your company culture.

A striking example of this type of office design is the 490 Consulting Suites or Mini Tower in Spring Hill, Australia, which was constructed on the site of a single small cottage. Contrasting with the bulky new developments around it, this building offers a creative and irregular external shape, creating an eye-catching but practical, intimate workspace.

#3 – Be Green

Due to their smaller scale, it can also be easier to introduce new technologies and green building techniques into a small office construction project rather than a large one. This allows organizations to reap multiple rewards, including the PR boost that comes with eco-friendly and sustainable initiatives, and the long-term savings on operational costs. There’s massive scope for how your office fit-out can be greener, from installing high-efficiency appliances, wastewater reclamation systems, and solar panels to introducing architectural elements that actively support natural ecosystems. It’s an exciting space for office design and one that can be very successful.

One great example of this is the Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh, which is LEED Platinum and Living Building certified. It uses biophilic design elements, rests softly on the conservation area’s existing slopes, and has both Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Water systems in place.

#4 – Use What’s Already There

We live in an age where “new” things are thought of as “better,” but that’s not always the case – especially with buildings. Utilizing what is already on site as part of your office construction project can add character to your design, reduce waste and costs, and create a story for your organization. It requires innovative thinking and a different mindset, but the rewards can be impressive, from preserving parts of history or unique structures to recreating something new and functional out of something that no longer had a purpose.

An interesting example of this is the GS1 Portugal building in Lisbon, Portugal. Designed for business innovation, this building exemplifies this concept and the culture behind it. The building utilizes the site of an 18th-century farmhouse and was inspired by the 1970s Anglo-Saxon University style. The interior and exterior play on reused materials and architectural techniques of the past, from the raw concrete and exposed ductwork to the pre-existing 80s style of the old building’s interior.

Speak to Office Fit-Out Specialists for Bespoke Small Office Designs in NJ

BE Builds is an established leader in innovative commercial office construction services, working to position your NJ business effectively in a changing environment. We know your business is unique, so we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach – instead, we create and deliver custom office designs that work for your business, industry, and budget. To find out more about our interior office construction and design services, contact us today or visit our website at: https://bebuilds.com/


  1. Guilherme Torres Studio: https://www.archdaily.com/878403/guilherme-torres-office-studio-guilherme-torres?ad_medium=office_landing&ad_name=article
  2. 490 Consulting Suites: https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=+490+consulting+suites+
  3. GS1 Portugal Building: https://www.archdaily.com/871361/gs1-portugal-promontorio

How to Best Manage Timelines for Your Office Buildout

Office buildouts can be fairly complex projects, with multiple elements coming together in a set sequence in order to deliver a workspace on time and on budget. From signing the lease and designing the space, to the different elements of an office fit-out and, finally, the office move itself, it’s all about effective timeline management. The team at BE Builds has delivered exceptional quality, custom office fit-outs for many years, and we understand the stress that comes with this type of project. Here’s our guide on how to best manage these timelines.

Step #1 – Design

As soon as you have access to the space, it’s time to get office architects onsite to get a feel for the property. After assessing the location, they should have a sound understanding of what you want to achieve with the finished result, and what’s feasible within the space and budget.

This kicks off the design process that’s fundamental to realizing a truly productive workspace that represents your brand, is functional for your teams (especially in a more flexible post-COVID work environment), and is suited to your industry.

Step #2 – Permits and Planning Permissions

Once you have settled on your design, your office buildout team should move onto getting the planning permission and permits that your project requires. This is dependent on your city’s building department, so it is difficult to give an exact amount of time that this stage will take. For that reason, it’s a good idea to move on to steps 3 and 4 as soon as your applications are in, so that the project is ready to hit the ground running when permits are granted.

Step #3 – Furnishings, Features and Fixtures

This is the nuts and bolts stage where you start choosing what products and materials will be used in the office space. This includes everything from IT infrastructure, lighting and environmental controls to walls, storage, seating and desks. You should have a clear idea of the color scheme, what each department requires, and how this will fit into the overall setup.

Remember, many of the furnishings like desks, cabinetry, seating and reception furnishings will only be installed in the final stages of the project, so it’s best to set a delivery date that aligns with the timeframe for your project.

When selecting materials and furnishings, it’s recommended that you don’t just consider your budget, overall aesthetic or ergonomic design. In addition, it’s important to consider materials that will withstand rigorous, frequent sanitization, and products made without toxic elements such as formaldehyde, which is common in poor quality office furnishings1 .

Step #4 – Select a Contractor

For this step to work, the plans for your office buildout must have been finalized, as these are pivotal to costing out the project. As long as they are final, you can start collecting bids from contractors. When selecting contractors, it’s important that you use someone with sufficient, relevant experience backed up by client testimonials. They should be licensed, insured and bonded2 for the state that the work is to be completed in, and also ensure that your project will be completed within your expected timeframe.

Once you’ve hired a contractor, they will be able to give you a clear timeline for their work, including key milestones, as well as a final handover date. It is very important to understand these milestones and to note if your contractor is hitting them on time or not, as this can cause costly delays. It can also impact other aspects of the fit-out, including furniture delivery and subcontractor work.

Step #5 – Planning Your Office Move

Now is the time to start planning and coordinating your move from your old office into your new space if you haven’t done so already. Depending on the size of your office and the complexity of your move, this can take 3-6 months of planning3 .

In addition, start taking regular walkthroughs of your new office space with your contractor as work reaches completion. Inspect all work and write down any issues that need to be repaired or changed on your punch list, so that your contractor can do this work before your moving date, while the team is still onsite.

Take a Load Off – Leave Your Office Fit-Out in the Hands of Our Office Construction Services Team!

Of course, the easiest way to relieve the administrative burden of your office buildout is to utilize a team who can be trusted to handle it all for you. BE Builds is a full-service office construction services team based in New Jersey. With successful projects all across the tristate area, we work with each client to manage every aspect of the project, using our team to design, construct and furnish your new workspace.

Contact us today for a simpler, streamlined and hassle-free office buildout service, or visit our website at: https://bebuilds.com




2. https://www.freeadvice.com/legal/licensed-and-bonded-contractors-what-it-means-and-why-hire/

3. https://www.thespruce.com/plan-organize-office-or-business-move-2436522

The 3 Most Common Office Build-outs

When it comes to office design, form follows function! It’s all about creating a space that streamlines everyday business activities, aligns with your industry and supports the growth of your brand. COVID-19 may have thrown a wrench into the mix, but there’s still plenty of good reasons why the most common office build-outs are still being used today – although they are evolving to meet the needs of a changing work environment.

The team at BE Builds has decades of experience in the commercial office design and construction industry, assisting businesses in all sectors to develop bespoke, productivity-focused work environments. We’ve put together a quick guide of the most common office build-outs to help guide your office design strategy in a post-COVID work environment.

#1 – The Collaborative Design

Working together – it’s what we do best. We’re social beings and our interactions, conversations and collaborations form the foundation of almost every great business idea, feeding our productivity and drive to succeed. If you want a workspace that promotes engagement, innovation and productive collaboration, this flexible and multi-function design sets the standard.

Characteristics of collaborative office designs

  • Several different office spaces or zones differentiated by function or task, including large and small meeting rooms, brainstorming zones, team spaces and private workspaces.
  • Furniture and office design is usually modular, enabling people to join in and work together as needed. People can move in and out of different zones as their tasks change through the day or week. This is especially important as workplace flexibility trends gain ground1, allowing employees to work in a highly-productive space for collaborative tasks, meetings and networking away from distraction-heavy home environments.
  • Lower distraction levels, as different groups or individuals can move to different spaces as work tasks dictate.
  • Reduced costs, as organizational footprints can be reduced to highly-functional spaces that support flexible work environments, reducing square footage and operational costs while improving productivity. This is key in the evolving hub-and-spoke office design2.


  • It’s easy to communicate over both formal and informal channels, making communication quick and easy, while promoting transparency and sharing of ideas.
  • There is a decent level of privacy as walls are used to create spaces for collaboration, as well as spaces for individual tasks.
  • It promotes a strong company culture and sense of togetherness, as well as a group focus on shared goals. This is especially critical as businesses develop a balance between the realities of a remote working team and the undeniable need for an office environment. In fact, this is one of the most-cited reasons for employees wanting to return back to the office3.
  • It’s easy to change and modify this agile environment, shifting walls and furniture to create new spaces as tasks demand for collaboration and remote employee support without wasting space or resources.


  • Not the most affordable office design.
  • Shared spaces need strong hygiene protocols.

#2 – The Open Plan Design

Open plan offices have been with us for many decades, usually in the form of large, shared spaces made up of cubicles and workstations, and limited private offices. It’s a favorite for many businesses because it allows quick, clear communication, easy supervision and a fairly affordable design.

Characteristics of open office designs

  • Modular, one-size-fits all workstations and cubicles
  • Limited private offices/private spaces
  • Few walls
  • Lower construction and design costs
  • High employee density


  • Plenty of natural light filters into the space due to the lack of walls. This can be enhanced with the use of glass architectural walls, saving energy costs and supporting employee wellness4.
  • Easy, quick communication between teams and colleagues, providing support for teamwork, collaboration and rapid decision-making.
  • Exceptional affordability in terms of design and square footage required, especially when working with large groups of employees. This space is also easily adaptable to new functions as they arise, and can be transformed into zones for different departments, multi-use areas and meeting spaces in order to support a flexible work environment.
  • Employees are accessible, easy to supervise and there’s increased transparency.


  • The right strategic office design is necessary to ensure that open plan offices are productive, streamlined, functional and quiet. While the design is simple, it is easy to get it wrong if you don’t have an office construction company who understands your business and the demands of a post-COVID work environment.

#3 – The Private Office Design

Private offices are usually viewed as prime office space since they have a long and prestigious history of being traditional. Here, privacy is everything, and this design supports quiet, focused work and the ability to handle sensitive matters effectively. While this design has a lot to offer, it tends to represent a bygone era. This is because it doesn’t effectively align with many modern business environments where collaboration, innovation and teamwork are critical to growth and success.

Characteristics of private office designs

  • This design usually takes the format of private offices and conference rooms set along the windows of the space. Often, there are small, open plan spaces set aside for the specific use of different departments.
  • Privacy is prioritized over communication, allowing people to deal with sensitive tasks and information.
  • These are quiet office spaces where distraction is minimal.


  • It’s easy to have private client meetings or to handle private matters – for example, if you are working in a law firm.
  • There are very few distractions, allowing people to focus on their tasks and improving productivity.
  • Private offices convey prestige and power, which many employees covet. It also sends a powerful message to clients.


  • The cost of this office build-out is often high, as each office requires walls and individual furnishings, and each employee has to be allocated significantly more square footage.
  • The cost of this office build-out is often high, as each office requires walls and individual furnishings, and each employee has to be allocated significantly more square footage.
  • It can be very difficult to get natural lighting into the common or grouped areas of the office space.
  • These office build-outs tend to take more time and labor to complete.
  • It can affect office culture, preventing employees from building strong relationships with one another and setting certain employees above others in status and accessibility. In a post-COVID workplace environment, these are key considerations. In fact, the need to get one-on-one time, hold collaborative meetings and be a part of the workplace community are cited as key reasons for employees wanting to return to the office5.

Let’s Find the Right Office Build-out for Your NJ Business

At BE Builds, our experienced team has worked for decades with businesses in New Jersey across all sectors. We know the importance of understanding what your business wants to achieve with their office space, from the work you do and the people you employ to the culture you want to create. Together, we can set your brand in a powerful position, creating a space that’s productive, enjoyable to use, and tailored to your workflow. Contact us today or visit our website to find out more about our state-of-the-art office construction services: https://bebuilds.com/nj-office-building-contractors/



  • https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/07/staff-demand-flexible-working-after-covid-19-adecco/
  • https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/01/3-in-4-workers-want-to-return-to-an-office-in-the-future.html
  • https://hbr.org/2018/09/the-1-office-perk-natural-light
  • https://www.gensler.com/us-wfh-survey-2020-wfh-reinforces-the-benefits-of-the-office