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​​Key elements in office design and fit-out projects

​There’s a number of different elements to consider during a design and fit-out project.


Terms of Reference

  • Set the foundation for the project, including referencing any strategies, principles, policies and standards set by GPG.


  • Establish an effective decision-making process ensuring timely approvals.


  • Secure support and ownership from senior leadership.


  • Provide appropriate resourcing, including internal project manager and external experts.

Reporting and Comms

  • Determine stakeholder requirements and plan reporting and communications.

Business alignment

Define objectives

  • Alignment with business goals and strategies.

Understand drivers

  • Understand the requirements and drivers of the business.

Business vision

  • Confirm aspirations of the business.

Measures of success

  • Determine how the project’s success will be measured.

Timeline and Budget

  • Establish programme and budget taking into account business needs, market realities and the political environment.

Current state

Baseline current working environment

Complete GPG’s working environment survey.

The survey is organised into sections:

  • technology use
  • how staff work
  • work settings, facilities and amenities
  • quality of environment
  • management and culture, and
  • overall staff satisfaction.

This will establish a baseline for how your organisation is currently using space, and will form part of the projects measurement of success.

Future state

Organisation structure

  • Understand and confirm organisation structure.

Headcount and Space

  • GPG provides a space budget tool to assist agencies with estimating their space requirements. This includes work space, storage, facilities and amenities and provides an ideal basis to form a detailed brief with the projects designers or architects.

Business relationships

  • Identify which groups need to work together and who they need to interact with.

Culture and Brand

  • Understand the organisation’s culture and brand and how “new ways of working” can support and enhance them.


Workspace flexibility

  • Flexible workspaces will enable workflow efficiencies.

Process improvement

  • Leverage “new ways of working” to improve business processes.

Set the foundations for the design and fit-out: remind yourself of the goals, aspirations and objectives of the business before you start in order to determine the requirements of the workplace. The workplace should support your agency in achieving its strategic and management goals. Define what your agency requires in its workplace design.

Align your project with the Government workplace standards and guidelines for office space. The standards must be applied to all government fit-out planning and design. The guidelines provide context and guidance in applying the standards.


  • Secure support from appropriate senior leaders to champion and drive the “new ways of working”.
  • Depending on the project’s size and scale, appoint a dedicated project manager to manage the project (including internal stakeholders).


  • Depending on the project’s size and scale, establish a project board that includes key stakeholders from within the agency, representatives from other agencies that have been through a similar process, and a GPG representative.


  • Depending on the project’s size and scale, form a project team that includes a mix of specialist knowledge and skills as required, such as valuation, negotiation, project management, cost consulting (quantity surveying), services engineering, architecture and design.
  • Depending on the project’s size and scale, additional resources will include an in-house support team including, general coordination, information and communication technology, change management and relocation support.


  • Establish an effective decision-making process, ensuring timely approvals from appropriate levels within the agency.
  • Determine stakeholder requirements and appropriate measures of success with each stakeholder group.


  • Any workplace design and fit-out project should include an appropriate change and communications plan that involves staff in the journey, promoting understanding and encouraging a sense of ownership. A representative or team from each area of the business can act as project “champions” and provide valuable input from their respective areas.
  • Ensure that the changes are communicated effectively. Have representatives from the design and fit-out project team meet with staff regularly to discuss progress towards key milestones.
  • Plan reporting and communications steps. Any change is challenging, and if workplace changes are not managed and communicated effectively, the disruption caused can be very damaging.


  • Allocate resourcing and time appropriately, recognising the requirements and drivers of your agency’s business.