Lease or Finance Options for your Office Fit Out or Refurbishment project in Glasgow or Edinburgh

Lease or Finance Options for your Office Fit Out or Refurbishment project in Glasgow or Edinburgh

Is the Cost of Office Fit Out or Refurbishment too High to Pay Upfront in Full?

Undertaking a complete refurbishment or fit out of your office can be quite costly. However, it is also necessary. The right furniture, style, design and “feel” of the office space altogether can transform your business for the better.

In other words, postponing or cancelling the refurbishment completely is not the best option for your business.

But what are you to do when budgets are tight and your company has cash flow issues?

At Amos Beech we love offering complete solutions to our clients. This is why we have partnered with the top financial company in Scotland to provide our clients with turnkey answers to their needs: office fit out, refurbishment AND flexible financing solutions.

Meet the Perfect Financial Solution for Your Office Fit Out or Refurbishment

When budgets are tight, but the project has to be completed, you typically have three options:

  1. Bootstrap and pay everything upfront

  2. Get a loan from a bank

  3. Lease the project

Paying cash upfront is ideal if the payment won’t leave your company vulnerable. Plus, keep in mind that the total cost of the refurbishment or office fit out might exceed £200,000, the annual investment allowance (AIA). Thus, you won’t be able to offset the entire expense.

A bank loan can typically be paid between one and 10 years. You can deduct each payment against AIA, but the interest rates (that are subject to fluctuations) can make it hard for you to plan your finances for the long term. Plus, you run several other risks if the loan is tied to some of your crucial assets. Furthermore, a bank loan may not cover all the expenses related to your project.

A lease, on the other hand, can cover everything, from design and build to furniture. You can also write the payments off as expenditure. And, since the payments are fixed, they are also easy to budget for. Your cash flow is protected since you don’t need a large deposit. You would lease purchase and only pay a token to transfer ownership at end of the payment plan.

The current lease conditions are quite flexible and friendly for Scottish businesses.

Why?

Because leasing is not yet as popular here as it is in the USA or other European states. However, as its popularity begins to grow, the advantages are likely to diminish.

You can opt for three types of leasing for your refurbishment or fit out project:

  1. Contract hire. With no big initial outlay, you simply enjoy the use of the assets. The finance company owns them, but they are also responsible for their maintenance. This is the most affordable option.

  2. Lease purchase or hire purchase. At the end of the fixed period, you own all the assets. If you are a VAT-registered business, you can also claim back the VAT on the entire asset up-front. Also, you can offset interest payments against profit.

  3. Financial lease. Just like above, you can offset payments against tax and reclaim VAT. The only significant difference from lease purchase is that you don’t own the assets at the end of the lease. You can, however, buy them at any point (depending on your leasing contract).

How Leasing Unties Your Capital

Your capital is the backbone of your company. When you can’t make the investments you need, your growth is stalled. This is why it’s always a good idea to have a healthy cash flow and a healthy investment capital instead of tying it up in various assets and/or overdrafts.

Leasing your office fit out or refurbishment project can help you:

  • Stay liquid: no large initial payment means that your cash flow is not significantly affected and remains free to be invested in the next great opportunity that knocks at your door.

  • Budget accurately: unlike in bank loans, in lease financing your payments are fixed because they are not subject to interest rates. So you know exactly what you will be paying today and two years from now.

  • Keep your bank credit lines free: your bank overdrafts are unaffected, so you can always use them for investment opportunities.

  • Buy cheaper: leasing can actually be cheaper than paying for the refurbishment of your office upfront. Even if the project exceeds the annual investment allowance of £200,000, you can still deduct all your leasing payments.

  • Stay flexible: the typical lease is between three and five years, but you can always opt for a personalised length of contract that fits your monthly budget and your needs.

  • Start your project quickly: bank loans and credit lines can take months to be approved. A lease financing can take as little as a few hours.

Don’t Postpone Your Office Fit Out and Refurbishment. Be Smart about it Instead!

At Amos Beech, we know a lot about how office interiors can shape and transform your corporate culture. From better acoustics to switching to activity-based working, we’ve seen seemingly minor improvements bring great results.

This is why we have partnered with the top lease financing company in the country to offer you the flexibility you need to reap the benefits of office refurbishment and fit out NOW, not in a couple of months or years.

Highlights Clerkenwell Design Week 2019

Highlights Clerkenwell Design Week 2019

Another year, another Clerkenwell design week – Here are a few highlights!

Amongst the bustle of the Clerkenwell buzz, a 360 approach was taken by Lintex realised by Lotta Agaton, a renowned interior stylist from Sweden, where she carefully considered each material and object in the curation of the showroom. The Lintex products stood proud in the warm and calm environment. The glass paired beside long-standing natural materials such as wood, clay and leather created a great mellowness to the overall space. The essence of biophilia was present, without the littering of plants, by the thoughtful use of the natural materials and neutral colour palettes. In the rise of well being in the workplace, this design approach lends itself to being more mindful, allowing us to take a step back to rest and think. Also highlighting, to never to undervalue the importance of curating spaces with well-chosen objects. In terms of new products, Lintex manages to take a fresh look at the  ‘analogue’ with the A01 designed by studio Afteroom. The product had geometric shapes sandwiched between glass and framed within a square. It performed a floating illusion with quite a magical effect.

Lintex Showroom – Styled by Lotta Agaton

The geometric composition continues on to the Spacestor showroom, notably the reinvention of the storage wall and shelving unit. This development, in the current flood of grid shelving, is warmly welcomed. The elongated structure formed of cuboids rather than cubes provides an elegant silhouette, especially when finished in brass. The matte panelled shelving units paired with the large round mirror adds a sense of sophistication, complimenting the storage wall newest addition of the arched alcove. The choice of colour and finishes was inspiring. The matte materials produced a soft and slightly retro look, in rich solid tints added drama and allure.

Modulyss made a statement in the Project Pavillion by focusing on the carpet tile FLUID& in the dark green tone and pairing it with Velvet&, a great example of the &-Collection. The tiles curved up to the top of the back wall, and the two mirrored sides reflected the carpet into infinity. The reflections were reminiscent of the Rorschach test, and Fluid& is appropriately tagged ‘Perfectly Imperfect’.

Modulyss – Fluid&

Workplace environments shift to more emotive and wellness-centric

As the workplace environments shift to be more emotive and wellness-centric, there is a growth in creating a softer and more comfortable working landscape with essences of home. Many pieces of furniture showcased had plumper silhouettes, accentuate curves and the awakening of fluid draperies forming partitions as similarly observed in Milan 2018, yet to a less exaggerated extent.

Frovi’s latest product ‘Home’ is precisely that. It is available in various typologies that include most of the setting you could want for an informal meeting from the booth seating, a high media bench, screens and even a single seated armchair with an integrated laptop table. This product certainly makes it easy to implement the feeling of ‘Home’ in all senses.

Another product with similar effect was a Verco meeting booth. The screen was formed by an acoustic sheer delicately ruched around a wooden frame, which created rhythmic ripples. The screen cocooned around the loose furniture pieces perfectly formed inside, which produced a very dreamy ambience, a perfect retreat for when stress and anxiety levels are high.

Frovi

Verco

As employees explore how and where to achieve a greater work-life balance with genuine well-being initiatives.  The design pieces released are a reflection of our time and where we are heading. A workplace has to produce a sense of belonging, where we are comfortable enough to reflect, recharge and grow without being stunted.

And this is just the start of things to come!

 

Text & images: Flora Hogg

Office refurbishment Traverse Theatre Edinburgh

Office refurbishment Traverse Theatre Edinburgh

Traverse Theatre was founded in 1963 with the idea to extend the spirit of the Edinburgh Festival throughout the year.

Traverse Theatre were looking to have their offices refurbished. Their offices are situated in the basement of the iconic building on Cambridge Street that is part of the Saltire Court development on Castle Terrace:

Office refurbishment Traverse Theatre Edinburgh

The open planned office held 20 staff, as well as two internal offices and a make shift meeting room, the client wanted to add another office as well as a meeting room to give staff a proper space in which to hold meetings.   

The client had recently purchased new furniture and were looking to carry out the works as quickly as possible taking advantage of their quiet period in the year. Amos Beech transformed the space, using glass partitioning to create a new frontage for the offices and meeting room and solid partitioning to divide. A new bespoke coat storage was constructed allowing staff a place to store their outdoor items. The office was decorated throughout incorporating feature walls of colour. New LED lighting was installed to brighten up the basement space as well as new carpet tiles to define the open plan and office space. The air conditioning system was also renewed and altered to suit the new office layout.

3D cad plan

One shot of the final result.

For more projects click here:

How the acoustics of your office impact your team's productivity

How the acoustics of your office impact your team's productivity

The competition to recruit, train and retain talent has become fierce in the last few years. Businesses are constantly looking and trying new ways that will ensure that their employees have a healthy and positive work environment.

At the same time, they are also working to save on office space and cut on their expenditure. The real challenge is finding the balance between the two – don’t overspend, but keep your employees happy and productive.

This is where the open space comes into play.

One of the obvious advantages of having an open space is the ability to fit a large number of employees in a small space.

But do they work for your employees?

They are unique and make strong statements in terms of office culture. They also offer more benefits including the provision of natural light that keeps people active. Natural light makes workers patient, less frustrated, productive and healthier.

There is a need for open office layouts for employers who want to enhance employee creativity, boost collaboration and encourage innovation.

However, these spaces have a downside: the lack of sound privacy. These open space environments drain employees’ morale due to noise pollution, according to research.

Noise pollution is a huge contributor to poor productivity at work. It’s difficult to perform tasks that need high concentration in such spaces.

Employees are dissatisfied with the level of speech privacy and how it leads to work disruption.

A study by Udemy supports this with 80 percent of respondents claiming chatty coworkers are the biggest distraction, while office noise was cited by 70 percent of them.

Another reason for noise distraction is mobile technology. Employees now have access to a vast number of devices that distract them.

Office acoustics impact your team's productivity

People can put up with noise only for so long before it becomes annoying. Most employees work without realising that office noise is affecting their productivity. Some of the noise sources include:

  • Background noises from mechanical and technical issues in the office. These include noises from pumps, boilers, chillers, air handling units, circulation fans, ventilation rooms, etc.  The same goes for noise from electronic equipment like vending machines, printers, keyboard strokes, and fax machines.

  • Fluctuating sounds from laughter, loud speech, and the phones ringing

  • Activity noises from loud footsteps, loud messaging and chat beeps, loud chewing noises and cursing/muttering from colleagues.

  • Transportation noises coming from road traffic, planes and trains. Some traffic noise is inevitable, and can be tolerated, but too much noise may cause concentration and productivity issues.

  • Use of speakerphones that lead workers to speak even more loudly

  • HVAC noises

  • High frequency sounds from keyboards as people type or other mechanical issues

  • Too quiet spaces can also be problematic for employees. Not all sound is noise. It becomes noise depending on the task at hand. Low background noises affect privacy.

  • Noise from leakages, for example through gaps and cracks in buildings. These could include keyholes or air vents, wall openings catering for pipes, ducts and wiring, joints between raised floors, ceilings, and partitions, etc.

Research shows that noise distraction leads to loss of productivity and the more intense a task is, the more noise disturbs those performing it.

Another study found that participants who worked in a loud noise environment were more tired, less motivated at work and remembered only a few words of what they were studying, compared to those working in a low noise environment.

A TED talk by Julian Treasure shows that noise pollution in open offices reduces employee productivity by 66 percent:

Poor acoustics lead to more noise, which causes stress on employees. Stressed employees are vulnerable to high blood pressure, headaches, digestive disorders, ulcers, and hypertension.

Noise will also affect motivation, in that one will not be willing to adjust their workstations, even though another setting would be more comfortable and reduce injury risks.

Indeed, controlling sound distraction in an otherwise busy work environment is a tough balancing act. But it can be done.

Your office interior design and its acoustics is a good place to start.

Think about your layout and how it will protect your employees from distractions related to office noise.

You can protect their physical and emotional wellbeing, too, by ensuring that every office component works to provide an ideal acoustic setting. Some of these components include:

  • Furniture

  • Space

  • Partition composition and height

  • Ceiling material and height

  • Wall materials, treatment, placement and shape

  • Flooring

  • Hanging materials

  • Screens

  • Furnishings

  • Lighting

  • Biophilia

  • Rooms depth, mechanical systems, and materials

Abstracta Airflake is fabric-covered moulded fibre felt that absorbs sound and prevents echoes. Designed by Stefan Borselius.

Designing an effective open office space leads to a robust business environment. You save money with space, while enabling easy communication and collaboration.

To achieve this, consider the design, installation and how to maintain each specified component to ensure an innovative open office system.

Seventy percent of employees said their productivity would increase if offices became less noisy in a study by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Their perceived effectiveness increased when noise from office equipment, background conversations, and mechanical systems was reduced.  

Studies on speech privacy and conversational distractions have shown that making effective acoustic adjustments to open office environments, improves productivity and mental wellbeing.

It allows the employee to focus on tasks at hand – a 48 percent increase, decreases conversational distractions by 51 percent, leads to reduced errors on tasks by 10 percent and reduces stress (measured in terms of physical symptoms) by 27 percent.

Ready to make your office space a haven of productivity by taking control of its acoustics?

If so, great choice!

Acoustic control is an investment that pays for itself through better productivity of employees and lower churn rate.

Acoustic office design at Help Musicians at The Briggait in Glasgow

Office Acoustic Control – What You Need to Know

A Guide to Office Acoustics defines acoustics as the science of sound. Its history started with the Greeks who understood sound travel and used this information to build amphitheaters.

Sound is a series of pressure fluctuations or waves. They start when an object vibrates from its source, for example, a vocal cord. It moves in all directions in the air at the speed of sound which is around 786mph.

What sound encounters or its distance from the source determines what happens after. The arc of the imaginary sound line grows larger while energy dissipates.

If it encounters a hard surface, it's reflected, leading to a sound energy buildup that amplifies the sound. Some of this energy is absorbed if it hits a soft surface leading to a reduction in sound.

Acoustic engineers use this information to combat potential acoustic problems. They use the ABC method that controls certain factors to achieve the right acoustic environment. This method includes:

  •          A - absorption of sound waves done by absorbing sound before reaching the listener's ears

  •          B - blocking the right amount of sound

  •          C - covering or masking the unwanted sound

To solve noise issues, the acoustic technician must know what kind of noise problem your office has. They must put into consideration what acoustic goals you have.

Are your employees suffering from concentration issues, lack of speech privacy or a combination of these?

Understanding the problem will help you undertake a gap analysis to establish the correct way to deal with noise issues.

Lack of speech privacy mostly happens in closed office spaces. It mainly occurs in sectors where consultations with clients should be confidential, like in the medical, financial or human resource sectors.

In this case, you have to provide sound absorptive surfaces and raise the background level to allow concentration.

Noise and concentration issues occur in open office spaces where buildings have hard reflective interiors. The sounds continually reverberate leading to increased noise levels as staff communicate with each other and attend to their usual tasks.

Employees can hear conversations held across the office space; they can hear keyboard strokes and phone conversations that lead to less concentration and, therefore, less productivity.

A combination of these two issues will occur where noise and lack of speech privacy affect the employees. They will have problems in all their working spaces including the boardroom, the client meeting areas and the open plan spaces.

In order to provide your employees with a space where they can work effectively, these agile environments require an acoustic landscape carefully designed to cater for all noise-related issues.

Measures will include having some level of noise absorption and privacy at the desks, controlling common area noises and having private spaces for confidential discussions.

Acoustics Solutions that Lead to Improved Team Productivity

Some of the areas to focus on include:

1.    Furniture and Screens

Furniture can affect acoustic properties either positively or negatively. Hard surfaces reflect sound and things like glass-topped tables amplify sound. Soft surfaces absorb sound. You can use fabric covered soft panels or screens (free standing or placed between desks).

In open-plan spaces, furniture should prevent sound travel from one cubicle to the next. The divider panels should be at least 60 inches in height. Seventy-two inches is usually the best height, while 48 inches does not help block conversation noise.

Buy furniture with a sound blocking rating of about 18-20 Sound Transmission Class (STC). Consider the height, position, quantity, absorption properties, and background sound levels when installing screens.

Consider your furniture layout, too. Avoid furniture placement that has employees seeing each other. If they can see each other, they can hear each other. If you choose to use glass, then it’s acceptable, since glass is an excellent sound barrier.

2.   Ceiling

Sound also travels up and bounces off the ceiling. The type of ceiling you choose can either insulate sound, absorb it or do both. Sound absorbing products differ depending on density, thickness, weight, and surface finish.

Their merits also vary in terms of whether they provide absorption or insulation.

Sound insulation depends on mass, density and the ability of the material to block sound passage from a room to another or block noise from outside. The types of ceilings you can choose from are: mineral fibre, plasterboards, metal, wood, stretch or exposed concrete.

When doing sound insulation, make sure you don’t compromise the ceiling performance when putting speakers, lighting fixtures, ventilation, ducting grilles, etc.  In some cases, you may need to add ducting dampers, and acoustic hoods to maintain the quality of insulation.

3.   Flooring

Carpets not only reduce footfalls, but they also absorb sound and block noise from the floor below. A well-cushioned carpet can provide acoustical insulation properties. Choose a thick permeable carpet for maximum sound absorption.

You can also use raised access flooring. These are individual panels continuously decked and supported on pedestals to attain a certain height. To achieve excellent sound absorption qualities, cover them with a carpet.

For insulation, compartmentalise the underfloor using either low-level plasterboard drywalls or high-density wool bats under the partitioning. You can also use acoustic pads.

During installation, be careful when introducing grilles, air ventilation, and open cable apertures.

4.   Sound Masking

If you already designed your open office space, think of improving the work environment using sound masking.

Sound masking devices help by slightly raising the background sound level of a building. It makes it hard for employees to get distracted by conversations from coworkers.

5.   Partitions

Partitions are great for insulation, but not so good in sound absorption. They are, however, used to support acoustic wall panels. Walls may not as good for sound absorption like ceilings since they have interruptions like windows, artwork, furniture, and doors.

However, where space is available, wall mounted sound absorbers will reduce reverberation time or complement ceiling absorption.

Acoustic wall paper covering

Some companies develop wall coverings with sound-absorbing properties used as part of a holistic approach. You can also use synthetic acoustic plasters through spraying or troweling for a smooth finish. Types of partitioning include plasterboards, modular/relocatable, glazed partitions, and operable/movable walls.

Make the partition airtight, since any hole, no matter how small, weakens wall performance.

6.   Doors

Doors are tricky since they are a weak point in partitions. However, you can use this weakness as a privacy strategy by allowing background sound to leak to the room.

When the background noise is too low, problems with privacy arise. The best doors for acoustics are airtight doors.

Sliding doors have a space between the partition and the door that could affect performance. Use acoustic seals to enhance performance or increase door thickness. 

7.   Acoustic Lighting

Combine noise absorption with acoustic lighting without taking much space or interrupting it physically. Acoustic lighting hangs elegantly and improves flexibility, productivity, and overall happiness.

Good sound absorbing light will balance light and ambiance while offering comfort, tranquility, and space.

Board room acoustic lighting panels

8.   Biophilia

There is an undeniable connection between humans and nature. We simply perform better and are happier when surrounded by nature.

Biophilic design makes it possible for you to leverage the benefits of this connection even in indoor office space. It integrates natural materials with modern architecture by providing visual privacy and reducing noise levels.

Green walls provide better acoustic absorption than conventional building materials. Plants diffuse and deflect sound, but only if you spread them evenly in the available space, use green modular walls tested for effective acoustic properties and use large plant containers that can accommodate more compost and top dressing.

9.   Internal Finishes

Consider the orientation of absorption, the location, and whether the finish is reflective or deflective. They are great at promoting intelligibility and privacy.

For example, you can control the spread of noise by placing highly absorptive furniture near the source of the noise. Using absorptive materials can improve acoustics. Acoustic furnishings include absorptive rugs, soundproofing curtains, dividing screens, and absorption panels.

Conclusion

The acoustic performance of a room will also depend on factors like the size of the room, its shape, other elements in the room and their relationship.

For instance, when designing acoustics consider balancing it with the needs of other users in the building. Take a holistic designing approach that considers acoustic comfort, visual comfort, cost, sustainability, and thermal comfort.

When dealing with an open plan environment, consider the requirements that will improve productivity in various rooms.

Offices, conference rooms, and meeting rooms must have appropriate use of space so that people in a large room can hear the speaker while those in small rooms do not encounter echoes.

Avoid acoustic leakages so that employees can maintain confidentiality when needed. Background noise should not be at a minimum and fail to mask other office sounds. It should also not be too loud that it disrupts communication and concentration.

You can achieve increased productivity by considering the sound absorption rates your office needs, the reflective needs, fittings, furniture, and background sound level. These changes will enhance office space aesthetically and acoustically. 

Do you want to read more about:

  1. Moving or refurbishing?

  2. Space planning and utilisation study?

  3. Branding in office design?

  4. Attracting and retaining talent?

    Click here:

52 Trees for Life thanks to MNM Developments and Tours by Locals

52 Trees for Life thanks to MNM Developments and Tours by Locals

When we were discussing the introduction of the launch of our new branding early in 2017, the idea came up to video the planting of Amos Beech ‘trees’ on various locations in Scotland. The locations that we choose were those where you normally would have to go through lengthy planning applications, only to discover to end up nowhere:

It was then that somebody here in the office mentioned the Trees For Life project. Trees For Life plants trees in The Caledonian Forest. Trees for Life helps nature to restore in the Scottish Highlands and helps people reconnect with their spirit, with hope and with the land.

Trees for Life

The Caledonian Forest once covered a large part of the Highlands as extensive stands of majestic Scots pines, interspersed with birch, rowan, juniper and aspen trees. It was the UK's equivalent of the rainforest but has been reduced to just a tiny fraction of its former range. Most of the surviving forests now consist of old trees reaching the end of their lifespan.

In 2008 Trees for Life purchased the Dundreggan Estate, an area of 10,000 acres of wild land near Loch Ness to establish a major forest restoration programme. To date the conservation volunteering charity have planted over 1.6 million trees!

(A film by The Big Picture, a non-profit social enterprise founded by a group of professional photographers, filmmakers, writers, designers and educators, motivated by the need to rebuild healthy ecosystems where wildlife and people flourish.)

Amos Beech contributed 474 trees to date.

Under the slogan ‘every little helps’, we here Amos Beech started our own grove in August 2017 and are proud to have recently added 52 trees for MNM Developments and Tours by Locals.

MNM Developments

MNM develop high-value, luxury properties that respect and enhance their surroundings and have a minimal environmental footprint. We designed and fitted out their 1846 sq ft of new office space in Leith Edinburgh.

Michaela Teague receives the certificate for 24 trees.

Tours by Locals

Tours by Locals brings local people with their knowledge and expertise together with travelers who are looking for an authentic cultural experience. We designed and fitted out their 2153 sq ft of new office space in Glasgow.

Paul Melhus, CEO and Founder of Tours By Locals, receives the tree certificate (28 trees) from Kit-Har McLaughlin, interior designer @Amos_Beech, during a great office opening party in January 2019.

More trees to come!

Unsurprisingly, the tree planting scheme is very well received by our clients and we feel well doing it, so also this year we will be planting 13 trees per 1000 sq ft of interior design, office fit-out and furniture project.

But did you know that you can contribute yourself?

Sit stand desking and seating for HW Energy

Sit stand desking and seating for HW Energy

HW Energy are a progressive and dynamic company who design and install bio-mass heating systems for their clients all over the UK.  Of particular note though, is their office location – sitting under the north west slopes of Britains highest mountain – Ben Nevis and conveniently close to Aonach Mor where you can take a Gondola ride up the mountain. 

HW Energy purpose built their offices 10 years ago and the intervening years have seen their workforce grow which meant that the office space had been altered bit by bit over the years too.  The result’s left a lot to be desired and did not use the available space very efficiently and with more staff joining, they knew that a refurbishment was required.

Sit stand desking and seating for HW Energy in Fort William

Amos Beech were asked to visit and were more than happy to, given that the initial visit was during what proved to be an amazing summer and a lovely day out of the office was enjoyed by Vincent and Sam

Over a few weeks and some inevitable bumps and hurdles over budgets and layouts, HWE chose to order sit/stand desking for all their staff along with the Viasit Drumback task chair. The new layout has transformed the space and now feels a lot more airy and less cluttered than it did previously. 

Upgrades to flooring throughout the space have been carried out and the Amos Beech team will be on site again soon to complete the refurbishment of their break-out space.  So look out for the update and we may well include some pictures of Ben Nevis in the springtime!

Design consultancy and furniture specification

Design consultancy and furniture specification

The young, fun and vibrant creative company Sunshine Communications moved offices to future proof themselves for further team growth and increase their ability of creative outputs. So what is a better place to move to than Commercial Quay in Leith Edinburgh? Commercial Quay lies at the heart of the popular shore area of Leith and has a mix of cafés, bars and restaurants. 

Commercial Quay in Leith Edinburgh

Our design team worked closely with Sunshine Communications to provide a fit out and soft furniture items that meet tight budgets, functionality and aesthetics. A space full of colour and plants, a home away from home.

Design consultancy and furniture specification Sunshine Communications Edinburgh 

As you enter into the workspace, you're greeted by a neon pink side profile face - illuminating the essence of Sunshine Communication, a talking head. Social by nature, social by trade – they gain traction with everyone they work with. 

The geometric shapes painted in soft pastels add interest to the back wall. The paints used in the scheme are from Craig & Rose, the oldest independent paint manufacture in the UK, a nod to their origins on Leith Walks. The colours echo Sunshine Communications branding without being overpowering to the entirety of the space. As the office is also a working photography studio, we had to consider colour balance.

For the meeting room, we needed to create privacy but also wanted to make a statement. The dichroic film is beautiful, constantly reflecting shifting colours and radiance depending on the perspective of the viewer. Inside we placed a large brass conical base table that balances a glass top to contrast from the pink velvet seats sat below.  

And to continue the velvet, we placed two green velvet sofas facing each other as an informal meeting space with plant pots on stands help to separate it from the open workspace as well as adding biophilia.

And of course featuring in their offices: “Sunshine on Leith”, the Scottish musical film directed by Dexter Fletcher featuring songs by The Proclaimers:

For more inspiration click here:

and here:

Design & text: Flora Hogg.

Interior Photography: Architectural Photographer Edinburgh.

Business Disruption – Moving or Refurbishing Offices is every MD’s nightmare

Business Disruption – Moving or Refurbishing Offices is every MD’s nightmare

Should I Move or Refurbish My Current Office?

Tough question, right?

Moving to a new office entails a lot of stress. You need to find the right real estate agency to help you find the right property. Then you need to negotiate and decorate. Plus, should you keep some or all of your existing furniture? Should you buy everything new?

Refurbishing isn’t that easy, either. The main challenge is that you have to keep operations going, stay productive and minimise business disruption. All this while you also supervise a project that can take weeks or months.

Can you really find out what’s the best alternative on your own? Can you factor in all the business hours lost in both cases, along with the investment? And, more importantly, how do you know for sure that you’ve outgrown your current office space?

At Amos Beech, we have consulted dozens of companies that were ready to spend a lot because they thought they needed a bigger space. Our research and expertise revealed that all they needed was to get more out of their current one.

Yes, a skilled team of designers and office refurbishing experts can help you save a lot on office real estate by ‘simply’ re-arranging the furniture in your office.

But that’s not always the case. Sometimes you really need to move. The same team of expert designers and contractors can help you turn your new office into a space that every single employee loves.

A blog by Roy James:

Moving a business is not easy, there are so many things to think about, so much to do, along with minimising the disruption to your organisation, so its little wonder that moving or refurbishing offices is often low on the agenda until the last minute. That brings about its pressures as you realise too late that you may have to make a rushed decision.

Moving or refurbishing offices?

Refurbishing an existing office is almost harder. Although there is less to arrange, in one sense, there is the added complication of trying to maintain the services and revenue of your company yet expect it to bear with the disruption which potentially can run from weeks to months.

Edinburgh Park, Scotland’s premier business park

Even when you have made the decision of whether to move or refurbish, where do you start? Where did that decision come from? Was it rushed or an informed, logical decision based on robust consideration and challenged against the strategic growth plans of the company?

This is clearly outside your comfort zone. You want the best for your company – minimal disruption and continuity for your customer but along with it you need to deliver on company goals and maintain value to shareholders.

Let’s explore this scenario. Your lease is up for renewal - you obviously have two options - do you stay or do you move? And, as we all know, there are pros and cons to moving or refurbishing offices. The question is, how can I make an informed decision?

One way to do it

Who should you ask? Or is it my decision? Should I know what to do?

Yes, there are consultants out there that would advise and give well informed advice but it doesn’t end there. They are often from a big, even global company and before you know it you are in the maze of consultancy that is both expensive and protracted as you engage with just about every consultant under the sun.

Maxim Office Park Lanarkshire, between Glasgow and Edinburgh designed by Keppie Design

Don’t get me wrong, you will end up with first class advice but I have two arguments - it will be both expensive, and quite frankly, take months which as I started with, it is time you often don’t have.

But is there really another way?

Actually, there is, it’s based on trust and comes from a sector of the market you least expect.

Before I start, though, let’s talk about trust as it’s one of the most valuable and effective attributes in business. In scenarios such as this it’s pretty crucial. For this to work we need to engage with someone who is wanting to help you and trust is a two-way street.

This sector is quite unique, often labelled as office furniture suppliers or fit out companies but actually quite different.

And, yes, just like any other company, they are looking to create revenue and grow profits but you are talking to the right person one time here!

Okay, that sounds hackneyed and I apologise but it’s true, just please let me explain.

So, let’s briefly (if I can) expand this scenario out a little further.

Your lease is expiring and you need to make a decision on what to do. You realise this is not a decision you can make without being informed so you go to a reputable consultancy firm or architect practice in Glasgow or Edinburgh who, for a fee, help you evaluate the space you have, the growth plans of the company, the vision and strategic plan and come back with a suggestion of what they feel is what you need to do. But that’s it, they suggest for you to move, they have suggested how much space you need to achieve your growth plans and now… now what?

From here you are often now on a journey with this consultancy as they offer to find you space. They even offer to manage the whole project for you (what a relief!) and go down a merry passage of contracting interior designers, electrical engineers, mechanical and ventilation consultants, quantity surveyors and project managers as they create the perfect solution for you (oh and they take a cut of everything that happens).

Moving or refurbishing offices, is there another way?

But there’s just a few points they missed.

You are now pretty alienated from the process; all these consultants are designing something that they want to be proud of (and rightly so) but that tends to drift away from any budget you may have had. You end up with a Rolls Royce design and, although you have fallen in love with it, you just can’t really justify the expenditure, and more than this to get this far the process has cost you a lot of money!

So here you are with a project over-budget, with a re-look only going to cost more money and time and this is the point that if you hadn’t already been disillusioned by this whole process you are now.

I could go on. Say you even get on site, you have a consultancy pulling together different trades to realise the project, they have ever so cleverly gone to tender to get you the `best price’ but the disconnection carries on site. The electricians fit the floor boxes, the furniture company fit the desking, and, lo and behold, they weren’t communicating with each other during the final design and half of it doesn’t match up creating more delays and potential cost.

The other way

As I said, it’s a different approach and it’s a single, unified one to all of the above. These companies come in and work with CEO’s and MD’s to evaluate the needs of the business. They have no ulterior motive as to whether you move or stay, they aren’t looking for a cut on any third party consultancy, they just have a great understanding of what is important to business.

So you go through the same process of answering the questions about moving or refurbishing offices, but in a completely different way. Yes you will need to engage with a property agent to find a property but you are looking for one based on a decision made by someone who has no interest in property letting. Going on from that they are not just trying to provide a solution, they are working to a budget, have in-house capabilities that do not require expensive third party input and, most importantly, are keeping you engaged and close to the decision whilst co-ordinating all the different phases of the project.

Maxim Office Park between Glasgow and Edinburgh, state of the art architectural design

On site, being the client, connection is much closer, things happen so much quicker, changes you may need to make don’t need to through a long process, (and believe me it is long) it goes direct, costs a lot less and contractors are working to a common goal rather than just focusing on their own scope of works.

So where is the catch?

There is none, but as I said it’s based on trust. These companies invest a lot of time up-front helping companies make informed decisions and often it’s not until a lease is signed, when they have done months of work, that they get a return. For them it’s a worthwhile investment, for the client it is good value as they get what they need, when they need, with direct input whenever they like and a partner that is only interested in delivering something fit for purpose.

The hard bit is when corporate say `we need to go to tender’ as often they say that at the point when these companies have invested heavily in the project, especially as they don’t say that when they are using a paid consultancy as they know they are getting competitive comparative quotes from them . It feels good value but all you are actually getting is a protracted, expensive solution that can be scarily detached from the original CEO’s vision. Please everyone let us understand and embrace the speed of trust.

I know blogs are meant to be informative, unbiased (not long – please forgive me) and not `selling’ but sorry, I can’t say all this and not tell you where to go, I’m too obsessed, too passionate and believe in ourselves to this extent (and I’m only writing this as it was an in-house competition) but you need to talk to Amos Beech.

Contact me or one of my colleagues via:

This was a blog by Roy James

Amos Beech ran an internal blog competition. The above article, written by Roy James, won the category for being ‘website worthy’. Roy is the Operations Director (see video below) and he is known for being a man of few words. Consequentially, we were all very impressed with his 1300 word blog!  He has made his point very well.

Read another blog from the same competition from our sister company on their website: Incognito Underfloor Heating.

For more info about some of the fit out and refurbishment projects that we have done click on the button below: