5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Office Designer

Hiring a professional office designer is a great start to achieve the look and feel you most want for your workplace.  It’s their job to work with you to identify your vision and bring it to life.  It’s important to ask the right questions before hiring an office designer, to make sure you’ve covered all the bases.


Today we’re going to examine 5 of those questions, and help you prepare for the day when you’re ready to bring an office designer on board to assist you with your design expectations.


#5) What is Your Preferred Work Style?

Office designers understand the importance of working with their clients directly to achieve a vision, but some may prefer to have the reins when it comes to creative control.  It should be stressed that this is not always a bad thing, but it’s going to depend largely on you, the client.  If you have a vision in your mind about how you want your workspace to look and feel, you’re going to want to be part of the design process.  If however, you can’t design your way out of a paper box (as many of us cannot), then giving up creative control might actually help you in the long run.  Not everyone has an eye for design, and a client who insists on bad design decisions might inadvertently ruin the very vision they’re trying to reach.  If an office designer enjoys having full control of the design process, then be sure you’re on board with it.  Sometimes it’s better to leave things in the hands of the experts, and sometimes it’s better to have a say in what’s going on.  There is no hard and fast rule, here.


#4) What Inspires You as a Designer?

Design is driven largely by personality, and that’s going to differ depending on the designer in question.  This is a wonderfully chaotic part of the process, and one you shouldn’t be afraid of.  Diverse methodologies are what inspire bold, creative new design decisions, and your company can benefit greatly from that.  Make sure the designer gives you a glimpse into their headspace, and shares their design style with you.  Ask what projects they’re most proud of, or what colors they enjoy working with the most.  Get a little personal, and ask what drives and motivates them as a designer.  If you can manage to take a snapshot of their creative sense, you’ll have automatically armed yourself with better information, moving forward.


#3) What Do You Find Most Challenging When Designing an Office Space?

This one goes right back to the classic job interview question.  Nobody likes admitting their weak points, but it’s a good way to identify where a prospective employee shines, and where they might have trouble.  Same goes for an office designer.  They’re human beings, just like the rest of us, and no matter how many awards or accolades they’ve received for their work, every single one has a weak spot.  In the case of office design, it pays to know where these weaknesses lie, so that you can better gauge their viability.  You may end up determining that the office designer is not right for your firm, but may be a perfect fit for another.  Or, you may discover that there’s a kinship between your company and the designer that makes you both a great fit for one another.


#2) How Do You Manage Your Projects?

This question moves things into the logistical space, and that’s a good thing.  Often times, clients can become carried away by grandiose visions of an awe-inspiring office space bursting with color, vibrance and cheerful employees.  In reality, it’s going to come down to how an office designer manages the project in question.  Every designer has a different approach when it comes to this sort of thing.  The best ones will be upfront about their design intentions, and provide you with a clear, precise and easy-to-understand design plan that allows you to envision the final product before any boots enter the workspace.  This is a principle often seen in website design, where the designer will present a mock-up of the finished project, along with a viable roadmap for how the site will operate.  For an office designer, the same holds true in the form of fabric and finish selections, floor plans and even 3D renderings.  The key word here is “communication.”  If your office designer can’t inspire you to envision what they have in store, they may not be the right fit for you.


#1) How Do You Budget Your Projects?

Again, this a logistical question, but one that must be asked when all the others have been answered.  The most beautiful design in the world doesn’t mean a thing if the cost isn’t feasible.  Often times, this can represent itself in the actual planning of the project.  Communicate with your office designer and have them give you a roadmap for development costs across the timeline.  Ask what they’re going to prioritize first within the budget, and where you’re going to end up.  Make sure to ask about any possible extra incurred costs that may pop up along the way, such as unforeseen roadblocks in the building process.  Chances are, a good designer has already communicated superbly when it came to the design concept, so hopefully this hand-in-hand style will translate into the numbers game, as well.


There you have it!  With a little preparation, you can ask the appropriate questions of your office designer that will help determine whether you’re both right for each other.  If everything feels great, and you like what you hear, you’ll be ready to move forward with your brand new office design.


For more information on interior office design from the experts here at Sensyst, we encourage you to get in touch with us, so that we can help you create your next beautiful workspace!