Is your fit out an expense or an investment?

Is your fit out an expense or an investment?
For many CFO’s a new fitout is a necessary evil. However, if done well, the research would suggest it could just be the thing that differentiates you from your competition and ultimately reduces expenses and drives improved revenue.

A great fit out should:

Enhance your customer experience

A ‘brand’ put simply is what a customer thinks of when they hear your companies name. It will be influenced by everything from your website, their experience of dealing with your staff through to the physical presence they experience when they walk into your office.

If any one of these elements is out of alignment, then your ability to deliver on your brand promise will be diminished. Getting your fitout right is essential. It should support this promise and ultimately make it easier for people to buy from you.

Attract and retain great staff

There are many reasons that employees choose to work in an organisation and many reason why they leave. The cost of both recruitment and down time when staff move on can be significant.

There is compelling research evidence[1] that links the physical workplace environment to employer attraction and retention. At a financial firm in Sydney, staff turnover was calculated to be down from 28% to 9% following an office refurbishment.[2]

[1] Coster, S (2014). “Research findings: Does workplace design affect employee attraction”?””, Hassell, Emperica Research.

[2] Duffy, F & Tanis J (1993) “A Vision of the New Workplace”. Site Selection & Industrial Development, Vol 38, Issue 2.

Given the relatively small capital cost of a well-designed office fit out in the long term – relative to ongoing staff salary costs, the evidence confirms that investing in workplace design is a cost effective strategy for talent attraction, even more compelling than offering higher salaries.

Drive better performance

Better performance can be calculated on many levels. Here are just a few:

Staff productivity – an enjoyable space with enough meeting rooms, space to think and interact with others will boost productivity and not be the source of frustration.

Technology – Technology drives so many businesses. Easy access to well-functioning technology must also be part of any new fitout. It can be as simple as access to data points and power through to rooms designed to connect offices around the globe.

Efficiencies – This can be everything from energy efficient light fittings to conferencing facilitates that reduce the need for travel.

A great fitout may not be cheap. However, if designed, executed and funded intelligently, it can actually improve your bottom line.

Northquest has been helping businesses fund all aspects of their fitout over many years. We would welcome the chance to help you as well.

Case Study

With nearly 50,000 members, the Queensland Nurses’ Union (QNU) represents nurses and midwives working in public health, private health and aged care throughout Queensland.


The QNU was seeking to upgrade an investment property in Brisbane to enable them to offer leasing for new tenants. The project had a tight timeframe and as such, needed fast credit turnaround and professional vendor management. What’s more, the QNU’s incumbent bank was unable to provide the flexibility and price required for the project.


In partnership with ME Bank, Northquest financed 100% of the fit-out on an unsecured basis. This meant the QNU was able to preserve its cash and bank lines for working capital. Northquest also liaised with all the vendors involved in the fit-out to ensure prompt invoice payments.

Important Information: This is not an offer for financing and is provided for general information purposes only. Northquest does not provide tax, accounting or legal advice. You should obtain independent professional advice to determine for yourself the suitability, benefits and risks of Northquest products and services to you before entering into any contract with Northquest.