Does Your Office Meet the Requirements of the Equality Act?

Carrying out any work on your premises is stressful. There is all the work that needs to continue while the changes are being made to the property. We recently had some improvements done to our offices that were long overdue. Being in an old building meant that our offices really were not up to standard. As we have a lot of staff and plenty of clients coming to and from the office we really needed to update the building and bring it up to current standards.

A Consultant was Required to Know What Steps to Take

Before the work began we requested the help of an access audit consultant. I had read that any building improvements really need to be compliant with the Equality Act of 2010. The Equality Act helps to ensure that businesses and buildings are not discriminating against anyone. As I had no clue about the Act and how to make the chances to be in compliance I felt I needed some expert assistance.

The consultants were fantastic. They highlighted some issues, the most obvious ones I was well aware of but they also pointed out some other areas that needed improvement. One of these was the toilet facilities and another was the access from the parking at the back to the entrance. The pathway was thin, covered in gravel and had some obstructions in the way. Obviously, this type of access was not suitable for everyone so we made sure to address it with our improvements.

Working with an Architect was Informative and Successful

To make life easier we were able to work with the architect from the consultancy firm. The architect was fantastic and helped us to create excellent plans that would certainly improve our building and the access. The thought of failing to get planning permission did concern me a little. However the architect was able to help me make the applications and included an access statement which I am sure was certainly beneficial. The plans were accepted and work began.

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In addition to helping with the plans, architectural survey and the planning application the architect and consultants provided me with more excellent services. Working closely with the builders they were able to sort out the construction package that was able to be used as a tender for the contractors. They helped to ensure we got a good price as the costing document was drawn up by a quantity surveyor. If it wasn’t for their help I would have found the entire process confusing and perhaps would have paid above the odds for my lack of knowledge.

Improved Offices and Improved Business

Now we have an office that is modernised and suited to everyday life. We are able to happily welcome everyone through our doors and I feel that our business has improved because of this. There is no need to organise meetings off site anymore as all are able to come through our doors and reach the meeting rooms with ease.

If you have an old fashioned office that hasn’t been updated for many years it is time to make a change.

  1. Contact an access audit consultant and organise a meeting
  2. Use the report to come up with designs, working with the architect if possible
  3. Ask for help with the planning permissions, tenders and pricing
  4. Let customers know about the work being carried out in case they decide to arrive unannounced
  5. Be prepared for a better reputation in the community

The access of your building should appear to be welcoming. It also needs to be easily navigated. Think about your property and how it stands up for modern life. If it needs improving get in touch with the professionals to help you through the process.

Before work begins on planning designs speak to a consultant and organise an access audit. Get the job done right, first time.

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