Appoint a project leader

Must have a good understanding of your organisation and how different departments work. Essential skills are: Budgeting, communication, project planning, attention to detail and influencing people.

Set up a project team

This should include heads of all departments. It's key that the right people are involved at the right time.

Workplace audit

Headcount, staff survey, recruitment plans, space usage and workplace usage (comms, IT, facilities, storage).

Select a trusted office fit out company

The earlier you involve an office fit out company, the better, as they can assist with developing the budget and appraising potential new office space.

Must have: relevant experience, strong financials and track record, reputation, in-house team, technical skill, insurance cover, references, adequate resources and reliable project management.

Establish your budget

Within your budget, be sure to also include dilapidations costs, professional fees, IT, infrastructure costs, furniture, telecoms and insurances.

Appoint a commercial property agent

Must have experience, a good reputation in the market, choice of properties available, knowledge of local market and attractive fee structure. Create a shortlist of available properties and view them all.

Develop office design concepts

Consider your organisational culture, growth plans, private spaces, collaborative spaces, personal comfort, break out, kitchen, reception and environmental factors such as natural light.

Develop the project brief

Consider current and future processes, requirements for new location (proximity to train station and local amenities), space requirements, lease break, budget for rent, rates, service charges and maintenance and timescale.

Appoint other professionals

Some of these services may be provided by your fit out partner:

  • Project Manager
  • Structural engineer
  • Planning supervisor
  • Acoustic engineer
  • Security Consultant
  • Property solicitor
  • Health & Safety consultant
  • Furniture specialist

Create a detailed checklist of new office requirements

Space requirements, local amenities, facilities, car parking, storage, other occupiers, rent, rates, service charge, lease terms, landlord incentives, disability facilities (must meet the Equality Act 2010), building services, and timescale.

Workplace appraisal

Asses shortlisted properties against your checklist and visit the properties with your fit out partner so they can carry out a workplace appraisal. Ask for a building services survey, outline budget and space plans.

Building selection and surveys

A detailed building survey includes mechanical and electrical, water and waste supplies, asbestos and other hazardous materials, disabled compliance and schedule of condition.

Now the building has been selected, you're into the fun stage of office design and layout. In part 2 of this checklist, we'll identify each step during this phase, right up to moving in day.