A Step-by-Step Guide to Your Next Office Renegotiation or Relocation: Part VI

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By: Tim Kay, Senior Vice President, Project and Development Services at JLL 

A Step-By-Step Guide To Your Next Office Relocation or Renegotiation  As a lease expiration date approaches, many mark their calendars in dread of the administrative tasks ahead. And although moving is complicated, it’s also a unique opportunity to reinvent your culture, address your space utilization and ensure your strategy is aligned with organizational objectives.  

At JLL, we follow a strategically crafted roadmap to guide our clients through the process. This is the final post in a blog series; each post will serve as a stop on the way to your destination – success.  

Next Stop: Plan and Implement Your Next Move 

So, you have an architect on board and your space is officially in the works. You can finally see the finish line. The lease is signed, the base building analysis is complete, and construction estimates are complete.

But, don’t uncork the champagne just yet. Before you can celebrate, there are a few final steps you and your team must observe to ensure the move is properly executed.

Step 1: Determine Design Details 

Before launching construction, you must first add a general contractor (GC) to your team. Ensure that the GC you select understands your deal drivers and company vision because he or she will facilitate build of your end space. The GC plays a critical role during design and construction.

During this stage, your project manager will help you to pre-quality (and eventually select) potential GC candidates. We typically suggest one of two models:

1.  Send a Request for Proposal (RFP). Depending on how early you’d like to bid, you can deliver an RFP for project general conditions (for instance profits, overhead and staffing) based on a near complete drawing.

2.  Negotiate. Interview potential candidates and enter into negotiations. If you are already targeting a GC who has similar experience, this will speed up the process.

With a dependable contractor and architect, your team can finalize design drawings (likely about 75% complete at this stage). With drawings in place, the GC is able to send a hard bid for all categories. Meanwhile, your architect should begin looking at suitable fixtures, carpeting, furniture and equipment, as well as potential dealers and manufacturers. (Often, JLL assists the architect during the RFP process for furniture as well.)

For JLL Clients Only: JLL offers its Synergy Program, which is a preferred supplier program that gives us access to tremendous discounts on several commodities.

Step 2: Monitor Construction Site 

Once construction is underway and hammers are swinging, your project manager will monitor activity onsite to ensure:

    • Construction quality is exactly what you expect.
    • The space is built out according to the drawings.
    • Materials selected are being used.
    • Both timeline and budget are being met.
    • Construction site is safe.

When your new location nears completion, it’s time to prepare all employees for the big day. 

Step 3: Prep for Moving Day  

Moving day is critical.

The project might have gone extremely well up to this point, but if move-in day does not go smoothly, employees will be frustrated and unhappy. Look for ways to make a move without disrupting regular business activity. This might mean moving furniture over a weekend, or phasing employees into your new space by department. Whatever the case, structure a moving process that fits in with your business’ culture and daily operations. Then, create an internal communications plan in partnership with your broker to make sure employees are aligned on the actual moving gameplan.

You cannot over-communicate. The C-Suite often underestimates the risks and complications of a move, and others feel out-of-the-loop or confused when it’s time to relocate. Everyone wants to know what they should be doing, how they can help, when they will be in the new space, and how the move will affect his or her workday. Make sure all employees are aware of all moving details. Consider date, time, new neighborhood, space, IT setup, etc. Start communicating with internal emails, host a group lunch or form a move committee.

Another helpful tip: We suggest having a ‘move desk’ on the day of the move. Station an electrician, IT professional or furniture expert at the designated desk for any issues that arise. This will expedite problem solving and enhance satisfaction levels.

Download JLL’s Physical Move Checklist for a full list.

Now you can celebrate. Moving is complicated, but if done right, your space can drive and fuel workplace productivity, creativity, collaboration—and ultimately—success.

Are you approaching your next move? Has your business outgrown its current office space? Contact me at spaces@am.jll.com for consultation.

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Tim Kay
As Senior Vice President, Tim’s responsibilities include business and team development, resource management and accountability for JLL Project and Development Services. His team manages the design and construction of complex real estate projects across the Midwest. View Tim’s full bio to read up on his experience.