A very time-consuming process – the cruel reality of finding a new office

What have I learnt from ‘the best office’ project so far? The most important resource when you’re moving offices is time.

I did underestimate how much time it would require from my co-workers and myself. This is also the reason why I haven’t been able to publish more posts in this blog series.

The six and a half year perspective

I spoke to Cecilia Vigil (Project Manager Interior Design) at Spotify and compared our timeline to the timeline she would recommend for an office of our size (600m2). That’s when I realized how little time we had compared to how much we would actually need for this project.

Cecilia works full time with creating offices, and we did this part time on an already tight schedule.

You should also add the time to find the right office space to this timeline. If you’re trying to build the best office, then searching for the right location will be very time consuming. We visited over 10 locations and got proposals on another 20 offices. This is part of the process that you can’t compromise on, you really need to find the very best location and building in your city.

My advice is to start looking at offices 18 months before you actually need to move, you will then have 6 months to find the right space and 12 months for negotiating, design phase and building phase. This means that you have to plan for an office that’s ideal for your company, not today – but 18 months from now.

You also need to bear in mind that you will stay in that office for at least five years, which is the general contract length. So in reality, you need to predict the future for the upcoming six and a half years for your company. It’s more or less impossible, but do your best.

Putting pen to paper

In the negotiating process, we recruited a broker who helped us negotiate the contract. They worked on a provision, based on the savings that we made compared to the first contract proposal. About 20% of our savings were their fee. If we would have had more time, we could easily have done this ourselves. However, I don’t regret the decision to hire them. As I said before, time was not on our side.

The best advice they gave me was to add paragraphs for the sound environment and air thresholds. Now, you get that advice for free from me.

After 8 months we finally put pen to paper and got our office, a six hundred square metre office located at Korsgatan 24, with Bygg-Göta as our landlords.

Contract signing with Lennart Persson, the owner of Bygg Göta.

This is our building, located in the heart of Göteborg city. It's a really nice location and the market hall is just around the corner

Welcome to Korsgatan 24 (before renovating)

What we liked the most with this office was the fact that it had three floors. That made it easy for us to have different sound levels for different floors.

First floor – this will be the fun area. All the walls will be removed

Big kitchen, but more walls which will be torn down as well

Cool stairway – this can be our players tunnel

Second floor – this is the working area. If you go up the stairs there's a cool mezzanine

How could the current company not make this the gaming room? It's like it was built for it!

Next post - Mock-ups