Aiming to Improve Your Office Space? Consider This Before a Move or Redesign. Here's how to assess if your current quarters can accommodate future growth or you need to choose another site.

By Riggs Kubiak

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Looking to move into a new office or expand your current space? Make sure you allot sufficient time so you can arrive at the exact office configuration you want.

Here's what you should consider to ensure a successful process whether you revamp your current space or move the company's operations to another site:

Related: What to Know Before Selecting the Office Space of Your Dreams

1. Assess the current setting.

The first step is figuring out the type of space that would meet your current and future needs. Consider the amount of square footage you might need in the future. Think of your current use of space as conducting an experiment. Once you interpret the results, you'll be closer to understanding your future business needs.

If the existing office space can be restructured to accommodate more employees, it may make sense to stay put. Try to project your company's growth. If your company were to opt for a different site for a new office, how many people would be housed there? Should your decision to relocate be based on aesthetics, you might find it worthwhile to stay put, save on moving costs and hire a designer to revamp the current space.

2. Explore a new space.

Think about the type of office you wish to find. Are you expecting it to be move-in ready? If you're planning to do work, do you want completely raw space? Or would you rather start with a "white box" setup?

What amount of space are you seeking? A space of 1,000 to 5,000 square feet is typical for companies with six to 30 employees, and 6,000 to 25,000 square feet is appropriate for accommodating 30 to 100. Don't just think about how many employees you have now. Also consider where the business is heading and how many staffers you'll hire.

What do intend to use the office for? Is it simply for working and meetings? Or do you need a screening room, a music studio or maybe an outdoor garden? Determining which types of environments will suit your company's activities is critical to finding an appropriate space.

Location is also something to think about. Be sure the space you find is convenient for employees and clients who may stop by.

Related: 5 Keys in Negotiating an Office Lease

3. Assemble the right project team.

Whether you choose to move or change your current office space, creating a solid project team is imperative. Make sure you find building professionals you trust. Speak to references, examine past project experience and obtain background information for any candidate invited to bid on your project.

Set up a project team and consider including these roles:

A point person. Before starting to build an external design and construction team, designate someone at your company to be the contact person with the project team throughout the process. This might be an office manager or even the CEO. It doesn't matter as long as the person can adequately represent the interests of the company and has the authority to make decisions.

An architect. Engage an architect to accompany you on tours of possible offices and conduct tests to determine if a space meets the company's needs. Once you lease a space, the architect can work with you to develop a design for the project and produce the drawings that will be used by the general contractor.

A general contractor. The general contractor manages all aspects of the construction of a buildout. Solicit multiple bids for any construction project. The general contractor will be able to use the construction documents created by the architect to prepare a bid. The contractor will manage all the vendors needed to complete the project (electricians, plumbers, carpenters). The dollar value submitted with the bid will cover paying for each vendor.

A project manager. If your buildout is on the small side, your internal project lead might be able to handle the day-to-day management of the construction process. For larger, more complex designs, an external person can be hired to manage the project and be responsible for coordinating logistics and communicating with the team of professionals completing the work.

4. Stay involved in the process.

Remain involved in the planning to be sure the project is finished on time and budget.

You don't have to be a construction professional to ensure the success of an office expansion or buildout process. Figure out what you want in your new space by thinking about the company's future needs and talking to employees. Then find professionals who understand your vision and can make your ideas come to fruition.

Related: 5 Pointers for Selecting a Site for Your Business

Riggs Kubiak

CEO and Co-Founder of Honest Buildings

Riggs Kubiak is the CEO and co-founder of Honest Buildings in New York City. Prior to this, Riggs served as global director of sustainability at Tishman Speyer.

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