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This Is Why Interior Design Matters For Your Office Relocation

Thomas Jensen’s clean office interior aesthetics, with his emphasis on open windows, airy, shared workspaces, and shafts of light, define JIDK’s approach and the firm’s goal of creating “happy and bright offices that are healthy for people to work in”. Jensen has been working with the restrictions of NYC real estate landscape, since 2008, to help improve the offices of major tech companies and entertainment startups.  As a middle man and communicator, Jensen is concerned with ensuring smooth office relocation process for his clients.


Placemeter Office Space By JIDK
Credit: JIDK
On a personal level, my daily responsibilities involve communicating decisions and needs. At JIDK, I am the middle person between specialists and clients where I communicate the needs of the clients and translate these needs or requests into actionable plans and details for the specialists – architects, interior designers.

He discussed the disconnect in information that affects the stakeholders during the moving office process. Jensen also shared the tips and lessons he has gained from his experience in commercial office design.


Understanding The Office Relocation Process From The Perspective Of An Interior Design Service

Office relocation typically takes about 6 months from start to finish. There is usually 2-3 months of preparation meetings, design, lease negotiation and permit filing before any construction begins. Depending on the size of the project and the condition of the site, construction usually takes about the same amount of time. After the client moves in, JIDK likes to spend about a month conducting follow ups and tweaking the site to make sure the client is satisfied.

When the client first signs on, Thomas sits down to discuss their brand identity and vision for the new space. “We meet our clients first to get to know their values and needs better. They have a good story to tell and these narratives often serves as a good inspiration fodder for us.”

Buzzfeed Chinatown Office Drawing
Buzzfeed Chinatown, Credit: JIDK

At their earlier stages, Buzzfeed positioned itself as an undercover detective agency, investigating and scooping on good stories and news. In response, Jensen was inspired by Kar Wai Wong’s 1950s cinematic renditions of Hong Kong offices , seen in the The Mood For Love.

The design philosophy of JIDK is simple. They take a fluid and organic design approach, which manifests in Jensen’s personal vision of an office.

Personally, I believe the office is part of a fluid lifestyle. It is not static but evolving where the office is multi functional in its needs, accommodating organically to its people lifestyle
Persado Office Space
Persado NYC Office by JIDK

How Not To Work And Why It Affects The Office Moving Process

Clients often wrongly perceive an office relocation project as a home relocation project.

“Planning an interior design strategy for an office differs from planning an interior design for a home.” He said that with moving and planning a design for a new office, there are often various factors and considerations that come into such planning. The company’s working style. The office layout. The test fit drawing of the physical office. The identity the company wants to portray to the visitors. “To believe that the process of planning for an office is synonymous to the process of planning for a house would be problematic.”

Enterprise technologies and design are unlike home technologies and design. It requires more planning and researching where it helps to incorporate new technologies early in your office design strategy. As with design and new technologies, incorporating IT and office interior design later in the process is often tricky and complicated. “Technology is often seen as an accessory but it is a tool that should be planned early on in the design process.”

Getting an expert to facilitate with office moving, too late in the process.

One area where clients often mistake: they try to research the office moving process alone, without the help of experts. The time taken to research the office relocation, in-depth knowledge and technical literature of each individual process – leasing, brokerage, architecture consulting to interior design – could otherwise have been more efficiently used for everyday business operations.

When you get an expert as soon as possible, it really helps to ease the workload and pressures of moving an office.


How To Work And Why It Matters For Your Moving Office

The ideal client is self aware of its corporate identity and new office space.

In Jensen’s experience, an ideal client would have a new office space “with great light and empty to space to work from. They would also have a strong identity of their firm, where they would know what they want.”

Outbrain Office Door
Outbrain Office Design by JIDK

Looking at a test-fit plan is crucial to understanding your new space. As with the nature of the human eye, “there is human error when it comes to visualizing and judging an empty space so a test fit space plan is important for any interior architectural team to ascertain the amount of square footage of an office space.” Most often what happened without proper test fit of an office is: a client walks into the space thinking that they can fit a certain number of desks. The reality is they often overestimate – or underestimate – the potential of their office space.

Client knows what they want and is transparent about their office relocation process and information.

“When it comes to renovating an office, it is crucial to be transparent about the process to both the stakeholders – brokers and interior design consultants. Clients should check with brokers on renovation restrictions of their office space.“ He mused and insightfully added, “It is a matter of managing expectations of the different players.”


Parting Thoughts

Thomas Jensen JIDK

Jensen ended with five tips to ensure a smooth office relocation.

  1. Bring in experts early in the process.
  2. Assign a project manager to be in charge of the office relocation.
  3. Be realistic and transparent with the landlord and broker. Whatever your budget is, be transparent about it.
  4. Use test fit and visualization.
  5. Incorporate technology early in your plan.
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