Inside HA: Our Beijing Office Move

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By Lydia Lau, VP Global Operations at the Hoffman Agency

Moving an office is never easy, especially after being in the same place for 15 years. Such was the case for our Beijing team.

As we explored potential landing spots, we discovered that there weren’t many spaces that fit our needs and had the certain “look and feel” that reflects a global consultancy with high-touch services. After many site reviews, we finally found a winner: China World Office (GuoMao DaSha).

Renovating and moving into this space gave us an idea of what it’s like working from the client side. The designer/renovation company we selected worked closely with us to figure out appropriate solutions and to understand our needs. We were particularly impressed with their valued-added design and good chemistry, and they were really down to earth.

Beginning to Take Shape

After many rounds of revisions, we got the mock-up done.
Personalization was really important to us. When it came to creativity, our contractor worked with us to create our own wall and ceiling. And we got to add our own touches too.


Little Disruptions

In the midst of our build out, there was a Military Parade held in Beijing on September 3, and all construction projects (including renovation and furniture manufacturing) had to shut down for 10 days. Another snag was the building management’s very strict renovation guidelines. In order to provide a quiet environment for the building’s current tenants and ensure quality of the work done, our renovation crew could work only after 8 p.m. and on weekends, and everyone entering the building was screened with strict security.

We needed to visit the site at night or on weekends to catch up on the lost renovation “nights.” There were times that we’d arrive early in the morning or visited late then not leave until midnight or after.

Addressing the Logo Wall

We arrived early one Saturday morning before the project manager could get involved with another project. To not waste time, we asked the local worker to show us the layout of the logo wall on the floor first (so we could see the pattern). Without being properly briefed by the project manager, the worker had no idea and insisted that it be done his way. After several ways/rounds of communicating with him and the project manager, we finally got the wall set up right!


When it came to taste, we wouldn’t just accept something mundane and ordinary.

Unfortunately, our furniture provider was not able to get our brief to the carpenter, so we will have to settle with this for now until we get a replacement.

We can now enjoy a good meal at the bar table too (yet the wood type is different from what we expected, so we’ll see what we can do to work with that).


At the end, we watched the arrival of our logo and door handle. The end result almost brought tears to our eyes as we stared at the office entrance for an hour.

Adding color has really brightened our lives.

Goodbye CITIC …


Hello GuoMao. Now, we have a HAppy family posing in front of the beautiful wall 🙂

We’d like to acknowledge the Beijing team who stood by us throughout the process. Special thanks to our designer Jenny, IT infrastructure commander Davin, and our lovely Wendy who always helped us solve the local challenges.

Really proud to showcase our can-do and solution-focused attitudes.


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