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We are moving office
November 05, 2018 1st Anniversary Wishes 2 comments

You hired professional movers to take care of the furniture and larger pieces of equipment, and your staff boxed and moved the small stuff.

Moving a corporate office can go from exciting to daunting all too quickly. Whether you’re scaling up or downsizing for efficiency, moving in or out of the city, there are a lot of components to take care of. So if you find yourself in the position of coordinating the office relocation, we’ve got a few key moving tips for businesses to make this process virtually headache-free.

  1. Plan well in advance

    If possible, start planning your move 4-6 months before you actually want to make the transition in order to attend to all of the details without becoming overburdened. Once you know you’re moving into a new office scope out the space and decide on the layout, including where everything and everyone will go. That will allow you to plan out what your needs are as far as new office equipment goes, and give employees an opportunity to do their own planning ahead for their new space. Create a map or floor plan and make it available to both employees and movers so that everyone knows the plan moving ahead.

  1. Hire your moving company early

    Since moving a corporate office involves a lot of equipment and details, be sure to get a full estimate and hire a full-service moving company 1-3 months ahead of time. Make sure they have experience with commercial relocation and have them give you an on-site quote for the move — or even better, get recommendations from others in your network who have moved offices before. The movers should be held to the same professional standard as anyone else you do business with.

  1. Get the IT Team on board

    Give your IT team three months advance notice to start planning the transfer of all things technical: equipment, internet plans, phone connections, etc. They will need to evaluate the new space for any upgrades that need to be made, either to the infrastructure or to equipment being brought to the new office. When relocating a corporate office you want your landing to be as smooth as possible on the tech side, so do the legwork well in advance.

  1. Do a deep cleaning

    Don’t bring things you don’t need! Shred all unnecessary papers, get rid of office furniture that has been collecting dust and sell or donate equipment that you won’t be needing anymore. Anything you choose to donate can be used as a tax write-off, so check with your accountants to find out what sort of paper trail you need to create as you purge.

  1. Order new equipment well in advance

    You want to have everything you need when you move offices, so 1-2 months in advance, put in your orders for new equipment and furniture so that it will be there and ready for you to unpack and settle in. Be careful ordering too many large items, though, or you’ll end up paying for their shipping twice: once to get to you, and once to be moved… again. Coordinate with your suppliers to have your purchases arrive at the new office just before you move in.

  1. Update your address everywhere

    Be sure your clients know that you’re moving and update your website, business cards, letterhead, and other publicity materials about one week before the move. Get in touch with Google to have your online listing and address changed a month ahead — that change can take a little while longer to be effective since they need to send confirmation materials. Also, update any suppliers or vendors to be sure future deliveries go to the correct address.

  1. Schedule client meetings and deadlines appropriately

    Give yourself and the staff a buffer zone around the office move for at least 3 days where there are no client meetings and no major deadlines. No one likes to run around trying to find a clean place to have a meeting, and having a big report due the day that your workstation is being unpacked is rather stressful. Once you have your moving date set, mark it on the calendars and plan accordingly.

  1. Have employees be well-organized

    When employees are packing their belongings and individual supplies, have them put their name on the outside of the box in multiple places so the movers can put them in the appropriate location according to the layout chart you made. To be extra sure, you can also put name cards in the correct locations at your new office to help your movers to be efficient and organized.

  1. For larger companies, use color-coding

    If moving offices mean coordinating multiple departments and a large staff, most commercial moving companies will likely have a system they recommend for keeping everyone organized. Color-coding is one option that has worked well for many and your moving company might even have labels for you to keep things manageable on the other end of your relocation. Be sure your employees understand how the system works!

Learn more about the Unpakt’s corporate moving services to ensure your move is astress-freee move.

 

We bring insightful articles that explain how and why telecomms will benefit the running of your business. Moving offices requires significant preparation and.

Planning an Office Move? Here’s What You Need to Know

we are moving office

Relocating to a new office can be a cause for excitement, as it is often a positive step for your company. However, moving is a big step not only for you, but for your employees as well. After all, it presents a change in their routine. Moving to a new space can impact your staff’s morale, so you have to handle the process with care. Be prepared for the fact that some staff members may be anxious or unwilling to move.

This article will provide you with recommendations for how to inform and prepare your employees for an office move. Your goal is quite simple: move quickly, smoothly, and with your staff feeling confident and moving with you.

1. Notify The Employees As Early As Possible

Using clear, simple language, let your employees know about the upcoming move as soon as the details are solidified. This way your staff will have enough time to consider their options and prepare travel routes.

A notice period of 2 to 6 months is reasonable, so don’t make the move on short notice. Be timely, clear and direct in communicating the situation to your employees so they don’t end up finding out from another source. Inform them of any possible implications such as reorganization. Use various methods of communication, including one-on-one meetings, team briefings, and e-mail.

Inspire your staff by providing positive messaging on the benefits of the move. Moving will become personal to your staff when they can look forward to things like equipment upgrades and more desk space. Give everyone a chance to ask questions and learn about the new office.

2. Be Honest And Emphatic

It’s important to be honest and open about the reasons why changes are being made. Your employees will appreciate your transparency and accept the situation faster, not questioning the motives.

Moving a business to a new office is a big decision, so by creating an open dialogue with your staff, you can go a long way in keeping your staff happy. Employees may even have some advice to contribute, so encourage questions or feedback. Some important questions that may come to employee minds: Does a move to a smaller space mean there will be layoffs? Will I still be situated near a window? How am I going to get all of my packing done?

Set up the right tools for your employees to voice their opinion. Giving them an open forum where they can speak freely–and with the choice of anonymity–will help you understand and quickly tackle their concerns.

3. Get Them Involved

Employees will want to know whether they need to help in the moving process. Some of them will appreciate being involved because it makes them feel more valued. Make them really feel like they are a part of the move, rather than something they have to do.

It’s essential to show that their input is valued, whether it’s taking suggestions for the new office floor plan or voting on an interior wall color. Just asking their opinions on such matters will be much appreciated.

Consider forming a move planning committee made up of employees who are especially interested in or well-suited for the planning of your office move. This group will serve a valuable role by making the decisions when it comes to selecting interior design details, hiring vendors, etc. This team can also give you insight into what other employees might be thinking.

4. Keep Them Updated and Enthusiastic

Employees can get upset and even lose trust in the business if they feel like they are not being adequately informed about the relocation process. Nobody wants to be kept out of the loop, so you should put up signs and send regular emails so all staff remains informed.

Any other relevant updates should be explained to employees. Considering housing all of the updates and announcements as well as FAQs in one place so employees can review them on their own time. As you get closer to the moving date, escalate communications and remind staff of important deadlines.

5. Celebrate The Move

Once you successfully complete your office move, it’s only right to celebrate it. Consider hosting a launch party and give your staff the opportunity to explore the new space while being rewarded for their hard work during the moving process. A party also gives your business an excellent networking opportunity. With a fresh atmosphere you can invite clients and new business prospects to your office, setting up golden marketing opportunities.

If your business is moving to an entirely new neighborhood, make sure you pass along key information such as nearby restaurants and a map of the area to your employees. They will certainly appreciate knowing their surroundings right from the start.

Once you get the celebration out of the way, you have to continue a successful transition into your new location. Check with your employees to see how they’re settling in. Address any issues that may arise, whether it relates to the new seating arrangement or individual workstations.

Making the move to a new office is a significant experience. When executed properly you maintain good morale among your employees and this keeps the process quick and efficient.

The key is to keep good, clear communication between you and your employees, because they are a critical part of the moving process. Notify your employees of the plan as soon as possible, be honest and emphatic, get them involved, and keep them updated and in good spirits.

Once the move is made, you can celebrate and begin a successful transition into your new office. Be sure you address real issues employees may have throughout the process. The last thing you need is increased anxiety and unwillingness about the move. Since your employees are your greatest asset, you have to effectively engage them from the start. Relocation can be a wonderful thing when done right.

 

 

Image via Pexels.com

 

About the author

Eric D. Gordon is an independent business development and marketing specialist for SMEs. He loves sharing his insights and experience to assist business owners in growing their revenues. You can find Eric on Twitter at @ericdavidgordon.

 

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11 Tips for When You’re Moving to a New Office Space

we are moving office

Planning an Office Move? Here’s What You Need to Know

Office moves start out exciting. You envision the finished product—everyone in your company working and thriving in a shiny new, perfectly organized office.

The panic sets in when you realize you have to figure out how to prepare an office move and organize everything in that shiny new office.

Office moves involve an overwhelming number of literal and figurative moving parts. Obviously, you have to move all the stuff, but you also need to consider employees’ happiness, transitional workflows, reorganization, adjustment periods, and so much more.

Don’t worry—we’ve made a list to get you ready to handle every aspect of your office move.

Many of these pointers came straight from our Facebook group of Office Managers! See what nuggets of wisdom our community has to offer and jump into the conversation. Join the group here.

As you go through this list, remember to do what many in our group say is the most important part of the moving process: Breath.

 

Phase 1: Planning

12 – 6 months before the move

1. Select one place to organize office move notes and to-do items.

First, figure out where and how to record and organize all notes, documents, to-do lists, and other move-related items. Centralizing information will keep you from pulling out your hair later—when you remember you have a office move timeline in Google Drive, a to-do list in Box, and a list of handwritten employee comments in…one of your notebooks, preferably not the one that seems to have vanished from your work bag.

2. Organize key documents.

Now use the method you established in step one to organize important documents, including insurance records, contracts, agreements, and other records.

If you don’t yet have contracts and agreements, you can simply carve out a space for them to help you stay organized later on.

3. Announce the move.

Plan a detailed email, newsletter segment, town hall presentation, or brief video to tell employees about the big move.

The announcement should be comprehensive, regardless of the format you select. The communication needs to tell employees everything they need to know. In fact, the more detail you put into the communication, the easier it will be to wrap your head around all the steps of your office move.

As you create the announcement, be sure to translate any applicable items to your master to-do list. For example, if your announcement reassures employees they will have a complete “office move checklist for employees” of to-dos before moving day, then you need to include “making and distributing checklist” as an action item in your timeline.

Here are some items to include in your announcement:

  • New office name and address
  • Moving date/dates
  • Key features of the new office
  • Justification for the move (A quote from the CEO or other key decision maker is the perfect way to explain the decision to move—and even get them excited for the transition.)
  • What employees need to do right now, if anything
  • What future moving information employees should expect to receive

After the initial announcement, you’ll want to plan a way to talk to employees throughout the move. Move on to step 4!

4. Talk to employees.

After the announcement has a few weeks to set in, talk to employees to get their feedback. Seek feedback on aspects of the move or the new office that you can reasonably control and work into your planning process, including:

  • Changing workspace needs (Some employees may want to request standing desks, lamps, privacy screens, etc.)
  • Equipment needs (Replace broken keyboards, cracked screens, etc.)
  • Seating changes (Some employees may need or want to change what teams and people they sit near.)
  • Workstyle preferences, especially if your new space will include elements of both open and private floorplans.
  • Design wish items or recommendations
  • Any issues that restrict people from carrying heavy boxes and helping with moving work

You can deliver this communication in multiple ways:

  • Communicate via department/division managers
  • Send out a survey
  • Host one-on-one meetings if your company is small
  • Use your company’s email delivery tool
  • Use your company’s internal Facebook group

After you get the first communication out, create a plan for subsequent sends. You’ll probably want to send one communication a month until moving day, if the complexity of your move calls for it. If your company has an internal communications team, enlist their help to make sure your messages are on point.

 5.  Establish your budget and purchasing process.

Get a budget (preferably on paper) from your company leaders and establish guidelines for completing all move-related purchases. Will you be able to use a company card? Will you have to submit invoices? Who (if anyone) will need to approve your purchases or vendor contracts?

This step will help you envision the moving process. For example, if you need a three-person team to sign off on all purchases and contracts, then you’ll be able to plan extra time for all to-dos involving purchases.

6. Establish and record key details.

Confirm and record key details that could affect the move. These include:

  • Employee headcount
  • Size of current office
  • Size of new office

7. Make lists of what you have and lists of what you need.

Now it’s time to make inventory lists of all things big and small. Make two lists:

  • Things you’re taking
  • Things you’re leaving behind

The lists should illuminate some needs you might otherwise overlook, especially if you cross-reference them with your new office’s floor plan.

For example…

  • If the office move involves a complete design overhaul, and you’ll be leaving behind all trash cans and whiteboards, you might need to purchase new versions of those necessities to match the new look.
  • If you’re pulling off a move on a tight budget, making an inventory list will remind you that you do in fact need to pack everything lurking in that old supply closet.
  • If your new kitchen is twice the size of your old one, but your “taking” list only has a few basics, then you might need to get a bunch of new kitchen stuff.

8.  Talk to managers to establish move-related workflow strategies.

Moving is hard; juggling work while moving is super hard. Encourage managers to develop comprehensive plans for managing workflows throughout the moving process, especially if they have any critical deadlines that fall within the moving time frame. Remind them to keep the move in mind as they take on and plan new projects.

9. Get volunteers for a moving committee.

Don’t try to do everything alone. See if anyone wants to join a moving committee!

Be sure to outline duties before you make your appeal. Some standard responsibilities include:

  • Planning
  • Packing
  • Unpacking
  • Organizing
  • Office designing and decorating

Float this idea with your supervisors to see if you can get approval for the team to complete move-related work during office hours. This would definitely inspire more volunteers.

10.  Create a separate email address for move-related questions.

People will have questions—lots of questions—about the office move. Try to separate the office move from your regular duties by creating an email address just for move-related questions and correspondence.

 

Phase 2: Packing and Preparing

6 – 3  months before the move

1. Ask for vendor recommendations.

Before you spend a minute on research, seek answers from experts who’ve organized more than their fair share of office moves. Join our State of the Executive Assistant and State of the Office Manager Facebook groups and ask for vendor recommendations and general advice.

What vendors and services do you even need? Here are some things almost any office move requires:

  • Movers/moving crew
  • Trucks
  • Boxes
  • Clean-up crew and cleaning service

2. Secure movers/moving crew.

Your moving crew will define your office move.

After you get recommendations, ask the moving companies on your list a few questions to pinpoint:

  • Flexibility (If you need them to come early or stay late, will they accommodate without fees?)
  • Fee structure (Do they charge per job or per hour?)
  • Reviews and reliability (What are former customers saying?)
  • Services included (Do they clean up or help pack?)

Tip: Try to find movers that include everything—the trucks, boxes, and cleanup. If you can’t find a company to cover all the bases, then just move on to the next steps.

3. Pick out moving boxes.

At first glance, this task seems simple and easy; why do it months in advance? Just take a look at the extensive selection of moving boxes and crates on the market, and you’ll understand why. There are giant stackable crates, rentable bins, classic cardboard boxes, moving pods, and more.

Your box selection should be as individual as your move. Arrive at the perfect box decision by considering your budget, your timeline, your inventory, and your moving manpower.

4. Lock down moving trucks and loading/unloading locations.

If you haven’t chosen to go with an all-in-one company that manages pricing and securing trucks, then you should definitely tackle this to-do early.

You’ll want to pinpoint the same features for the trucks as you did for your movers:

  • Flexibility (If you need them to come early or stay late, will they accommodate without fees?)
  • Fee structure (Do they charge overage if you get stuck in traffic?)
  • Reviews and reliability (What are former customers saying?)
  • Services included (Do they clean up or help pack?)

Once you have trucks lined up, it’s time to coordinate arrivals and departures. Work with your current and new building managers to find ideal loading and unloading times and spaces. The spaces need to accommodate your trucks without disrupting traffic. If either building has underground loading docks, then make sure your trucks will clear all entrances and exits.

5. Select a cleaning service and cleanup crew.

If your movers don’t clean up your old space, then you need to find someone to do that—unless your building will handle it. (Ask your building manager about this if you’re not sure. You don’t want to pay for unnecessary cleaning, and you also don’t want to get stuck with fees for not cleaning.)

Does your new building include an ongoing cleaning service? If not, then you will need to set that up. If you’re pleased with the service in your current building, then find out if that company can clean your new place and simply update the address on your existing service contract.

6. Do a few reconn walks.

Even the most detail-oriented people can miss a few moving details. Do a few long, slow walks around the office and make notes, especially when you notice things that could:

  • Present moving obstacles
  • Require major preparation
  • Be easily forgotten

You might have a giant, permanently affixed company sign that will require major manpower for removal and reinstallation. You might also remember that the green trash can in the middle of the wall is only there to cover the massive hole Taylor left in the drywall when he was wheeling in the yeti ice sculpture for last year’s holiday party.

7. Downsize.

If you use your pre-move time wisely, you could actually reduce the items you even have to move. Take some time to carefully review inventory and tag items with throw-away stickers. You can do one purge a week so you don’t get overwhelmed. The long, slow effort will help you avoid haphazardly discarding things at the last minute…just because you don’t feel like packing. (It also helps you avoid packing and moving a bunch of junk you really don’t need.)

8. Plan an office warehouse sale if needed.

If you’re getting rid of big-ticket items, such as desks and chairs, plan an office warehouse sale so you can recoup some money to put toward new items.

9. Start packing.

Start packing early to avoid an overwhelming move. Complete the process in short, manageable increments. Divide your items into a three-pronged list. Get going on “early bird” items and make a packing plan for the others.

  1. Early birds. These are rarely used, but “keeper” items you can pack immediately and never miss.
  2. Make-do items. These are items that are nice to have, but not crucial.
  3. Absolute necessities. These are the items you’ll need to pack the day before, or even the day of, the move.

10. Host moving committee meetings.

Evaluating the scale of your move should tell you how frequently this group will need to meet. Usually, weekly meetings should cover all the bases.

Figure out exactly what you want to discuss or get help on before the meetings. Send out a simple agenda so attendees can come to the meeting with ideas in tow.

Your first few meetings will probably revolve around planning and talking. Try to get some good packing and organizing into your meetings as you get closer to move-in day.

11. Talk to employees.

Continue your ongoing conversation with employees. They will have questions.

Here’s how to focus your communications in this phase:

  • As questions come in, post them into your communications in Q&A format. With hope, this will reduce the questions flooding your inbox.
  • Status updates. Everyone will want to know what’s going on. Tell employees what items you have completed and what you have yet to accomplish so everyone feels informed.
  • Changes in day-to-day life. Pinpoint how the move will affect employees’ day-to-day routines. Definitely cover parking in the new office space, especially if it’s a different structure than the one your old building uses. If there will be space assignments, passes, or fobs, then employees will want to know when they will receive those items.
  • New neighborhood information, especially if you’re planning a long-distance move. Tell employees about local emergency numbers, places to eat, amenities, transportation hubs, etc. If you have the time, turn this information into a dedicated web page or packet.
  • Reiterate vital information from the announcement email. This is not repetitive; it’s helpful. (In fact, this info is so crucial, you might want to print notices to post around the office to make sure everyone commits the new information to memory.)
    • New office name and address
    • Moving date/dates
    • Key features of the new space

The office furniture specialists at Calibre also agree that communicating key office moving information with your employeees is vital and have some useful productivity office hacks you can use once you’ve moved to your new office space.

12. Create new seating arrangements.

For this step, you’ll want to get a detailed floor plan for the new office if you don’t already have one. Use the employee feedback you collected to draw up the new plan. Send it out for everyone to review so you have plenty of time to make any requested changes.

Set a cut-off date for changes; you will need an absolutely final seating chart to make the rest of your packing a success.

Phase 3: Moving and Organizing

3 – 0 months before the move

1. Label the boxes and the new office space to ensure everything goes to the right place.

The office move experts from our State of the Office Manager Facebook group recommend coming up with a labeling system that makes it crystal clear where all the boxes should go.

You can use any system you want—letters and numbers or colors and shapes—as long as the labels on the boxes correspond with the labels in the new office space. This will make it easy for movers to match.

For example, you can give every team a color, and every employee a number. Mark sections of the office with tape matching the team’s color, and mark each individual’s space with their number. Give employees labels with their color and number to put on their boxes.

2. Talk to employees.

Your last few moving communications should clear up any last-minute employees questions and concerns. Let everyone know:

  • Where they need to be (Provide any necessary building access information. Before you relay this information, you’ll need to secure any necessary key fobs and codes to hand out.)
  • What they need to do, especially packing and labeling instructions.

Also, push out those key moving details just one more time:

  • New office name and address
  • Moving date/dates
  • Key features of the new space

3. Connect all utilities in the old building.

Connect the phone systems, electricity, internet, and water at the new office. Disconnect any service related to your old building, unless a building manager handles that.

4. Finish packing absolute necessities.

Yep, it’s the time. You’re almost there.

5. Create an organizing and decorating plan.

Just as you planned to pack in phases, you can plan to unpack, organize. and decorate in phases. Consider transitioning your moving committee members into a permanent “office design committee” to help you.

You’ll probably find your unpacking and organizing plan mirrors your packing plan in many ways.

  1. Unpack absolute necessities. What items do you need to unpack and organize immediately to help employees do their best work?
  2. Unpack make-do items. What items could wait a week or two?
  3. Unpack out of sight, out of mind items. (How can you organize items people rarely use but still need?
  4. Polish and spruce. Now that everything has a place, how can you tweak and improve the organization of your new office? What decorations and design work does the new space need?)

6. Frequently check on the new building.

Check in with your new building manager often to make sure everything is going smoothly. Ensure that all utilities were connected.

Plan a walkthrough about two weeks out to make sure everything is clean and intact—ready for your team.

7. Request help with unpacking absolute necessities.

Focus your appeal on any IT experts in your company. A majority of your necessities might require wiring and connecting computers and phones.

8. Move!

9. Unpack the absolute necessities you established above.

 10. Plan a party to celebrate your moving success.

We use the term “party” loosely. You’ll probably be just a smidge tired after the move. But that’s all the more reason to celebrate your hard work. Get some champagne or non-alcoholic bubbly and some simple, healthy snacks, and you’ve got yourself a party.

Cheers to you—an office move expert!

 

Speaking of experts…did we leave anything out of this office moving list? We want this post to be as helpful as possible, so let us know what we should add!

 

Office How To’s Resources:

36 Office Decor Ideas to Inspire Your Team’s Best Work

25 Epic Office Party Ideas That’ll Have Everyone Buzzing for Weeks

19 Kickass Office Organization Ideas for Maximum Productivity

25 Creative Office Bulletin Board Ideas That Actually Get Read

101 Fun Office Games and Activities That Make Work Awesome

15 Creative Office Layout Ideas That Gets People Super Excited

7 Fun Office Birthday Ideas That Are as Easy as Pie

The Workplace Events Calendar: Office Events for Every Part of the Year

We Gave Office Pets Free Rein in the Workplace – Here’s How it Made Our Office Better

The Only Office Procedures Manual Template You’ll Ever Need

How to Bring an Authentic Startup Vibe to Any Office

The Definitive Guide on How to Organize an Office Filing System

18 Holiday Party Ideas That Are Big Fun for Small Companies

How to Make Your Next Company Outing Unforgettable

The Only Corporate Event Planning Checklist You’ll Ever Need

The Modern Guide to (Responsibly) Drinking at Work

7 Creative Ways to Make Memorable New Employee Announcements

21 Hilarious Office Pranks That (Hopefully) Won’t Get You Fired

17 Company Swag Ideas Employees Really Want

Your A-Z Cheat Sheet for Picking the Best Conference Call Service

Complete Guide to a Successful Company Newsletter [with Templates]

How to Throw a Company Retreat That Everyone Will Rave About

Ashley is a contributing writer who wants to help make your office an amazing place to work.

If you find yourself in the position of coordinating the office relocation, we've got a few moving tips for businesses to make a smooth move.

Eye Care Moving Announcement Cards

we are moving office

Moving is a normal part of life, but that fact doesn’t make it any less stressful. It’s never an easy decision to make, but many businesses have to move to a new space at least once as their needs change. Whether you’re moving because of rapid growth, a better location or market reach, it’s too easy to get lost in the sea of paperwork and cardboard boxes that pile up during a this process, all while you still have a business to run. To make your move a little simpler, use our office relocation project plan (and download it as a spreadsheet) to guide you through the entire process of moving an office, from planning to unpacking.

Getting Started

Long before you begin packing up, you should start assembling your relocation plan. In the early stages it doesn’t need to be completely concrete, but the details of your strategy should become clearer as the move draws nearer. Begin with the big picture stuff, including the general area in which you plan to settle, lease stipulations and employee needs.

Many businesses end up moving for ease of accessibility, so both your clients and employees need to be able to access your new location. Their satisfaction should be one of your top priorities. Understand your brand’s public perception as well as the feel of the neighborhoods you’re considering, assuring that it makes sense for you to relocate there. Draft your business development and expansion strategy with expansion in mind, noting new hires and space requirements that you might need over the next several years. Each company’s needs will be slightly different, so consider the ways in which your business will have to adapt to a new area and space.

After you have taken all of these factors into consideration, you should start looking for a reliable broker or business real estate agent to help you along in the process. On some occasions, you’ll be able to find a suitable office location on your own, but it can be quite a challenging and time consuming process. Moreover, some landlords work only with real estate brokers, limiting your options. Some businesses can rarely have a detailed look at a space for lease without a broker unless you are part of a large company or corporation.

You should also discuss the move with your stakeholders, including investors and employees, so you need a broker who is able to present multiple locations for consideration. Not all locations are created equal and not all of the available options will fit into your sometimes limited budget, so you will want to gather and pore over a varied list of possible office locations. Take your time and compare the advantages and disadvantages of each location. In the real world, there is no place that offers only advantages, no matter how perfect it might seem.

Space Options

Planning an office move is a critical business decision, so of course it shouldn’t be taken lightly. You’ll more than likely call your new office home for the next few years or decades, meaning that you should carefully consider your motivations and needs behind the relocation. More importantly, you need to know in great detail how the new office will address your pressing business needs. Assess all your current expenditures and compare them against the new office location. Take into consideration all the services you need to run your business smoothly and put them on the list to check how the new place compares to your current infrastructure. Nowadays, there are plenty of different ways to rent office space.

The traditional route is the classic leased building. Under this model, you will likely pay a monthly fee for your space, which will also often require a multi-year lease as well. You’re locked into this space for a while, so it’s crucial that it meets a majority of your needs. This option is stable and allows you to come to work each day in a space all your own, which is ideal for companies that want to stay in their new space for a long time.

A fresh option that’s especially viable for newer companies and startups is coworking, which allows you to rent a space inside of a larger facility that is shared between other companies, teams and freelancers. You likely won’t have to sign a lease, making it easy to cancel and relocate if you find a better space for your brand to grow. Coworking is especially popular among the younger crowd, allowing them to work side-by-side with other young professionals with different backgrounds and experience. However, you have to compromise on privacy at least a little bit. Only you can decide the right space for your relocation, so make sure you’re considering each option available to you, even the less obvious ones. You might be surprised at the location that ends up being the perfect fit.

Office Requirements

Now that you’re considering a variety of spaces, it’s time to get picky. Focus on tiny details that could become huge problems down the line. First and foremost, make sure that you can afford the rent, taking into consideration that fact that you’ll likely be signing a lease. Other obvious considerations should be if the landlord offers insurance, if the office can fit everyone comfortably and if it’s easily scalable for future growth. But there are plenty of other factors to include in your deliberations.

Look for a good number of conference rooms. Ensure that there is heating and cooling built into the space. Include amenities like a kitchen, communal spaces, multiple bathrooms and even showers. Scour the immediate area for restaurants, shops and cafés. Consider public transportation and parking. Make sure that clients and employees will feel safe and can find you easily. Count the number of power sockets. These details will make or break your new space.

Gearing Up

You should start getting a budget in place comprising of current figures and costs associated with your new location. Costs could be either lower or higher depending on the reason for the move, so it’s up to you to decide whether these expenditures are defendable from a financial standpoint. You’ll also need to plan also for relocation expenses and any bumps in the road that may come along. Moving costs include professional movers, shipping office furniture and losses due to downtime during the move. These are one-time expenditures, but they still impact your bottom line, so plan carefully.

Once you have selected your new place, you need to finalize your office relocation project plan to make the process as easy as possible. Before the moving trucks come, make sure you’ve finalized the lease for the new location and notified your current landlord of your move-out date. Advise your staff far in advance of the date and location of the move. Create a master list of everything, like mail services and bank accounts, that might be affected by moving, then send them moving notices. Bid and draft a contract with a moving company. You can also consider hiring an interior designer for the new office. Hold a meeting with everyone involved with the move at your new location at least three weeks in advance to ensure all details are covered and all responsibilities are clear.

Before the Move

It’s now time to get into the fine details. You should reserve elevators and loading docks for moving day and inventory everything you plan to bring along. A good rule of the thumb is to plan to move any non-essential items first, then tackle bigger pieces. Another best practice is to label all boxes before the move. Audit your building keys and store them safely. Arrange for the storage or disposal of old files. Look into updated or new contracts for internet, utilities, office supplies and other equipment like printers. Order updated stationery, business cards and checks, plus any new office furniture or decor you might need. Make sure you’re listed in the new building directory.

On the employee side, there are plenty of other ways to prepare. Organize a staff moving committee if there is enough interest or need, then delegate responsibilities. Schedule and prepare an agenda for an employee moving meeting. Finalize a new seating plan or layout. Assign moving supervisors from each department who can look over more specific needs. Schedule post-move training for safety procedures. Distribute access cards and keys to your employees for easy access. Develop a master relocation project schedule, including packing, unpacking, stocking and cleanup. You want to be operational as soon as possible after the move. Verify your moving insurance, set security procedures and make sure you can access the new location. Arrange for your staff to tour new premises a few weeks prior to the move to get acquainted to the new space.

Moving Day

Thanks to all the planning before the big day, it might seem anticlimactic when it actually comes. Arrange with your building manager to have the air conditioning on during the move. Begin installing big equipment like servers as soon as possible. Keep an eye on your emergency contact list of experts for elevator maintenance, utilities, internet and moving. Safety is your first and biggest priority. While the process is happening, make sure that you’re focusing both on big-picture stuff and smaller details, making sure that everyone knows their role and is contributing equally. Your employees should have the day off, and you’ll likely make the move over a weekend.

After the Move

Everything is inside and the movers have driven away. Now the harder work begins. Install and test your routers, computers, telephones and printers, making sure each works and troubleshooting as you go along. Devise and internally distribute a new phone list and office map, outlining the locations of departments, administrators and managers. Complete a detailed walkthrough of the premises, noting any issues or damages to report to the moving company or building owner. Audit the final invoice from the moving company against your contract.

You’re not entirely done with your old space yet. Confirm the termination of your old lease or agreement. Collect parking passes, security cards and keys for your old facility and ensure their return to the landlord. Transfer your insurance to your new location if you have not already done so, getting insurance certificates in the process. Complete and file all warranty information for all new furniture and equipment and update your fixed asset accounting system for all of those pieces as well. Confirm that your address has been correctly updated everywhere it needs to be. Schedule a press release and client announcement for the next business day.

Finishing Up

Moving can be one of the hardest yet most rewarding changes your business will face. After the move, make sure you take a moment to breathe and try to move beyond the stress of relocation. Give your teammates and employees the same treatment, especially if they have called the old location home for quite a while. Just like when you move houses, changing up your office space can be both exciting and hard to process at first.

In the first few days of operation, make an effort to be positive and to improve office culture. Your entire team has been through a lot, so make sure everyone feels appreciated. The relocation will be much easier if you lead by example and treat the new space as a beneficial and necessary step forward. Ask your employees what they want to see in the office and try to make it happen within your means.

Key Takeaways

A business relocation plan is difficult work. It may involve dozens upon dozens of tasks and cover thousands of items, even in the case of a small business. However, the more thorough you are, the easier the move is likely to be. Laying the right groundwork is essential to success. When you’re considering a move or getting ready to relocate, make sure you do the following:

1. Draft a relocation plan including your desired area, your needs and wants and how long you plan to stay.

2. Consider many different types of spaces for your new office, including ones you may never have decided to tour.

3. Create a tight budget and finalize your office relocation project plan weeks before your moving date.

4. Set yourself up for success by reserving elevators, setting up internet and completing other small tasks before you start moving.

5. Install equipment and clean the new space as soon as possible to be able to reopen as soon as possible.

6. Treat the space like home and make sure to take a little time to relax.

Don’t forget about moving insurance, which is actually a must-have for many businesses. Cleaning up your last office location is another task you should have on your list. Really, any office move is a stressful experience, but if you equip your team with a comprehensive office move plan and have a thorough checklist in place, you can make the entire process more pleasant and efficient for everyone involved.

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Written by Marn
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