Running an office is a thrilling and challenging experience. But announcing an office relocation and going through the process of planning is even tougher. There are a ton of things to consider – choosing your new location, getting everyone on the team up to speed with the process, setting an office relocation budget, packing, the actual office removal process, and more. It’s best to start preparing your office move planning guide in advance in order to save yourself and your company time and money.
In short, moving offices is like a big puzzle and you need all the pieces to be placed in the right position to make things work. Having an office move checklist by your side will certainly help you make the relocation easier and ensure it runs smoothly during all stages.
Wow, we’ve mentioned so much already! But guess what, all of the points we’ve touched upon in just a few sentences all take a very important part in your office move planning guide. So let’s dig a little deeper to uncover what remains hidden behind each factor. By having this information you’re guaranteed a more enjoyable and certain office moving process.
How do you know when it’s time to move offices?
For starters, how can you tell if it’s really time to move offices? After all, even the smoothest office moves with the best organisation behind the process involve some level of business disruptions. So is the move really worth it? Will you gain more in the end?
Every company runs differently and you will most likely need to consider different factors that will provide an answer to these questions. However, we can share with you some of the most common signs that it’s time to move offices.
Of course, the expiry of your lease is one of the factors that open the door to an office move. Most business owners start considering office relocation when their tenancy contract is about to expire. And by “is about to expire” we mean in a year. Office relocation takes a long time to plan, regardless of whether your company is big or small. Furthermore, depending on what your lease agreement states, you may need to notify your landlord of your plan to move as early as a year in advance.
Start early and see what your options are. Maybe your landlord is renting out another larger corporate space that you can move your colleagues and employees into? Or perhaps there are different, more preferable solutions with other landlords?
Your current location is not convenient
In a lot of cases, the location that was chosen initially for the office no longer suits the needs of the company. Let’s say that your office location is still the one that you originally chose when the company was first starting. As a small start-up, it’s natural to choose an office space that is affordable, which in most cases means far off and certainly not central. Although this may have worked for you then, chances are that as the business grows, convenience and representation mean more than affordability.
Your office location can give away a lot about your company’s priorities and financial abilities. Especially if you work with a wide range of partners and clients who visit the office often, it’s essential to welcome them in a nicely designed and convenient to reach space. Furthermore, a central and easily reachable location can make your hiring process a lot simpler and could offer an extra level of comfort and convenience for your current employees.
Your current offices are not spacious enough
We’ve come to one of the most popular reasons for an office move – not enough space. To some extent, this is a great sign for your business as it shows that you’ve grown and developed, potentially even more than you could have expected. Are your filing cabinets now overflowing with documents? Are your employees not able to enjoy enough personal space as they’re forced to work in packed offices with colleagues? And how are you coping with meeting rooms? Are there enough for everyone that needs them?
If your company is strong, chances are that it plans to expand even more in the future. And what then? As you can see, an office move, in this case, is inevitable. Relocating to a larger office would bring in so many benefits for you, your company, and your employees. Additional parking space so that everyone gets one, more spacious offices, available meeting rooms, storage space for everyone, and more. Remember, happy employees, equal productive employees.
Your company is in need of a fresh start
Although routine is a good thing, especially when it comes to business, a change of scenery can never do any harm. Rather, moving offices may turn out to be the best thing you’ve done in the past few years for your corporate teams. Offering a new location to your employees (especially if it is a convenient one for all) can be extremely motivating and can set the start of a fresh stage of productivity and culture-building.
Choosing your new office location
Great, so now that you’ve decided that you do need an office move, after all, it’s time to choose your new office location. This sounds like a piece of cake but it could quickly turn into a piece of chaos if you tackle it unprepared. There are a few important things to consider when looking for new office space:
Is the office location accessible?
The last thing you want is a beautiful and spacious office space that no one can access. Check whether there is public transportation that can be used and how well-organised it is. If your employees can catch a bus once a day to the location, chances are that it’s not your best option. You don’t want to drain your employees’ energy before they even reach the office.
What are your employee demographics?
A lot of business owners fail to take this point into consideration but it is extremely important. Knowing where most of your colleagues or employees live will allow you to choose a location nearby. This will give them the freedom to travel easily, get a few extra minutes of sleep every day, and always come to work prepared and ready to take on any challenge.
Is the office layout suitable for your needs?
Going for a viewing of a chosen office location could be such as misleading experience. You may be tempted by the beautiful and luxurious interior design of the space but don’t forget to think rationally. Is the space utilized at its best? Will there be enough office space for all of your employees to work comfortably? Will you be divided across different floors, making it difficult to communicate? Are there designated spaces for meetings, client conversations, storage, lunch breaks, relaxation zones, and more?
Although most people are strictly focused on what’s offered inside the premises that you’re considering moving into, it’s also important to check out the surroundings. After all, people spend so much time at work that it’s best to ensure the office location is positioned nearby restaurants and fast food points, cafes, bars, gyms, and other facilities that may be visited before or after working hours. Check to see if the location is safe, whether you have competitors nearby, and if the location is centred near other establishments that may be useful for your business.
Is the new office affordable?
Let’s say you’ve found the ideal office location. You’ve considered all of the above points and it’s still an amazing choice. But what about your budget? Is the cost of renting or buying the new office space going to endanger your business operations or does it perfectly fit in with your allocated budget?
Announcing the office move
Next up on the list of planning an office move is the actual process of notifying your employees. You’ve decided it’s time to move, you’ve chosen the perfect new spot. Now it’s time to make it official via an announcement. It doesn’t matter whether you are a well-developed, large corporation or a small business with just a few employees. Announcing the office move correctly is essential if you want to motivate your employees and opt for a smooth process. Here are a few tips on how the process should unfold.
Organize a meeting and let your employees know about the office move plans. It’s important to ensure the announcement is made in front of everyone at once to eliminate the risk of rumours and gossip. Inform your employees about the new office location, the set time frame for the move, and make sure to put an accent on all the added value of relocating. Make sure they are aware of the changes that may follow such as commuting time.
If you notice that the relocation will create a significant problem for some of your employees, offer to arrange a discussion with them to talk about the ways they could organize their lifestyle and schedule to make things work.
Inform clients and partners
As a business, it’s inevitable to have established relationships with clients and partners. Even during and after your office relocation, you should do your best to maintain and continue developing these created partnerships and relationships. A move of location shouldn’t be a reason to put an end to something you’ve been building for years.
Create a list of all of your key partners and either notify them personally via a call or meeting or send a customized email to show that they are truly important to you. When it comes to notifying clients, it’s recommended to inform them as soon as possible. Try to speak to as many clients as you can personally and if this is not an option, send out a personalized letter or email notifying them about the change.
If possible, organize an office relocation party once the process is completed to welcome clients into your new offices and make them feel comfortable with your business once again.
Announce the move on social media
Finally, once your employees, clients, and partners have been informed about the office move, it’s time to post the relocation across your social media channels. Be as detailed as you can about the process to ensure that potential customers or clients and partners who you’re no longer in touch with also receive the information. Remember to update your social media ads and change your company address as soon as the move becomes reality. Also, don’t forget to update our Google maps listing.
Setting a budget for your office move
One of the hardest parts of what to consider when planning an office move is the budget. How much does an office move cost? Of course, an office move will never cost the same amount of money for any two companies, regardless of how similar they may be. This is mainly due to the fact that each business has its own unique requirements, objectives, size, and a ton of different factors, which are all included in the equation of establishing an office relocation budget. Some of the things that you should make a note of when setting your office relocation budget include:
- Potential repair costs – these could mean refurbishment costs, dilapidations, repair expenses, painting and decorating, window and door repair, furniture repair, machine repair, roofing, stone cleaning, mould removal, and more.
- Property-related costs – some of the things that fall under this category are the survey of the premises, schedule of conditions, building insurance, and solicitors’ costs
- Packing costs – make a list of how much money you will need for boxes, bubble wrap, packing labels, packing tape, cargo straps, and other additional packing materials.
- Professional office movers costs – how much will a professional moving company charge to help you with the relocation?
When the office relocation begins, it’s best to work with an office relocation budget template to keep track of your expenses and make sure you’re not spending more than you can afford.
Following an office move checklist
Another useful tip we have or planning a large office move or a small office relocation is to follow an office move checklist. A checklist will allow you to be fully aware of what the steps of the move are, how you are making process and will ensure that nothing is forgotten along the way. A checklist will also make it easier for everyone involved in the process to be on the right track and have a clear picture of what is going on.
Having both a checklist and a budget prepared in advance for your office relocation can save you not only time and energy but most importantly – money. Here is a quick overview of what steps your office move checklist may include:
- Checking for repair work needed
- Speaking to your moving company
- Making a detailed list of all the things that need to be moved from every area in the office
- Create a numbering system to help you keep track of everything
- Create a list of heavy items that need special care and attention
- Prepare your packing materials
- Discuss delivery dates to the new office
- Collect employee parking passes and entry cards
- Disconnect devices
- Organize a cleaning appointment
These only apply to your old office space. When it comes to your new office location, your office move checklist should include the following steps:
- Assigning roles and responsibilities
- Temporary storage options
- IT infrastructure reconnection
- Internet & phone installation
- Allocation of new parking passes & access cards
- Easy access
- Creation of a seating & layout chart
- Storage box disposal
The mentioned above are just some ideas of what you could make a list of when it comes to using a checklist to move offices. Of course, the options are infinite and you could add in as many things as you feel are relevant and necessary for your move.