Moving offices is an exciting time for any business and often involves new growth opportunities, new goals, and a fresh new setting for your colleagues. However, it is certainly not an easy task. If you’ve ever experienced the chaos of moving houses, you probably think that you know what to expect. The reality is, relocating offices can be even more overwhelming if not approached with caution and a solid plan. Especially when left for the last minute, office relocation can turn into a real nightmare.
To save yourself the trouble and ensure everything goes smoothly, start planning early on. The easiest and most guaranteed way to execute a successful and stress-free office move is by planning an office move checklist. In this article, we’ll share the benefits of going through every step by following a pre-made guide and we’ll show you how to create one. If you’d rather simplify the process even more and use a pre-made, reliable list, you can download our own. We’ll share it with you for free!
Benefits of having an office removal checklist
There are a ton of advantages of staying organised during your change of office locations via a comprehensive plan. Regardless of whether you choose to relocate your current office with the help of a professional moving service or would rather handle it solo, some of the top benefits of an office relocation list include:
- Time-saving – Avoid wasting time going back and forth between tasks and departments. Instead, simply follow reliable moving steps that will get you to the desired end goal.
- No stress – Especially if your company is large and consists of a lot of people and separate departments, it could be extremely challenging to keep everything in order and up to speed. Stay away from unnecessary conflicts and stressful situations by using an office moving checklist.
- Organised and flawless process – Although relocating offices will consume a lot of time and energy, everyday business operations normally continue during this time. A moving office agenda will help you maintain control over the relocation and avoid any critical mistakes.
- Saves money – When not planned, an office move can cost you a lot of extra expenses. You could forget about ongoing bills at your old office location, use a lot of extra fuel for transportation if you keep forgetting items, and more. Worst case scenario, you could even harm expensive technology or equipment if you haven’t packed correctly. Be gentle on your budget by thinking in advance.
- Smooth communication with all involved parties – A quality office move “to do” list will take care of all communication with colleagues, partners, clients, and transportation companies. All you have to do is follow the steps and stay calm.
- Speed and efficiency – By the time the moving date comes, you’ll want to be as quick as possible in order to continue business as regular. Be rapid and efficient with the relocation with the use of a sophisticated and complete plan in your hand.
When will you need an office relocation checklist?
Creating an office move project plan step-by-step
In this checklist creation guide, we will go over everything you need to take care of in your old office space and all you need to remember about your new office location. We will also cover important steps to follow to keep your business running smoothly during the process and after the move itself. Finally, we will give you a complete and easy to follow list of all address change notifications that must take place.
Are you ready? Here we go!
The old office space
Your current office space should always be your starting point when you begin creating your checklist. It is likely to be easier to plan for as it is a place you should be perfectly familiar with. Here are some of the most important steps to follow.
Step 1: Check for any repair work needed
Nearly one-third of a person’s life is spent at work. And for a large portion of employees around the world, this means the office. Considering this fact, it is safe to assume that space deterioration is a natural effect that is bound to follow. Although you may be well aware of your office space’s condition, add a space inspection as a component in your office move checklist. Check for any repair work that will need to be organised before selling the property or returning it to its landlord. Some of the main things to keep an eye out for include:
If you feel that your old office can use a more detailed examination, you could also schedule an inspection with professionals, who can provide a detailed overview of the condition of the property.
Step 2: Speak to your moving company
Moving offices without a moving company is merely impossible. There are so many pieces of furniture and equipment to transport that handling it alone is something most people don’t even want to imagine. Besides, getting help from transportation experts is cost-efficient and time-saving. Although your moving company won’t be able to get involved at this stage, it is advisable to speak to them early on. Explain what your situation is, share the most important things about the move and your business, and let them know what you need. Ask if they will be able to handle the office relocation and discuss potential moving dates. You may not be sure about the exact dates yet but at least provide information about the month and remember to stay in touch as the time approaches.
Step 3: Make a list of all that needs to be movedWe’ve reached the most exciting yet time-consuming step – making a list of everything that will have to be packed and transported to your new offices. To make this process easier and quicker, we suggest that you split your list into a few major categories of spaces that your office consists of.
- Kitchen area – Most offices have at least one kitchen area. In the majority of cases, the kitchen consists of a lot of personal items that employees bring to work. Remember to kindly ask your colleagues to pack all of their belongings from the kitchen space before you inspect the area. Make a list of all kitchen accessories and equipment that are company-owned and that will be coming along with you to your new office destination.
- Lounge area – If your office has a lounge area where employees take breaks and socialise, make a separate section for this office zone. Do you have any beanbags, comfy chairs, coffee tables, or accessories that you’ll need to pack?
- Office space – By office space, we mean everything in the areas where the actual work takes place. This includes employee desks, meeting tables, presentation boards, chairs, and more. Even if you think some items are too small and unimportant to go in your list, if you’ll be taking them with you – it is worth noting them down.
- Valuable documentation and archives – Yes, today we do store the majority of our important data and documentation online but it is difficult to imagine an office free of paper copies of contracts or documents. Make some time for this area in your checklist and create your own method by numbering or colour-coding your folders to stay neat and tidy.
Step 4: Create a numbering system
Numbering systems can honestly save your life! They are a popular method and can be applied to literally anything, moving offices included. Here is how you can use them in your checklist:
- Number every room:You can use the hotel-room numbering system. A standard three-digit numbering scheme uses the first number for the floor, while the following two numbers are used for the room. Make a list of these in your agenda and post a sticky note on the door of each room to stay organised.
- Number all furniture and boxesThe next piece to the puzzle is to number every item that you will be moving, including furniture, boxes, accessories, and equipment. Store this list under the floor and room number to keep track of where everything is positioned.
The numbering system will come in handy when you start packing and unpacking. It will also save you time when checking the stage of the office moving project.
Step 5: Make a list of heavy items
Heavy items that are difficult to disassemble, move out and transport often deserve their own dedicated list. Knowing what your most complicated pieces of equipment or furniture are will allow you to have a solution early on and avoid last-minute worries and issues. Speak to your movers about this list and let them prepare in advance. By doing this, moving day will go smoothly and undisturbed by unexpected situations.
Step 6: Packing materialsSo far so good but what will you need to pack?
- Boxes – Diversify your box size availability to have one ready for every need. Avoid overpacking and use multiple boxes instead.
- Protection – Use bubble wrap or foam wrap sheets to shield any fragile items from damage.
- Labels– Masking tape, duct tape, colour-coded stickers, or other labelling materials will save you time and stress when preparing your items for the move.
- Scissors – Although not essential, scissors should be included in your packing tools list as they always come in handy.
- Plastic bins or bags – For smaller non-fragile accessories, decorations, and loose office supplies, plastic bags are an ideal and reliable choice.
Hand out packing materials to all of your employees and collect them afterwards by asking them to leave the tools out underneath their desks when completely finished. You can stay on top of things by making a list of all of your employees and ticking boxes next to their name when you have handed out and collected the packing materials. This way you will be able to send out reminders to the employees who have not yet finished the process.
Step 7: Agree on delivery dates to the new office
You’re almost ready making packing preparations. Next, it is time to give your movers a call again and discuss the delivery dates. If you will be leasing out your new office space it is a good idea to also speak to your landlord or letting agency and confirm the move-in date.
Step 8: Collect any employee parking passes or entry cards
Do the employees working for your company have personal entry cards to the building or any parking passes? If so, remember to collect these before the official space freeing day. Again, think of creative ways to stay organised and make sure you don’t miss anything. Failing to gather such cards could lead to misuse and could cause conflict with the new tenants or owners of your old office space.
Step 9: Disconnect devices and prepare cables
You want to leave this step for the day before moving as it will cut all of your device connectivity and therefore – operations. Disconnect everything and roll up your cables to have them ready for transportation. Where necessary, use external computer memory to save all of your valuable information and resources just in case. Remember things like emptying your copy machine of toner and having it packed for the move.
Step 10: Set up a cleaning appointment
Last but not least, get in touch with a professional cleaning company to handle any dirt or grime that your old office space may have accumulated during your stay. It is best to make arrangements while you are still at the old office but the appointment itself should be scheduled for after you leave. The best-case scenario is that the cleaners find a freed area so that they can focus on what they do best.
The new office space
Now that we’ve covered all that should go into planning an office move checklist for your old office space, it is time to move onto the next step – your new office environment. You probably already have a vision of how you want things to look and you have most likely made arrangements for the interior design and decor. That’s terrific but you shouldn’t forget about all of the things that will arrive from your old office. Let’s see how you can unpack and reorganise everything smoothly and flawlessly.
Step 1: Assign roles and responsibilities
The biggest chaos in unpacking comes when there are several people involved with no clear segmentation of responsibilities. To top things up, people tend to get excited when it comes to moving into a new space, making things even harder to handle. To stay away from this problem and guarantee a smooth process of disassembling and reassembling, assign roles to people. It is also a great idea to choose a Move Manager, who will be tasked with checking the progress and monitoring if everyone is successfully executing their mission. Keep track of how things are moving along by using your numbered lists from an earlier part of your checklist.
Step 2: Temporary storage options
In some cases, your new commercial space may not be entirely ready to host all of your equipment and furniture. What should you do?
Check for temporary storage options nearby and speak to potential partners to ensure that your company belongings are kept safe while you finish any undealt with interior processes. Estimate how long you will need the storage space to get a reasonable quote.
Step 3: IT infrastructure reconnection
The IT infrastructure is among the top priority components of any business organisation. As such, it deserves a dominant and leading position in your office relocation guide. You should reconnect your IT infrastructure as soon as possible as it stores valuable information that your business simply can’t function without. The IT department should be notified in advance, even before moving day, that they will be asked to reconnect the system at the new location.
Step 4: Internet and phone installation
Another priority point that must not be forgotten is internet and phone connectivity. Prior to moving day, speak to your providers and inform them that your business will be changing address. Arrange an appointment for installation of phone and internet. Ideally, this should take place a few days before the official day that the office relocates in order to avoid any temporary problems or lack of connectivity. After all, this could harm your business operations.
Step 5: Handing out new parking passes and access cards
Before leaving your old office, you collected all employee entry cards and parking passes. Well, you now have the chance to hand out new ones for your new business space. Make a plan and follow a simple process. You could do this a few days before moving just to avoid the chaos of people not knowing how to enter the building. In addition to the other new things going on in the office, this could cause a lot of unnecessary crowding.
Step 6: Ensure accessibility
Beware, on moving day things are about to get messy. The best option is for you to have a few moving dates that you could split between the different departments. But regardless, one thing is of crucial importance – accessibility in the lifts and corridors. Especially if your new office is located on a floor based in a busy business building, make sure you notify others that you share the building with about your relocation. Ensure that the hallways are free and easy to access for your movers and employees to unpack and disassemble items quickly.
Step 7: Create a seating and layout chart
Using a seating and layout chart is a clever way to reorganise and quickly find where every piece of furniture and equipment should go. Use the lists that you’ve created earlier on and match them to the new office layout. Ask your Move Manager to make notes and tick off the employees who have already finished unpacking and restructuring their working space. This will give you a clear picture of the office relocation progress.
Step 8: Storage box disposal
One of the worst nightmares of moving offices is all the clustered boxes, bins, and bags that you get at the end. And this is only natural, no one is to blame. However, if you’re looking for a solution then you should search in the unpacking process itself. Arrange certain disposal spots where employees can get rid of unnecessary packing once finished. This will make it easier to clear the area afterwards and avoid boxes getting in the way.
Your business operations
Great, now we’ve covered both your old and new offices. Your checklist is now about to move to the next level – your business. Moving offices isn’t simply related to transporting a bunch of furniture and work desks to a new location. It also involves keeping your operations ongoing and healthy during the process. It includes transferring your data successfully and so much more.
Step 1: Communicate with all departments
Throughout the entire process, remember to stay in touch with all departments. Send out regular notifications on how the moving is proceeding and what the following steps are to have everyone on the same page.
Step 2: Set a department move schedule
As we mentioned earlier, having a schedule for when the different departments are planned to move makes everything a whole lot easier. Not only is it more convenient for your employees, but it also ensures that the business’ clients will not be deprived of attention. Imagine what could happen if all of your departments are unavailable at once. Not quite the ideal picture, right?
Step 3: Notify your customers
This brings us to the next part of your office move checklist – your customers. Don’t forget that they too deserve to be informed about your change of address and the fact that you will be involved in relocating. Not all businesses communicate directly with customers and some are entirely online-based. Whatever the case, it is worth sending out a friendly email notifying about the upcoming changes.
Step 4: Back-up all of your data
This probably doesn’t need a lot of extra explanation as we are all aware of how significant a data back-up can be, especially when relocating. Make sure that your IT infrastructure is protected and secured at all times.
Step 5: Inform about changed working hours
You may need to temporarily change your working hours while moving to ensure you have enough time to relocate and reorganise everything. If this is the case, make a reminder to send out notifications to colleagues, customers, and partners for any working hour changes.
Step 6: Provide sufficient parking space
As you can already see, there is a lot that will be going on during the time of office relocation. Especially on moving days, everything around you is bound to seem hectic and crazy. During these days, it is important to offer enough parking space both at the old and new office locations for employees and movers.
Step 7: Update new company information
Finally, you’re ready to update your business information and make it visible to all. If possible, send out an email to the company’s employees, partners, and clients officially announcing your new location.
Changing your office address
Speaking of new office location, there is more that needs to be done than just notifying the people that you work with and for. To stop you from wondering who it is that you need to notify about your change of address, we’ve made an easy to follow list of all the institutions or organisations that need to be aware of your new office address:
- Municipal services
- Electricity provider
- Gas company
- Water company
- Telephone provider
- Post office
- Active subscriptions (newspapers, magazines)
- Federations and other institutions
- Suppliers and partners – bottled water supplier, food supplier
Remember to cancel all services to your old office address to avoid piling bills that you are no longer responsible for.
Things to remember before office relocating
Covering the essential pieces of the office move checklist only brings us to the best part – what not to forget. We suggest making a note of the following points and placing a star next to them as they are extremely important for the successful and affordable office move that you are after.
Find out what the distance between the old and new office is
Knowing the distance between the two locations is important for calculating fuel costs, making time schedules, and informing your movers. Be as precise as you can when gathering this information.
Receive quotes from moving companies
Research the available professional movers in your area that you can rely on. Check their prices and find the most reliable partner for your office relocation.
Find out if you need moving coverage
Getting moving coverage can seem like an unnecessary expense at the start but eventually, it may actually save you money and keep you protected. A great deal of the equipment and technology that your office needs to transport is likely expensive. Make sure you get compensated and covered if it is damaged during the move by taking advantage of moving coverage.
Set your budget
Set a clear expectation of your expenses and state what your removal budget is for your office move. This will help you cut costs and will prevent overspending. Do your research in advance and see how much you will be charged by any external agencies or companies that you hire along the way. Use an office relocation budget template to keep track of your expenses. If your budget is small, you can save money for the move by choosing the most affordable moving service or relying on your employees for the majority of packing to save money from hiring professional packing services.
How early should you start preparing a checklist for office removal?
It’s no wonder that most people prefer normal boxes to move their closets. Since they are easy to find, low cost, and sometimes even free, we advise that you get your hands on a bunch of them at your local grocery stores, book stores, and even ask about online, in local forums or Facebook groups. Further in this guide, we will discuss the best way of packing clothing items in cardboard boxes.
A comprehensive office move checklist
We hope that you are now more confident about planning an office move checklist by yourself! In case you’re looking for a pre-made one that you can count on for your office move, enjoy our awesome downloadable office move plan!
Who said moving offices has to be stressful? All you have to do is be prepared and organised. You can count on us to help you do exactly that!