Top 6 tips when Moving Offices
Whether it’s the upscaling move that mirrors your company’s growth, or the downsize required to maximise revenue, moving offices does not have to be the arduous task you think it will be. Admittedly, if not thought through, it can be as stressful as moving house. So, in order to help shake off that pre-move stress, we’ve compiled 6 top tips to remember when moving your business.
1. Get prepared
Any sort of relocation requires detailed planning and preparation, and it is not something you can blag your way through. Therefore, deciding on important details such as moving date, time-frame and transport will allow you to know how to structure your day. Additionally, by allocating jobs, everyone will know where they are and what they are supposed to contribute to the process and keep the process running smoothly.
2. Keep your clients informed
An important tip to keep in mind is to keep your clients informed. Communicating with your clients will notify them of important changes and procedures at the new business premise, including new address and new phone number.
Letting your clients know about your move weeks in advance will help maintain the positive relationship you have with them, as there’s nothing worse than tarnished reputations through poor communication.
3. Link up in advance
It goes without saying that setting up your internet, phone and mail is of paramount importance when you relocate. Arranging these ahead of time will allow your business operations to continue moving smoothly.
Stay ahead of the game and try to anticipate technical errors and mishaps. Although it might feel like it will only take a day to get your broadband installed, the reality is that things rarely go according to plan. Therefore, it is better to have it ready to go ahead of time than to suffer a loss of custom through the inability to communicate.
Most office moves will require some kind of vehicular movement and budget, so it is always best to work out in advance what sort of transport is needed and the general cost. Have a specific budget assigned to the process as it will aid you in identifying your costs for hiring transport and stop you making uninformed decisions.
Also - never underestimate space. There is always more equipment than you think there is and you’ll be breathing a sigh of relief when you notice extra space at the end, rather than holding your breath knowing you have too little space.
5. Plan your space
After a stressful few days of moving, there is nothing you need less than an argument about office layout and space. To avoid unnecessary bickering amongst colleagues, consult your team early on about the layout of your new workspace and what they will require.
Once everyone knows exactly where they are going to be allocated in the new space, you will arrive with a plan in place and there will be no annoying surprises for anyone. Keep in mind there will always be teething issues in a new environment, but at least with an initial floor space plan you can avoid the bigger disagreements.
6. Keep cool!
Keep cool and carry on. You will want to be back on track with business as fast as possible after you move, so as stressful as some situations may seem, remember to keep your cool and acknowledge that this stress is only short term.
If your team sees you keeping a level head, the chances are they will follow suit. For more ideas on how to create a relaxed and stress-free workspace, check out this blog post on how to embrace hygge in the office.
The one and only office move checklist you’ll ever need
Our office move checklist is specifically designed to be a practical guide to ensure your office move goes as smoothly and successfully as possible. We’ve broken down what you need to do and when. And we’ve included some helpful tips and reminders along the way. We’ve cut the fluff and waffle so that you have a true office move checklist that you can tick off as you go.
We believe it’s the only office move checklist you’ll ever need.
One year before moving
• REVIEW YOUR CURRENT LEASE TERMS. Review the terms of your current lease and make sure you give the correct amount of notice. If you are terminating your lease early, your options are to terminate or “surrender” the lease, a transfer “an assignment” or to sub-let “an underlease”. If you have a break clause then you have rights to terminate at specific dates. There may be liabilities for dilapidation charges and you may lose your deposit. Check for any reinstatement obligations to return your office to its original state. It’s wise to seek professional advice if you are unsure of your options and the process. Forewarned is forearmed.
• Assemble a Planning Team and nominate a leader. Create a team responsible for planning the move and task delegation, name someone to lead the team. This team will be responsible for the moving plan and keeping track of all key contacts, dates and requirements.
• Work out your moving budget. Start with an estimate of costs to transfer everything you need, including removals, IT, furniture, tradesmen etc. Check if you need insurance to move important machinery or equipment. Get quotes to help shape your estimated moving budget.
• Review the new office floor plan. Think about the new layout, consult with an architect on planning and sort any building permits that may be required.
Six to twelve months before moving
• Communicate with stakeholders. Once your move is confirmed, let internal and external parties know about your relocation. Consult with key managers and staff.
• Give formal notice. Notify your current landlord or property manager that you are moving and give official notice.
• Check your employee list and notify the team. Ensure you have an up to date and accurate list of all employees. Let all team members know the proposed moving date and new address.
• Check your external lists. Suppliers and possibly clients will need to know you are moving, so make sure you have an accurate list of suppliers and clients.
• Review and clarify responsibilities. Ensure that all team members know what their responsibilities will be ahead of time.
• Consult with IT. Consulting early with your IT team will pay dividends. Sorting out IT and comms is one of the most critical aspects of any office move. Your IT plan should include evaluating equipment, assessing your comms requirements, creating a site visit checklist, reviewing telecoms options, protecting your data, preparing for moving day, thorough on-site testing. Brief your IT department well in advance and create a robust IT plan with contingencies.
• Create a change of address list. Think of all the people you need to notify that you are moving and create a master list.
A change of address list may include:
• Clients and partners
• Professional bodies and memberships
• Internet service provider
• Finance Depts.
• Insurance Companies
• Service companies (photocopier, printer, cleaners, maintenance etc.)
• Telephone provider
• Water suppliers
• Food suppliers
• Banks and financial institutions
• Stationery services
• Any other service providers
Six months before moving
• Removal walk through. Take the removals company around the office and discuss everything that needs to move. Discuss with department heads and address any concerns or questions.
• Create an inventory list. List all the items in the office and decide what is happening to them. Useful headings may be “Move”, “Leave”, “Store”, “Dispose”.
• Review building moving policies. Review the policies for moving out of and into the office. Often there are restrictions on parking and use of freight lifts.
Four months before moving
• Set your moving date. Once you have a firm date make it known to all stakeholders, confirm arrangements with the removals company.
• Notify your landlord. Confirm the agreed date with your landlord and property manager.
• Create a detailed moving plan. Document actions required and those teams / individuals responsible.
• Remind employees. Send a reminder to employees and confirm any expectations or responsibilities. Invite questions.
• Plan for special items. Review any requirements for moving valuable, heavy or special items. If you have hazardous items these will need special preparations.
• Hire an interior designer. Hire interior design specialists to help you plan and create your new office environment.
• Order long lead time items. If you need items for the new office that will take a long time to create and deliver, order them now.
Three months before moving
• Get a floor plan. Get a detailed floor plan of the new office and start mapping out where things are going to go.
• Colour code your plan. Allocate each employee a number and start assigning desk space on the plan. Colour code departments and areas as a visual guide.
• Make a furniture inventory. Document all the furniture that you have and that which you need. Place orders for new furniture and stationery.
• Office tour. If you are moving into a serviced office, arrange for key stakeholders to tour the office. Make note of any issues or revised requirements that need to be added to the plan.
Two months before moving
• Reminder for staff. Two months out remind staff that the move is happening. Be prepared for some curve balls to come your way, you have eight weeks to resolve any issues.
• Confirm telephone and IT installation. Check that all comms and IT equipment will be in place and any down-time is minimised.
• Aim for plug and play. Make sure you know who is responsible for IT set-up at the new location. Aim for a plug and play solution so staff can work as soon as they sit at their new desk.
• Plan for disposal of unwanted items. Discuss with your office clearance provider how to responsibly dispose of unwanted items. Make sure that any computer data and confidential material is destroyed securely. Get a valuation of any unwanted equipment or stock and review disposal options. Plan for the removal of furniture, partitions, equipment and general waste.
• Revisit the moving plan. Review the moving plan and ensure that actions have been done. You still have time to sort any issues that have been overlooked.
• Order new equipment. Place orders for any new equipment and agree delivery and or storage details.
One month before moving
• Order packing supplies. Order crates, boxes, bubble wrap, tape and labels. Colour coding and clear labelling of contents will help everyone to move and position items after the move.
• Brief staff. Advise staff on how and what to pack. Make sure it’s clear what they need to take and what they should leave behind.
• Security keys, passes and cards. Document who has what keys, passes and cards and use this list to collect these items prior to moving. Use the same list to order new keys and credentials for the new office.
• Discontinue services. Terminate any service contracts at the current office – e.g. landscaping, cleaning, security etc.
• Check insurance. Make sure that you are insured for any losses or damages during the move. Check your insurance cover for the new office and make sure you are adequately insured.
• Check orders for new items. Check that orders for new furniture and equipment are on track.
• Secure off-site local storage. If you need off site storage for archive files, exhibition kit, marketing collateral etc., book off site storage until your new office can accommodate it.
• Change company address listings. Have an action plan to change company address listings. You’ll need to change subscriptions, mailings, websites and registrations. Plan to update your company website, business accounts, social media, banks and financial institutions, all accounts, magazine subscriptions and online listings.
• Mail forwarding. Consult with Royal Mail and the old office management as to how mail will be forwarded to your new address.
•Tour the new office. Take key stakeholders on a tour of the new office, address any concerns and give confidence that everything is going to plan.
Two weeks before moving
• Send reminder to staff. Give staff details of the new office, the address and contact numbers.
• Photograph the office. Take photos of your office so you have a record of its condition should any issues arise with the movers or the landlord.
• Check new site prep. Ensure all services at the new site are on track including heating, air conditioning, IT, phones, broadband, Wi-Fi, furnishings and supplies.
• Staff welcome packs. Put together a small welcome pack for your staff at their new desk. Perhaps a mug and chocolates will suffice. A little gesture goes a long way.
One week before moving
• On site survey. Visit the new office with key stakeholders, get a feel for the readiness of the office and satisfy yourself that everything is in hand.
• Sign official docs. Ensure that you’ve signed any paperwork, permits and licenses.
• Book parking and lifts. Reserve parking and lift use at the new office.
• Arrange cleaners. Organise cleaning at the old office and new one – moving is messy!
• Confirm access. Make sure you know access codes and have issued relevant passes for the new office.
• Staff briefing. Issue staff with a moving plan so they know who’s doing what and when. Make sure staff are aware of transportation and parking options.
• Emergency contact list. Circulate a contact list of the key contacts involved in the move including lift maintenance and building management.
• Allocate exit and welcome staff. Identify staff who will supervise the move out and others to supervise the move in.
One day before moving
• Finish packing and labelling. Ensure everything is packed and labelled.
• Collect passes. Collect keys and passes from staff members. Make sure they are deactivated and disposed of correctly.
• Final site visit. Take key stakeholders on a final walk through the new office. Let people see for themselves the fruits of a well planned move.
• Light and heat. Make sure that your new office has light and heat when people arrive. Double check that all utilities are on.
• People on site. Have the right people on site. Know who’s who and be clear who has authority if decisions are required.
• Use your floorplan. Use your plan to organise the office and direct the removals company. You’ll get no thanks for asking them to reposition heavy items.
• Connect up. Plug in phones, computers and IT equipment. Switch on and test.
• Old office walk through. Walk through the old office in a methodical manner, check for anything left behind or damages.
• Provide refreshments. Make sure no-one goes hungry or thirsty during the move. “An army marches on its stomach”.
• Clean up and recycle. As part of the clean-up, ensure that used packing items are saved or disposed of appropriately. Recycle wherever possible.
• You’ve done it! Congratulations! You’ve made the move and hopefully you can toast a job well done.
• Say thank you. Moving is hard work and stressful. Make sure you thank everyone for their efforts and say “Thank you and Welcome”
• Check for damages. Take time to survey the new office and create a snag list. Make sure to note any damages and report it to the removals company.
• Double-check lease termination. Just for peace of mind, double check that your old lease is terminated. Reconfirm that all key contacts have been notified of your new address.
• Tell the world. Consider whether you wish to issue a Press Release about the move or perhaps a blog post celebrating the change.
• Office Warming Party? Consider whether an office warming party would be a good idea. A party is a great forum to get everyone together, to say thank you and welcome.
Be sure to remember these top tips and you’ll be in that inspirational new space before you know it.
Take a load off with Office Freedom
• Get prepared
• Keep your clients informed
• Link up in advance
• Plan your space
• Keep cool!
Good luck with the move!
Feel like making life a little easier? Why not try a serviced office solution and reduce the job list? You can also give the Office Freedom team a call today on 0203 603 2567, or email us at [email protected] to find your next fantastic office environment.