Moving offices can have a tremendous impact on both large and small businesses.
Whether it is giving you room to expand, more space to build, or more autonomy over your brand and your environment a new location is an exciting thing — when you get beyond the transition itself, of course!
Any relocation of the workplace is a massive project and needs careful preparation and coordination. It may well seem daunting and overwhelming, especially if you have never had to manage something like this before, but do not worry. It can, like any other process that you do at work, be broken down into a series of simple steps to make it all more manageable.
Here, we will go through each step systematically so that you can make sure your move is as smooth and straightforward as possible, and that any interruption or disruption to your business, personal life, and finances, is as minimal as possible. Ready to find out where to start? Let’s go!
Planning and organization are going to be your best friend during this process, so make the most of notes, spreadsheets and workplace moving checklists. Make sure that you include all the jobs that need to be done, no matter how insignificant they seem, as well as the measures that lead to them and the individuals, teams, and parties responsible for each of them.
This way, the jobs are organized into more achievable bite-sized pieces. Use your planning notes as your map to move — and use cloud sharing software to let others work together and see what needs to be done to make it happen.
When it comes to workplaces, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing one, so it is important to determine what your business needs and objectives are before beginning your quest. If you have never done an office search before, this might sound like a daunting task — where do you even begin?
The most important considerations to be fully explored are the reasons why you want a new office, the budget that you have available and the optimal date to relocate, and the expectations of your staff.
Obviously, it needs to be big enough and suitable enough for the job. If you have heavy machinery, you probably do not want to be above the ground floor. You will also want to think about things such as parking, whether the site is easily accessible to suppliers, pickups and other visitors and customers, and whether it is close to a reliable public transport network.
Plan the timing of your move very carefully. You might not have much sway over the actual moving date, but you should try to avoid moving at the busiest time of year for your business. Remember, your business still needs to operate as normally as possible during the relocation process to avoid losing customers and revenue.
Setting a fixed deadline or a series of them in place can help you get everything done more efficiently. With the end in sight, you are not going to have the opportunity to procrastinate or put things off until the next day or the following week. It is essential to have a set deadline for everyone to aim towards.
If you have decided on an office that you can fit out yourself, go and measure your new workspace around four to six weeks before you can move in, to give yourself plenty of time to order new items or work out how you are going to arrange everything. Whether you need new desks for staff or chairs for your visitor room, this is the time to start thinking about ordering them, so you have them ready to use when you move.
If you have opted for a coworking space or serviced offices, they will more than likely provide all the furniture and facilities that you need, or source any specific items.
Create a list of all that you want to take with you in the transfer. Make a list of all the things that you need to buy.
Get in contact with your new building manager at least a month before you move to see if your rental company provides the protection. If not, and you need to find your own security company, now is the time to sort out some quotes and get them to look at the new office. A lot of security companies need a minimum of one month's notice, so get this done as soon as you can.
You need to sort out the perfect removal firm. This involves getting in touch with several removal firms and obtaining quotations, checking out reviews to ensure that they are trustworthy and reliable, and seeing if you can get some word of mouth recommendations from friends and colleagues. You also need to check that they have adequate insurance. Are you going to do the packing yourself? Do you also need packing supplies? Get them organized so you can start the packing process as early as possible.
Take a look at just what your new workspace contract provides facilities, utilities, and services. If it is a serviced office or coworking space, your rental may cover many, if not all, of your essential amenities. Phone lines, internet, insurance, business rates, electronics, and cables all need to be figured out. Speak to your current suppliers for support during your move.
If you own the premises that you are moving into, you might want to get the professionals to cast an eye over it to make sure it is safe and ready for use. Get plumbers, electricians and qualified gas engineers in to make sure everything is working as it should and to make any necessary changes or updates.
If you have supplies brought in, such as fruit, sandwiches, bagels, newspapers, water, milk and the like, get in touch with whoever provides them with a couple of weeks in advance of your moving date to let them know when and where you are going. This gives you time to source new ones if they do not cover the new area. Also, do not forget to tell your cleaning company. It is the perfect time to do some research and find the best prices available for your suppliers and cleaning contractors at your new office if these are not included in your rental or service payments.
Have your change of address alerts ready to be sent to contacts and vendors and set up mail redirects and forwarding numbers if you can't keep the number that you already have.
As well as informing your clients, vendors and utility companies, it is very important that you communicate regularly and honestly with your team.
The key is to sort out any problems before they become a problem and to promote an open dialogue with all members of the company. Give your staff clear reasons for the move, clarify how they will benefit and what you want to accomplish.
Employees will always value being consulted and briefed early on in the run-up to the big day. There might be people who have concerns that need to be addressed, such as commuting distances, expense, accessibility, and so on.
As well as communicating with your staff, make sure that they feel involved in the process. People who feel involved and engaged are going to get behind the process much more than if they feel abandoned or ignored. A great way to get people together is to have each department put forward a representative or spokesperson on the moving team. This team can then hold regular meetings to keep everyone informed of any issues that may emerge within specific departments. Let them know how much value they have.
It is a really important thing to think about when moving workplace, but it is often overlooked — how does your team feel about the transition once they have settled in? Ask for their feedback to help preserve integrity and morale. Feedback will help you improve the positives of the office move and find and address any issues that may have arisen.