It will be tiring, stressful, and costly. The move itself will incur direct costs, and there’ll be numerous other costs – the result of downtime and reassignment of manpower.
So why are you moving office?
Maybe your staff team is growing, and you need more space for workstations and meeting rooms.
Or are you looking to create a more hospitable environment for customers? In a business that relies on face-to-face consultation, the right setting can make a big difference.
But this move might be primarily about location. It might be driven by footfall, parking facilities, visibility, or accessibility.
Whatever your reasons for moving office, this exciting project is a big step forward – a landmark in your company’s history.
Appoint a Project Manager
Relocating to a new office is a huge project. And, like all projects, it must be headed up by a project manager – someone who’s dedicated to co-ordinating the move. The project manager will organise the logistics and establish the costs of moving, from early planning to choreographing events on moving day.
Plan your workplace environment
The new office has to work for your business. The way it’s set out, the way it looks, and the facilities it has to offer are all factors that ultimately play a part in productivity.
The following issues need to be addressed:
- How much of your furniture will you be taking? What will a removal service cost?
- What additional furniture (e.g. desks, chairs, filing cabinets) will you need? Will you match new items to existing furniture? How much will the new furniture cost?
- Will you need additional IT equipment (e.g. PCs and peripheries, printers, copiers)? What will additional IT equipment cost?
- How will workstations be arranged? How will the position of windows, walls, and doors affect layout and orientation?
- Consider light – both natural and electric. Will you need blinds at the windows? Where are ceiling/wall lights located? Is there a need for additional lighting? How much will additional lighting and/or blinds cost?
- What sort of floor covering will the new office have? Is there a carpet already laid? Will you change the carpet? Do you want a hard floor? What effect will a hard floor have on acoustics and sound insulation? How much will a new floor covering cost?
- If you plan to create spaces for group meetings and/or client consultation, how will this be arranged? Consider privacy, access, dimensions, etc. How will you physically divide up your office space? How much will partition equipment (screens etc) cost?
- What about access to drinking water? If your firm already uses an undercounter unit, where will it be located in the new office? Might you need an additional unit? If you don’t already have access to chilled- and boiling-water dispenser taps, this is the ideal time to consider it. How much will an office water dispenser cost?
- Consider the number and position of plug sockets and light fixtures. Do you need more? And where should they be installed? How much will an electrician’s services cost?
- Consider security. Can you relocate your existing CCTV and alarms? Will you need additional equipment? What will be the cost of installing security equipment?
- Are there adequate toilet and kitchen facilities in the new office? Is there any work to do before you move in? How much will adaptations to toilet/kitchen facilities cost?
Update your business address
When you relocate, everyone has to know. And wherever your address is cited, contact details need to be updated.
- Arrange redirection of mail.
- Update business cards, headed paper, and other branding materials.
- Inform suppliers and customers of the new address and update contracts and subscriptions.
- Update social media accounts, other online accounts, your website, and email signatures.
- Inform service providers (electricity, water, gas, phone, broadband, managed services, cleaners, refuse collection) and make arrangement for location transfer.
- Update contracts of employment.
- Transfer insurance policies.
Logistics of moving
- Set a day and time for moving. Consider: the location of the new office (is it in a busy street?); downtime (would it be best to move on a Sunday?); costs (balance the costs saved/incurred by making the move outside of business hours).
- Book a removals company. Consider the size of van and the number of removals staff you’ll need.
- Make sure you have adequate packaging: boxes, paper, bubble-wrap, polystyrene, parcel tape, labels, etc. Appoint a dedicated packing desk.
- If moving day is a normal work day, will you be conducting business as usual? Or will you close for the day? What will each member of staff be doing on moving day? Who will be working from home? Do you need to divert phone calls on that day? Who will be assisting with the move?
- If necessary, organise temporary external storage.
Relocation usually goes hand-in-hand with growth. Whether you’re a small start-up, moving into your first business premises, or an established company that’s outgrown its skin … you're growing. And that’s exciting.