Moving offices can be a stressful experience for an organisation. It’s true, there’s a lot to consider and you’re bound to come up against a few hidden obstacles to challenge you along the way. But with the proper planning and time management, the transition can be quick and (relatively) painless. That's why we've put together this moving office checklist to help your transition to your new office.
Planning the move
To plan a successful office move you need to determine, the best location for your office, the administrative and financial implications of the move and most importantly, what effect the move will have on your employees in both the short and long term. To make sure you are aware of all risks and benefits associated with your move, remember to consider: people, places and things.
- Decide who's in-charge: Assign somebody to coordinate and lead the move.
- Identify your key people: Your move will involve the coordination of key departments. Make sure you get these people on board early as they can advise of any considerations in their area of expertise.
- Keep your people informed: Communication at every stage of the process is vital to a successful office move. Communicate your intentions early, keep in touch regularly, answer questions honestly and manage people’s expectations. Remember to also communicate with your clients and stakeholders.
- Use the best people: Make sure when you’re engaging with the best people for every aspect of your move. If you’re hiring someone to design and fit out the space, make sure they can offer you the complete package so that you don’t have to spend on extras later.
- Keep your people safe: Remember your people’s safety is your top priority. Whilst engaging your staff in the planning and logistics of the move is a good idea, the move itself presents a considerable risk. Hire a removal company and if you're getting a contractor to complete your design and fit out, make sure they have their own in-house health and safety team.
- Neighbourhood: When assessing potential locations for your new office, consider the neighbourhood. Look out for, competitors or potential partners based nearby. Also consider the environment: noise and air pollution. How close is the office to local amenities such as cafes or a gym? Is the area well connected in terms of public transport links? Could staff safely cycle or walk to work? What are the crime rates in the area?
- Staff commute times: An office is only as good as the people who work in it, so take your employees into consideration. Commute times can be a massive incentive or deterrent for a move. To analyse staff commute times easily and effectively try using software such as MinuteMapr. Comparing all employee commute times to various potential office locations gives employers the ability to see which location will have the least impact on staff turnover. It's also a great way to communicate the impact of the move to employees. Read more about location analysis here.
- Size and storage: Remember to calculate your storage needs when looking at an office: drawers, lockers, filing cabinets, coat stands, storerooms and secure areas. Could you reduce the amount of space needed by moving storage offsite? This is a good time to reassess your needs and find more effective ways of working.
- Environment and sustainability: Remember to look at the light, water and air quality, and take noise pollution into consideration. In terms of design, energy efficiency should be a top priority. With regards to interiors, try to source furniture and fixtures that have a high content of recycled materials. Remember to also make provisions for employees to recycle, such as paper bins and kitchen bins.
- Budget: Work through the logistics of the move in a methodical way and budget for each stage realistically. Remember that property agents and lawyers have fees. There are also fees associated with the disposal of items from your old office, so think it all through step by step. Also, add a contingency to the budget for changes and those hidden extras.
- Tax and legal requirements: It’s always a good idea to get legal advice regarding your contract for the office. They can highlight any unusual clauses in the contract and make sure the wording doesn’t leave you open to unreasonable changes in the future such as an increased service charge. There will also be opportunities for tax breaks. Talk to an expert and make the most out of your move.
- Insurance: Make sure you’ve got it sorted before the move day.
- Furniture: Remember, cheap furniture can be a tempting money saving solution but is very often a false economy when you consider staff absence due to back pain. Consider the following when selecting office furniture:
- Health and safety
- Brand identity
- Delivery and assembly
- Storage capacity
- Quality and value for money
- IT, telephones and the internet: Assess potential new office space. What do they have in place and what will you need to add? Do an inventory of your current office and the IT equipment, including power points. Consider if you can use your current equipment or will it need to be replaced. Remember to engage with your key people. They will be able to assess the situation accurately and are the most likely to provide innovative ideas to solve any problems.
Be ready for the office move: print and check off tasks week by week. Check off weekly tasks to ensure that you aren't caught off guard during the move.
For more office relocation resources check out the relocation page.