1. Create an office removal timeline and budget.
Develop a realistic budget first, and consider what your moving schedule would look like. Start by arranging a meeting with your departmental managers and decision makers, and draw up a proposal, timeline and proposed budget. Review current office plans and consider what it is you are looking for in a new office environment. Perhaps you don’t have enough power supply sockets, or lack in parking spaces now your business has grown and evolved. Take everything into consideration before seeking out the perfect office space. Ask whether you want to own a space outright, or would rather rent out a space on a fixed term basis.
2. Plan your move and inform your employees.
Plan your move as early as possible. Business relocations can take up to six months and can be a daunting for all parties involved. They can also require up to two years of planning to ensure everything is in place. Inform your employees of your intentions to move, and let them express any thoughts or opinions they may have, including briefing them about the new building layout and structure. It may impact on how your employees commute into work, or the route they usually take. Make sure you consult with them first, before making any final decisions, if they are happy then you are ready to move on to the next stage.
3. Hire commercial moving staff.
Acquire the right staff who can assist with your move, including hiring commercial movers with the experience and resources to help make it as smooth a process as possible. Make sure they have insurance first, for protection in case anything goes wrong. This also includes coordinating with a moving team, planning the delivery or move of furniture, installing new IT software and making arrangements to have employee work possessions moved across. Create an inventory of all items to be moved in each department. If you rent a van, then consider insurance coverage, to be extra precautious.
4. Schedule the move outside of working hours.
Schedule the move in advance, and outside of office hours to have less of an impact on your staff. Check through new building regulations and requirements. The building may for example, may have limited parking restrictions, require that floors are covered or walls are redecorated. The weekend may be a more popular and hassle free time to move and is less likely to disrupt a normal working day.
5. Give your employees time to pack up.
Don’t rush yourself into moving. Be patient with your colleagues and give them time to pack up their belongings, and equipment. Label and personalise each employee box that will be sent over to the new premises. Leave a welcome card, or gift on every desk when you have set up the new offices.
6. Ensure the space is ready for business.
Does the space comply with health and safety regulations? Is there any AC or temperature control features in the building? Are there any broken plugs, or light bulbs that need fixing? Make sure you double check these things over before officially moving in. Check that all amenities are functioning and ready to use, including all toilet and kitchen facilities. Make your staff aware of new information, including parking set up, nearest bus stops, train stations so they can prepare transportation to the new space.
7. Keep your office connected.
Technological disruptions will be a major issue when it comes to moving. Warn IT and telephone providers beforehand, about your office move, to ensure a seamless crossover of service, having less of an impact on staff productivity time. Let your IT team check all your servers and equipments at your new offices.
8. Have an office cleanout and recycle goods you no longer need.
Use the move to your advantage to recycle used goods, you are not wanting to bring with you, including spare laptops, or company phones. It is important that when doing this however, that you consider how you dispose of these products safely, to prevent any harmful damage to the environment. Follow specific instructions for moving certain electronics, including removing printer cartridges, tape down covers and scanner lids for printers and copiers.
9. Change your registered address.
Don’t forget to update your social profiles, website and official documents and make your customers aware of your new change of address. Send out an email campaign to your customers, or clients to make them aware that you will be contactable at another address.
10. Allow your employees time to settle in.
Give your staff time to adapt to their new surroundings. Take them for a tour around the new premises, get them used to where things are. Put up signs, including directions to the kitchen, and meeting rooms, if you have moved to a large office, space. Leave a chocolate trail for your employees to find, to make the move fun and even more interesting!
11. Treat your employees to a new office lunch.
Reward your colleagues for all their hard work and patience with a group office lunch. Lay out a buffet for your staff, and use it to discuss what your employees think of their new surroundings, if they have any issues or anything they want to share. It can also help everyone to settle in, feel more comfortable and at home in their new environment.
There is always a number of factors to consider before moving office, and ways to make it hassle-free.