There could be many reasons why your business wants to relocate including the need for growth, expansion, to increase efficiency levels or enhance your corporate image. Planning is the first step you will need to take and will involve a logical series of essentially simple tasks, checklists and procedures.
With some forward planning and some expert advice and guidance, you can make your office move hassle-free. To make your move a successful one, follow our ultimate office moving guide.
STEP 1: Create an Office Move Proposal
Before putting your plans to action, you will need to take a step back and visit th
e drawing board, to plan out a visual design of how you want your new office to look, make a list of all the amenities it will need to have, including access to Wifi, in-built plug sockets, and so on and any logistics involved, including those in charge of making the move happen, the finances available to you, and your ideal location setting. Consider how you will brand your new place, and liaise with your marketing department to figure out how you want it to look.
Be sure to communicate the proposed new move to all your staff and hold a meeting, to help manage the process. Communication is key to making sure your staff are kept in the loop at all times to encourage active involvement. You will be changing the office environment and structure, which may cause some disagreements and uncertainties which can affect staff morale and cause a general disarray. Frame the move as a fresh start, with new opportunities and ask them for their input.
STEP 2: Find Your New Property
Before making any immediate decisions, take the time to research the property market, to find a space that is affordable, and well-equipped to suit your business needs. Schedule in viewings of office spaces that are on the market and enlist the help of your colleagues so you are not making any immediate decisions alone. Location is the biggest driver for business so it is important you invest in finding a location that is accessible by public transport and fits the criteria for your business needs.
The types of questions you will be needing to ask at this stage is, where is the best office location for you? How much office space will you need? – Remove the need for an over sized premise to help lower your office footprint. Other questions may be, what do you want the space to do for your business? Are there certain corporate values or business issues that need to be dealt with? And finally, when is the best time for you to move? It it going to be for 18 months time, or as soon as your current office lease expires?
STEP 3: Manage The Legal Issues
The legal issues surrounding an office move are paramount to the success and security of your business. You will need to take care of all manner of business duties, especially from a commercial, operational and legal perspective. Firstly, make sure you are aware of what notice you need to provide on your current lease agreement and how it should be served. If you need to vacate the premise before the expiry date, you could try subletting or assigning the lease to another tenant, or negotiating the terms with the landlord. Ensure you have a property advisor on-board, to highlight any issues of concern with your new property, and the questions you will need to ask including whether the length of the new lease is appropriate for your needs, and if there are options to break the lease, or ask for an extension.
STEP 4: Enlist the Right Help
Work smarter, not harder. Encourage staff to help out with packing boxes, or moving goods to the new space (during working hours) to maximise productivity. Lack of experience and skills can be compensated through talking with other practitioners or professionals, who will work with you to produce the required results. Hire a designer to help you with any refurbishments that are required including striking a compromise between facilitating teamwork, accommodating flexible working and providing areas where your employees can concentrate and work in private. The design specialist will need to also be knowledgeable about your business needs and aspirations and has all the key disciplines in-house to fulfil your project.
STEP 5: Bring your Vision to Life
Create an inventory and take photos if necessary, in case you need to let your agents know of any damages to the space, or anything that needs urgent attention. Create a list of everything that needs to be moved, and track what is being packed and where, to help make your life easier. Label everything to ensure a smooth transition to avoid rummaging through boxes for important files or paperwork. Make sure you order any furniture you need, and know how you want to break up the space, for example you may want to subdivide open areas, or create separate meeting rooms.
STEP 6: Prepare for The Big Day
Test that everything works before unpacking, including testing your electronics, servers, network and phones to ensure they are all in working order, to avoid any disruption to your daily business routine. Make sure you are connected on the day and have got all utility providers in place before you arrive, from heating and water, to internet and phone connection, as well as checking all safety equipment including smoke alarms, are operational.
Office equipment such as photocopiers, office coffee, mailing and vending machines may be leased and it is up to the leasing company to help relocate these items for you, but it is important to liaise early on with your relocation project manager to agree the relocation of such items.
Once the relocation is complete, you must continue to review what you have achieved and measure this against your original starting objectives. Ask your employees to participate in a survey which will help you gauge how effective the move has been. Moving office is a progressive step in your organisation’s development and is a good time to review all your office and service providers to make sure you are receiving the best value for money, and are content with your new premises.
Which Type of Office is Right for You?
A business with less than 10 staff – If you are not looking to immediately grow your team, you can be flexible, and go for a serviced office. If you are however looking to expand your team within the next year and have the funds to fit out a new office, then a short-team lease is an ideal solution, because it also gives you the flexibility to scale.
More than 10 staff – If you are planning more than 25% growth in the next year and are determined to make your new office as aesthetically pleasing as possible, then you will want to consider a long-term lease agreement.
Moving Office Checklist
- Designate a moving manager to help map out your new office floor plan.
- Hire a design specialist to help make your office an appealing place to work.
- Notify your IT providers of your move and close any accounts, or utility bills before setting up new ones.
- Change your registered address and remember to update your website, online, advertisements and over email.
- Ensure all desks are cleared and boxed up and label the furniture to show where it will be in the new office.
- Leave any electrical or valuable equipment to the removal company specialists.
- Tour your new office before moving in and complete any health and safety checks.
- Test your phone-lines, internet connection and all IT equipment to make sure it is all in working order.
- Treat your staff to a free new office lunch once the move in is complete.