From setting objectives to planning your budget, inventory, and IT migration, follow these top 10 tips for a smooth and successful office relocation.
By Making Moves LondonAugust 11, 2022
Moving offices can seem overwhelming at first, but with the right preparations in place you’ll be settled into your new space before you know it. Keep on reading to find out our 10 useful tips for a hassle-free office move.
In order to identify your objectives, start by asking yourself why you have made the decision to move offices. Businesses choose to relocate every day for various reasons – whether to allow for expansion, to attract new talent, to improve company culture or to reduce costs. By understanding what you want to achieve with your own office move, you can plan accordingly to ensure that you really maximise the value of the move.
It can be really useful to involve employees in this process, as you want them to be as committed to the move as you are. Here at Making Moves, we carry out relocation consultancy before any big move to really assess the needs and wants of employees, and how these can align with their new office space. Anonymous questionnaires are a great way to find out what the move may mean to your employees, and how the new office can be designed to reflect the ways in which they like to work. Showing that you value the opinions of your staff is much more likely to make them receptive to the move.
Now that you have set the main objectives of your move, it’s time to determine how you plan on achieving them. Establishing key milestones, and related sub-tasks are a great way for businesses to hold themselves accountable to their objectives.
To avoid wasting time and money, make sure you have fully analysed your new location before starting your plan – understanding its IT capabilities, facilities and utilities will be crucial in making sure every detail is accounted for. It’s also important to consider how the office move will affect the projects you are currently working on, to avoid falling behind in the running of the business.
Start planning as soon as possible by creating a schedule for your office relocation, looking at the bigger picture before breaking each task down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Consider the software you want to use to manage this schedule – ensuring that it is detailed, dated and shared with key stakeholders within the business to ensure it is stuck to. Plan regular meetings to discuss updates and progress.
Plan, plan and plan some more – because as they say, ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’’.
It’s all too easy to get carried away with the excitement of planning your new office space, so it’s essential to make (and stick to) a budget. Budgets will be different for every business so it’s important you calculate how much you really have to work with – making sure that you still have enough left over for your monthly rent bills once you’re all moved in.
There are lots of different costs that are important to factor into your budget, including deposits, dilapidation fees, administrative fees, removal fees, storage fees, insurance, interior design fees, connectivity fees, legal fees, cost of utilities, security and service charges. That may sound like a long list, but it’s important you factor everything in to make sure you aren’t stung by any unexpected costs.
We would always suggest you overestimate your budget, to leave a safety margin for any of the unexpected costs that always manage to work their way into relocation projects. Unrealistic budgets will only have to be adapted further down the line. Setting a budget for the time you have to spend on the project too can be useful for keeping traders on track.
Before making the move, work with a solicitor to establish any legal implications that could arise and the best way to deal with them. Moving offices can come with a hefty amount of paperwork, and you may find yourself having to negotiate dilapidations, new contract negotiations, applying for planning permission, or early exits. Therefore, having a trusted solicitor on side will help to minimise the time and costs of these.
Make sure to factor the fees that may be associated with this additional support into your budget, so you don’t have to cut corners somewhere else if a legal issue does crop up.
Now that you have your budget and plan in place, you’ll be able to put together your office moving team. When it comes to moving offices, you can’t do everything yourself – but luckily there are plenty of services available to help relieve you of some of the work – from fit-out suppliers, who can deliver everything from initial design concepts through to completion, as well as solicitors to handle all the legal documentation.
Here at Making Moves, we support clients throughout their whole office relocation process, helping businesses source new office spaces and project managing the entire office fit-outs on their behalf. We have built up a bank of reliable fit-out suppliers, traders and solicitors that we trust to carry out the office fit out – and provide clients with as many progress reports as and when they like. Our clients have found that this saves them time and money as well as helping them keep their business running smoothly.
Make sure to book these services well in advance, to ensure you hit all your key deadlines. It is also worth identifying the internal stakeholders of the business and how best to keep them up to date with the office relocation process.
Once the physical details of the office relocation have been set in stone, you can start to let everyone else in on the news. Establishing a communications plan will give you greater control over the message you are sending out to your employees, the clients and the public. It is important not to skip to this stage before you are ready, as you want to be able to answer as many questions that people have as possible.
Involve your staff with the office move as much as possible, as they can provide valuable insight into what could work well in the new office, and what may not be needed. Ensuring staff are behind the move and that morale remains high will make the process much more seamless.
Communicating an office move to the public can also be a great chance to get some positive press for the business. Control the narrative by getting ahead of the planning, and not falling behind with key deadlines.
At Making Moves, our first step when space planning is always relocation consultancy – engaging with the workforce to identify their needs and wants for the new office. Listening to staff can provide valuable insight into the way they like to work, allowing you to design a space that reflects that. Gather honest feedback through anonymous questionnaires and use this to inform your plans. Always revert back to your objectives to check whether the new space you are planning aligns with your business’s goals.
Once you have a rough idea of the layout of your new office, office fit-out companies can work to bring your vision to life. As a general rule of thumb, allow 95 square foot per employee (with their desk space taking up around 50 square feet of that). You should also accommodate space for breakout rooms and amenities. Consider the business’s future needs as well as its current needs, giving it room to grow over time.
Collaborative workspaces, like those with open plan features, hot-desking and flexible meeting pods, can also help to get the most out of smaller spaces. No matter the size of your new office, it’s important to carefully plan out the space you have to fully maximise its value.
Once you have planned your new office space, you can start preparing your inventory list, detailing all the assets you want to bring to the new office. From furniture to IT equipment, to stationery – having it all noted down and accounted for will make the move in day much more seamless.
Assess what furniture can be repurposed from your existing office, to act sustainably, as well as to reduce overall moving costs. Any furniture that you do not want in your new office must be disposed of accordingly, and if your business is not already paperless, this is a great chance to start to avoid having to transfer excess files to the new office.
It may also be useful to consider whether you want to take this opportunity to update your current IT equipment, or to see what equipment must be returned to the current office when you leave.
Now for the technical part – arranging to move all your IT equipment and systems into your new office. It goes without saying that this step requires careful planning to avoid any security issues or connectivity loss that may cause delays within your business.
Make sure you understand how your new office differs from your current space in terms of its IT capabilities and that all your data is safely backed up before the move – arranging external temporary storage where required. Depending on your IT infrastructure, you may still need to move equipment physically too.
Make sure to check in with your internet/telecoms providers to ensure you have everything in place to move without any disruptions. You may need to decide what you’re going to do with your existing phone numbers and establish new security systems for your new office, making sure that your IT software is protected. Advanced planning is key here as a Wayleave agreement may be required which can take time, so kick start this process as early as possible.
Finally, now that you’re almost in your new office, make the physical move as seamless as possible with a few last bits of careful planning.
Appoint an office mover to help take all your assets from your old office to your new office. Choose a reliable service to ensure you won’t overrun your current lease in the event that they don’t turn up on time– and make sure you know what you need to do to prepare for the movers in advance. Some office movers will help you from start to finish, whereas some will expect things to be packed up and ready for them.
In addition, ensure all business assets such as your Google My Business profile and the address on your website are updated to reflect the move, making sure people know where to find you.
After that, all that’s really left to do is to start enjoying your new office space. Happy moving!
Get in touch with our team of expert office space rental agents for more information on planning a seamless office relocation.
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