FlexibleIndustryMaking Moves

It’s all in the timing: How long does it take to move office?

If you’re looking to move office – perhaps you’re upscaling following a period of growth or downsizing to accommodate

By Making Moves London

If you’re looking to move office – perhaps you’re upscaling following a period of growth or downsizing to accommodate hybrid working – you may be wondering how long the process will take from start to finish.

Well, wonder no more! We have put together this handy guide as an overview of the process and time required for the four primary types of office space – serviced, managed, short-term lease and conventional lease.

Let’s get started.

Graph showing office move timings

Serviced office space: 1 to 3 months

For fast-paced start-ups looking for vibrant collaboration spaces and quick turnarounds, a serviced office is for you.

The beauty of the serviced office is its often immediate availability. As serviced offices do not require time spent on refits or sourcing utility suppliers, the process focuses purely on working with your commercial property consultant to define your budget and what you want from an office space before sourcing and viewing spaces.

The benefit here is in the negotiations, your property consultant will be able to arrange better terms for you, as well as securing a bigger saving on the rent, due to their experience and relationships with the providers.


Managed office space: 2 to 4 months

Are you and your team eager for a swift return to the office, but also conscious of the potential health implications of doing so? If so, a managed office space is the ideal option.

With a managed office your business has its own exclusive space – no sharing of conference rooms, collaboration spaces or breakout areas with other companies.

While similar to serviced offices, managed office agreements are inclusive of utilities, there is the option to configure and furnish the space to suit your brand and your people. As such, the process for the managed office takes slightly longer.

After understanding your requirements, and sourcing and viewing spaces, your property consultant will negotiate the terms of your agreement, plus a technical consultant will be allocated to manage the office fit.


Short-term lease: 3 to 6 months

For high-growth SMEs and scale-ups looking to move from a serviced or managed office to a leased space, or for businesses looking to introduce hybrid working models, a short-term lease is an effective solution.

Short-term leases involve a full (assignment) or part (sublet) takeover of office space currently occupied by another business. The benefit of inheriting an existing leased office is that the space is already fitted and with an established IT infrastructure, thereby speeding up the process for moving into the property. Plus, the legal process for a short-term lease is quicker than a conventional office lease, as the existing agreement remains in place and continues to govern clauses and liabilities.


Conventional long-term lease: 6 to 12 months

It’s time to put down roots. It’s time for the long-term lease.

However, putting down roots requires a greater investment of time, therefore the process for a conventional office lease can take up to 12 months to complete.

The process here comprises of three stages:

1. Search:

As a conventional lease requires a long-term commitment to an office, you (and we!) want to ensure you find the best space for your budget, your business and your people. The search process – defining your brief, sourcing and viewing properties, fine tuning your brief, conducting further searches and viewings, drawing up cost summaries and shortlisting spaces – takes time.

2. Lease negotiations:

At the shortlisting stage, your property consultant will begin negotiating terms and submit an offer to the landlords/landlords’ agent. Once a decision has been made about a space, a blueprint for the lease (known as a Heads of Terms) is drafted and is to be agreed before the solicitors are instructed to draft the lease agreement and a surveyor completes the building survey. And then, all being well, you can sign on the dotted line.

3. Design and infrastructure:

When the lease has completed, contractors can be instructed to complete the design and configuration of the office space, as well as utility providers and IT infrastructure. The sourcing of contractors and providers is completed while lease negotiations are underway to avoid any delay to the office refit.

And there we have it! Four office space solutions from start to finish. The most important thing to remember with any office move is that it really is all in the timing; give your office move the time and consideration it deserves to ensure a seamless and efficient process.

If you’re looking for new office space or are unsure which office solution is right for you and your business, contact our team today. We’re ready to help.