So, your business is going from strength to strength, and you have had to employ a whole load of new people, and now the office space you have is just not fit for purpose. Well, you have to move office. Whatever your reasons for moving office, it is an exciting prospect, which can quickly turn sour and difficult if you do not make the appropriate office relocation preparations. There is an awful lot to consider when moving office, like the staff, all their equipment, and all your other assets too. Not to mention some of the legalese you are going to have to organise. To make your life a little easier in preparation for this big step, we have created a step-by-step office moving checklist with some major advice and tips for you to follow.
Table of Contents
Start your office moving checklist early - Six months before
It would help if you began preparing your office moving checklist at least six months prior to the relocation. If you do this, you can be sure that you have considered all aspects of the move in detail. With this amount of time, you will not be stressing out. You can organise with a level head, as there is no looming move date hanging over you. At this stage, you should, first of all, create a list of everything that needs to be done and the timelines associated with them. Things to consider:
- What does your current lease say? You want to be forewarned if there are any fees you may have to pay if you are ending a lease early, for example.
- What are you liable for? What damage has occurred, and is any likely to happen during the move too?
- Consult the building manager, if there is one, about the move.
- Why not delegate a moving coordinator to sort the moving details, and you could possibly provide them with a team of people to arrange the details. They can work out moving issues within the current office and also how to go about setting up your office at the new location.
- The moving coordinator can get to work on getting quotes for the move.
- Do you need to buy moving coverage due to high-value pieces of equipment?
- Ensure there are is a set budget to follow.
- Consult with specialist teams, such as the IT team, who may need some specialist moving requirements.
- Think about the new office, what needs to be bought to fit the space, new furniture, for example. What do you need to change in there? How about a refurbishment?
- Create a new office plan with the ideal layout included.
- Employ a reliable contractor to sort out the new office space.
- Ensure you have got all the required permits and any other legal requirements.
- Decide on a rough moving date. This gives you something to aim for.
Three to four months before the move
If you are following this office moving checklist, you still have a lot of time to iron out any kinks and ensure you have remembered everything at this stage. If you have assigned a moving coordinator, you can discuss with them and get up to date on the progress and ensure that things are going to plan.
- This is the time to choose one of the commercial removalists from the quotes obtained. With them, you can set a moving date in stone.
- Let your current landlord know of your intention and give them the date of the move.
- Negotiate any overlap of time at the old and new locations
- You need to create a detailed moving plan at this stage – think about things such as which members of the team will be involved, what actions need to be undertaken, like setting up the internet at the new place, and closing accounts at the current place.
- It may be an idea to organise a colour-coded moving plan. This will help the removalists organise the item at the delivery location. It is so simple just to go out and buy some coloured dots to label up the items and boxes.
- Think about any large items that may need to be dismantled prior to moving and how best to arrange this.
- Organise some of the utilities at the new office space. Things like the Internet and Phone lines are essential to get started on these processes.
- Ensure you communicate the plans of the move to the staff. Get busy setting their expectations. Perhaps it is best to have a team meeting that involves everyone, so you know that all your team has been notified.
- Get your staff to begin their own personal decluttering process. Shred any unnecessary documents, throw away rubbish, etc.
- Do the moving trucks need parking permits? If so, now is the time to find out and get them sorted.
- Does the new office need any specialist equipment? If you are using this move to upgrade, then you need to order well ahead of time, as many items can take months to be delivered.
- Maybe you need to install an elevator, for example.
- Agree on a detailed plan of the new office layout with the chosen contractor and organise just exactly when they can go in and get to work. Think about things such as where copiers are going to go, and what about break-out areas. Maybe you want pods for chats? You will want to make the most of things like natural light, so think about windows and doors with windows in too.
- What about an interior designer? You may as well have the new office space decorated in a way that is conducive to employee satisfaction. You will want engaged staff, so think about their comfort. Think about having potted plants and images on the walls.
- Again will you need to purchase sofas and easy chairs for break-out rooms? Order these now as the lead times can mean weeks of waiting.
Two months to go
The moving deadline is drawing ever closer and is really starting to feel real. You need to sit down with your coordinator, if you have one, and go through just exactly what is happening and what needs to be done. Things to think about at this stage:
- It is time to start distributing the new address to any stakeholders. That is anyone from investors, vendors, delivery companies you use, outsourcing companies, and any other affiliates involved.
- Get in touch with a security company, probably the one you already employ and get them to organise security at the new location. You will need a security system, security camera, an alarm system, and closed-circuit television too. You may need barriers and barred gates installed.
- You are going to have to ensure the entrance and exits are easily accessible with keys and access cards.
- It is in your best interest to hire a professional office cleaning company to clean the new office before arrival and deep clean the old office once everything has been moved out.
- Think about purchasing insurance for the new office too.
- Get the removalist into the current office and go through the colour-coded system you created with them. Discuss any unusual and delicate equipment that they will be hauling. Anything that they will need to dismantle, for example. Also, take them to the new office and let them know how the colour-coded system works there. Ensure that they are aware of all the nuances and details of your specific move.
- It may be an idea to organise any off-site storage to help with the transition if required.
Only one month to go
Things are definitely getting real now. Here is what to think about at this stage:
- Start cancelling all the utilities at the old office, ensure they know the date of the final bills. Or you could get them to transfer their service to the new office.
- Ensure all utilities are ready for move date at the new office, including the internet at the phone.
- Communicate the new floor plan with your employees, so they know where they will be sitting.
- Start tagging the items to be moved and colour coding accordingly.
- Start the process of updating directories online and offline of the new address.
A week left
If you have done all of the above tasks of this office moving checklist, then there is no need to start panicking. Everything is in hand. But think about these items below at this stage:
- Hand out all the new key cards to your employees and instruct them to clean out the last of their belongings.
- Ensure the staff colour-code any items that will be left there for the removalist to take.
- Ensure the kitchen area is free of food items and mess.
- Double-check with the removalist that everything is set to go ahead on the proposed date. If anything needs dismantling, ensure they come to do this before move day.
- Check with the renovations company that they are almost finished with the upgrade to the new place.
- Make sure that all furniture is free of paper, so empty filing cabinets, etc.
The day of the move
Whatever you do – don’t panic. You have it all in hand, so stay calm.
- Make sure the moving coordinator is there bright and early, along with the team they were assigned
- Maybe have a work from home day for all other employees.
- Meet with the removalists in the morning and discuss the day ahead.
- Check all online material to ensure the address has been updated. This goes for letterheads, email newsletters, your website, social media, etc.
After you move
Things to think about after your relocation.
- Confirm that your old lease will be terminated and that your address will be updated. Check that your old lease was correctly ended, that every client and business partner was notified of your relocation, and that your new address was accurately publicised.
- Phones, PCs, Wi-Fi, cable connections, and IT systems should all be tested. Test your systems to ensure that your office can come back up as soon as possible—and adjust as necessary.
- Employees should help removing tags from equipment and furniture, and replenishing supply cabinets. Task employees with unpacking and refilling if your moving company haven’t already done so. The more hands on deck you have, the faster your office can get back up and running.
Get a good start on big-picture logistics by deciding on a budget for the relocation right away, distributing roles internally, and seeking expert assistance when necessary. You can also print this blog post and have our step-by-step office moving checklist on your desk.
Additional measures, such as planning out your new office location and ordering new keys, should be completed prior to the chaos of moving week to ensure a smooth transition (especially if any last-minute surprises come up).
Remember that commercial removalists like Dream Movers may assist with everything from box packing to desk and chair setup. Some even offer services like rubbish removal, allowing you to cross something off your to-do list