3 December 2019/ rent_office_guide

The go-to guide to moving offices

Whether your office lease is up, you’ve outgrown the space, or you simply fancy a change – moving offices can be a daunting experience. But it doesn’t have to be stressful if you plan for it properly and give yourself plenty of time. Here’s our go-to guide to moving offices in the least disruptive way, allowing you to have the most stress-free experience possible.

Let’s assume you’ve already conducted thorough research and found your new property; we’ll now look at the next eight steps you need to take. If you’ve had no luck finding a property so far, you can use our handy tool to search for commercial properties from over 1,000 sources. 

8 steps to a successful office move

Step 1 – Where to start?

Between three and six months before the move date, you need to start getting everything in order.

Initially you should:

  • Review your current lease to understand any contract obligations. If you are leaving the lease early, it might mean you don’t get your deposit back. Double check everything so you don’t have any nasty surprises further down the line.
  • Decide who your relocation team are going to be and assign a leader. They should then prepare an office move project plan.
  • Get confirmation of the relocation day.
  • Get quotes from different office removal companies and choose the one which is best value for money for your needs.
  • Agree visits to the current office and the new one with the moving company.
  • Find out if you need any insurance for important equipment.

Once all the above has been completed, make a timetable to be sure everything stays on track. You should also create and regularly update a budget plan to document all the associated costs to prevent overspending.

Step 2 – Keep everyone in the loop about the relocation

You’ll need to notify the current landlord and give official notice. Then, if you haven’t already, let all your employees know the moving date and the new location. Be sure to inform them about what their exact responsibilities are. Create a master list of anyone who needs to be informed of the new address. This might include:

  • Clients
  • Partners
  • Organisations you belong to
  • Banks
  • Stationery services – update the address and order new marketing material, including stationery and business cards. Remember to update the website and brochure too!
  • Foodservice companies
  • Internet provider
  • Telephone company
  • Insurance companies – update and renew insurance, service agreements and licenses. Look for the best deals on the market.
  • Accounts departments
  • Utility companies – shut down any accounts at the old office and open new ones before you move.

Step 3 – Plan your new office space

It’s important to familiarise yourself with the office you’re going to be moving in to. This includes measuring the dimensions of each room and checking that all your furniture will fit. By skipping this step, you risk disrupting the process and delaying when colleagues can get settled.

Review the office furniture and equipment to see what is and what isn’t needed. Then you can place any orders you need in plenty of time. Moving offices is a great opportunity to give the brand a refresh and this can be reflected with a new office fit out. You can read more about how to Marie Kondo your office here.

Develop a floor plan for the new office’s key areas, for instance, workstations, meeting rooms, board rooms, storage rooms, IT and phone systems. Start off identifying storage space and electrical outlets and go from there. Click here to see our guide to your office fit-out and relocation.

Step 4 – Make sure connectivity won’t be affected

Dedicate some time to making sure your connectivity won’t be disrupted by the move. Speak to telecoms and IT consultants early on to avoid this. Also establish exactly what technology is required, for example computers, phones, networks, servers etc.

Step 5 – Draft an inventory of what to keep from the old office space

Leaving packing until the last minute will add unnecessary stress. Give yourself plenty of time to create an inventory of what to keep, what needs to be packed carefully and what can be binned.  Remember to order boxes and crates well in advance.

Make sure the removal company has clear instructions of where to move all the items. Consider using coloured labels to indicate where each box or item of furniture should be placed in the new office space. Check that all members of staff know the standardised way to label to avoid any mix ups.

Step 6 – Before you move, don’t forget the last remaining duties

Assign a member of each team to oversee the packing responsibilities of their department. Decide which leaders will go to the new office to supervise and which will stay at the old location until all the moving trucks have gone. Give each leader the following checklist:

Moving office checklist:

  1. Are all the desks cleared?
  2. Are all the cabinets, draws and cupboards empty?
  3. Is all the furniture labelled?
  4. Have breakable items been packed carefully?
  5. Have all items been taken down from the walls?
  6. Are all communal areas completely cleared?
  • Confer with the building managers of both offices about access and parking.
  • Provide all team members with a ‘moving pack’, which includes their new desk number, information about the new location including public transport and parking details, a map of the new office, security passes, keys and phone numbers for the removal team.
  • Make sure the facilities in the new office, in the kitchen and the bathroom for instance, are all working properly.
  • Back up all the computers and servers and assemble all servers, cables and other electric equipment in the new office so they’re ready to go for moving in day.

Step 7 – Moving day!

The day you’ve spent months planning for is finally here. If you’ve followed this go-to guide you should feel well-prepared and excited to get settled in your new office.

The first thing to do when you get there is take photos, as evidence of its condition, as this will help in discussions when you eventually move out. Next, make sure all the electrical equipment is up and running so people can work.

It’s always a nice idea to put out some refreshments for your team and the removal company, especially if you’re blessed with warm weather, moving is hard after all.

Step 8 – You’re all moved in. What’s next?

  • Once you’re all set up, double check that your insurance has been transferred and all old leases are tied up.
  • Make sure you’ve received any deposits from the old premises.
  • Collect all passes and keys for the old premises and send them back.
  • If you need to report any damages to the removal company, now’s the time to do it.
  • There’s no harm in sending out a questionnaire and getting feedback from staff so you can iron out any issues for next time.

If your old office was known to customers and/or suppliers it’s a good idea to place a ‘We’ve moved’ sign at the old office. You could also consider issuing a press release, so the public is aware of your move.

Finally, all that’s left to do is to throw an office party to celebrate a move well done!

Whether you’re looking for a large corporate office or a flexible co-working space you can find it all on Realla