Relocation is allegedly the third most stressful life event. Maintaining business and executing a perfect office move is no easy task. There are various factors to consider when deciding to move which might, at first, feel overwhelming. The short answer to perfecting an office move is planning, more planning, and, you guessed it, even more planning. Below are ten vital steps you need to know for a hassle-free relocation.
Know your goals
Having a clear idea of what you want will significantly ease the moving transition. For example, why do you want to move? What do you want your new offices to look like? Where do you want to move? And finally when are you hoping to relocate.
Ask yourself these questions about 9-18 months before the end of your current lease. Giving yourself time to properly understand your desired outcomes will help you avoid rushed decisions and increased expenses. Additionally, your clear mind will ease your staff. Keep the workforce in the know and get them involved.
A moving office checklist is essential to any business relocation. These accessible guides will hold your hand as you go through the process. A good checklist will have everything you need to know from inventory and storage to budget and tax considerations. Find a comprehensive list and make it your holy grail guide. These checklists are often printer-friendly and it’s a good idea to have a few on hand. One of the very first steps in most checklists is choosing a project manager for the move.
Selecting one individual to be in charge of the move minimises the risk of something going wrong. Key aspects to look for in a project manager are an experienced multi-tasker and a good team motivator. Usually this individual is someone in a senior role and therefore already has knowledge of delegating tasks to other team members and a thorough understanding of the business.
Time means money
Be strict with your dates. Have a tight deadline and stick to it. You might want to consider the best time to move. Some months, days of the week and even times of day are busier than others for moving. Most people tend to move at the weekend so you might decide to move mid-week to avoid any potential delays. Alternatively, for a business operating Monday to Friday, the weekend may be the most sensible option. Whatever you choose to do, establish what are the most important tasks and mark on a calendar or in a diary when they need to be completed and by whom. Creating a timeline will give you a clear set of goals that you will be able to cross off when you reach them.
Set a budget
Work out how much this office move is going to cost. As with key dates the budget for your move has to be realistic. Under or over-estimating your budget can cause financial problems and unnecessary stress. The crucial aspect for budgeting is in the planning. Spend time getting quotes from various removal companies and property agents. Be sure to check reviews and the companies’ credentials. Log all of the information and prices you obtain in a budget diary. Having all of the information in one place will make the moving process easier in the later stages and will also help you make sure you are not overspending.
Briefing your property agent
Do the necessary research to help you select the best property agent for your needs. A detailed and precise brief is critical to ensuring that your property agent knows what you want in your new office. Once they have understood your needs they will be able to advise on the best locations and facilities for your business. A good property agent should be able to negotiate a competitive office lease. It would also be a good time at this stage to inform your staff of the details surrounding the move. Office relocation can be stressful for the staff as well. Good communication is vital to your employees feeling informed and comfortable during this demanding period.
Choosing and booking a reliable removals company
There is a lot to consider when choosing the best removal company that suits your needs. The first step is to find a company that is experienced and has well trained staff. You then need to find out what services are included with their company and if these come at any extra cost. You must find out what is and isn’t included with their service. Some companies offer packing supplies while others do not. Hidden costs to look out for are insurance fees, long carry fees, fragile and bulky items and cancellation fees. A good rule of thumb when getting a quote is to ask for a visual estimate. This allows the company to assess how many assets you have and allows them to suggest the amount of packing supplies that you will need.
Plan your office space
By now you should have decided on your new office location. It is a good idea to ask your property agent if you can get a copy of the floor plan for your new space. There are a variety of aspects to consider when deciding the new layout of an office. Your top priorities should be furniture, file space, and health and safety. It might be worthwhile to consider asking your staff how they envisage their working space. By catering to the staff needs you can boost productivity and morale. When designing your new space be sure to create an appropriate but inspiring working environment. Make sure there is some variety in your design, giving space for different aspects of your business.
Plan your IT relocation
The IT infrastructure is central to any modern business and needs to be moved in as soon as possible. Work out the fundamentals of relocating your internet and telephone services early on. This should be one of the top priorities when you get the keys to your new office. Even if there happens to be an unfortunate delay in your office move, if you have a reliable internet and phone connection business can continue.
Finalise your lease
Make sure to have a final run down with your property agent to make sure everything in your lease is documented. Read through all of the documents carefully. Do not sign anything if you are unsure about any of the clauses. If this occurs, consider asking a property solicitor to read the lease for you.
Handing over your ‘old’ office
Finally, before returning the keys back to the landlord of your old office make sure that the office is in a good state of repair. Check all aspects of the office to make sure there is no dispute when it comes to claiming back your rental deposit. Key things to check for are damages and that no equipment or furniture has been left on the premises.
When settling in to your new office don’t forget to change the address on your business cards and remember to tell all the companies and services you use about your new address. It is important to ensure that none of your important and confidential letters continue to be sent to your business’ old address.