Moving office timetable
Moving offices is a significant undertaking that should not be rushed into or taken lightly. Precisely how much time the process will take from beginning to end will vary depending on a variety of different factors – but you should always aim to give yourself enough time to get it right every step of the way.
Five months is a worthwhile starting point when putting together your office move timeframe – this should give you enough flexibility to complete your move with confidence even if there are a few unwanted surprises along the way.
With that in mind, here is our recommended outline of an office moving timetable, which begins roughly 5 months out from your target moving in date. Working through this timetable should move you gradually closer towards being happily established at your new offices.
Initial planning phase
The very first step to take on your journey towards complete relocation should be to ensure that all relevant approvals have been given by the most senior management figures within your company or organisation. From there, you can begin to designate responsibilities and sketch out your over-arching plan of action.
Key steps to take at this stage should include:
- Assigning office move project leaders and responsibilities
- Investigate details of your current office lease arrangements
- Highlight key dates and obligations outlined within your current rental deal
- Ensure that management agrees on what kind of offices are required
- Establish a budget for the office move process
- Assess what costs might need to be covered as you depart your current offices
Finding your next office
Identifying a property that would be ideal as your next office location is not a process that should be rushed into but it is also important not to waste any time once it’s been decided that your organisation needs to switch offices in the near future.
Specialist property consultants are generally best placed to help you understand your requirements and the options available given your budget. It is therefore very important to find the right property consultant to work with as you look for a new office.
TIP - It can be well worth taking the time to interview several potential candidates before you select and instruct a property consultant.
Around 1 month into your office move process, you should aim to be at the point of having a shortlist of potential offices that might be right for your needs going forward. Once you are at that point, you can then spend the next 2 or 3 months working towards the position of having a new office lease ready to sign.
Getting there will typically involve the following actions:
- Arrange first, second and third viewings of shortlisted offices
- Meet with and instruct a team of property solicitors
- Conduct an in-depth cost analysis with your property consultant
- Take a final decision on which office is the best option
- Review the proposed rental terms
- Reach an agreement on the terms with relevant landlords and agents
- Access lease terms and official documentation via your solicitor
Fit outs and furniture
After you’ve found your next office and the wheels are in motion for your relocation to take place, attention should turn to the question of how the space itself will be fitted out and furnished. Specialist fit out and office design companies are best placed to help make sure this side of your office move unfolds in line with your timeframe and that the results are what you want and need them to be.
TIP – It can be prudent to interview several office design and fit out companies before agreeing to work with the one you deem to be the best fit for your purposes.
After you have chosen your office design and fit out service provider, you should visit your new offices with them so they can draw up plans for how the space might best be fitted out and furnished.
From this point, your next steps should include:
- Listing all items of furniture that can be transferred from your current office
- Receiving fit-out and furniture plans for the entirety of your earmarked offices
- Finalise the fit out plans and give the go-ahead for the process to begin
Ideally, your timeframe will allow for a fit-out process to begin roughly 6 weeks before your target move in date. During this process, there should be regular contact and progress meetings with your design and fit out company.
Once the fit out has been completed, a site visit should be arranged for all the staff who are scheduled to relocate to the new offices. This can be great for morale as the members of your workforce can see what awaits them at your new location.
IT and Telecoms
IT and telecoms are fundamental to the smooth running and effectiveness of almost every type of contemporary business and getting the required elements in this context established ahead of your office space switch should always be a high priority.
An inventory of all your IT and telecoms equipment, including your telephony solutions, should be conducted as soon as possible after it is confirmed that an office move is on the agenda.
Aspects of your IT setup that are in need of upgrading should then be identified and, where budgets allow, those upgrades should be implemented over the course of your office move process.
Making your move
As with every other service provider you engage during the life of an office relocation process, you should carefully consider a number of different removals companies before enlisting one in particular.
Once you’ve chosen the right removals company, you should:
- Confirm your intended moving date
- Make clear what items need to be moved
- Pick out which items need to be disposed of and arrange for that to happen
- Determine what your off-site storage needs are or might be
- Finalise your removal date and highlight it to all relevant parties
Other issues to consider
- Informing clients, customers and operating partners of your relocation
- Contacting your business energy supplier
- Notifying the Post Office of your change of address
- Collecting old keys or keycards from employees
- Distributing new keys or keycards ahead of your move
When all of the above have been successfully completed you should be ready to complete your move, look to the future with confidence and look back on a job well done as far as your office space move is concerned.