Time to get your house in order
If you are working towards an office space move then it is very important to plan ahead meticulously and to be aware of the details involved in the process.
This is our guide and checklist for getting it right every step of the way when it comes to making your move.
Why are you moving?
Before you up sticks and switch to a new office it is well worth reminding yourself of the key reasons why you’ve decided to move on and to find a new home for your business.
By focussing on these underlying motivations, you can help to keep your mind firmly on the most pertinent considerations on a day to day basis as the moving process unfolds.
Here are some of the most common reasons why a business might want to move offices:
- To accommodate workforce growth or contraction
- You’re merging with another company or being acquired
- You need to be nearer your customers or business partners
- Overheads need to be reduced
- Your operations have changed and new offices are needed to reflect that
Leaving your current office
When you sign up to occupy a specific area of office space there are certain responsibilities involved that mean leaving them isn’t as straightforward as simply walking out and not coming back.
If you’re leasing your current offices then you’ll need to know precisely when your existing contract runs until or if there are any break clauses within it and plan towards leaving at one of those particular junctures.
You should also take a close look at the details of your existing occupancy contract and find out how much notice you are required to give your landlord and factor that into your office moving plans.
Focussing on these considerations should help you assign a specific moving in date that should then guide all the planning and preparation work that takes place as you head towards your completed move.
Putting together an office move timetable
The more clarity and detail you can include in your plans for an office move the less likely it will be that important elements will be overlooked or that serious problems will arise.
Timing and the scheduling out of particular processes is especially crucial in these contexts because hold ups of any kind can often have damaging knock on effects that can potentially even derail your entire office move process.
So scheduling and the creation of a clear and definitive timetable of events is often essential to success.
Key considerations in this context should include:
- Target moving in date
- Current lease end date
- Timescale needed to prepare your new office
- Time needed for relocation service providers to complete their objectives
- Lead time needed in relation to each aspect of the moving process
Budgeting and assigning roles
Other fundamental elements of an office move process include budgeting and the assigning of roles within the process to individuals and teams within your organisation.
Both these elements should be given very careful consideration. In the case of budgeting, it’s very important to include not just headline figures but all costs involved and overheads affected by the moving process.
This could include:
- Rent amounts and business rates
- Maintenance costs and insurance payments
- IT and telecoms migration costs
- Human resource considerations and potential costs
- New office furniture and fit out costs
- Repair costs at your existing office
- Advisory fees to third party office relocation companies
Selecting the right people to oversee and contribute to your office move process is also crucially important. Appointing the right individuals to lead and coordinate the process is particularly vital but so too is ensuring good communications between all the relevant parties throughout the duration of the move.
TIP – Appointing an overall leader of your office relocation can be crucial to ensuring responsibilities are appropriately allocated and that the project progresses as smoothly as possible.
It can also be important to have regular meetings on an internal basis between teams with different responsibilities but also to meet regularly and conduct reviews with any external relocation service providers you decide to work with.
Choosing the right space for your business
Working with an experienced property agent can be invaluable if you’re struggling to determine precisely what type of office space could be right for your business. They may also be well placed to help secure a good occupancy deal on your behalf.
- The type of facility your company needs
- Your overall budget
- Location preferences
- Intended timing of your office move
- Type and length of lease required
Decisions about the type of furniture you need at your future workplace should not be left until the last minute and certainly should not be an afterthought in the office relocation process.
The furniture you establish at your office can have a significant impact on how well the space functions for the members of your workforce and how impressive it is to any visitors you accommodate at that site. So you should carefully consider exactly how you want your office’s furniture to look and function well in advance of your relocation.
Crucially, you must allow enough time in advance of your new office opening up for all your furniture to be physically constructed and properly positioned.
IT and telecoms
It almost goes without saying that contemporary businesses rely on high quality IT equipment and telecoms connections, so ensuring a smooth transition in this context is a key part of any office move.
Here are some steps well worth taking to help ensure the smooth transition of your company’s IT setup:
- Carry out a comprehensive audit of your IT and telecoms use
- List all computers and items of IT that are used
- Create an IT configuration plan for your new office
- Establish a robust disaster recover/business continuity plan
- Assess whether it could be to your advantage to upgrade any aspects of your IT/telecoms setup
TIP - Moving offices is a good moment to potentially switch to better and/or less expensive IT and telephony infrastructures…
Tip – The same is true of all other suppliers you rely on including your utilities provider.
Using professional office removal companies is always advisable when moving offices and the best way to ensure that your relocation is as streamlined and as efficiently handled as possible.
TIP – Get quotes from at least three different office removal companies before committing to any particular service provider.
Managing the costs and the people involved in an office move can be challenging in any number of different ways but there is every reason to be optimistic about the potential outcome if you can maintain good communications both internally and with your external service providers.
Bringing it all together
Diligently and meticulously planning and scheduling all the elements involved in the process can be crucial but in the end an office move is always a team effort and one which requires all those involved to be working towards the same end goal at all times – which can only be achieved with good leadership and strategic clarity from the outset.