Office Move – What to do before you move
Preparing for the move early is critical. The closer the move date comes, the harder it will be to get ahead of all of the actions that come with it. Below, we break down the key things you need to consider when preparing for your office move.
1. Itemise everything that needs to move
It’s your office, it’s probably full of stuff. Desks, chairs and computer equipment are just the beginning. There will be furniture, probably books, server(s), bins, fridge(s), coffee machine(s) and lots more.
It’s never too early to start itemising everything you have and organise it into a list that says:
- What will move with you
- What you will get rid of
For the stuff you are going to be getting rid of, work out when you will dispose of it and how you plan to do so. Wherever possible be sure to donate, sell-on or recycle. Don’t be wasteful, take the time to clear out your office with care.
2. Make a floor plan of your new office
There’s a shortcut option here, ask the estate agent who found your new office whether they have a floorplan they can provide you with. If they do, that’s a job off the list.
If you’re not that lucky, you’ll need to make a floorplan yourself.
The benefits of a floor plan should be clear; you can map out the intended layout of your new office, answer any unknowns and use it to explain to your removals team where everything will go when you arrive at the new office.
3. Plan how your marketing
There are two things to consider when it comes to marketing your office move:
- Communicating the fact that you’ve moved to allow the business to continue as normal
- Celebrate the fact that you’ve moved
The first part is really about ticking a task off your list. The question to ask yourself is; who needs to know that we’ve moved office? The answer will include clients/customers, partners and suppliers.
The second item is about putting out a message that highlights the excitement of the move. Regardless of why you’re moving, it can and should be an exciting time for your business. Use it as a chance to engage with local groups and business news outlets to remind them of who you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going.
4. Inform your team of the office move
In addition to using your office move as a marketing exercise, you should also remember to inform your team. It sounds obvious that you’ll need to tell your team, but change can always be met with anxiety, so make sure you follow these simple rules to deliver the news clearly and effectively:
- Be ready for questions and welcome them – preparing answers to ‘FAQs’ ahead of time will ensure you have clear answers to most questions
- Don’t overcomplicate the news with corporate jargon; it’s a change of location for a logical reason, share the news as it is
- Be honest about the stage the plans are at; you may only be exploring the option to move but it relies on a series of circumstances to fall into place to secure your desired location. Don’t use unknowns as a reason not to be clear, just be honest with your team that it’s a plan that needs work
5. Book a removals company
If you’ve ever had to move house without the help of a removals company, you’ve probably uttered the words: “never again”. Moving office is every bit as disruptive as moving house, it requires careful coordination of various parties, vehicles, pieces of furniture and equipment.
Give yourself one less (major) thing to worry about; arrange to meet with at least three suitable removals companies. Invite them to your current office and the new one (if possible) so that they can provide you with an accurate estimate for how long the move will take and how much it will cost.
The truth is this; if you carry out the move yourself, utilising your team to help with the work, it will take longer, be less well organised and ultimately reduce your bottom line. A professional removals company will be well worth the investment.
6. Plan your office design requirements
Creating a pleasant place to work is much easier to do when the office is empty. For this reason, it’s well worth building some time into your schedule to design your new office.
Option one is the hire an expert interior design firm. This will ensure that your office design is considered and caters to your requirements. It’s a potentially costly option, but worthy of investment.
Option two is to plan and decorate the office yourself. If your requirements are simple, this is a perfectly reasonable route to go down. Things to consider will be:
- Atmosphere – In recent time many companies have embraced the open-plan philosophy, citing its support of collaboration. Whilst it has its merits, and open-plan office won’t be for everyone. If your team need to get on with quiet, focussed work, aim to provide quiet space as well
- Creativity – Creativity isn’t all about throwing artwork on the wall, it can be as simple as creating different ‘zones’ within your office. The main working ‘zone’ will cater for day-to-day business activities. Comfortable sofas in a quiet corner will enable team members to sit somewhere different and stretch out. Sometimes, just moving to a different seat can help you solve that tricky challenge you have!
- Access – Take great care to make everything in the office accessible to all members of the team, regardless of ability. This includes workstations, breakout facilities and building access.
7. Order your office furniture
Lead-in times for furniture can be longer than you’d expect. This recommendation is simple; order your furniture as soon as you can. Speak to suppliers as soon as possible about delivery and do your best to coordinate delivery so that it happens in time for the move, but not too early before; you don’t want to have to store new furniture at cost whilst you wait to move.
8. Hire office cleaners
This recommendation applies to both sides of the move. Make sure you have a cleaning supplier lined up to give your old office a good clean ready for the new tenant (unless the office owner is kindly doing that). In addition, invite at least three cleaning firms to view and quote for the cleaning of your new office space, compare quotes and book them in before you even move – it will be one less thing to think about later on. Make sure you have a spare set of keys for the cleaning supplier to gain access.
Take care of these tasks and you’ll be in good shape for your office move. In our next guide, we’ll be looking at how to manage moving day!