How to Prepare for an Office Move – Intro & Timeline
Moving office can be stressful. Without some careful pre-planning, it can be damaging to your business. There are many things to consider as part of your move and so, working with our team of in-house IT specialists as well as our friends at Knights PLC and Aston & James, experts in legal details and office fit-outs respectively, we’ve prepared the ultimate guide to moving office.
Over the course of seven more articles to come, you’ll find details of how to plan your move, reasons why a move is the right idea, how to manage budgets, how to let your team know and how to make sure you’re all set for the big move itself.
We’ll be publishing a new guide a week for the next seven weeks and will then release the complete guide as a downloadable ebook and checklist so that you can use it to help manage your office move. Want to get your hands on the ebook? Sign up using the form at the bottom of this page and you’ll be the first to receive it when it arrives!
To kick things off, let’s start at the beginning. In this post, we consider the office move timeline, and what it needs to include.
Office Move Timeline
There are seven key phases to an office move that can be mapped onto a timeline. The timeline below works on the assumption that you are planning your move with at least six months to spare.
Unless you’re a very flexible company, with few moving parts, doing it in less time will be a challenge. In any case, if you do have less time, you’ll still want to account for each of the steps below, you’ll just need to do each step more quickly!
1. Things to do immediately
First up, here are the things you need to do right now if planning to move office. The initial tasks include justifying your reasons for moving, deciding on where to move and how the project is going to be managed.
- Justify your reasons for moving
- Decide location, size and budget
- Elect a project manager for the move
- Search for property
2. Five months prior to the move
With plenty of time to spare before you make your move, it’s a good time to (A) make a list of everything you own and everything you need to own, and (B) plan how it’s all going to fit into the new office space.
- Plan / design new space
- Audit what you already have
- Order what you need
3. Three months prior to the move
Three months marks the point in time when you can arrange all of the specifics. It’s close enough to the move date to lock in prices with suppliers, but not too close so as to miss any scheduling gaps. Now’s the time to engage with your IT supplier, movers, insurers and anyone else crucial to getting you up and running. It’s also a good time to brief your employees – after all, change is a challenge for all, give everything enough time to get to grips with it.
- Get quotes from movers
- Plan IT requirements for the move (incl. telephone and internet)
- Begin purge of what you don’t need anymore
- Gather insurance quotes
- Contact existing suppliers
- Brief employees
4. One month prior to the move
A month before move day is your last big milestone and should be your final warning to prepare any significant items that haven’t yet been taken care of. Forgotten to agree on details with a supplier? Do it now. Also, get specific with the new office plan. Revisit the itemised list of equipment you created and make sure it does indeed fit into the new space.
- Confirm dates with all suppliers
- Map out the new location
- Label everything
- Notify Post Office of change of address
5. One week prior to the move
By now, all of the details of the move should be in place and it’s time to create back-ups and safely pack everything. Work with your IT partner to make sure that your data will be stored safely and represents an up to date backup of all of your current pieces of work.
- Backup all data
- Pack up desks
6. Moving day
On the big day, there’s one job: make sure everyone knows what they should be doing and where they need to be.
- Give clear roles
7. Post-moving day
Finally, after the move, it can feel like the work has finished, but before you relax make sure you take a moment to check in on everything. Also, don’t forget to let everyone know you’ve moved!
- Make sure everyone is settled in
- Make sure all contacts know about the move
Check-in next week when we’ll be providing our next guide in this series: Reasons to Plan an Office Move.