Changing offices may appear daunting at first, but proper planning can make your move smoother and less stressful. On top of that, some stats even suggest that office relocation may benefit your employees by boosting inspiration and productivity.
This guide will help you plan the transition from your old office to the new one in a way that minimizes negative impacts on workflows and maximizes savings.
1) Start planning a year (or so) in advance
One common mistake when relocating is not giving yourself enough time to plan. This can lead to rushed decision-making and cost overruns. Ideally, you should start planning 9-12 months in advance to ensure that you have enough time to make informed decisions.
2) Announce the move
You should send your workforce a first announcement (preferably an email) to inform them about the move. The email should include the location of the new office, its primary features, why your organization is moving to a new location, and the most important dates concerning the relocation.
3) Discuss with your workforce
After the first announcement, you should seek a more personal dialogue with your employees to discuss their concerns, feedback and suggestions. This can happen in a face-to-face group meeting or through video conferencing software. You should also consider one-on-one appointments with individual workers that may be particularly affected by the move (e.g., pregnant women or those living too far from the new office etc.).
4) Decide your budget for the move
You should know your budget. When your budget is ample, it’s easier to involve experienced movers and other professionals. If you need to save money, certain tasks will have to be handled in-house. Don’t underestimate this factor, as planning with an unrealistic budget can cause serious delays and disrupt your organization’s workflow.
5) Make a decommissioning plan
The goal of your decommissioning plan should be to restore the old office to its original state. This includes removing all the furniture and other equipment, disposing of hazardous materials safely and dealing with necessary paperwork like lease agreements or rental contracts. It’s crucial not to neglect this stage to avoid extra costs and potential legal issues later down the line.
6) Move all utility subscriptions to the new buildings
It’s essential to ensure all your utility subscriptions, such as electric and internet connections, are moved to the new office. This can take some time, so it’s best to plan and contact the necessary providers in advance.
7) Create a timeline for your move
This timeline should include the key steps of your move, like transporting heavy equipment, furniture and computers, but also more specific aspects, such as disconnecting utilities and internet connections. Making a timeline will help you track progress and ensure all tasks are completed on time.
8) Make an inventory list
An inventory list helps you keep track of all the items that must be relocated, from big office furniture to small details like pens and paper clips. This also includes all electronic equipment, from your receptionist’s computer to your cameras for parking lots. This list helps to ensure that nothing is left behind or gets lost in the move.
9) Set move-related work-flow strategies
It’s essential to ensure the move does not disrupt your team’s workflow for too long. To do this, you should develop strategies such as allowing remote working or creating a temporary office space. Make sure your team has the time and resources to complete their tasks during the transition. The goal should be minimizing the move’s impact on your deadlines and workforce productivity.
10) Minimize the impact on digital workflow
Office relocation can disrupt digital processes and workflows. Consider discussing and strategizing how best to minimize this impact through advanced planning, systems and process testing, and engaging with stakeholders if necessary. Discuss digital tools, such as video conferencing, cloud storage and project management software, to support remote collaboration. Additionally, don’t let cybersecurity considerations fall off your radar; your digital assets need protecting at all times, so be sure to consider data backups, encryption and more as part of your transitional plan.
10) Hire a moving crew
Once you’ve planned and budgeted your move, it’s time to find a reliable, professional moving company or crew. A good moving service will ensure the relocation is done safely and efficiently, minimizing risks of breakages or delays.
11) Make sure all boxes are correctly labeled
Labeling boxes is essential to ensure that each item and piece of furniture is placed in the right room and spot at the new office. You can use colored labels or stickers to easily identify which boxes are supposed to go where. Make sure to give clear instructions and labels to the moving crew so that they know exactly where each item belongs.
12) Plan and label new office areas
Different spots and areas of your new office should also be labeled in advance. Ideally, each place in the new office should correspond to the labels you put on the boxes. Different spots and areas of your new office should also be labeled in advance. This will help you and your team to easily recognize where everything belongs once each item and piece of furniture has been transported to the new location.
Once all the preparatory steps are concluded, it’s finally time to migrate to your new workspace.
14) Hire a cleanup crew
When the move is completed, you’ll need a trustworthy cleaning crew to take care of the old and new buildings. Cleanup tasks should include deep cleaning, waste removal and sanitization. This will help ensure that your new office is ready for use as soon as possible and that all health standards are adequately met.
15) Communicate with clients and vendors
Don’t forget to let your valued clients and vendors know about the relocation, especially if it may affect their ability to locate or otherwise reach you or receive your services. Update your contact information, change your hours of operation as applicable, or if necessary, temporarily suspend certain services while you transition. Make sure to clearly communicate these changes, and do it well in advance to avoid any misunderstandings or disruptions to your business relationships.
16) Consider the layout and design of your new office
Before you launch into packing and moving, take a moment to consider how you want your new office to look, feel and function. Do you want an open-concept workspace, private offices, or, perhaps, a combination of both? Will you need extra meeting rooms, a larger break or lunch area, or any additional storage space? Consider the needs and preferences of your employees as well as the nature of your business when planning your new office layout.
17) Update your address and branding materials
Once you are all moved, don’t forget to update your address on any brand materials, such as business cards, letterheads, and your business website. This will help ensure consistency and professionalism across all of your communications and marketing materials.
18) Celebrate the move
Uprooting your office to a new location is no small feat – it’s a major accomplishment and milestone for your organization, so celebrate it! Consider hosting a grand opening launch/event (or something a little less bold if you prefer), invite your clients and vendors to take a gander of the new space, and include speeches, catering, and more – putting on a lavish affair can be a great marketing strategy. Alternatively, marking the occasion with something simple like a low-key team lunch can be excellent for boosting morale and creating a positive work dynamic – start as you mean to go on.
19) Evaluate the success of the relocation
After the move is complete (and you’ve taken a moment to regain your faculties!) spend some time evaluating the success of the relocation. Did you meet your budget and timeline goals? Did you experience any major disruptions or setbacks? What valuable feedback (both good and bad) have you received from employees, clients, and vendors? Are you happy with the new office building? Use this information to identify key areas for improvement (and keep hold of these insights for any future office moves).