Relocating to a new office is an exciting experience, but planning the big move can be daunting.
Luckily, the experienced Moving and Relocation team here at Thrifty Office Furniture has fine-tuned the business moving process to make it easy for you to take this next step in growing your business.
The key to successfully moving your business location is thorough preparation, and breaking the process into simple, easy-to-follow steps. With our 23 years of experience, we’ve created this useful guide and checklist to help you prepare for your office relocation:
The first question to ask is: why should you move your business? Our answer: It’s all about location! Where your business is located says a lot about your company's brand, both to your customers and to those within your organization. It's important to ensure that your new office location makes sense for your company, and that your management team has weighed the benefits or drawbacks of each potential location. Making the right choice for your company’s home base can benefit your business in many ways. The perfect new location can help you to:
Now that you know why moving can help any business, it’s time to determine specifically how your move should benefit your business. Before you plan your office move, you’ll want to first assess your current office environment and define your new office needs. Once you’ve specified the purpose for your office move, you’ll be able to determine the criteria for your new office location to make sure it will meet your company’s needs.
Not sure where to start? Some of the most important criteria to consider with regard to your business are: physical location, budget, office space size, property features, accessibility, lease details and your timeline for moving.
Once you have these “big picture” needs figured out, you may also want to consider:
Last but not least, it’s just as important that you consider any obligations to board members or stakeholders, the terms of your existing lease, specifications for notice periods, and any applicable liabilities.
Relocating your office is an investment, and creating a proper budget can help keep costs down. Avoid additional stress - and additional fees - by planning your budget to include all items of financial impact. A thorough budget will also help prevent mistakes or overlooked costs.
To create a realistic budget, be sure to include:
Having a well-thought-out plan for how to use your new space is essential to a successful office relocation. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone! Hiring an office design consultancy or office fit out partner can help ensure this success.
Working with office design specialists before you've selected your new workspace allows you to leverage an experienced partner who can help calculate the amount of space you need, ensuring you have sufficient space for everyone and everything.
Upon selecting your space, this partner can also help you plan your ideal layout and office furniture configuration. Many office design and fit out companies, like our Thrifty design team, offer 2D and 3D drawings to help you visualize your new space, ensuring optimal layout for your floorplan.
To create your best office design plan, be sure to consider:
Once you’ve decided on your moving date, it's important to establish your timeline for all move-related tasks. An ideal timeline would be about three (3) months long. Shorter timelines will simply limit options for some services and/or providers who may be assisting with your move.
An adequate timeline will provide enough time for you to:
Moving between offices is much more than a one-person endeavor. Make the process easier and more manageable by delegating tasks to a team of move coordinators. This team can be made up of trusted employees, forming a committee that can help balance the weight of your efforts. Having regular meetings with this team (and with the rest of the staff) ensures that everyone stays on the same page and is prepared appropriately for the office move.
Ideally, you would have a move coordinator per each department or office division responsible for managing efforts within their team area.
In addition to these departmental teams, another great way to delegate is to assign an individual or small group to be responsible for the following items:
Hiring the right people outside of your organization to assist with specialty services is equally important. Consider whether your team could benefit by the added efficiency offered by:
Communication is key to a smooth office move. Establish a communication plan for working with both internal teams and third parties to keep everyone on the same page throughout your relocation. Internal communication plans help prepare your staff for the move, and external communication plans let you share important information with your customers, suppliers, vendors and service providers. Ensure that all move coordinators have a list of contacts that includes hired help, along with a list of each move coordinator’s responsibilities for reference.
Internal communications should include:
External communications may include:
How you communicate is just as important as what you’re communicating. Determining your methods of communication for internal and external parties beforehand ensures that everyone knows how to stay in the loop during your move. Some communication options include:
Now you can think about all of the necessary communication and coordination you’ll need, such as:
Prior to your move-in date, it's important to ensure you have all the necessary resources for a successful move. This allows employees plenty of time to pack their workspace, and mitigates any risk for last-minute scrambling.
Make sure you secure these resources ahead of your move-in day:
Now it’s time to get packing! These tips will help your team best organize and pack their individual and shared workspace:
Desks: Desks must be empty with small, loose items (pencils, pens, paperclips, etc.) packed separately. Paperwork and hanging folders should be boxed separately as well.
Lockers and Break Room: Schedule a date prior to move by which personal items should be removed from these areas, donate or dispose of items not collected, and pack everything else for transport.
Computers: Office computers should be backed up, disconnected properly, with wires and plugs tied securely and labeled.
Electronics: Leave electronics on stand or desk, safely disconnect, and wrap wires and plugs securely with twist ties.
Filing Cabinets: Cabinets should be empty. Pack contents in boxes or locked drawers. Upright cabinets can be moved with their contents intact, while locked cabinet drawers should be secured with tape.
Supply Room: Contents of room should be packed in crates and labeled.
Boards, Posters, Framed Photos: These items should be wrapped or taped, and placed against a wall until loaded for transport.
Special Equipment: Certain electronics, such as printers and copiers, should be moved by trained personnel. Arrangements can be made with hired movers or the vendor directly. Some equipment may also require disconnection, which should be handled specifically by the vendor or a certified technician so as to not void warranties.
Secure Files: Ensure that secure files and information are moved per office regulations.
Personal Items: Personal items should be the responsibility of the employee. Typically, staff should pack their personal items and be responsible for transporting them to the new location themselves.
Items for Hired Movers: Items to be moved by professional movers need to be tagged and/or marked as such, and labeled with any pertinent information (such as fragile, liquids, etc.). If one of these items breaks down into sections and/or pieces, label or tag these pieces individually. To create added efficiency, identify the office, floor, and/or department where these items need be placed at the new office location when labeling.
Make sure that all tags and labels are filled out completely with information that assists in identifying proper placement upon arrival at the new office. Any items that are to remain at the old office location should also be marked accordingly.
Popular details to include on tags and labels are:
Dispose of office clutter appropriately to avoid moving unnecessary items to the new office location. To ensure proper disposal of clutter and packing materials, provide several recycling bins and waste containers at the move sites. Some items, like ink cartridges and batteries, will require separate and specialized disposal. If you have questions about proper disposal, review product guides and safety manuals or ask your operations manager or equipment vendor for clarification.
Make the office moving process easier to manage with these additional move-in day tasks:
Congratulations, you’ve successfully moved! Now that you've completed relocating your business to the new office, you can officially announce your new address to the public. Be sure to include the following items when you do:
With this business moving guide, you can expect your office relocation project to be a success. Hooray! Start things off right in your business’s new home by celebrating this success with your team and thanking everyone who contributed for a job well done. You might even throw a "Welcome to Our New Office" party and invite your top customers to check out your new office space.