Top Ten Office Move Checklist

Taking a new office is a key event for a business. Often, you’ll be looking for somewhere which will impress clients, alleviate space and access problems whilst keeping your workforce happy. Some businesses are proactive and search for new premises whilst they’re still in the midst of an existing lease for their current premises, but as often a ‘lease event’ like a termination of lease or either landlord or tenant exercising a break clause will trigger the hunt for new offices.

  • Planning

    Whilst office relocation can refresh your brand identity and create an exciting opportunity to evolve, it can have a huge impact on your business. Start planning early – in order for relocation and refurbishment to be successful, larger businesses should start planning as long as 3 years before the event, and medium sized businesses 2 years in advance. It’s a long-term investment, after all.

    The key points you should consider when planning are:

    • Why do you need to move?
    • What is the best location for you to move to?
    • How much space do you need?
    • When do you need to be in by?
    • What key features you and/or your people need?
    • Does this move allow for future changes i.e. growth plans?
    • Do you lease or purchase your new location?
    • If you lease, what type and length of lease do you require?
    • What is your budget?
  • Communication

    Communicating with your employees and partners is one of the most important factors you need to consider when relocating. Communication is key for everyone and can often motivate and boost morale, so make sure to keep people up-to-date with moving plans and time schedules.

  • Appoint a project leader

    Appointing a project leader to facilitate all the aspects of the relocation process will also be an important role. They will be a pro-active leader, a good communicator, well organised, multi-tasker and understand budget control.

  • Budget

    Once the project leader has been appointed, work should commence and one of the first tasks is to create a budget that is realistic. A budget is a critical planning tool that will help you assess your costs, plan your finances and manage your expenditure throughout the process.

  • Working with professionals

    An office relocation can be very often time consuming and complex and especially if it’s the first time you have done this. It will also probably be one of the most costly exercises other than staff costs. Property is usually the next biggest cost to most businesses and working with the right property professionals such as surveyors, agents, legal, designers, contractors, furniture suppliers etc will often elevate costly mistakes or duplication of works. It will typically make the project run smoothly, minimising the stress and ultimately save you time and money.

  • Building Selection

    Key to successful selection of a new office is an appropriate agent. The right agent will help you source the right property and will help negotiate a deal. Educated decisions are always better, and an agent can offer you a full list of available properties and advise on your best options.

    In your discussions with your agent, talk about numbers of employees, public transport links and car parking spaces needed, as well as whether the area has potential to provide you with new workforce employees when you need them
    One of the first things that need to be considered is the building footprint. Are you in expansion mode, looking to accommodate your current and future staff in a more expensive city centre office, or are you going to accommodate your key client facing staff in city centre offices, whilst moving support services out to more inexpensive offices, reducing your city centre footprint?

    Consider the impact of relocating, either in or out of town. Perhaps relocating in the town centre would maximise client potential and accessibility. Would being located in the town make for greater public transport links to staff? Changing workplaces can bring huge benefits to the working environment, so you’ll need to collate the advantages and disadvantages of new or refurbished space.

    The physical office working environment can determine the success of your business. A clean, refreshed space can reduce stress and increase productivity and positive ethos in the workspace.

  • Your new office design and specification

    The final stage of the refurbishment and relocation of your business is the most important step in completion. Every decision and every part of your move should be included here, determining what to keep and what to discard in the move. Involving your staff and employers for a real clear out of the existing office will be required in order to begin the process, so that everyone moving can feel part of the team and operation.

    The design of the partition layout of the new premises should be detailed and finalised then be presented to the employees. The electrical layout and the ceiling grid layout should be addressed and put into place. Whether a reception is used in your business determines the need finalise the reception design with the consideration of potential new furniture to make it aesthetically pleasing and eye-catching for potential clients. Any relocation plans of existing or new furniture will need to be confirmed and in place for the final move, along with storage facilities such as filing cabinets if they aren’t being discarded.

    Other elements to consider include security systems such as CCTV and any security or door entry alarms. Fire extinguishers and smoke detection amend systems should also be considered when deciding whether it is worth discarding them or transferring them in the move. Relocating ceiling units and computer flooring may also be needed to take into account.

    At this stage, you’ll also be looking at exterior landscaping and signage, and interior design finishes approval.

  • Stationery and client notification

    Notifying all clients and other branches of your relocation will be necessary ahead of your move with a given date of changeover. Website changes and advances will also need to be addressed, with the location of your new business and any other required information such as if you have a new contact number. New stationary will also need to be ordered and arranged in order to finalise your move and prepare you to begin ‘business as usual’.

  • Public Relations and Advertising

    In order for the relocation to be successful, advertising the new offices and submitting a press release to the local press will engage with the public and successfully inform them of the relocation effectively. This allows for maximum coverage and allows future potential clients to be aware of your business.

  • Celebrate!

    The final step is to celebrate your hard work and achievements of this journey! Take time to celebrate with staff and clients and enjoy your new office.