Congratulations! You’ve found your new office! It’s time to plan the move.
At this point, the mammoth task of planning the entire relocation process (packing and moving furniture, technical equipment and people) can feel overwhelming, which is why it’s essential to follow a plan in the lead up to moving day.
This straightforward to-do list will take you through the necessary steps of what you need to do before you relocate, to ensure all goes smoothly on the day. It assumes you’ve already made the decision to relocate office rather than refurbish your existing workspace (if you’re still unsure, these articles will help you decide: To Move or not to Move and 7 Things You Need to Know Before Moving Office)
Your 6-step action plan for a smooth office move
Ideally you will have engaged with a Design & Build company during your property search who will have helped you budget and plan for your move and fit-out. In addition to guiding you on interior design and space-planning, they can show you how to save time and money in relocation, right down to the sourcing of furniture (which will also help you decide on what to keep, sell and buy before you move).
- Assign a group of people to manage each aspect of the move. Everyone in the team must have clear responsibilities and schedules for each stage of the move. Where some will be responsible for budgets and finance, IT & Telecoms and staff direction, others will manage the fitout, packing, labelling, moving, security, storage, inventories and opening/closing of offices.
- Book your moving company as soon as you have a moving date. Arrange temporary storage and organise security for your old and new site during the move.
- Carry out a full inventory of everything you intend to relocate. You’ll need to create a comprehensive packing procedure plan to ensure every item is handled correctly. Assign codes, colours and names to quickly match boxes to the relevant departments and individuals, which will be aligned with the master floorplan of the new office. (Computer networking and telecoms requires a separate inventory and floorplan, and should be installed first.)
- Distribute a ‘new office pack’ that shows employees how to pack their belongings, what to expect and do on moving day and where they’ll be situated when then move. Include a floorplan, car park map, access codes, and details of the local area. Make sure your employee list is up-to-date and you are aware of any holidays or absentees planned during the move.
- Create lists of all current contacts, suppliers and customers and create relevant notifications to inform them of your new address, move date and service continuity. Organise forwarding of post with the Post Office for a few weeks after your move, too.
- Order your new stationery and make plans to amend all electronic data, accounts and online addresses where required. It’s a good idea to assign this responsibility to the marketing and finance departments to manage the process.
You’ve done it! After a final check and clean of your old office, you can now arrange an office-warming party and begin set-up of each workstation. There may be a bedding-in period for your staff but a well-planned workspace, which has had everyone’s input from the outset, will help with the transition.