Your Step-by-Step Guide to Office Relocation
Whether transitioning to a hybrid working model, considering downsizing your headquarters to create local hubs, or aiming to save costs through relocation, this comprehensive guide covers all aspects of office relocation. In addition to providing step-by-step details, our office relocation checklist incorporates a timeline to assist you in minimizing disruptions to your business.
Step One: Evaluate Your Business’s Needs
Upon deciding to move offices, your initial step is to thoughtfully consider the type of space required. Offices vary in shapes, sizes, locations, and agreement types, necessitating a thorough assessment of your business needs to find the ideal fit. Here are key considerations:
- Your Future Business Plans:
- Anticipate growth and scalability over the next one, three, and five years.
- Define whether business expansion or scaling is suitable for your organization.
- Working Model:
- Assess your current working model (hybrid, remote, or office-only) and anticipate any future changes.
- Evaluate the suitability of a serviced office (immediately functional), a managed office (customizable space with branding options), or a conventional long-term lease (offering design autonomy).
- Workforce Growth:
- Plan for the number of hires over the next few years and determine the required space.
- Choose an office floor plan (cubicle, open plan, collaborative, etc.) that aligns with your team’s needs.
Consider how your office space and its location will influence your ability to attract clients. While opting for an office in a prestigious location may incur higher costs, it can enhance your ability to attract premium clients and potentially increase fees. Additionally, a personalized, managed office can serve as a showcase for your brand, creating an identity that clients and employees want to be part of.
Recognize that your office space plays a crucial role in recruitment and retention. The accessibility and desirability of your new workspace can impact your ability to attract top talent and retain valued employees.
Productivity and Work-Life Balance
Factor in staff well-being when choosing a new office location. Consider the presence of green spaces, nearby cafes and shops offering nutritious food, and other amenities that contribute to a positive work-life balance. Elements such as parking availability and natural light can influence the happiness and productivity of your team.
Step Two: Initiate Office Move Planning
Upon identifying a suitable office space, proceed with planning your office move and creating a detailed timeline. Follow these steps after signing an agreement and confirming your moving date.
- Give Official Notice to Your Current Landlord:
- Be aware of notice periods, which can vary based on your existing agreement.
- Engage experts, like Knight Frank, to review your position and define an appropriate timeline for sourcing, negotiating, acquiring, and executing the move.
- Make an Office Relocation Announcement to Your Team:
- Inform and engage your team about the moving date and new office address.
- Explain the reasons for the move, its benefits to both employees and the business, and any changes to their daily routine.
- Create an Office Relocation Team:
- Establish an office relocation team led by an office move manager.
- Plan logistics, prioritize tasks, and determine if external help, such as IT relocators, is necessary.
- Finalize Your Office Floor Plan:
- Visit the new location, understand its IT capabilities, facilities, and utilities.
- Blueprint your office space, consider necessary changes, and finalize the floor plan, exploring agile office design in the era of hybrid working.
- Spring Clean and Upgrade Your Systems:
- Utilize the opportunity to assess existing office equipment.
- Upgrade or dispose of items not needed, aligning with your moving budget.
Step Three: Research Costs and Set a Budget
Even with a reduced office space, anticipate upfront costs. Set a budget at least three months before the moving day, and obtain quotes while checking the availability of service providers such as removal teams.
- Research Hidden Costs:
- Consider costs beyond obvious ones, including removal firms, security deposits, rent, interior design fees, and new furniture.
- Account for potential hidden costs like dilapidations, cleaning, storage, administrative fees, post redirection, insurance, solicitor’s fees, and agent’s fees.
- Ensure Full Insurance Coverage:
- Confirm the insurance coverage provided by your removals company.
- Consider additional coverage through a removals and storage insurance policy for comprehensive protection.
Step Four: Prepare for the Office Move
Focus on the logistical aspects of your move in the month leading up to the relocation. A proficient office move manager is invaluable during this phase.
- Conduct a Stock and Inventory Check:
- Create an inventory using standardized labeling for equipment.
- Use color codes and employee numbers for easy tracking during the move.
- Finalize Moving Details:
- Ensure packing supplies are provided or order boxes, crates, tape, and labels.
- Book parking permits and local licenses to prevent unnecessary delays on moving day.
- Prepare Employees’ Equipment:
- Communicate when employees should pack up their desks.
- Explain procedures, especially for employees on holiday during the move.
- Brief the Office Relocation Team:
- Provide security information to the team.
- Share floor plans, responsibilities, and emergency contacts.
Step Five: Settling Into Your New Office
If you’ve followed the office move checklist, the moving day should proceed smoothly. Post-relocation, set up your new office and quickly resume business operations.
- Follow Your Floor Plan:
- Make necessary adjustments to the floor plan based on real-time requirements.
- Use the color coding and numbering system for efficient equipment placement.
- Set Up IT Equipment:
- Engage your in-house IT team or a serviced office IT relocation team.
- Ensure seamless setup of computer cabling, telephone lines, and other equipment.
- Double-Check Your Inventory:
- Conduct a final inventory check to verify equipment, stock, machinery, and furniture successfully reached the new office.
- Report any damages to your moving company and insurers.
- Announce the Move Publicly:
- Notify clients, customers, suppliers, partners, HMRC, Companies House, service providers, banks, insurance companies, and professional bodies.
- Share your change of address and new contact information.
- Utilize social media, blog posts, and an office warming event to communicate the move.
- Don’t Forget to Decorate Your Office:
- Enhance employee engagement and satisfaction by decorating and lighting your office space.
- Refer to our blog for tips on decorating a new office space.