Moving office can be an exciting time for a business, especially if you’re moving due to expansion and growing staff numbers. If not managed properly, however, an office move can be unnecessarily disruptive and stressful for your team, so it’s important to be organised and prepared to ensure a smooth and easy transition.
That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to take you from choosing your new location to booking a removals company and making the move – all with as little stress as possible.
Choosing your new office
The size and type of space you’re moving into will depend entirely on the unique needs of your business and team, but there are a few key things you should bear in mind when choosing your new location:
- Make sure you really need to move – As we said, moving office can be a costly and disruptive process, so make sure you’re positive it’s the right step. For example, if you’re relocating because you feel your business needs more room, review whether or not moving unnecessary stock or furniture into storage would be a more cost-effective way of freeing up space.
- Think about space – If clearing items away into storage just isn’t enough, it’ll be time to consider how much more space you need now, and in the future. Do you think your business will continue to run in the same way for the foreseeable future or do you have an expansion plan? If it’s the latter, make sure you find a space with the flexibility to allow your business to grow.
- Be sure on budget – While it’s easy to fall in love with that high-end office you spotted online, the expense that comes with renting premium spaces is often unsustainable for small businesses. Never go for a rental at the top of your budget; leave allowances for quiet periods and downturns to ensure you’ll always be able to afford the costs.
- Think about logistics – Depending on your needs, logistics are crucial to choosing any new space. If you deal in stock, will you need storage space and dedicated loading areas? Will you need parking spaces or does the new office have good proximity to public transport for your staff? It’s also important to research average local water and electricity rates, to estimate your monthly costs, while also ensuring you’ll have access to connection speeds that are fast enough for your internet usage needs.
- Consider co-working – If you’re still a growing business and don’t yet need to move into an entire office, renting a section of a co-working space could be a better option. Co-working spaces are all ready-to-use, meaning you don’t have to worry about setting up costs, but they can be expensive to rent. A few quick calculations should tell you whether or not this is the right choice for you.
- Look for a break clause – Much like moving house, you don’t always know exactly what a space is going to be like until you’ve moved in. Unlike moving house, however, offices should come with a break clause so you can terminate your lease should the space not turn out as expected. Make sure your lease has a break clause to avoid being stuck in the wrong location.
What you should do now
So, you’ve found the perfect new space and you’re all ready to get prepared for your move. Here’s a handy checklist to ensure you’re ready:
- Find a dedicated removals company – Make sure your chosen team is efficient, professional and communicative, and that they specialise in office removals. This way they’ll be experienced in moving expensive office equipment and will be able to dismantle and reassemble your office furniture for you. They should also be fully insured. To avoid disruption, check whether your chosen removals company can complete the move outside of office hours.
- Notify your current landlord (if you have one) – You’ll need to give notice, so check your lease for notice dates to make sure you’ve left enough time. This is also a good time to settle any utility bills or payments.
- Notify your team – If you’re asking team members to relocate, you’ll need to give them plenty of notice and make sure they’re happy with the move. Consider incentives to make up for any disruption.
- Notify customers and suppliers – Both will need notifying in good time to avoid any confusion or disruption to your normal processes. A quick email or phone call to notify them of the date of your move and the new address should be fine.
- Go to print – Have business cards, letterheads and any other stationery printed in advance so you’re ready to get back to business as soon as you’ve moved.
- Create a moving committee and plan – Select a team to be responsible for the move and draw up a physical plan that you can give to relevant employees or managers. This should include measurements and a floor plan for your new space, along with details on the placement of equipment and furniture. Bear in mind electrical outlets when planning where everything will go.
What you should do during the move
- Keep everyone informed – In the days leading up to the move, make sure everyone is aware of the timings and what they need to do in terms of packing up their own space. Good communication throughout the move will ensure everyone knows their own responsibilities and will help everything run smoothly.
- Liaise with providers – To make sure the move has the least impact on business, liaise with telephone and IT providers to keep your office connected right up until you move. The same should be done at the other end too, to ensure your staff can get the new space up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- Prepare your furniture – Create a full inventory of all furniture and identify any new items that need to be purchased.
- Use colour coding – If your office is separated into different departments, colour code them all and use stickers to identify which boxes, items of furniture and electrical equipment needs to go where.
- Check in with your removals team – As the moving day dawns, contact your removals team to double check timings and addresses as well as any removal plan you have in place.
- Have a final meeting with your committee – If you are moving out of hours, remind your committee of when they will be needed to assist with the move if necessary. Send out final reminders to staff a few days before the move and make sure everyone knows what is required of them.
What you should do when you’ve moved
- Make sure everything is in order – After everything has been moved, double check all your inventories and floor plans to make sure everything has arrived and is in the right place. Test electrical equipment and connectivity to ensure the space is ready for your staff to get started in the morning.
- Update your information – Your website, email signatures, marketing material, Google listings, tax details, business insurance and paperwork will all need to be updated with your new address and phone numbers.
- Send out reminders – Send out a reminder to your customers and suppliers informing them that you’ve moved and updating them with any new contact information.
- Forward your post – For the first few months, it can be a good idea to organise a mail forwarding service to make sure you don’t miss any important communications. These can be easily set up with Royal Mail.
- Organise a welcome meeting – On the first day in the new office, organise a welcome meeting with your whole team. Include orientation if necessary and ensure everyone has any passes or entry codes they might need. Treating your team to a special lunch or after-work drinks is a good way to welcome everyone and thank them for their help.
And breathe! You should now be all set up in your new office!
Here at TFM, we have years of experience when it comes to moving offices in a timely and efficient manner, with minimal disruption to your business. If you’d like any more advice on how best to relocate your business, or you’d like us to handle the move for you, feel free to contact us today.