The last few months have sparked a huge change in the way we work. For a lot of businesses, traditional office work space has been redefined. Whether you are upgrading to a bigger office space or downsizing to accommodate the increasing number of staff working from home, our London removal company is here to help you with the logistics of your office move with our office moving checklist.
Moving offices is a challenging project that requires careful planning and meticulous organization – everything needs to go smoothly so that the transition period is swift and normal business operations are resumed as quickly as possible.
The complete office moving checklist
Proper planning and organization are key to a successful office relocation. We’ve put together a complete outline of all the steps below.
6-8 Months Before Moving Office: Work Out The Logistics
You have your new office space, now it’s time to start planning the move. There is really no “right time” to move office but in general, January and August are slower for most businesses. Try and pick a time when your business isn’t maxed out with important deadlines or projects.
1.1 Pick the official moving day and inform your staff and current landlord of your intention to terminate your current lease
- Make sure that in the case of a city or country relocation, you have trained HR representatives in place to help staff deal with the news and address any questions that arise.
- Have a meeting that allows an open, friendly Q&A to ensure that staff feel heard and valued.
- It’s important to inform your current building’s landlord or property manager of your projected moving day(s) as soon as possible so you can:
- (1) terminate your current lease
- (2) make sure the loading dock and lift are unoccupied for the moving day
- (3) review your lease and arrange for any end of contract requirements agreed upon (key and access card return, fixing any property damage or office wear and tear, arranging for a cleaning service)
1.2 Set a moving budget that includes:
- Hiring a removal company. Each business is different and will have different relocation needs.Some extra services to consider are:
- Furniture removal – you may want to take the office relocation as an opportunity to replace old, worn furniture. A removal company can get rid of old furniture with minimal disruption to the office, or store furniture if you are not ready to dispose of it.
- Packing services – enlisting professional help can ensure that everything from office desks, valuable servers, documents, and monitors and fragile items are packed properly to avoid damage during the move.
- Storage rental – There may be a gap between leaving your current office and gaining access to your new one. Or, you may need to consider renting storage because of space constraints. Whatever the reason, many removal companies offer storage rental services when you combine it with other removal services.
- Cost of any new office renovations, new equipment purchases
- Any additional insurance you might need
- Any costs associated with terminating your current lease (e.g. cleaning services, painting, etc.)
- Marketing expenses to announce the move to clients
- Permits, deposits
1.3 Get a quote from a reputable removal company near you that includes:
- A free site survey to assess your company’s specific removal needs
- Full insurance coverage
- Any professional suggestions as to how the business might continue to operate during the move
1.4 Book a removals company and confirm the moving date
4-6 Months Before The Move: Make A Plan
Now that you have an official moving date booked and a removal company secured, it’s time to devise a detailed plan. This plan will help ensure that everything goes smoothly on moving day.
2.1 Make An Office Relocation Plan
This is a detailed outline of each step required to carry out a successful office move. It should include a comprehensive list of each task and the individual (or removal company staff) assigned to carrying it out. It needs to include the following steps:
- Assemble your In-House Moving Team
- The lead office relocation manager and department leaders should be senior staff with excellent leadership and organizational capabilities, as well as the clearance to make important decisions.
- To stay on track, it’s helpful to schedule weekly relocation meetings to address any issues that come up in a timely fashion.
- Draft an Office Risk Relocation Plan
- This plan should clearly identify and outline potential solutions to any problems that may arise during the move.
- Make an Inventory List
- Make a list of everything in the office that will be relocated and label those things that will not. Make sure that you are only bringing what’s necessary to the new office since taking the time to do an office “cleanse” can save you time and money.
- Make a New Office Floor Plan
- The floor plan should outlines where equipment, furniture and individual departments will go and will help save time come moving day.
- Decide on a labelling system to complement the new office floor plan
- Assigning a colored label or colored packing tape to each department/room/office area is an effective way to keep things organised.
- Draft an IT relocation plan
- This is the most complicated part of any office move so needs to be outlined in detail well ahead of the move. Have your IT team do a new office site visit prior to making the floor plan to identify locations for workstations, printers, routers, network cabling points, power jacks, etc.
2.2 Communicate Externally
It’s important that you communicate your plan to move to anyone and everyone that might be affected. Failing to inform clients is a big no-no and can cost you valuable business. Especially if you receive client visits to your location. Don’t forget to notify:
- Utility providers
- Government agencies
- Insurance providers
- Internet and phone providers
- Special services like landscaping, office security, office cleaning and catering
2-3 Months Before Moving Office: Finalise The Details
3.1 Finalise And Review The Plan For The IT Department Relocation
The IT department is the heart of most companies and businesses won’t be able to resume until it has been properly relocated, set-up, and tested in the new office space.
Make sure to follow the steps below to ensure that your IT department is relocated safely and efficiently:
- Contact your network and telephone providers (select new ones, if necessary)
- Have your IT team do a new office site visit to identify locations for workstations, printers, routers, network cabling points, power jacks, etc.
- Analyse the server room for your requirements regarding cooling, ventilation, electrical requirements, and security
- Put together an inventory of all of your current IT assets
- Compare your current IT infrastructure to the infrastructure at the new location
- Identify placement requirements for your equipment, peripherals, and connections
- Evaluate your existing cabling and determine whether you need to expand or update it to meet the requirements of your new location and industry standards
- Review all upcoming IT upgrades and acquisitions, and decide whether you can accomplish them at the same time as the move to save time and simplify procedures
- Make physical copies of all your data, and store backups in a safe location for the duration of the move.
- Back up your systems to a public or private cloud and notify your provider of the relocation to discuss security protocols, potential changes, and any special conditions that may apply to the new environment
- Label your equipment clearly and keep cables located with the correct hardware
- Enlist the help of a company that has prior experience in overseeing IT infrastructure relocations
- Test all of your equipment and systems after the move to ensure everything is working and your business procedures can continue without issue
3.2 Finalise Arrangements For Storage And Disposal
There are two main reasons why you may need to consider storage rental when preparing for your office move:
- You may need to move out of your current office before your new office is ready
- You are moving to a smaller space and need somewhere to safely store files, equipment and furniture that can’t be moved to the new office
Renting a storage unit for your business gives your office more space and provides you with the piece of mind that your business’ valuable belongings are covered against accidents or damage.
1 Month Before The Office Move: Pre-Move Organisation
4.1 Gather all packing material and boxes
Depending on the scope of work you have contracted your removal company to provide, they will provide a lot of the boxes needed to safely relocate your office belongings. However, your staff may be responsible for packing up their personal belongings at their workspaces. So, having sufficient materials on hand is important.
- IT crates – designed to hold computer equipment.
- File moving boxes – these cartons have a label where you can write what is inside and which department it came from.
- Regular cardboard boxes — perfect for packing individual workspaces
- Plastic wrap – used primarily to wrap furniture and keep it from scratching and damaging during the relocation
- Bubble wrap – provides a soft cushion for your fragile items
- Packing paper – this material has many uses both as padding and as a wrapper
- Plastic sheets – ideal for protecting large pieces of furniture during the relocation
- Packing tape – it is necessary to seal all the boxes, so they won’t accidentally rip open during the removal. Buying colored tape to match your labelling schematic is a useful tool that can save some time
4.2 Label and tag all furniture, equipment, and office supplies
Decide what you’re going to do with the rest of the stuff; which of your old office items you’d like to sell or donate, and those you need to recycle, throw away or store.
4.3 Start archiving/backing up old files
Always a smart thing to do before a move. You can’t afford to lose important files or electronic documents.
4.4 Obtain any necessary parking and/or moving permits
Consider both your current and future office. Will you need to reserve an area in front of your building?
Moving Office Day
5.1 Make Sure Only Moving Day Coordinators Are Onsite On Moving Day
Too many people onsite can cause delays and unnecessary confusion on moving day. It’s important to have only those essential to the successful execution of your office relocation onsite on moving day.
5.2 Have Food & Drink Available
In the case that you have staff onsite helping with the coordination of the move, make sure that they stay hydrated and have plenty to eat and drink.
5.3 Celebrate The New Office
You made it! Make sure to celebrate the new office with a lunch or office party.
Moving isn’t easy and office relocations can be very demanding and stressful. Moving your office, no matter what size it is, takes time, money and above all, organization. Setting yourself up for success depends on hiring the right office removal company and electing the right staff members to help coordinate the move.
If you follow the steps outlined above, you will be sitting comfortably in your new office digs in no time!