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Office Move Checklist [Ultimate Guide 2022]

Our Office Move Checklist will help you through the process of relocating your business to new premises. We’ve also included an Office Move Ultimate Guide to help you to up sticks and move your business successfully. It covers before, during, and after and all the things you should consider during the office moves process.

Ultimate Office Move Checklist

From START to FINISH and everything in-between

Planning your office move

  • #1 Reason for moving – write this down
  • #2 Detail what isn’t working for you currently at your office
  • #3 Communicate and invite employees to have their input on the change of office
  • #4 Appoint an office move team – include a point of contact from each department
  • #5 Produce a plan which includes who is responsible for each task, timescales, budgets, actions, and milestones
  • #6 Share a high-level plan to get the buy-in from your employees
  • #7 Continue to communicate with your employees throughout the process
  • #8 Budget – set aside a budget

Finding a New Office

  • #1 Appoint a business agent and confirm fees
  • #2 Look at potential new locations and premises
  • #3 Select an office space that is right for your business
  • #4 Go through contracts, lease details and facilities in detail
  • #5 Conduct your surveys and assessments
  • #6 Sign the legal documents

Creating an Office Space for your needs

  • #1 Appoint a design agency
  • #2 Be clear and concise about the workspace you want to create
  • #3 Agree on a cost (ensure it’s an inclusive fee so there are no hidden extras)
  • #4 Detail furniture, IT and office design needs – this might include using current furniture or buying new equipment
  • #5 Be sure to consider storage if you’re downsizing offices. But remember to clear out old furniture and files if you can.

The Execution of the Office Move Plan

  • #1 Communicate the office move date to employees
  • #2 Detail the move plan (high level)
  • #3 Communicate with your suppliers and customer
  • #4 Work closely with your appointed office removals company
  • #5 Detail the moving times for all equipment including phones and IT
  • #6 Get all equipment up, running and tested before employees arrive on their first day
  • #7 Issues – resolve them as quickly as possible

Evaluation of the Office Move

  • #1 Throw a small office party/breakfast if you can
  • #2 Ask for feedback from your employees
  • #3 Ask for feedback from your clients/customers
  • #4 Produce a small debrief to thank your team

5 small things to remember:

  1. Cancel or move any recurring bills
  2. Inform your suppliers and clients
  3. Update your business stationery
  4. Change your social media information (GMB listing and directory listings)
  5. Buy the essentials for the kitchen and bathrooms

Office Move Ultimate Guide

In light of recent years, businesses are now adapting to life after the Coronavirus restrictions. This means that many businesses are adapting to hybrid working and continuing to focus on successful strategies within their organisation.

An important part of a successful business is ‘where’ we work along with the ‘way’ we work. Hybrid working allows employees to have more freedom and reduces their time commuting, and in turn, increases their income. Now this way of working is more common, many businesses are looking at how they can reduce their overheads, improve their office space and create an enhanced working environment.

However, all businesses are unique and require a range of different working environments. So, how can you understand your office space and ensure you’re getting what you and your employees need from it?

If you’re already considering relocating your office for one of the reasons we’ve mentioned, how can you maximise the space you have?

This Ultimate Office Move Guide, accompanied with our Ultimate Office Move Checklist, should help you keep on track.

Planning and Preparation

Plan, plan, plan. This is arguably the most important part of an office move. Fail to plan, plan to fail. Scope out your reason for moving, the budget for the project, and the people who are part of it.

The ‘why’ Reasons for Your Relocation

The ‘why’ dictates the primary driver for the need to move your office to a different premise, and this decision isn’t usually taken lightly. In our experience, the purpose behind relocating is usually down to multiple factors.

Typically, it’s due to growth, a lease that is due to expire or a business is downsizing to offer alternative working approaches, such as hybrid working. A decision to move office may also be influenced by other factors, such as workplace wellbeing and/or embracing a new, more productive way of working. Your current office or layout might not be suitable for agile/hybrid working. 

Often there are multiple reasons a business decides to move, and that’s okay. Detail the reasons in order of priority to give a clear vision for the office move project. At this point, it’s good to identify what isn’t working in your current office space. This will help you to avoid this in your new office.

It’s unlikely that you will have the resource or experience to conduct the move by yourself, so whoever you choose to help you along your relocation journey, ensure you are clear on what you expect.

It’s the perfect opportunity to future-proof your business and develop a workspace that is right for your organisation and your employees.

A good starting point is to write a list of pros and cons to moving offices to help you understand the driving force behind why moving your business is an option. This can become part of your Office Move Checklist.

When relocating your business there are many things to consider;

Include your Office Workforce

Your employees will have to consider the impact it will have on them. This will include their commute from a time and financial impact. Many people are apprehensive about change, especially in their daily routines. It’s important that you do consider this, especially if it will impact your employee’s productivity. Positivity is key when relocating your office, new premises and working environment is something to be excited about, not to mention the new facilities that could be on offer. Involve them when it comes to working conditions and input into the new environment. Communication is key.

Consider your office location

Your employees spend more time at work than at home with their families, the location of their office is important to them, as is it for you. Good transport links, an accessible location along with the right environment make working for your business attractive and easy for your customers to visit (if this is needed!).

Understand you Office Lease and Finances

If your lease is expiring, it might be the right time to move. But, this can become complex. If this is the main reason for your office move, make sure you pinpoint what you like and dislike about your current office. This should be considered carefully and thoroughly.

A financial gain can attribute or be the primary motivator for moving your business especially if it’s more economical for you to relocate. Budgeting is vital to ensure that you know your financial constraints, for all aspects of relocating (lease, office refit, removals, etc).

Explore your business opportunities

Finally, it’s important to understand the opportunities that moving your office presents. This can include both tangible and financial benefits, such as attracting new employees and/or a more cost-effective lease. Employing new, talented employees helps your business to grow and maintain a good working environment. Happy employees in a workspace are more productive.

The ‘who’ the Internal Team

Communication is key. Involve your employees in the process of moving your business to make the process smoother. Getting feedback from your employees allows them to ‘buy in’ to the move instead of opposing it. Where possible, allow a forum for them to contribute to which will allow both positive and negative feedback on your current working environment. From this, you can develop a workspace that your employees are happy in and it gives you invaluable feedback to grow from.

Building a team to be part of your office move project is essential. Utilising employees from across the business arms you with a vast range of experience and knowledge about each department’s needs is vital. Knowledge is power when planning a whole business move.

Office relocation team

It’s unlikely that you will have a team internally that has the skills (or time) to conduct the move, so make sure that you research a removals team that has the experience and skills to move your business to your new office efficiently.

Important Office equipment

  • IT and technology equipment – disconnecting and reconnecting your IT suite
  • Packing and organising – everything from the kitchen to the server room
  • Furniture – desks, chairs, Kitchen equipment

All of this needs to be up and running to be able to continue trading as a business. So it’s important to invest in a team that will do this for you. They help to overcome any issues and are dedicated to getting your move done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The ‘when’ Timing is Key

In the early stages of planning and preparing, a date is unlikely. However, a time of year is usually preferred by a business. This could be at a quieter time for the business to minimise disruption. It’s good to have this set out in the early stages to help the planning team set realistic goals. Other timeframes will be set throughout your project and these might include:

  1. Budget sign off
  2. New office location
  3. Appointing an experienced office removals firm
  4. New office furniture/design
  5. New Lease signed

The ‘where’ Choosing a New Office Space

Selecting a property that is going to be suitable for your business can be daunting. However, as long as you have set out your needs clearly, you’ll know when a premise is right for you. There may be multiple properties that are suitable for your business but go through the same office move checklist for each property to ensure you choose the right one for your business needs. There are a few things that you should also keep in mind such as location, costs including rent, rates, services charges, etc.

Things to consider when choosing a new office:
  1. It is a good fit for your business?
  2. Is there room to expand your business and team if necessary?
  3. Does the layout suit your business type?
Property Services and Office Features:
  1. Does it have a lift, air conditioning, heating, and sufficient parking?
  2. What’s the upkeep of the building?
  3. Has it been looked after and maintained?
New Office fit-out costs:
  1. What do you estimate your costs to fit out the new office?
  2. Who will fit the new office out and what are the costs?
  3. What layout do you want?

It’s unlikely you or your team have had to conduct an office move before, or if you have it might have been some time ago. So, ensure you have experts to help you with business layouts and moving your office to the new location.

Office Design and Plan

Appointing a company that specialises in office design and the building will help you to maximise your new office space. Doing some online research and reading reviews should help you identify some companies suitably. As part of your Office Move Checklist, prepare a list of questions to ask them when you meet them in person to decide if they are right to help.

Questions should be around the following topics:
  • Experience
  • Budget/Fees
  • Space planning – how they manage this
  • Project planning and timescales
  • Suppliers including office furniture and equipment

Engaging with them as soon as possible gives you the maximum amount of time to develop and plan your new workspace. Whilst looking for your new office, where possible, involve the office design company so they can provide you with recommendations. This will assist you in choosing the best space for your business.

Office relocation budget

A budget is a budget. Make sure you stick to it.
It’s important to be clear on your budget for each stage of your office move, as a guide, there we suggest a budget is allocated for:

  • Estate agent fees (business)
  • Solicitor/legal fees
  • Building Surveys and assessments
  • New office costs – deposit and lease
  • New office layout, build, and furniture costs
  • Removal costs
  • Old furniture disposal (some removals companies will handle this)
  • Dilapidation costs – change your current office back to the original state
  • Technology and IT costs
  • Business literature costs – updating business details online and offline stationery

Similar to any other budget you set, having a contingency budget will cover anything that might have been missed or for things that might crop up during your office move. However, the office design company should be able to help you with budgeting for your office refit.

Office Move Checklist

Communication is key throughout the process of relocating your office. An office move checklist is essential and each person on the project team needs to be clear on tasks and timescales. Regular meetings will help keep you on track and in control of the move, this helps to identify any issues or challenges too.

  1. Set a date – communicate this
  2. Inform your employees of the details and how it will affect them
  3. Communicate with your staff, customers, and partners
  4. Use storage and disposal
  5. Packing and clearing of everything in the office – appoint an external firm
  6. IT and technology equipment – installed and tested in advance of the move
  7. Furnish your new workplace
  8. Take your employees to their new place of work
  9. Order office essentials – tea and coffee, etc
  10. Celebrate your moving success
  11. Recap and evaluate your office move
  12. Ask for feedback

For a more comprehensive list, see our Ultimate Office Relocation Checklist.

Office Move Day

The most important aspect of the move day is ensuring that everything is working when your employees arrive at their new office. Arranging a visit in groups for your employee before the move day will benefit you and them. It’s a good way of involving them in your move and letting them get a ‘feel’ for their new workspace.

Leading up to the move day, your removal and design partner will have identified potential issues for you to be aware of during the office move process and will help you overcome any problem that arises.

The day before you move, supply directions, maps, and anything else your employees will need to access their new office. This helps to ease them into their office along with the new seating plan.

The most vital part is – All equipment and furniture are installed and working before your employees move in.

On the first day in the new office, where possible and host a breakfast, lunch, or drinks and address the team to welcome them to your new office and thank everyone involved for the work they have done.

Finally, implement an ‘open door’ policy or similar to allow for issues to be raised and questions to be asked. This is important for some time following your move.