From our recent move we realised how important the entire process is. Your office should be like a second home to you and your employees, somewhere you feel comfortable and safe, that’s why when moving to a new office you should put as much care into the move as you would for moving house. Although everyone knows the fundamentals of moving it’s often the important things that get overlooked and forgotten. So here is our guide to help you remember.
• Movers – including people and vehicles
• Empty boxes (typically cardboard), plus a plan of what you’re going to do with them afterward
• Packing up everything and labelling accordingly
• Check the amount and placement of electrical sockets, light switches, windows and doors (especially if you need keys to lock them) and security measures
• Notify people that you’re moving/moved – including: clients, partner companies, suppliers, utilities, cleaner, bank, insurer/broker, HMRC – making a change of address flyer can help with this
• Pick up the keys to the new place and return your old keys to the relevant party.
• Locate fire alarms, escapes and extinguishers – plus learn any fire drill/meeting points for the building in case of fire
• Find out where the mail is delivered, plus where, if anywhere, you can leave mail to be pick up and posted later
The most important things to remember for your office move
When you’re company has grown enough to need a new bigger office there are a few important things you can’t afford to overlook if you want to ensure a smooth move that affects your business as little as possible.
When you’ve found a suitable place to move to remember to inform the right people as soon as possible to get a good head start and leave on as good a note as possible. So if you are renting or leasing remember to tell landlord/owner/leaser earlier on so they can begin to look for new tenants. Serving notice on your current lease will require a good solicitor in order to get through the paperwork, plus you’ll need to sign the new lease agreement and confirm your move date for both parties.
Most companies now have their own servers or IT set ups that will need to be carefully dismantled, moved and then set up again at the new site. This will need to be done carefully to ensure nothing is damaged or lost (both physically and digitally) and be well timed so your services are down for as little time as possible. So coordination between your IT team and the movers is critical – most 9-5 businesses would try to do something like this outside of business hours, like over the weekend, but beware of additional charges.
Telephone lines and Internet
Your telephone lines/system will also need to be carefully managed, and if a change of number does occur you need to tell people that new number as soon as possible in order to limit the impact on your business. For example telling suppliers, contractors, clients the change (even if it is only a temporary number), and changing the number on business cards and the internet are also necessary. Give as much notice as possible and keep in touch with your providers regularly throughout the process. Telecoms companies are notoriously bad at managing moves and there are many stories of companies being without communication systems for weeks after moving.
Office space management
It is unlikely that your old office/s will be laid out the same as your new one/s so your office floor plan will need to be changed accordingly, in order to get everyone/thing into the new space as well as to maximise it. No point moving somewhere bigger if you’re only going to make it as cramped as the old one. The new floor plan may also reveal that you need new/more furniture, especially as the move itself indicates your growth as a company, but also because the existing furniture may not be viable (damaged or too big/small for your needs). When ordering make sure to order it to your new lactation if it’s okay to be stored there, either during or before the move itself.
Remember to set up a postal redirect, bearing in mind this will take a few weeks and if there is a lag in moving out/in you may even need a temporary go between to ensure none of your mail is lost. Another important matter to consider is the cleaner situation. You may or may not have had a cleaner previously but does the new building have one already (and if so do they clean everywhere or only particular places – therefore how much responsibility do you have), or will you need to find one/give your old one the new address.
What’s the building’s security like: will you need alarm codes, how many keys to the property/office are there and who should be issued them? Plus is there a security company or guards you can go to/call if anything happens? Plus if there is a key to the fire escape/s where can they be found in an emergency or who should have copies of it? These questions all need to be answered, preferably before you move in, so keys can be cut/issued immediately.
If your new offices come with toilets or a kitchen you need to find out if the water is drinkable, and if not if there are warning signs in place to warn people. You don’t need to make your own people or your clients sick. Plus if there isn’t any drinkable water you might want to consider getting a water cooler contract or vice versa and cancelling your contract if there is. Although, again, if you’re cancelling your contract you’ll need to see if there is a termination period or any penalty charge/s.
Signage and storage
You’ll also need to re/move any existing business signs from your old property and check to see where you can place them in/on your new one – especially if they’re the type to be put up on a wall. Also if you have storage units you’ll need to either see about giving notice or seeing if you can move it closer to your new office. Furthermore depending on how big your move is you may have to move a few boxes at a time, in which case checking to see if you can store your moving boxes and furniture at your new premises would be a good idea, and help prevent you from tripping over boxes.
What you may like to consider when moving or recently moved
Whilst planning your move you may want to consider if there is anything you can get rid of from your office/s before you move out. For example you may want to: bin anything broken or damaged, shred any out of date files, or give your clients their old ones. This way you’re not taking anything unnecessary with you, especially if you’re paying movers or a moving van.
You may also need to re/decorate your old and new offices, as no one want to move in to somewhere with stains all over the floors or walls. Plus it’s a good way to make a space yours and feel more at home – although you may need permission to pay a fee in order to do this.
Visitors logs – you may never have had one before but you may need one in a bigger office in order to keep track of everyone (especially important when there is a fire and you need to make sure everyone got out).
Then after your successful move you can enjoy the benefits of having happy staff working in an environment that suits them and your business. Just sit back and reap the rewards: happier staff equals a better company and improves the quality of your work. Plus when your company is happy your customers can’t be far behind.