Moving Offices? Here’s everything you need to consider
Moving offices is one of the most exciting things that a business can do. Whether it’s because you’ve outgrown your old premises, or because you’re cutting down on space due to switching to a hybrid working policy after the pandemic, a new office marks a new chapter in your company’s history. Unfortunately, it can be just as stressful as it is thrilling. You want to make sure all your affairs are in order, that your business is done with your previous office, and that everything is ready for your employees to move. But don’t worry — it doesn’t have to be so chaotic. Planning in advance and following a checklist will make your office relocation period far less taxing. Here are a few things you should consider.
- Finding a new office
- Communicating with stakeholders
- Choosing your relocation team
- Create a moving plan
- Prepare all costs involved with the move
finding a new office
Before you start looking for a new space, you need to set certain search parameters. First of all, you need to consider your budget. We all want the best, but it must be balanced with how much you’re willing to spend on your new premises. Once you have a rough idea of this, location should be next on your list. A recent British Land study found that 81% of workers want their offices to be located near cafés, bars and restaurants, while 87% demand good transport links. Both of these factors are even more vital in London, where it is 90% and 97% respectively.
But choosing an office is not just about where it is based — but also how the space is designed. You want your workplace to be spacious and comfortable, with plenty of natural light, and you want it to be divided into quiet and communal areas. What’s more, some physical features of your premises can be helpful for specific types of work. For example, research has shown that high ceilings (10 feet or more) promote creativity. It’s essential to ask your employees what they like about your current office and what’s missing, so that you can take this into account on your search.
communicating with stakeholders
Now that you’ve found your new workspace and you have details like your moving date, you should hand in your notice to your landlord or property manager. If you’re ending a lease early, there may be other costs incurred — losing your deposit, for example — so you should review your agreement and ensure you understand it well. You’ll most likely be responsible for any damage to the property, so factor this into your plan.
However, it’s not only about notifying your landlord. It’s also important that your employees know far enough in advance about the move, especially if you’re relocating to a different city or borough, as they may need to find new commute arrangements. Make sure your announcement covers the new office name and address, the key moving dates, details about the new office (sharing a floor plan can be a great way to do this), and what employees are required to do. It’s also recommended to explain to your workers why you’re moving to make them feel included. You’ll also need to notify any other stakeholders of your new address, so writing down a list of anyone affected by the move, like clients, food suppliers, and cleaners, is a useful way to ensure everyone is well informed. And, of course, update any email signatures, business cards and your website.
choosing your relocation team
In order for the move to be as smooth as possible, it’s best to set up a relocation team. This team will consist of employees or managers from each department who will be responsible to organise the move in their division and convey messages both ways. They may oversee packing and cleaning, for example. Besides that, the team will need to organise the move on a company-wide basis. They’ll decide on packing procedures, draft directions to the new location, put together a moving pack for employees, standardise labelling for equipment, and coordinate with the movers.
Your moving team will need to be a group of logistically-minded people who can plan the week leading up to and including the moving day. They may need to visit the new premises a few times to label and prepare it for the move, and also collate necessary information like access codes and emergency contacts. This is a very important role, so you may want to pick people that you can spare for a week or two while they are busy with their relocation duties.
creating a moving plan
Once you’ve recruited people internally to the task, you need to think about the overall moving plan. Are you going to splurge on an office relocation service, or make do with movers? Are you bringing any office equipment or IT hardware along with you, or buying it all from scratch? And what about office decor? Lots to think about here.
Draft an office inventory that will include all the furniture and equipment you already have. Using this list, you can mark down what you want to bring with you, plan the disposal of anything you don’t, and purchase to fill any gaps in your records directly to your new premises. It’d be a good idea to work with your IT department on this to ensure they have everything they need to maximise your tech abilities. If you have heaps of paper documents, you may want to invest some time in digitising them to avoid having to move them physically. Include a timeline in your plan, too — there are some great templates online for you to be inspired by.
PREPARING ALL COSTS INVOLVED WITH THE MOVE
Moving offices is rarely cheap, and calculating the costs in advance can save you a lot of money and future trouble. Of course, you have the classic relocation costs, such as the packing and shipping service you use. But you also need to consider other potential changes to your expenses. Office rents, business rates and service charges for the area you’re moving to can be different to those in your current location. If you’re in contact with a commercial property agent, you should find out all the details from them. Otherwise, you can do your own research into the current office market conditions.
Don’t forget to take into account other cost elements, such as dilapidations on your existing property, stamp duty, any advisory fees for the services you use (legal and agency fees in particular), and IT relocation. You should also consider your existing office insurance policy and whether it will change based on your move — it may be time to reassess what you spend and what you get in return. At Brisco, we ensure that your policy is tailored to your requirements and budget. That way you know you’re always protected without spending money on covers you don’t need.