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If you dig down into every single detail of what needs to be done to facilitate the average office move, the list could go almost forever, and possibly still not cover everything!
Our office moving checklist is intended as a reminder of the main considerations.
Finding a new office
When looking for a new office in the first place, it may be tempting to go for the fanciest top floor corner space with the best views of central London, but you need to stay disciplined about your budget.
With that in mind and apart from the terms and type of office tenancy agreement you enter into, the main considerations when choosing a new office are usually ones of pure practicality, such as...
- Transport links
- Easy access to a kitchen
- Male and female toilets
- Access to meeting rooms
- Ability to expand (or downsize) in future
- Security - office and neighbourhood
Depending on the nature of your business, you may also need to consider whether the location will be suitable for visiting clients.
If your new office space is too extravagant your clients may start wondering how much they
are contributing towards it, conversely if it's too shabby it won't look
Checklist of Things To Do When Moving Offices
The action plan guide below is aimed at small to medium size office moves up to a maximum of around 20 people, with or without office furniture.
As each office move is different and unique, take your time and just make additional notes and reminders as you scan through and check that which is relevant to your move.
Two months before the move
Allocate the person who will have overall responsibility for the move, and start to create an excel spreadsheet moving office template, and schedule in everything that must be done in the lead up to the final moving day.
Make sure all employees are informed of the timescale and what will be required of them if applicable.
Obtain a plan of the floor area of the new office and work out exactly how you intend to fill the space. Draw up an inventory of everything that needs to be moved, and detail where it will all be going in the new office.
Create a clear and simple office moving guide with details of the new layout inc dimensions, and give a copy to every member of staff so that everyone is on-board in advance and knows precisely what they need to do leading up to the move.
Six weeks to go
Find and book a suitable office removal company that is appropriate for the size of your move. At this point you should also decide how much of an 'active role' your business intends to play in the actual move itself.
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Many office Movers provide a full packing service, but you can save on time and costs by doing as much of the packing as possible in advance of your move, and also helping on the day.
Before agreeing a quote with an office removal company, supply them with a copy of your removals guide to ensure they know exactly what needs doing, where everything will be going in the new office, and also to what extent or otherwise your staff will be assisting.
Five weeks to go
Designate a key staff member with the knowledge required to shut down and set up your network, or research and book an external IT service provider to do it for you - some office moving companies offer this service as part of the package so check with them first.
Order all packaging, file boxes, office moving crates, high quality removal boxes and ample rolls of bubble-wrap to sufficiently protect all delicate items, glass and computer hardware.
Four weeks to go
Draw up a full list of everyone you need to notify of your move and your new address. Clients, banks, utility companies, internet provider and any other companies you have a service account with.
Notify the post office and set up a redirection service to start as soon as you move - useful in case you missed anyone off the notification list.
Order new business stationary and send out emails to clients and everyone else on your notification list, to inform them of your upcoming move.
Ensure all staff have made adequate back ups of all important files and documents.
Three weeks to go
Begin to fill moving boxes or crates and start to pack up files and non essential office bits and pieces. Ensure all boxes are clearly marked or colour coded.
Clearly label or colour code any office furniture that is being moved in accordance with your new office floor plan, so that the Movers will know exactly where to put it, and put highly visible "Do Not Move" labels on anything that is staying.
Start removing any wall fixtures that you are taking with you.
Two weeks to go
Check that most of the office packing is now done and staff desks have been largely cleared. Only the essential items that are still being used should now be left out until just before moving day.
Make sure your internet connection in your new office is set up and working properly, to ensure you can get back to work as soon as possible after moving in.
For the 'moving from' and 'to' address, book parking spaces for the removal vehicles if needed and ensure you will have access to loading areas, lifts, corridors etc.
Last minute checks
- Dispose of all rubbish, clean up areas you are responsible for
- All desks emptied, drawers locked or taped securely shut for transport
- Cabinets emptied, locked or taped shut
- All wall mounted items removed
- Everything clearly labelled or colour coded
- "Do not Move" labels attached to everything that is staying
- Update website contact details
Finally, make sure all computer cables and their corresponding hardware are clearly labelled using a number system to make re-connection easier, then disconnect all computers and securely package with bubble-wrap and appropriate boxes or crates.
Put extra packaging material around the computers as required to fill any gaps and avoid any rattling around in transit. Pack the cables separately and neatly in bags to avoid them becoming tangled together.
Nominate senior staff members to look after all computer equipment during the move - as it's likely the most vital asset to your business.
Mover's Tip - It's usually preferable that computers and other essential hardware are packed last in the moving van, so they can be taken out and reconnected quickly at the new office.
Make it a dress-down day, have enough refreshments available to last throughout the move and ensure all employees are clear on what they need to do.
Make sure the Movers will have as much unfettered access as possible, with corridor doors propped open and keys to the lifts if applicable - so they can lock the lift doors while loading and unloading.
Greet Movers on arrival in the loading area, and ensure they are fully briefed and ready to go with copies of your moving guide and floor plan to hand.
There's no avoiding that an office move is going to involve some stress. But with careful planning and by ensuring that everyone knows exactly what they are doing, it will all be over before you know it.