1. Remember why you’re doing it.
Nobody moves just for the fun of it. This move will be done to achieve some business objective. Whether that is to accommodate more staff or pay less in premises rent it is important to keep the overall goal in mind when planning the move.
2. Work out what needs to go into the new office.
Regardless of whether or not the new premises have been selected, you must first consider what you need to fit into the new office. How many people do you need to accommodate Does each one need a desk, chair, pedestal, filing cabinet and computer? How many need individual offices? Do you need a break room or kitchen area and how big does that have to be to cater for everyone? Do you need a print room or perhaps some other equipment room? If you have a store as well, you will need a viewing space and a stock room. Once you’ve made a list of everything that needs to be included, you will have a much better idea of how much space you need. This will help when selecting the premises.
3. Create a floor plan.
Once you know where the office is relocating to, and you’ve assessed all the people, facilities and equipment that need to fit into the space, you can draw up a floor plan to work out where you are going to fit everything. Do not underestimate the value of this step and do not think that you will just figure it out as you go along. On moving day, a crew of movers swarm your offices, take everything apart, load it in the van and bring it all out again into the new office. Furniture and crates come though the door quicker than you expect and if you aren’t ready to tell them immediately where to put everything, you will create a bottle-neck that will cause delays and consequently additional costs. There is not only a time and cost benefit to planning the floor layout in advance, but it also makes ergonomic sense for you to setup the various work areas in a placement that makes sense to the workflow structure of your business. Don’t be surprised if everybody wants to have a say on the new layout and remember it’s always worth hearing them out because you’ll probably get some really good ideas out of it.
4. Get everybody on board.
Make sure that everyone in the office knows that the move is going to happen. Encourage individuals to take their personal things home. Remember that while the utmost is done to ensure the security of all items, something as small as a little mp3 player or phone charger can easily be lost in the sea of paperwork, desks, chairs, cabinets, crates, computers, etc. and chances are that it won’t be covered by any insurance cover because the items in question was not the property of the company that is moving. It’s also important that anyone who has concerns about how their work will be affected by the move has enough time to make the relevant contingency plans. For example, people whose work relies on an in-house server need to find an alternative server for the duration of the move.
5. Establish some dates.
Between the earliest date that you can move into the new premises and the very last date that you can be in the current office, you will have a gap of time within which to conduct the move. During this time you will have to set up utilities such as water, gas and electricity as well as telephone and broadband connections. You may also have to build partitions in the office or install other fittings in this interval. So think about all the day-to-day activities that will have to occur in the new office and make a list of all the jobs that need to be done in this time. Be realistic about your time scales and remember that you can’t do everything on the same day. All the contractors will get in each other’s way, causing further delays.
6. Make a jobs list. Consult with contractors.
By now you should have made an informal list of all the things that need to get sorted for the move. Go through each item step-by-step and decide how much of it you can or want to do in-house. For the remainder, call up some contractors to discuss the processes involved and find out how much time should be allowed for each step. Use this information to make up a detailed jobs list and decide who will be in charge of each one. Work out the correct order to do things in and make sure that everyone is updated with the plan.
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