Moving offices can revolutionise the way you do business. Whether you’re searching for one big space to give your company room to grow or expanding your reach by branching out into smaller satellite offices, there are tonnes of reasons why you might want to relocate.
Whatever your motivation, this guide will help to get you and your team prepared by providing a handy office relocation checklist. Along the way, we’ll cover everything from engaging your staff in the decision-making process through to risk assessments in the context of COVID-19. Join us as we explore the most important things to consider when moving offices.
Preparation is key when it comes to an office move. Taking the time to think clearly about your company’s objectives for the move will save you a headache in the future and make sure that the transition runs as smoothly as possible. Set all of your ideas down on paper, including details like your budget, preferred location(s), and the date you’d like to be moved in by.
Another important part of the planning phase is to set deadlines for key points in your office relocation journey: pick a timeframe within which to complete your initial research, run ideas by your team, and then decide on a list of features that your ideal office will have. You’ll want to allow at least a few months after this to research and compare your options before making a decision.
When thinking about which type of office would best suit your business, try to engage your team. By giving your staff a say in the decision-making process, you’ll not only make the move much more productive in the short term, but also improve employee wellbeing and retention rates for the future.
In a recent survey, just under 70% of employees reported that moving offices had a beneficial effect on them and their business as a whole, with perks like having more space to accomplish tasks and working in a more visually appealing environment emerging as the top reasons behind a successful move.
With this in mind, it’s likely that your team’s views on moving into a new office will be based on quite subjective features, so consulting them before you even start your search is a smart decision. An approach that’s worked well for our customers is to begin with informal chats, then follow up with a company-wide survey once you know which features people care about most.
The next step is to set down a list of criteria for your office move. Understanding what your staff are looking for in the new space will help you to achieve this. If your team has a preference for on-site parking or spacious breakout areas, then try to take this into account (just make sure that it matches up with your own objectives and be realistic about your budget).
Don’t worry if the idea of coming up with a definitive checklist seems a little overwhelming at first. It’s a major milestone in your office relocation, but we’ve worked with lots of businesses to get this part right in the past – just get in touch and our friendly team will be more than happy to help.
With all of your initial research taken care of and your criteria checklist at the ready, it’s time to start your search. As we’ve already spoken about, getting your plans in order on time and according to a schedule is an important part of the office relocation process – but try not to rush the actual office search itself.
Whichever location(s) you’ve decided upon, our handy office search tool is here to help you discover the perfect premises for you from hundreds of locations up and down the UK. Simply tell us where you’d like your new offices to be and we’ll help you narrow down your options.
Local lockdown restrictions permitting, we offer guided tours with social distancing and all the necessary measures in place to ensure that you get a proper look around without compromising the safety of you or your staff. For those who prefer not to attend in person, video viewings are sometimes made available (don’t hesitate to contact us and ask!)
Our 360º virtual tours also let you explore our offices wherever you are. Found somewhere you like the look of? Head over to any office page on our site to experience the look and feel of the place in your own time – just click on the ‘360’ icon below the image.
Particularly in the context of COVID-19 and adjusting to the ‘new normal’, the safety of your staff should be your top priority during an office move. Your risk assessment needs to go beyond the usual health and safety considerations, thinking about key questions such as:
Visit HSE’s official guidance on risk assessments during the COVID-19 pandemic for more information.
Once you’ve made a decision and signed on the dotted line, you need to start thinking about the logistics of the move itself. Here are some final things to consider before you move into your new office:
1. Appoint an office relocation manager
A great idea we’ve picked up from BizSpace customers is to appoint an office relocation manager who will oversee the practicalities of the move itself. They’ll be in charge of arranging the finer points like the change of office address and other considerations covered below. Start taking applications once you’ve decided that you’re going ahead with the office move and offer some form of remuneration for the extra responsibility.
2. Wi-Fi and phone lines
Don’t forget to sort out your Wi-Fi and phone lines. Keep in mind that there could be some downtime – particularly if you’re switching providers – so get this planned in a few weeks before the move. If you choose a serviced office, it’s likely that some essential facilities will be included in your rental package, but make sure to check this out in advance.
3. Address and phone number
One of the key responsibilities of your office relocation manager is to arrange the change of address and phone number. You should aim to keep your phone number the same as a convenient point of contact for customers and suppliers. If this isn’t possible, arrange a call forwarding service and let your contacts know about the new number and address. Finally, set up a mail redirection to your new office address.
4. Office deliveries
Connected to this last point, you’ll also want to notify office delivery suppliers about your change of address (or arrange new suppliers if you’re moving further afield). From food and drink to cleaning supplies and stationery, there are plenty of things your staff will want to be delivered from the get-go, so sorting this out early will ensure a smooth switchover for everyone involved.
5. Security and insurance
Office security may be covered as part of your rental agreement, but check that you’ve got something suitable in place well ahead of schedule to avoid any hiccups. On a similar note, you’ll also need to think about which types of insurance are applicable to your business. This could include things like contents & stock, building cover, and public liability insurance.
6. Think about furniture and storage
Depending on the type of package you go for, you may need to look into your options when it comes to furniture and storage. Accounting for your company’s plans for growth or downsizing, make sure that you’ve got enough desks, cabinets, and cupboards to support the whole workforce – and get these sorted if you discover there’s a shortfall. If possible, it’s worth a visit to measure up before you buy anything.
7. Final checks
Head over to your new work premises a week or so before the move date to carry out final checks. We recommend going through the list we’ve provided here one more time and ticking things off as you go to make sure you hit the ground running.
This BizSpace guide has offered a full office relocation checklist, taking you through all of the important details that make for a smooth and successful move. If you’d like a physical checklist to use within your organisation, you can download a PDF checklist containing everything we’ve covered.
For any further information – or to discuss your plans with our friendly and experienced team – don’t hesitate to contact us today.