Your old office lease is up and it’s almost time for the new one to start! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, perhaps you need an office relocation planning guide to help put things into perspective.
Let’s be real—office moves can be daunting. There’s nothing simple about relocating an entire team of employees, much less moving high-value equipment, electronics, or machinery (especially if that machinery is what makes your business money).
Planning and organization are key to having an office move go off without a hitch, so we’re here to help you to coordinate logistics ahead of time to prevent any hiccups from happening along the way.
Use our office relocation planning guide to help your office move run seamlessly—and to prevent the CEO’s $5,000.00 office painting from ending up crushed by a dump truck in the back alley.
Thinking Ahead: New Office Optics
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that new office optics is in our office relocation planning guide. This is because everyone relocating has to make sure that the space where they are moving to is ready to go, to make sure that your business continues on strong.
Here are the things we consider the most important:
- Determining the new office headcount
- Determining how departments should be organized in the new office space, based on the potential growth of different teams
- Determine the new office layout:
- Desks needed
- Common areas
- Organization of different departments in the building
- Style/brand of the office
- Inventory and usable furniture from the old office
- Purchase new furniture if needed
This is a pretty general list, but it is a good starting point for employers looking to develop their own office relocation planning guide. Every office moving checklist will look different, as it depends on the kind of business you have. For example, the office moving checklist for a dental clinic will look much different than the one created for a printing shop.
Additionally, if office aesthetics is important for your brand, it is common to add the task “hiring a designer” to your moving checklist.
Office Relocation Planning Guide: Technology
Technology is one of the most important issues for relocation.
Data is sacred. Losing data or even having a security breach could have huge impacts on your business, so it is important that your leadership team and your technology side of the house is completely prepared for the relocation.
We aren’t tech experts, but it is pretty simple to understand what goes into relocating an office from a technology perspective.
Below is a general technology-related checklist for your office move:
- Backup any important files or data before the relocation
- Complete an assessment of the entire IT infrastructure at the original office
- Power sources
- Determine what equipment is needed at the new office location
- Power sources
Here is an employee office relocation checklist specifically for IT professionals that provides more detail.
Business Operations Checklist in Office Relocation Planning Guide
Business operations refer to the people and the processes involved with leading the move. This part of the office relocation planning guide mostly pertains to the high-level executives at your organization, as well as the HR and organizational development teams tasked with conducting the move.
Here are the most important tasks to include on your operations-specific checklist:
- Appoint a relocation committee
- Set a timeline for committee members and executives to individually relocate to the new location
- Develop a timeline of the relocation
- Create a new seating and layout chart
- Create a protocol for moving confidential and important data, equipment, etc
This section of the office relocation planning guide is very important because completing these tasks will determine the company’s ability to move the office quickly and efficiently.
Additional items that could also be included in this section are hiring management of the new office, and conducting studies about the new locations, labour productivity and economic growth for your product, etc.
Old Space Management
Have you ever leased an apartment and had to inventory the damages to your space after moving out?
Switching office spaces (after the lease is up) is quite similar. Here are the things you need to do to close up shop in your old space to ensure you have a drama-free transition into the new one:
- Identify damages and inventory in the old space
- Office Supplies
- Cancel services like utilities, electricity, internet, etc
- Notify Canada Post, suppliers and other supports of change in the mailing address
- Remove company signage and branding
- Hire and schedule cleaning services
- Return building keys, passwords, etc to the landlord or new owner
This section of the checklist is probably one of the last things you will want to do in the entire office relocation process. It wouldn’t make sense to hire a service to clean the office with your workers still in it, so make sure that the timing of all of these activities is well thought out.
This area of the office relocation planning guide is all about communicating your big move to various stakeholders of the organization.
While it is important to communicate the transition to everyone, it should be noted that not every stakeholder should be treated the same way. For example, how you communicate to employees about your office relocation should be very different than how you let the press or other media outlets (i.e: Social Media) know about your move.
- Internal announcement to employees
- Relocation letters to impacted employees
- Layoff letters to impacted employees
- External announcement to vendors, clients, government, and press
- Send out instructions to impacted stakeholders about the moving timeline
- Update company information wherever it is listed with new information
If you are relocating your office a large distance, you will need to be prepared to offer some or all of your employees’ relocation offers. These are two completely different conversations, so make sure your managers are ready to have them, along with having a typed-out/signed relocation letter or layoff letter ready to disperse.
Office Relocation Planning Guide: Some Last Pointers
Get ahead of big-picture logistics by determining the move’s budget right out the gate, delegating responsibilities internally, and seeking out professional help where you need it.
Other arrangements, like mapping out your new office and ordering new keys, should be handled before the mayhem of moving week so the move runs more efficiently (especially if any last-minute surprises come up).
And remember: Office moving companies can help with everything from packing boxes to setting up desks and chairs. Some even provide services like transition planning and junk disposal—so you have one less item on your to-do list.
Relocating an office is no small feat, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly by the involved parties. To ensure success, make sure that your business has a solid office relocation planning guide!