When you’re able to manage your office relocation like a boss, it’s a fantastic opportunity for recruiting new employees, improving the branding of your space, engaging employees as well as department leaders. You’re sending a message to the employees that their comfort in their workspace is important to you… and your company. If you’re the one responsible for managing this event, be prepared. Corenet and IFMA both report that 40% of furniture and relocation projects fail in the eyes of company leadership.
The key to keeping it simple is to break it down into effortless and manageable steps, and of course find a great partner to assist with all aspects of the transition (leasing agent, tenant rep, design, space planning, an architect in some instances, furniture and project managers). Using our 25 years of experience, we’ve listed most everything you need to think about – from the beginning stages of the project to move-in day to space decommissioning and broom sweeping.
Pick Your “Move Team”
Decide who’s going to be involved, and start to outline your key requirements. Select a team and assign clear roles and responsibilities. Look for individuals who have senior experience, good communication skills, and are highly organized. We suggest a representative from each department below be represented in order to assure their needs are met not only in the new office space, but during the move process itself:
- Office Management
- Human Resources
Select a Move Management Partner
Choosing a move management partner, like BT360, early in the process is proven to save time, money and stress throughout the entire project. Their expertise, experience and industry connections will help you move from location A to location B with ease and little, if any, downtime which is vital during a business transition.
An expert in office relocation will bring valuable knowledge to the table and make sure every detail is covered. They’ll get deep insight into your organization – where it’s been and more importantly where it’s going. They’ll get a full understanding of your operations, functions, teams and culture. They’ll also keep you organized, within budget and on schedule.
Locate and Design Your New Office
Work with a Commercial Property Agent to build a list of possible new locations. Consider your employee’s concerns in terms of commute, parking, and local offerings. While BT360 provides office space planning services, if your move management partner does not you’ll want to partner with one. Determine how many people/teams the new space needs to accommodate presently as well as 5 and 10 years from now. Consider the needs in regards to reception areas, conference rooms, breakout, and training rooms. Does your company have specific needs like labs or presentation suites? Don’t forget storage areas, print centers, and IT spaces.
Your space planner can take this information and provide suggestions for the required square footage. This will help your Property Agent compile a list of suitable options. Before signing any leases, there are a number of items to consider. Download our planner for a more detailed checklist including energy efficiency, security, and hazards to be aware of. This brings us to the next important consideration…
A relocation project can be one of the most expensive events in the life of a business. But, this is where your “Move Team” can assist you, along with your Move Management, Space Planning, and Commercial Real Estate partners. Moving forward without a clear idea of the budget is like sailing without a compass. All reputable suppliers will provide full cost estimates, free of charge. This will enable you to communicate with the rest of your business the real financial impact of your move. Get quotes for everything and draw up a full budget for the entire project, including:
Transaction fees (for property agent, lawyers)
Fire plan assessment
Design and fit-out costs
IT, cabling, other tech.
Furniture (purchase, delivery, trade)
New space improvements
Don’t forget to speak to your accountant or another professional regarding tax break opportunities. Inquire about enhanced capital allowances for “green” equipment/products. Find out how to make the most of your capital allowances. Look into interest-free loans, if you are an SME, from the Carbon trust.
Circle Back Around
Time for the Details
Now that everyone is onboard and rallying behind you, it’s time for the hard work – approving office design and choosing new (or gently-used, refurbished or blend of existing) office furniture. Take inventory of items that will move with you and consider if those that aren’t can be traded or even donated. Work with an office furniture specialist, like us, to help you select the best furniture for your needs and within your budget. They can help show you how to save in some areas in order to splurge on something special or required in another. When selecting furniture, keep in mind that purchasing new will more often come with longer lead times than refurbished or reconditioned options. Be sure to meet with team leaders to review and approve selections to ensure selections meet the needs of each department.
At this time you’ll want to address telecom and IT requirements. We suggest bringing in professionals to help with phone lines, cabling and other hardware needs in the new office space. They’ll ensure a seamless transition with a goal of little to no downtime for your operations.
Planning the Physical Move
Okay, now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and put your organization cap on tight. For this section, I’m going to give you the full punch list (previous areas were condensed, but you can download the full version here).
- Inventory all contents being moved to identify the scope of the work for each discipline, including movers, IT infrastructure, technology disconnect and reconnect, telecom system replacement or relocation, copier services, etc.
- Identify clearly what is being moved and what will not be moved, for both company and employee owned property.
- Identify concurrent management or structure changes, technology infrastructure and software changes, equipment replacement plans and any other changes the company is contemplating.
- Establish all responsibility tracks for accidental damage to physical assets owned by your company and determine insurance requirements based on self-insurance, special company secured insurance, or special mover supplied insurance. Determine that such processes will not apply to employee owned contents.
- Once the objectives are established, the inventory of contents completed, and schedule constraints are clear, write a comprehensive plan for each discipline (movers, technology, etc.) that quantifies the scope of work clearly and describes the selection criteria.
- Talk to your IT specialists about the transition (they may need time for testing).
- Put someone in charge of managing the packing and de-clutter process.
- Make arrangements with your removal company.
- Check your new office is fully secure for when things start arriving.
- Arrange all the crates and labels for packing up.
- Send out an internal newsletter with key dates and details (clean out desks, when and what to tell clients and vendors) for the staff.
- Arrange to have someone on-hand on the day, to help deal with snags or last-minute problems.
- Put proper security in place – at old site, and at the new site (things could go missing amongst all the confusion).
BT360 recommends vetting every employee or contractor who will be on site during the space rehab and moving process.
Now that your teams and belongings are relocated, it’s time to go back to the old office. Unwanted documents should be shredded and properly discarded. Furniture and computer equipment that is no longer needed can be sold or donated – there are charitable organizations that can both use such items or any profits made by the sale of such items. If you were leasing your previous space, be sure to repair and replace items to ensure your security deposit is returned and you do not incur any charge back fees. You may want to hire a crew to “broom sweep” leaving the office as you found it – BT360 provides these services.
Time to Celebrate
Two last things on your checklist – put someone in charge of planning a “New Office Party” and take that long-overdue vacation you so well deserve for managing your office relocation like a boss!
For more information or if you’re looking for a move management partner, contact us today – planning early is always recommended.