Getting ready to relocate an office or business can be much stressful than relocating a home. The need to keep all things in your head while moving an office could be so tiring. To have hitch-free office relocation, you need to plan and prepare appropriately. Continue your business in a new place comes with lots of excitement. Relocating to a new place that is more spacious than the previous office space means that your business is growing and your employees will also be expecting to work in a more upgraded office.
However, before all these can be achieved, the office must survive the entire relocation process.
Making sure the business continues without any obstacle is very important even though moving is going on. To have a hitch-free office move, hire a professional moving company that has experience in commercial relocation. Regardless of the distance of your relocation, the business owner must prepare before the moving date. Draft a moving checklist to avoid trouble during the entire office relocation will go a long way. This post will go through all you need to know about office move. Let’s start by highlight some of what should be included in your office checklist.
Office Moving Checklist
Create a moving checklist for your upcoming office relocation means that you have something to fall back on when necessary. Among the things that should be included in your moving checklist include office inventory, casting aside non-essentials, setting up of relocation committee, arrangement with interior designers, and contacting moving companies, amongst others as discussed below:
Develop a Timeline
The important dates on the business calendar should be the basis on which the relocation is planned. Take a note of the events on the moving timeline. The expiry date of your current lease should also be considered. The manager in charge of the property should be aware of the upcoming moving date. Inform the entire employees and suppliers about the scheduled moving date.
Assign Tasks and Set up a Relocation Committee – Optional
Involving your staff in the move at the early stage is essential. Relocation committee will help make the office transition easy on the rest of the employees, as well as help you in planning and organizing the event. Ensure the committee oversees the tasks and assignments as assigned to each member, as there are more than enough tasks to do as the relocation progresses. Ensure you assign some to your employees and add each task to the list.
Announce the Relocation
You can inform the employees about the big move through a presentation at the town hall, detailed email, short video, or newsletter segment based on the size of your office. The announcements should be in details regardless of the method you choose, as they need to know everything as required. When you tell them everything they need to know about the relocation, it will be easier for you when planning each phase of your office move. Make sure you include any required items to your tasks, list as you prepare the announcement. For instance, you will have to add creating and distributing checklist to your timeline if you assure your employees that they will be given an office relocation checklist before the moving day.
Below is a checklist for your announcement:
- Name and address of the new office
- Relocation date/dates
- Important features of the new office
- Justification for the relocation – This could be a letter or quote from the CEO or any of the key decision-makers, stating the need to relocate.
- Roles of employees during the move (if any)
- Any information employees should expect to receive about the upcoming relocation
Prepare an Internal and External Communication Plan
Employees should have required information when you set up internal communication, while customers, clients, and suppliers should have required information through external communication; hence, assuring a non-stop operation of your business while the relocation is still on. Interact with employees as the announcement date is drawing closer to get their feedback. Request for feedback on each part of the relocation or the new office space to see the one you can easily manage and include in your moving planning process such as:
- Essentials of changing workspace such privacy screens, standing desks, lamps, and soon.
- Equipment such as replacements of cracked screens, broken keyboards, and so on.
- Changing the sit order as requested by some employees.
- How they prefer to work if there are more than a single options
- Preferred office design or recommendations
- Restrictions on carrying heavy boxes and helping with relocation tasks
The communications can be done in many ways, such as:
- Through departmental or divisional managers
- Through survey
- Direct meeting if it’s a small company
- Through the company’s email
- Through the company’s internal Facebook group
Devise a means to send more information out after the first communication. Your relocation might demand you to send information each month until the moving day. To ensure timely delivery of information, enlist the help of your company’s internal communication team (if any).
- Visit the New Space
It is important to visit the new building where the office will be relocated to. If there is a need to paint the new office walls, hire a painting contractor to do that before the actual relocation. Check the wall and the floors properly and carefully. You can as well hire a carpenter to take care of issues like partitioning within the new building. Use the opportunity to identify where electrical outlets, office desks, or cubicles will be positioned. Also use the opportunity to determine where and how much of the furniture a particular space can contain, such as the lobby or reception.
Create an Inventory List and get rid of Non-Essential Items
It is important to do away with those office items that have no significant use in the new office before you relocate. You can donate or discard items like broken desks and chairs, shelves, and décor that cannot be used in the new office before relocating. Office documents that you have no plan to use further can also be shred. Try and locate charities where you can donate extra office equipment and features. After this, you will be able to keep a tab on each of your items, as you relocate when you create a checklist. Create an inventory of all the company furniture, assets, and others being used by employees before you relocate. Also, ensure that you keep a hard copy for business records.
- Hire Movers and Packers as required
Hiring a good moving company should come first on your to-do-list after taking inventory of your items. Instruct one of your employees to develop a list of 5 moving companies, you then conduct thorough research on them before you decide on which to hire. Request for quotes, determine the budget, and distinguish between their services before you hire one. You can as well hire professional packers if your relocation budget can still support it. This will make the entire packing easier for you, as those fragile and heavy items will be handled by professionals. You can also have each employee pack their desks or offices so they can discard items they are no longer using.
- Prepare the New Space
Local businesses may be affected by office move, most especially, if the driveways or parking garage of the companies are temporarily blocked during the relocation process. A formal notification should be sent to businesses in the environment if the driveways will be obstructed temporarily. Starting operations the minute your employees walk-in will be what you want. To have an easy relocation, set up utilities such as gas, electricity, phone, water, etc. before the moving day. Schedule an arrangement with waste management services in your area. Make an arrangement with utility companies on connection or installation of services. Check and confirm the ease of accessing loading and unloading zones at the current and new offices respectively before the relocation day. When movers have access to emergency doors, elevators or loading docks, they will have easier working time. Request for access from the building management before the relocation.
- Choose a Cleaning Service and Crew
You will need to find someone to do the cleaning for you if your relocation company didn’t do that, unless it will be handled by your building management. Ask the building management about this if you are not sure to avoid having to pay for not cleaning or unnecessary cleaning.
- Mark-Out the Boxes to ensure each Item goes to the Right Place
It is recommended by office movers to mark out each space where each box should go. You can adopt any labeling method of your choice so far the label on each box match with the labels in the new office. This will provide ease in matching for the movers. For instance, you can assign a number to each employee and color to each team. Each part of the office should be marked with tape that corresponds with the team’s color and each employee’s space with their number. Employees should be given label together with their color and number to be placed on their boxes.
Meet with Moving Company to Review Plans
Ensure you are in close contact with your moving company, as the relocation day draws closer. Ensure you have time to sit with them to go over the furniture and floor plans. All the parties involved in the relocation will be frustrated if you wait until the relocation day. Before or on the move-in day, have a walk-through in the new office space with your employees to show them new work areas. Make sure they feel welcomed and ensure you attend to any questions they might ask.
What does it cost to move an Office?
Having gotten moving office checklist handy, keeping a close tab on a budget in these economic trying times is what we all need to do, especially, when moving an office. When you have an idea of how much it will cost to relocate an office, how to manage and control the office relocation budget, then you will know how to go about office relocation budget management. The new office location, market condition, and the preferred office space are some of the factors that determine your office relocation cost. Having updated knowledge on office rents, service charges, and business rates for the new office environment is essential when preparing a budget for your office move.
Details of Office Moving Costs Estimate
It is essential to have an idea of how each potential costs are gotten, as you already understand the factors that affect your pricing. Although not the entire costs apply to your relocation; however, most of it could include the following:
- It could cost you between $750 to $4,500 when relocating an office space of about 1,500 square feet, based on the furniture, materials, and disassembly.
- It could cost you between $1,500 to $9,000 when relocating an office space of about 3,000 square feet, based on the furniture and files.
- It could cost you between $5,000 to $30,000 when relocating an office space of about 10,000 square feet, based on the number of employees and workstations. Let’s say between $50 and $250 on each employee.
An extra cost will be charged on carrying boxes through elevators, relocation consultant, data lines, packing, and relocating cable, computer or phone cables, as well as tipping your relocation crew. It could cost between $200 – $2,000 to get new furniture for each employee, $300 – $3,000 to get a new computer for each employee and $100 – $1,000 for phones. You should also consider packing expenses that cost $.75 and $1 – $2 per square foot for office relocation.
You have to decide on how the packing will be done, whether by packers from outside after working hours, so it won’t affect your business operation or you will have your employees do it during working hours which may affect your income for the packing period. However, here are typical costs of getting the job done.
Office Move based on the Truckload Average
Considering factors like the number of movers, duration of loading, and the difficulty involved, it will cost between $500 and $1,500 per load. It will cost an average of $100 per hour/truck with three movers or $150 per hour for two trucks with four movers. It will cost between $50 to $250 and more for an office relocation based on the number of employees
Packing Office Supplies
You can make both the packing and relocation process for your business easy by having a proper plan, putting safety and organization first, and hiring a professional mover and commercial storage when required.
Follow the tips below to have a smooth commercial relocation:
- Invest in proper packing supplies: Relocating your business involves moving around your commercial belongings from one place to another, and most of these belongings are highly expensive. It is therefore essential to invest in professional packing supplies before you start the relocation and packing process to ensure the safety and organization of your belongings. Bubble wrap or relocation blankets, clear zip-locked bags, packing tape, markers, cardboard relocation boxes, and pens for labeling are some of the essential packing supplies for your business relocation.
- Label: Organization is vital once you start packing. Labeling each box you used is an essential way of keeping track of your stuff as you pack. Locating each item when setting up at the new office will be easier once you have each box properly marked. If you are hiring a moving company, for instance, using a label-based numbering system can be so crucial in securing your belongings during your relocation. Should any damage or loss came to any of your possessions, you will find it easier to lay claim when you have your boxes numbered with a short description of items in them. Each employee’s workstation can also be numbered so that their respective stuff can be placed in the right place.
- Pack your computers and cables correctly: The list of expensive and fragile item in your company probably includes your computers. Be sure to follow these packing manuals to ascertain the safety of your computers during the move. Use the right packing supplies to protect each computer. Use heavy blankets to cover computers and wrap it in packing tape to make sure it is held tightly. Avoid stacking of computer on or under other items. Make sure you read warning labels and instructions son as to follow relocation guidelines. You might cause damage to your item and have its warranty voided when you move it improperly.
- Protect monitors: Ensure your monitors are wrapped using moving blankets, bubble wrap, or tape individually. Avoid placing monitors in boxes, as it can be broken due to spaces and also avoid any contact between the monitor and the tape, as it can lead to screen damage.
- Keep your data safe: There are numerous ways to secure the data stored on your computers. Number one step is to park the hard drives, if you can, preventing damage by lifting the hard drive head from the disk platters in the computer one by one. The most effective and safest way is to have your data stored on an external storage device or on a cloud database to serve as a backup before your relocation.
- Give special care to your cables during the relocation process: Having to deal with tangled or disorganized cables at the end of relocation is always frustrating and time-consuming. Ensure you remove cables from computers during moving to avoid damage to the ports or pins as well as misplacement. Proper organization requires keeping each labeled cables in a zip-locked bag for easy access when you get to your new location.
- Take care of your office furniture: Storage, seating, and work surfaces are examples of common office furniture. Below are safety tips on securing highly prized items in these categories.
- Seating: The shape of office seating can be abnormal. Disassemble your office chairs if possible and wrap the fragile parts in bubble wrap or thick blankets to have more space and avoid breakage.
- Storage: Be mindful of space when packing file cabinets, shelving units, and other storage containers. If possible, remove shelves, and fill the containers with light stuff to maximize space. To avoid opening of drawers to file cabinets during relocation, ensure you tape it properly.
- Work surfaces: Before loading work surfaces such as desks into the relocation truck, make sure you remove every removable part like drawers. Avoid stacking items on glass surfaces or protect them by packing them individually. Also, tape all drawers that cannot be removed.
- Insure and invest: There are always possibilities of accidents regardless of how well your office is packed and relocated. Make sure you invest in insurance to have protection on your possessions in the event of unexpected or unforeseen accidents. Go for rental insurance coverage if you rent a moving truck. Hire a professional moving company that has insurance in place for your belongings. Make sure you also check for warranties on your possessions as your investments might be protected should there be an accident.
It is important to reduce the risk involved in relocating your office by putting a proper plan and effective communication in place. Planning the entire move before it comes is the best way to go. To make sure you have everything planned properly before the relocation day, you will be required to partner with a professional moving team. You also need to talk to utility companies for things like internet, gas, water, electricity supply and the rest to have it set up before you move in.
You will be required to talk to your employees to know their expectations for the upcoming relocation so you can factor it in your plan. It is also important to be financially prepared for the great move. Stay tuned for more informative post on this page!