A business will grow and change many times over the course of its life. As a company continues to expand, there will likely come a day that it outgrows its current setting. Relocating your company to a bigger space can be quite a large undertaking that may take several weeks or even months. Though it can be a stressful process, if your company spends ample time planning and preparing, the entire process can go off without a hitch. This guide to a smooth office relocation will help you make the necessary preparations to complete your upcoming move with ease.
Before you can begin preparing for your office relocation, you must ensure that you’ve completely settled the legal and financial aspects of the move. Begin by reviewing your current lease and finalizing the details of your new lease. Take special care when organizing the end date of your current lease and the start date for your new lease. In some instances, it may be best to have a bit of overlap between the dates of the two leases. This overlap will serve as a bit of a buffer and ensure that you have ample time to move all belongings from one office to the other. This will also be beneficial if some unforeseen circumstances delay your ability to move into the new office. Thanks to this small overlap, your company will still have an office space to work from while the final details get hammered out. During this time, you will also need to finalize the budget and timeframe for the move. If possible, try to allow for a bit of wiggle room in the budget in case things don’t go exactly according to plan.
Maintain an open line of communication
Communication is key to executing a smooth office relocation. There will be many moving parts in this process, and maintaining an open line of communication is the best way to ensure that everything runs efficiently. There are several different groups of people you’ll need to communicate with during the course of the relocation. First, you must maintain an open and honest line of communication with your employees. They will be the most directly affected by the move, so it’s important that you are transparent with them at all stages in the relocation process. Instruct them as to their role in the process, and give them a timeline for the entire move. If employees will need to work from home at any point during the relocation, be sure to communicate this well in advance. You will also need to communicate with contractors and project managers to ensure that the new office will be ready in time for your move. Finally, you will need to communicate with your clients and customers. While an office relocation is a mainly internal affair, it can still impact your clients. Be sure to notify them of your move via email or mail as soon as possible. This will ensure that you don’t lose any clients and (or misdirected payments) after the move.
Clear out the old
Once you’ve finalized all the paperwork, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start cleaning out your current office in preparation for the upcoming move. Depending on the size of your office, this may be an extensive process, so it’s best to start preparing as soon as possible. To begin, employees should clear their personal space of all belongings and documents, leaving only large items provided by the company such as computers and phones. When clearing out your office you’ll likely come across more than a few items that do not need to make the move to the new building. Rent a 30-cubic-yard dumpster, and use this relocation process as an opportunity to purge your company of any outdated documents or unused items. Be sure to shred documents prior to disposal in order to ensure your company’s security. Once the old office has undergone a thorough cleaning, you can begin preparing items for the big move. You may consider employing the services of a professional moving company to aid in these efforts. This will take some of the stress off your shoulders and ensure that all items are moved from one location to the next as safely and efficiently as possible.
Prepare a contingency plan
While the above steps will help your office relocation progress more smoothly, you may still run into a few bumps on the road. Though these obstacles may be completely out of your control, it’s important to try to prepare for them as much as possible. Establishing a contingency plan will ensure that business can continue as usual even if the relocation goes off the rails a bit. Gather reliable contact information for every employee in the company and create group email lists—managers, team leads, team-specific, all staff, etc.—based on the level of information each employee might need. That way, if the process runs behind schedule and employees must work from home for longer than expected, you will be able to contact all of them quickly and efficiently. If you are working with any external companies, such as a moving company, contractors, project manager, or security team, you should gather their contact information as well. Also, speak with these external companies about procedures in place if the relocation runs behind schedule. Discuss payment and timelines in case the relocation process does not run exactly according to your plans.
Tie up loose ends
Once you’ve moved into the new office location, it’s time to set to work tying up any loose ends. Finalize payments with any external companies, and conduct a walkthrough of the space to ensure that all parties have upheld their contracts. Then it’s time to start setting up your new office. Set up the most essential pieces of equipment first, such as computers, internet, and phone lines. This way your employees will be able to conduct business while the final finishing touches are set in place the new space. Be sure to hand out new employee IDs and key cards, if necessary, as well.