Office Relocation Plan
Moving your entire office to a new location can be both exciting and stressful. The new space will hopefully meet your team’s needs better than before — either by expanding your square footage, reducing your rent or providing access to more clients. While the end goal is exciting, the process of moving can seem overwhelming.
With the right preparation, your office move can happen smoothly and without interrupting the flow of work too much. An office relocation plan takes all the stress out of your move, ensuring everything is accounted for and planned ahead of time. Here’s everything you need to know about how to successfully pull off an office relocation.
What Is an Office Relocation Plan?
An office relocation plan helps you manage the many details involved in business relocation. It’s essentially an office moving checklist that includes everything from finances to inventory and employee communication strategies. Here are a few items to consider when you’re planning for office moving:
- Keeping employees in the loop
- Budgeting for the move
- Finding a new location
- Ending your current lease
- Hiring a moving company
- Cleaning out the old offices
- Setting up new utilities
- Updating your business address
The biggest challenge during an office relocation is making sure productivity stays high before, during and after the move. Each step of the moving process should be considered for who it impacts, when it needs to happen and how much it will cost. Needless to say, creating a streamlined moving plan requires several drafts and taking time to ask all pertinent questions.
Because there can be so many tasks involved with moving your office, it’s important to include a timeline as part of your office relocation checklist. Planning some tasks for several months out and others for the week before can help you manage the move successfully. The more tasks you can finish ahead of time, the easier it will be to actually move.
Why Is an Office Relocation Plan Essential?
Like any major event, moving your office location takes time and planning to happen smoothly. Although moving the office might seem unimportant when you have deadlines to meet, not planning for an office relocation would be disastrous. Think about the massive amount of work it takes to plan the following events:
- A wedding
- Moving house
- International travel
Each one of these goals takes months of planning, coordination and anticipating what could go wrong. The more time you spend planning, the less time you’ll spend stressing when it’s time to pack the moving trucks. Ideally, a plan ensures that everything is set in motion before the time arrives for action.
Although it’s not a personal life event, moving your office is a major event in the life of your company. Planning well for a move has many benefits for your business, both now and in the future. A solid relocation plan can save you money, time and stress.
Communicating your plan with employees can help them stay focused on work deadlines and make the transition smoothly. Office relocation planning can also keep your clients happy since it factors in the need to keep operations going while your office moves.
When you take the time to create and finalize an office relocation plan, you’re investing in the future success of your company. The more time and thought you put into it, the easier your move will be — and the less confused or stressed the people impacted by the move will feel.
Steps to Guide You Through Office Relocation Process
Every office relocation is different and requires a slightly different approach. For example, downsizing to a smaller office will require different logistics than moving to a larger space. The number of employees you need to move also makes a difference. The distance, volume of materials and even the time of year will all impact your moving plan.
Here are several valuable points to consider when forming your office moving plan to help you get started. From budgeting to timelines and communicating with your employees, these points will cover the basics so you can construct a plan that’s effective and fits your situation.
Establish Your Relocation Team and Leader
Like any other successful part of your business, your relocation plan needs a leader and a team to carry out all the tasks associated with moving. Appointing a team leader ensures every task moves toward one goal and nothing gets forgotten.
Essentially, the leader’s job is to organize and delegate every part of the moving process. The team you choose will then carry out each task that’s on the official relocation plan. By working together and spreading tasks across a group, this team can make moving your office efficient and achievable.
Here are a few qualities to for when deciding who to put on the office moving team:
- Strong communication skills
- Focus on details
Your moving team should ideally have people with different strengths and talents so they can divide up and complete each task easily. However, your team needs to function well together, which means they need to be on the same page with communication and coordination.
The person you choose to lead your team will set the tone for how the whole project goes forward. Look for someone with strong organization and communication skills since they’ll need to delegate tasks for the moving process. Your leader’s role should never be to complete all the tasks themselves!
Create a Relocation Budget and Timelines
Once you’ve built a dream team, the next step is to zero in on the budget and timeline for your move. Here are a few things to consider including when you begin planning your budget:
- Cleaning service for old office
- Moving truck service
- Cleaning service for the new location
- Compensation for employee packing and unpacking
- Decorating the new office
- Stocking coffee and snack area
- Snacks and gas for employees helping with the move
- Cost of setting up new utilities
Although the main expense for moving is hiring a moving truck company, there are many other small costs to think about. Creating a budget goes hand-in-hand with creating a step-by-step plan for how you’ll carry out the move for your office.
Once you know all the steps, you’ll be able to anticipate the costs and form a finalized budget. Take the time to shop around until you find the best value for a moving company, cleaning service and other large costs.
Your timeline will also impact your budget and vice versa. If you have plenty of time to plan, you can save money by shopping around and booking services ahead of time. A quick move will likely mean higher expenses because you’ll have less time to plan.
If you can, start planning your office move six to 12 months before the change needs to happen. That gives you plenty of time to coordinate with your IT department, plan a budget, hire movers and everything else that goes along with moving a business location.
Meet Employee Needs and Wants
Think about what your employees need to know before, during and after the moving process. Transitions can be stressful and distracting, so it’s important to get your employees on board with the move. Spend some time assessing how they might feel about the changes.
For example, some employees might worry about their surroundings in the new space — how much light their room will have, how the size of their space might change and whether or not it will feel like an upgrade. New offices can either be very exciting or completely ruin the system you’ve created so you can thrive at work.
One of the best ways to handle employee expectations during a move is to communicate early and often. When you let employees know what’s going to happen, they have time to prepare themselves and get used to the idea of change. You can even run a survey to find out what specifically your employees are worried about with the move.
If you’d like employees to pack up their desks and move personal belongings themselves, you can communicate that with a relevant timeline. Of course, this works best when your office relocation project plan is already set in stone. Changing things at the last minute will only stress out employees.
Note the Requirements of New Office
Part of preparing employees is understanding the requirements at the new office. Will there be a different sign-in policy? How will the new space impact breaks, meetings and parking? The more you can communicate about how to function at the new office, the more comfortable your employees will be with the change.
You can want to set up a tour opportunity so employees can acclimate themselves to the new space before they need to show up for work. Provide maps of the space so people can learn where everything is and how to get there most efficiently. Providing welcome baskets can make the move feel more exciting.
It’s also a great idea to host a party to celebrate the successful office move. Wait until everything is done so you can really enjoy it, and use this as a way to highlight the benefits of the move for employees. A celebration shows that you know a move can be a major change in employees’ lives and you appreciate them.
Assess Office Spaces
Part of planning your budget and timeline involves checking out the new office space so you know what needs to be done. Here are a few questions you can ask as you prepare for the move:
- Will the walls need to be repainted?
- How long will it take to have the new office professionally cleaned?
- How will the new floor plan affect workflow?
- What furniture might you need to invest in?
- Will you need to hire an interior decorator?
- Does the space need soundproofing, insulation, privacy screens, etc.?
Every company and office space is different, so take your time to consider the best-case scenario for your team. What kind of space do you want them to move into? How can you achieve that with the available budget?
If anything is broken or unfinished, you’ll need to prioritize updates before the official moving day. Take the time to assess the new space, ask questions and form a plan so your company’s move is as smooth and seamless as possible.
Determine Moving Company
While some moving companies take care of boxing up your space, others are only prepared to move prepacked boxes. The best moving company for you will depend on your resources and timeline. Once you’ve planned out those details, you can start shopping around for the best moving company.
Make sure you check reviews to get a sense of each company’s reputation. The most affordable moving company is often not the best choice, so don’t let budget be the primary factor. While moving companies are notorious for breaking things or holding items hostage, many companies have high standards and get glowing reviews.
Look for a company you’d be willing to trust your personal belongings to when planning your office move. You can also ask employees to move their personal belongings individually to help protect privacy and reduce the overall cost. However, it’s important to remember that a moving company is a service, and you’ll get what you pay for.
Protect Data While Moving
It can be challenging to keep sensitive data secure while moving. Because this is so important, part of a relocation plan is having a data security strategy. Data should be protected by strong passwords and locks and backed up on multiple devices during the move.
Ideally, it shouldn’t be left alone with the movers or employees who don’t have security clearance. It can help to pack and move data and all sensitive materials separately to ensure they’re kept secure and that client trust is preserved.
Notify Stakeholders, Service Providers and Vendors
In addition to communicating with employees, you also need to keep other relevant parties in the loop with your moving plans. Stakeholders should be aware of your plan to move, where you’re moving and how the move will benefit your company.
Service providers will need to know about your change of address, and you may need to work with new providers depending on where you’re moving. Take time to think through all the services your business needs to keep running, and make sure you touch base with each one before the move occurs.
Don’t forget to speak with vendors as well. Transparency builds trust, and no one likes to find out that someone they’re working with has made major changes without letting them know. Discussing your decisions with business partners is a sign of respect that shows vendors they are important to you.
When you’re communicating a big change like moving locations, earlier is better for having these conversations. That gives vendors, service providers and stakeholders time to get used to the change and think through any changes they’ll need to make. If you wait until right before the move, you may cause others stress and damage these relationships.
Create Floor Plans and Choose Office Furniture
The organization of your office space has a direct impact on the geography of each workday. Your employees’ habits, workflows and organizational systems are all influenced by the floor plan and how they move from one space to another.
For example, employees who work close to the break room may experience noise disturbance, while those far from a bathroom may have to take longer breaks. Add to that the complexity of different personalities and work preferences, and it will take a while for your employees to create productive rhythms after the move.
You can help significantly by creating a space that fosters focus, comfort and inspiration. Some furniture and decor you may be able to move and reorganize from your past office. In other cases, you might want to furnish the space with completely new pieces for a fresh start.
If you can invest in high-quality office furniture for office relocation, you won’t have to think about replacing it for many years. Choose timeless pieces that are comfortable and functional for the space. Different textures, lighting and fabric elements can all help warm up your office space so it feels cozy instead of sterile.
Fortunately, high-quality materials are also often eco-friendly. Choosing hardwood pieces over plastic is better for the environment. New furnishings may release fumes for a time — think paint, new carpet or varnish — so it’s important to air the new office out before moving the company in.
Prepare Marketing/Branding Updates and Campaigns
Your company’s location is likely posted all over your social media, marketing materials, website and more. Part of finishing an office move is updating your location so everything is consistent and customers know where to find you.
Make sure you change your address so your mail also comes to the right place. You may need to reach out to multiple service providers, vendors and customers several times to ensure everyone transitions with you to your new address.
Another aspect of moving is explaining your choice to vendors and customers. It’s a good idea to prepare marketing materials you can send out that will update everyone on the change — that way, you can showcase the benefits of your move while letting them know about the change for your company.
The way you frame the move matters — if you don’t tell customers and vendors a story, they’ll fill in the blanks on your move. Although relocating your office is a lot of work and can cause stress, it’s also exciting. Highlight that angle in your branding and take the time to celebrate with employees after the move is complete.
You can use a celebratory event for more marketing material, either on social media or in company emails. A move-in celebration also gives a feeling of finality to the task — your business moving checklist is done! A special thanks is definitely due to your moving team, who worked so hard to make the move seamless and stress-free for everyone involved.
Contact WB Wood for Furniture Project Management Services
WB Wood has been in business since 1905 as an interior office furniture procurement company, helping connect businesses with high-quality furniture so they can create beautiful, functional spaces. We’re a Haworth Best in Class Dealer and partner with over 300 manufacturers to supply the products you need.
When you work with us, creating a beautiful space becomes achievable and exciting. We can help with your needs for seating, lighting, storage, workstations and more. Our goal is to match your aesthetic, budget and other needs to create a space where humans can thrive. Contact us today to start furnishing your office space!