Every business has its growing pains. But sometimes growth brings exciting new changes…like a new office!
But organizing a commercial move is a lot more complicated than moving into a new home or apartment. Your company’s productivity and profits depend on a steady workflow, and nothing interrupts workflow quite like moving day.
So we’ve put together an office move checklist to help you keep things on track so you can get back to business in no time.
Six Months Before
Once you’ve made the decision to move offices, your first step is to review your current lease and set a time frame for the move. Signing a new lease too early or too late can threaten your budget and your schedule.
If you can afford it, it’s nice to have a one-month overlap so you can get the new space ready before it’s filled with employees.
Set a Budget
Before you even get on LoopNet, it’s a good idea to set your budget, for the new office…and the move itself.
Even if you do the whole move yourself, moving costs money. Being aware of the costs ahead of time ensures that you stay on the Accounting department’s good side.
Find a New Office
Jump online, meet with a realtor, and look for new locations that fit your budget and your needs.
A few key questions can help you narrow down your options:
- Where are your customers?
- Where is your competition?
- How fast is your business growing?
- What is the customer/employee experience?
- What features do you need?
- What is your brand?
Whether you’re buying or signing a lease on the new offices, odds are good that you’ll be putting down roots and staying a while. It’s worth it to pick a place that checks off as many of your boxes as possible.
Hire the Movers
When it comes to business, staying on schedule is everything. So hire a commercial moving company as soon as you find the right place.
Figure out your needs (do you need packing services? insurance?), then do your research, read reviews, and gather quotes for at least three moving companies.
Moving companies book up fast (especially during the summer), so don’t put this off for too long.
Three Months Before
If you haven’t already, inform your staff about the move and try to stay upbeat about the great benefits of the office move.
Be open to any pushback related to longer commutes, inconvenient parking, or other issues that you might not have considered. Having enough time to fix and come to terms with pitfalls will prevent poor morale later.
Create a Moving Committee
If you have a large staff, put together a moving committee to delegate tasks, communicate important info with the team, and keep everything on schedule.
An internal committee can come up with an office moving checklist that’s specific to your business and the people who will be responsible for getting it done.
Inform Your Landlord
Even though you’ll be moving out soon, it’s still a good idea to stay on your current landlord’s good side. Once you have the move-out date, let him/her know so they can make arrangements for a new tenant.
Plan the Layout
Have the moving committee look at the floor plan of the new offices and work on an appropriate layout before moving day. This will make moving day easier on your employees and the moving crew.
Consider workflow and departmental collaboration as well as any furniture needs you might have.
Make your IT department or company aware of the location change and have them develop a plan for the following areas:
- Phone systems
- Data storage
- Copy machines
- Individual computers
- Security systems
Moving day is not the time to discover you need a week to get the servers up and running.
Get Moving Supplies
If you’re only hiring a commercial moving company for the move itself, you’ll need to start stocking up on packing supplies. Use only new cardboard boxes to prevent damaging your office equipment. We sell boxes, tape, colored labels, and any other moving supplies you may need, and will even deliver them free of charge a few weeks before your move.
But even if your moving crew will be in charge of all the packing, there are still certain items that moving companies can’t (legally) have on the truck, so you’ll have to have at least a few boxes set aside.
Six Weeks Before
At this point, your office move is probably starting to feel real.
Time flies when you’re busy, so use this time to pre-organize and declutter so moving day will be seamless and stress-free.
Check your office storage rooms for any extra furniture, supplies, or decor items that won’t be needed in the new space and get rid of them. The less you have to move, the less you’ll pay the moving company. (Just don’t forget to notify them of your new moving inventory so they can update your quote.)
A new office move is the perfect chance to go green and switch to a paperless system. Shred sensitive documents and save important stuff to the cloud.
Let all of your vendors and clients know about your upcoming change of address so they’ll know where to find you.
Depending on where you’re moving to, you might be using a new utility company, delivery company, or tax office in the future. Figuring that out now gives you plenty of time to straighten things out.
Carefully pack any items that the moving company won’t be packing for you. Start with least-used items first and work your way up to the most-used items.
Keep a detailed inventory list and pack each box with a color-coded label to make unpacking easier.
Order New Equipment
Order any new furniture or office equipment you’ll need in the new space. If possible, arrange to have it delivered the day after the move, so you won’t have delivery personnel and moving crews getting in each other’s way.
One Week Before
Things are probably pretty hectic at the office by now, and that’s okay! Before you know it, you’ll be safely installed in your new office and things will get back to normal.
Verify your schedule with the moving company and new landlord to make sure everything’s on board for your relocation.
Ask your new landlord about moving day procedures, such as reserving equipment or getting proper permitting.
Pass out new parking passes, keys, and any other security access to the appropriate staff a few days before moving day. If you wait until afterwards, you run the risk of missing someone.
Clean New Building
Send a cleaning company in to get the new office spic and span, if needed. Cleaning an empty space is easier (and cheaper) than having to work around desks and other furniture.
Pack Personal Items
Some moving companies won’t cover damage to items not related to your business, so have employees pack personal items from their work spaces and take them home.
Back Up Computers
Whether you’re moving an office or a home, the very last thing you should do before moving day is back up your computer systems to the cloud or other off-site storage.
In this day and age, your office likely can’t work without updated data. In the event of an accident, insurance may cover the loss of the machine itself, but it can’t restore your data.
It’s finally here! This is the day that all of your planning and organization pays off. Let the moving company do their thing and before you know it, you’ll be back to work.
Set Up IT Network
Even if you’re hiring a moving company for packing services, put your IT department or tech professionals in charge of the electronic systems. If you don’t have a designated IT staff, document each setup thoroughly when you’re packing so you can recreate it in the new space.
Create a Lost and Found
Things are bound to go missing when so many people are moving at the same time. Create a designated Lost and Found where staff can go to track down missing items.
Once everything is out of the old office, do a final walkthrough. Check for left-behind items as well as damage that might eat up your deposit.
Setting up the new Wi-Fi network and making sure everyone’s desks are set up to their liking takes a bit of time. Don’t expect to get a bunch of work done on the first day. If possible, you may want to give staff the day off or have them work from home until the furniture is in place and the systems are ready to go.
Update New Address
Now that you have a new address, make sure you inform the relevant parties:
- Post Office
- Insurance Carriers
- Company Car Registration
- Local Taxes
- Letterhead/Business Cards
- Website/Social Media
If the new office has a lot of square footage, it would be helpful to post up and distribute maps of the building so everyone knows where to find their co-workers.
Have the old office cleaned, repaired, and cleared out so you can get your full deposit back.
You did it! Consider an informal get-together during or after work hours to reward your staff for a smooth move and welcome clients and vendors to the new space.
Moving into a new office is a busy and exciting time but with Cento Moving, it doesn’t have to be stressful. With an office move checklist and a qualified moving company, you can relocate and back to work with minimal disruption to your business.