Moving Your Office Space: Tips and Tricks for a Smooth Office Move
Guest Blogger: James Gilmartin, Olympia Moving and Storage
Moving your business to a new office requires careful planning and preparation. Dividing the workload and assigning specific tasks to different employees, starting the process early and maintaining open and frequent communication are key to a successful, and less stressful, move.
The hardest part about moving is that a business must seamlessly continue to operate despite the office moving to a new space. Hiring professional movers with commercial moving experience is important for a smooth move, whether you are moving across the street or to another city will play a large part in the success of your move and your stress levels. Here are some tips to keep in mind for a seamless office move:
Assign a Moving Team
In smaller offices, a business manager should be assigned to coordinate the move. Identify a few key people who may be able to help coordinate the move as part of the team.
In medium to large offices, assign someone from each division to coordinate their particular area or department. This will ensure that each employee takes responsibility for packing their desk, files, and personal items. Also this will allow for proper communication with different divisions as the move may be handled in phases to accommodate work flow.
Planning the New Space
A good first step is to make a floorplan of your office space, and determine what furniture and items you’ll need to fill the space. This should encompass everything — think office desks, chairs, couches, tables, phone booths, industry-specific equipment, and more. Go back to your budget and verify that your needs are accommodated by the allocation you have set. You should also determine a seating chart, which you can do once you have the floorplan.
- Small offices should prepare for a move 1-3 months in advance, and medium-large offices should leave 6-9 months to prepare
- Establish a budget
- Evaluate phasing options to minimize impact on business operations
- Investigate move-in and out procedures in all locations
- Reserve move dates with facility manager or property owner
- Create seating plan and establish color and numbering scheme for furniture placement in new office
- Hold regular meetings to educate staff on moving process, and responsibilities
- Mover will delivery plastic office crates with labels 7 days in advance of move day
- Mover will provide key board and cord zip lock bags for each computer set up
- Pre-move “purge” to encourage archiving inactive files or shredding
- Label existing furniture that you will not take with you in advance of move day and determine what to do with old furniture
- Confirm all building reservations are in place (access, elevators, security, reserved truck parking, etc.)
- Identify emergency property management contact for unforeseen circumstances (elevator malfunction, access issues, etc.)
- Meet with property management and move service providers to review building rules (hours, access, dock areas, parking, floor, wall and elevator protection, etc.)
- Only key employees are on-site during the move. All remaining staff work remotely.
- Schedule cleaning crews for the days before and after the move
- Display full size floorplan drawings in all move locations for easy reference
Empty out current office space
- Review lease for space turnover requirements
- Identify repairs or adjustments required to comply with lease terms (cable removal, returning customized areas to initial condition, wall repairs, painting etc.)
- Arrange liquidators, charities, disposal, recycling options
- Proper accounting of retiring assets
- Arrange for IT assets and surplus furniture to be removed and purged confidential information
- Plan signage removal
- Cancel any utility, security, and other services as appropriate
- Schedule walkthrough with landlord or property manager
- Schedule janitorial vendor to clean vacated space
Have your moving coordinators positioned at both locations; they will oversee the movers, have the office set up according to your floorplan, and make sure any installations are performed correctly.
Appoint one person to do a post-move walkthrough of the old office, and take photos of the space, including any damage to the infrastructure. This is also a good time to return the keys or passes from the old space.
With your moving team, start unpacking and setting up, especially equipment that is needed for the first day back for the staff. Individual employee moving crates will be left for them to unpack on the first business day.
Consider having the mover provide a small crew on-site for the first day or two of business in the new space for support (unpacking, hanging wall mounted items, furniture adjustments, etc.)
Thank you to James Gilmartin of Olympia Moving and Storage for providing this guest blog!
Olympia Moving & Storage has built a reputation as a premier East Coast moving company since the company was founded in 1993. Our mission is to work personally with each family we move to exceed expectations and go above and beyond the moving industry standard.