Checklist for Moving Office Premises

Moving office premises can be as daunting as it is exciting. Your new place could be the setting where you’ll win new clients, put together a dream team and smash targets year after year. With the right office space, who knows what magic your people can make happen.

However, moving office can come with problems if it isn’t managed correctly. This moving office checklist can help you to keep control of the process right up until moving day.

1. Check your commercial property lease

The first step in any checklist for moving office is to check your existing commercial property lease contract. The amount of time you’re committed to a contract matters – although it’s often possible to get out of a lease early, this will carry cost implications.

It is also important to understand the full terms of the lease agreement. Some contracts stipulate that you’re liable for repairs and maintenance, so if this is the case, then you’ll need to make arrangements well ahead of time.

2. Set a budget

Moving office always requires a plan, but it’s crucial to consider the cost implications as well as the logistics. If you’re moving to a bigger place, you might have big ideas about how it’ll be used. Perhaps an on-site gym would help to attract great talent, or maybe meeting rooms would allow your teams to collaborate more effectively.

The cost of such projects must be weighed against the essentials of moving office – such as transport, staffing costs and storage. Begin by setting out what you’re prepared to invest.

3. Find a mode of transport

Sorted the legal aspects and pencilled in the financials? Now it’s time to think about the practicalities of moving. Starting this stage early and investing in it properly are among the most beneficial tips you can follow for a positive experience when moving office. Try assigning a designated project manager to make this happen.

Hiring a professional moving company is a popular way to help ensure your relocation runs smoothly. Read the reviews before you book to make sure the company you’ve chosen has a great track record and communicate any specialist needs well in advance.

4. Explore moving insurance

If your business uses certain types of specialist equipment or machinery, then it may be a good idea to take out insurance prior to your move. Most removal companies will have their own insurance to protect your assets, but it’s worth looking into whether this will provide enough cover.

Think you need additional protection for valuable goods? Since many forms of business insurance don’t cover your equipment in transit, it’s worth exploring other options, such as moving insurance and portable equipment insurance.

5. Notify your current landlord

Of all the things you need to do when moving office, this is the most fundamental. Inform your current landlord as soon as you have a clear plan to avoid delays – remember, if you’re utilising the break-clause in your lease agreement, then check the notice required.

There’s a chance this period may be shortened if your landlord agrees – for instance if they have a new business tenant waiting.

If you’re allowed to sublet, then your landlord will require notice of your intentions.

You could also consider “selling” your lease to another business.

Otherwise, it’s imperative to factor this period into your plans. Failure to do so, and you could face delays.

6. Sign for the new office

Make sure things are legally and formally agreed before your project manager becomes swept up with interior design planning or updating business cards. This is the most essential step in the process – without it, there is no office move.

When you sign a lease for a new office, be sure to read the lease agreement carefully to ensure the terms are favourable. It is always recommended that you seek legal advice prior to signing any document.

7. Announce plans to your team

Letting everyone know about the office move isn’t just a matter of courtesy and professionalism – it may require oversight from your human resources department, especially if the relocation is long-distance.

Even if the change is relatively small, it is important to remember that new commutes and routines may bring disruption to employees’ lives. To counter this, communicate openly and focus on the opportunities such change may bring.

8. Outline plans for development and decoration

Now comes the exciting part. Your new empire is a blank canvas upon which to paint the future of your business, so think about how interior design, layout and facilities might help enhance the space.

If your new office space is open plan but you’d prefer to create pods for smaller groups, then speak to the landlord or property manager about renovations. Many property owners will allow you to make the space your own, but they may require you to reverse any changes when the lease ends.

9. Book storage

Will there be a gap between your move-out date and the day of the grand opening? In the process of packing up, have you found a decade’s worth of paper records? A change of premises can shed light on just how many chairs, filing cabinets and water coolers your business seems to own.

Renting storage is a popular solution for businesses on the move, whether you’re looking for a temporary solution until your feet are on the ground, or a long-term alternative to in-office filing.

10. Create a full list of contacts to notify

In the run up to the big move, it’s tempting to focus on internal plans. After all, those computers and desks aren’t going to pack themselves.

But you should also think outside your organisation by creating a second checklist for moving office premises – one which lists the clients, suppliers, affiliates and contractors who may need your updated address.

Return to this in the weeks before moving and use it to send change of address notifications.

11. Get IT input

Notifying your IT team or provider is one of the most important things to do when moving office, since it can provide vital protection for your data and systems.

If your business uses a server, then it may be necessary to keep things running using alternative equipment for the duration of the move. Maintaining a level of technical involvement can also help to keep your systems safe from cyber-attacks at a potentially vulnerable moment.

12. Pack everything away

Finally, you’ll need to pack up the whole organisation to transport it to somewhere new, which is no small feat. Get this step right, and you’ll minimise the risk of valuable assets being damaged in transit – but get it wrong, and you could face costly disruption.

Fortunately, we have a guide to packing storage containers which is filled with tips to make moving home or office simpler and safer.

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