There’s a special category in relocating called the office move, usually done for the better, but can turn into a real struggle in no time. What makes it so different from relocating a household? Everything. Instead of pots and pans, you’re packing cords and stationery. Luckily there are no clothes, but there’s plenty of fragile and expensive electronic devices. And of course, enough tables and chairs to furnish dozens of houses. But, there’s no room for panic if you let us guide you through the process.
Whether you’re running a big company or a small business, relocating it is one of a kind adventure. There are so many things to think about and plan, which is why proper organization and logistics are the keys to a successful relocation. If you ever moved a household, you have some experience and skills to help you go through this. However, whether your office is moving across country or to a street nearby, you should rely on some tips and follow the steps we curated for you.
Every well-planned relocation takes time, and in the ideal case scenario, we are talking about months, even if it is a smaller workspace, and it is close. However, that doesn’t mean that office moving is not doable in a shorter period. If you’re relocating somewhere nearby, then maybe we can talk about weeks, but any type of interstate moving or long-distance moving requires months and months of preparation. Also, don’t forget that scouting for a perfect workspace can last long. So it all depends on these factors:
Under the cost of such relocation falls much more than standard moving services. Of course, it is always better to rely on professional packing services if you have loads of electronics and fragile items to pack. Professional cross country movers will bring their boxes and packing supplies and pack up everything efficiently. Sometimes, renting storage is also necessary and car shipping services, too, if your company owns vehicles. But there are some other costs you should also count on:
Clearly, you should keep in mind a lot of things when making a moving expenses checklist and determining your moving budget. Make sure you plan your budget as thoroughly as possible and leave some room for unpredictable expenses.
There are several ways on how you can plan and execute office relocation, but they all require full commitment from you and your team. Consider these steps as your moving to-do list or a guide that will point out those necessary steps you should take, regardless of how many months or weeks you have at disposal.
Whether you’re looking for cheaper rent, a bigger space, or a better location, you have to keep in mind that you can’t find a great workspace on every corner. In that sense, it is similar to moving with pets, children, partner, or elderly parents; you have to keep everyone’s needs in mind. Don’t cancel your current workplace until you find another one and sign a contract.
Besides preparing for the big day, you also have to plan in advance the layout in the new workspace and where everything will go. Because once the movers ship your stuff, you should strive to unpack and get down to work as soon as possible. Create a timetable and give yourself enough time for every task and step of the process.
Many companies decide to take this step and move because they are growing and looking to increase their capacities. Others are maybe downsizing or looking for a more affordable lease. Whatever the case might be, you have to be sure that you can afford such an adventure. Perhaps you have many great ideas, but does the company have a budget big enough to make them come true?
Will you break your current lease early and lose the deposit? Do you have to do any repairs in the current space? There’s so much room for miscalculations at such an early stage, which is why you should consult your financial advisor and check what your options and possibilities are. Try to form a budget and stick to it when scouting for future workspace.
Your team should be involved in the process as well, so as soon as you decide it is time to move, schedule a meeting to inform employees about upcoming changes. You can also ask some of them to help you organize everything. Usually, the administrative assistant is the best person for that role or anyone who has some commercial relocation experience.
If it is a large company we’re talking about, you can even form a team of employees in charge of different relocation tasks. At such an early stage, consider creating a moving binder where you would keep all essential information regarding relocation. Also, making some sort of inventory list could be handy for several reasons.
Relocating your workspace is a serious task, especially if you have some expensive machines and equipment. Therefore, you need to have experienced packers by your side who will know how to handle such equipment. Start asking quotes from different companies to compare their offers and find out how much movers cost. But don’t forget to check reviews and ask for recommendations as well.
Many companies offer the standard liability insurance coverage, but if you’re shipping some expensive machinery and your business depends on it, consider investing in additional insurance. It will save you from a headache. You never know what can happen, and you shouldn’t save on this. The process of finding the right relocating crew can be as long as scouting for another workspace, so you should start contacting companies as soon as possible.
Let’s face it; you can never make everyone happy. While trying to find a balance between location, size, and money, you won’t be able to please everyone’s wishes, and that’s okay. In business, you have to bring decisions that sometimes not everyone’s going to like. For some employees, it might be too far, for others too close, and so on.
As a leader, you should focus on what’s best for the team and business. Maybe you’ll have to ask a real estate agency for help, but prepare for days of inspecting various spaces and try to turn your imagination on. You should have a vision of how that empty space should look and whether it could fit your team’s needs.
Changing workspace is an excellent opportunity to start fresh and offer your employees a fresh and inspiring work environment. Work with designers to design a layout that is functional yet contemporary and bright. Relocating to another space is a milestone that should bring some changes, and why not, even feng shui ones.
You don’t have to change the furniture if you can’t afford that, but bold wallpapers or a carpet and a few details can turn your workspace into a much more pleasant environment for everyone. All these things impact the productivity and wellbeing of your coworkers, so let’s take a look at some tips for designing a stimulating working environment.
Once you find that perfect workspace, you need to schedule your moving out and moving in dates so that there’s not a too big gap in between. Also, confirm the dates with your long-distance moving company, and slowly start preparing for the big day.
As the important day approaches, you should start changing the address on all important documents, business cards, letterhead, envelopes, and so on. Here you should start thinking about how to notify your clients about the change, partners, suppliers, and everyone connected to your business.
Before professional packers step in, let your employees pack their boxes of essentials and personal belongings. So ensure you have some moving essentials and packing supplies prepared, such as boxes, duct tape, and bubble wrap. And let’s not forget, proper labeling will be very helpful once you move in and everyone starts looking for their stuff. If you ever packed clothes for moving or other household items, you know the drill. Everyone should write their name and a brief description of contents, so there’s no room for mix-ups.
This is something you’ll probably need for both locations, so ensure to schedule that. Once everyone’s done with packing and movers take out everything, someone should clean the entire space. And the same goes for the future workspace. Before everyone starts unboxing, it should be properly cleaned, vacuumed, perhaps even repainted, or remodeled, and so on.
You’ll realize that this type of relocation is even more stressful than relocating a household. There will be days when things just won’t go the way you planned them, and that’s ok. It happens. It is essential to communicate with your coworkers and not to leave them in the dark. Try to surpass every obstacle together as a team.
Working with a group of people is always challenging, whether it is five of you or 50. However, in times like relocation, your unity and ability to work together under pressure should be at the top of the game. Here are some tips on how to keep your group of people motivated and positive about upcoming changes:
Regardless of how strict or loose your company culture is, you should always celebrate a fresh beginning in some way, whether it is a first-day unboxing party with drinks and free lunch or a Saturday night out in a local bar. It is always good to de-stress after months of planning and working on shifting workspace, so don’t forget this final step, as well as to tip your movers.