Office Moving Checklist: How to Plan and Organize an Office Move
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Proper preparation, they say, prevents poor performance and yields the best of results. This saying has proved to be true in many human endeavors.
Often, the need arises for entrepreneurs, workers in government employment, and many others who conduct their businesses in the confines of an office to relocate.
It is very common for a business to move, perhaps a bigger, better-suited office or one that is closer to the raw materials essential for production.
Whatever your reasons for relocating may be, this article is designed to help you have a smooth transition from your old office to the new one without a hitch.
Let’s dive right into it!
Table of Contents
- 11 Office Moving Tips
- Moving Checklists
- Before the Move
- The Moving Day
- After the Move
- Business Relocation Announcement
11 Office Moving Tips
The following tips will help you achieve the seemingly Herculean task of moving your office to a new location easily.
Make a timeline.
To have a successful relocation of your office, you must create a timeline that covers all the essential stages of your move to your new office.
To be sure that the timeline works have a meeting with all members involved with the move, discussing all factors concerned with the move. Determine the realistic amount of time needed to cover all the stages of the move, and ensure to stick to the set timeline for a smooth move.
Design the space for your new office.
Next, you need to gather all available information about your new office and pay particular attention to trivial details such as blueprints, layouts, storage space, etc.
These details allow you to tailor your design of the new office to the already existing features of the space. Take a mental note of certain areas in the current office that are not working. Identifying them before moving can make you avoid the same problems in the new office after the move.
If possible, build a list of potential problems with the new space as you may need to hire movers, painters, electricians, or carpenters to make the changes before moving to the new office.
Build a moving team.
How large your moving team is will largely depend on the size of your new office. If you are moving from a medium to a large office, you may need a handful of personnel, perhaps from a moving company to help with the move.
Members of the moving team can also assist in identifying problems with the current office and giving possible suggestions. This will help to avoid the same problems in the new office.
Meet with your moving team regularly.
Communication is key to a successful move. Keep your team abreast of new information, developments, and progress concerning the move at regular intervals.
If information is not adequately communicated, it may make moving stressful for all the members involved, including you. Be sure to express concerns at these meetings and give commendations for a job well done.
Review your current lease contract.
It is important that you review the lease for your current office to determine if you are on the hook for a deposit or a refund.
If you break your lease before expiration or if you are responsible for repairs in the office or property damage before you move out.
Be sure to notify your current landlord, property manager, or property owner in advance of your intention to move. Give the property owner some reminder months before the date of the move stating your plan to terminate your lease.
You will be able to give the owner the time to consider getting new residents to the property.
Determine your budget.
Money is an essential factor for a successful move. Make a budget for your move and determine the approximate total cost for the move. Stick to your budget.
Decide if you will use full-service movers.
After considering your budget, you may decide to use a full-service office relocation. This service may be expensive, but it’s worth every penny as the moving company handles the majority of the moving.
You will save yourself and your team a lot of time and headache by using commercial moving services.
Your chosen moving company may be required to provide you with a detailed plan of how the move will be implemented. If that is the case, you can merge your already made plan with theirs to arrive at a rock-solid plan for moving to your new office.
Full-service movers handle your move from A to Z: organize, plan and pack all your items, including office furniture and computers, which is an important part of relocation, and deliver them safely to your new office. Why is it recommended hiring a packing service for your office move? Here are the reasons:
You can ask your employees to do the furniture dismantling and packing, but who will be responsible if something accidentally breaks? Professional packers are fully licensed and insured, so in case if any of your items are damaged during the packing or moving process, you will be reimbursed.
Professional movers have the right necessary equipment to dismantle, pack and move your items safely. Taking apart the office equipment and furniture requires special tools and skills to do it in a proper way. If you ask your employees to do the job, there’s no question it will take them much longer than letting the professionals handle furniture disassembling and packing.
It will also reduce employee stress. Let them do their regular duties, and hire professional movers crew to handle the move. Your employees can be responsible for packing up their own desk and important documents.
Relevant article: Tips for hiring a reliable moving company.
However, before signing a contract with a moving company or paying, be sure to determine if the company has insurance. You may require that they send you a copy as this protects you against certain unforeseen events that may disrupt your move.
Relevant article: Protect yourself from moving scams.
Work with an office planner.
The new office may probably be more spacious than the current one; hence will need an office planner to work on the design and layout of the office.
With the information from the blueprints of the new office, your office planner can map out all features of the new office and design them accordingly.
Work with your IT department.
Your IT department is of great importance in your move to your new office as they help you plan certain infrastructure. If you have not been nice to them, you need to make amends before your move.
While you may have to find a company to arrange for a phone and internet installation, the IT department will also assist in this regard.
If you have decided to use a full-service relocation company to move, they can directly work with your IT members to arrange the installation.
Moving to a new office also presents you with the opportunity to replace old and outdated equipment and machines. Create an inventory and decide items to be moved or replaced.
Make a contact list.
Notify vendors, customers, clients, suppliers, and others whom it may concern in advance of the relocation. Reach out to former, current, and prospective customers of the upcoming move. Inform them of where the new office will be relocated and when the move will take place.
You may announce the relocation on radio, television, or using other forms of adverts that reaches your vendors and customers. This way, you don’t lose your esteemed customers, and a continuous relationship is fostered.
Before moving, create an office move checklist.
An office move checklist is a simple list comprising a summary of all activities to be conducted before the move. A checklist ensures that nothing gets left behind in the current office or overlooked.
After checking all the items on the list and all appears satisfactory, you can commence with the move to the new office.
When a business moves, it affects several stakeholders, such as customers, vendors, and employees. Hence, office moves need more detailed planning than household moves. The priority is to ensure that every detail is covered within a set time frame and budget. To organize your commercial move and keep it under your control, we created an office moving checklist.
The bulk of the work that you will have to do will be done before your move. Your moving company will do most of the heavy-duty work on a moving day. There will be a few tasks for you to do after the moving day. You can look at this checklist as a timeline and cross off an item when you are finished with it.
Before the move
3 months before
- Review your current lease agreement and decide what dates are the best for your move.
- Make a list of all the items and decide what you will move, sell, donate, or throw away.
- Make a list of the items that you will need to buy. It is more likely to be similar to the list of the items that you will sell, donate, or throw away.
- Create a floor plan for your new office. You need to know the places where every employee will relocate. If you have funds, hire an internal designer. You can share the floor plan with your movers, so they know what goes where.
- Plan your IT system. Don’t forget to share it with your movers because some moving companies also provide IT setup services.
- Research and select at least 3 commercial movers near you.
- Call and get quotes from 3 moving companies you selected. Get storage quotes just in case.
- If your move is large, ask for on-site estimates. On-site estimates are usually free.
- Book your move on a convenient date for you.
- Notify your landlord that you will be moving. He/she will appreciate the early notice.
- Tell your employees about the move.
2 months before
- If necessary, buy additional insurance coverage for your equipment and machinery.
- Share your floor plan with your movers.
- Share your IT system plan with your movers.
- Plan the address updates online and print pieces (business cards, letterheads, postcards, etc.). Let your vendors know that you will be moving.
- Order the new furniture and equipment. You can ask them to deliver it on your moving date, so your movers can help you set it up. Also, consider delivering the furniture after your moving date. In this case, ask your movers to come back the following day to help with the setup.
A month before
- Ask your employees to pack their personal belongings. Extra items will increase your moving bill.
- Pack and backup important business documents. You will move these by yourself instead of giving it to a moving company. Back up important data via the cloud.
- Designate a person who will update your address online.
- Create folders in Google Drive with people’s names and office numbers and share them with appropriate employees. Ask your employees to take pictures of their equipment and upload them into their folder that you shared. Now you have pictures of your equipment organized by name and room just in case you will have to file a claim.
- Order new print pieces (business cards, letterheads, postcards, etc.) with the updated address.
A week before
- Reserve parking and elevators at both office buildings for your moving day.
- Ensure that the employees took home all their personal belongings.
- Install the internet and phone system at your new office.
- Connect the utilities at your new office.
- Go to USPS and set up mail forwarding. This needs to be done, so all your mail will be sent to your new office.
- Post announcements online that you will be moving in a week (website, social media, Google My Business, etc.). Read further to learn more about business relocation announcements. We made a downloadable checklist below, so you can download it and share with your team.
The moving day
- Let your movers do their job. Bring refreshing drinks if you want to help.
- After your movers install the computers, make sure that your IT system works properly.
- Walk through your old office to check for damages or if anything is left.
After the move
- Confirm the termination of the lease agreement with your old office. Return the keys to the landlord.
- Confirm the termination of the utilities at your old office. Pay the outstanding bills.
- Ask your employees to make notes of any damages. You should file a claim if anything was damaged during the move. Remember that you have a Google drive with pictures that you took before the move.
- Update your address online (website, Yelp, Google My Business, etc.).
- Announce your move online (website, social media, Google My Business, etc.)
Business Relocation Announcement
In the business world, try to avoid the change of address as much as you can. If you have no choice but move your office, then you need to properly notify your stakeholders.
Who to Inform?
There are several groups of stakeholders who you need to announce your business relocation:
Customers keep your business afloat. If you lost most of your current customers, your cash flow will drastically suffer. We don’t want it to happen and that’s why you must let your customers know that you moved and tell them where you moved. Don’t lose them!
Vendors & Suppliers
Communicate your business relocation to your vendors and suppliers. That way, you will get your supplies to the right location, which is your new location. Therefore, you will keep serving your customers like you used to and keep your business running.
Do you partner with other companies to tackle larger projects or new markets? Then you are more likely to have meetings together. If you timely communicate your business relocation with your partners, they will have enough time to allocate for travel. Also, it shows that you are thoughtful about their time, which strengthens your business relationship. Also, maybe it is a good idea to invite them to your relocation party.
Updating your address with government agencies is vital because you want to receive important documents to your new address. Also, it would be unfortunate if someone else receives your documents sent by government entities.
Now you know who you should inform, and let’s get into what you should tell them.
Craft Appropriate Messages
What are you going to say in your business relocation announcement? Remember that your message for each stakeholder category will vary. For example, a message to government agencies should be more formal while the message to customers should be more personable.
We suggest you use simple words and avoid slang, jargon, and abbreviations. Also, keep your sentences clear and concise. Read your message several times, ask other people to look at it, and make sure it is clear before sending it.
So, let’s say you crafted nice messages; but how do you deliver these messages to your stakeholders?
Use Online Platforms
We strongly suggest you update your address online and post announcements at least on the following platforms:
Update your address everywhere on your website, including the header, footer, Home page, Contact Us page, and other pages. Make sure to go over your website a few times to catch the errors.
Create a banner on your home page announcing your business relocation. You can also create a popup window that serves the same purpose.
This includes Facebook, Instagram, and any other social media platforms that you use. Also, don’t forget about listings: Yelp and Google My Business.
You can use your Gmail or whatever email provider you have to email your stakeholders. However, we suggest using Mailchimp to
send a personalized email to each of your customers, vendors, and partners. You can create a template for each stakeholder category and have the system send the emails for you.
If you have your address on your email signatures, don’t forget to update them as well.
You can also send text messages to ensure that your stakeholders know that your business moved. There are online services that allow you to do it faster than from your phone. Choose the one with a free trial or free tier that fits your list; save your money.
Use Offline Platforms
Print Assets of Your Business
You don’t want to send letterheads or give business cards with the old address on them. Therefore, you might want to order new ones with the updated address. Also, don’t forget to update our address on other print assets of your business.
Have you thought of announcing your business relocation in local newspapers? It serves two purposes: lets your current customers know that you moved and gives additional exposure to your new location.
Hopefully, by now you know who to notify, what to tell, and how to deliver your business relocation announcement.