Office moves can be quite daunting. In fact, there’s nothing easy about moving your team to another location. Throw in your equipment, machinery, or electronics and the whole thing can become quite complicated.
When it comes to planning and organizing your office move you need to make sure it runs smoothly. You want to get ahead of any potential issues so that you have a Plan B should you need one.
The good news is our step-by-step office moving checklist can help to make your office move more seamless. It will also ensure that every piece of equipment ends up where it should be and not a moment too late.
Don’t delay, start to plan your office move as soon as you can. The sooner you do, the sooner everything will be dealt with and you’ll have less to do on the day of the move.
Plan the Logistics
Consider your current lease. Are you expected to pay a fee if you leave your lease a little early? Do you need to deal with any broken light fittings or damaged paint? Remember that some paint may become scratched during the move. You may, therefore, need to prepare for this.
Get Moving Quotes
It’s now time for you to get a few quotes from local moving companies. Consider what your budget is and try to find a company that works within your budget.
Compare the cost of moving from at least 3-4 companies. This will give you a general idea as to how much the move may cost. Work with the moving company that you like the look of the most. Do they offer you everything you need? Are there any additional services that you have not yet considered?
Make sure you don’t automatically opt for the cheapest quote. This is because the mover may not offer you exactly what you’re looking for. They may be the cheapest around but they may also fail to deliver good quality customer service. Companies usually have cheap prices for a reason. Make sure you do your research and eliminate those companies that are too cheap.
Consider Moving Insurance
Do you need moving insurance? If you use machinery or a piece of equipment to keep your business running you may need this type of insurance. Why not choose a coverage that is higher than the typical industry standard? At the time of writing this standard means you will receive approximately $0.60 per pound of equipment. In other words, if your office chair weighs 10 pounds you will receive $6.00.
If this does not sound enough then opt for a higher insurance coverage. It may cost more but it can ensure that you receive more compensation. Get the peace of mind you need so you can move to your new office without worry.
Create a Budget
Creating a budget will help to prevent you from spending too much money. If you have a budget you can also see where you’re able to save some money. For example, you may want to hire a team of movers to pack your equipment for you but your employees could do it instead. Try not to give your employees too much to do on top of their regular work as they may find it hard to juggle everything.
When you choose to create a budget make sure that you list everything that you need to account for. Rather than simply adding ‘Removal company’ write what services you want to pay for and how much you’re willing to pay for them. You may also want to consider altering the budget allowance for each section from time to time while working with the same overall budget.
For example: Your budget may look a little like this:
- Moving materials: $300
- New WiFi set up $400
- Decorating the old office: $750
but you may have to make a few changes at some point so your budget could end up looking like this:
- Moving materials: $450
- New WiFi set up $400
- Decorating the old office: $600
Budgets can and do change over time so it’s important to be prepared for it.
Create a Planning Team
Creating a planning team will ensure that more gets done. When you’re planning an office move you need to make sure you’re on top of everything. There is so much to do during and immediately after an office move. This is why you need to get on top of everything.
Do you need to involve upper management? Or can you deal with it all yourself? Who is going to help you with the whole process? Who isn’t going to be involved? Work out who is going to help and what they’re going to do. Make sure they know exactly what you expect of them throughout the moving process.
3-4 Months Before your Move
Planning the logistics
Confirm the date of your move with the owner of the current lease and the owner of the new lease. Now is the time to call the moving company you’ve chosen to confirm the date. Confirm any other arrangements that need to be confirmed as soon as possible. This will help to ensure you’re organized on the day of the move.
Communicating with your Team
Now it’s time to communicate with your team and come up with a moving plan. Make an office moving checklist and be sure to include the people who are involved. You need to know what they’re doing and when they’re doing it. This will keep everyone on the same track.
Add important things such as internet installation to the checklist along with any deadlines. Make sure you assign specific jobs to every member of the team so they know what they have to do. The next job is to assign a few leaders so they can coordinate the move.
Tell each of your employees about the move so they know what to expect and what they have to do.
Communicating with your Suppliers
Tell your suppliers, your affiliates, and any partners that you’re going to move. Let them know if your business relocation will affect them. If it does make sure you give them all of the new contact details.
Order your Specialized Equipment
If you plan to upgrade or replace your company’s equipment you should order it now. Some items may take months to reach your new office. Ordering as soon as you can ensures that it arrives on time.
Deal with Office Furniture
Now it’s time for you to deal with any piece of office furniture or equipment that needs to be moved carefully. Will you need help disassembling the parts or moving any hazardous materials?
Decorating your New Office
You may want to consider decorating your new office or at least making some plans to. Will the office need painting? Does it need a new carpet? Think about any changes that need to be made. Now is the time to organize things.
2 Months Before your Move
Come up With a Floor Plan
It’s now time for you to map out your present office and the new one. This is so you can work out where all of your furniture and equipment will be. Make sure that you consider where power sockets and ethernet connections are. If you do this now you may not have to move everything around at a later date.
Internet and Telephone Installation
You probably need to set up your internet and telephone installation around 2 months before you move. Try to find a company that is happy to set the installation up for you. Most moving companies can help you to do this.
You should also plan to set up your IT systems and PCs. Make sure your IT staff are able to do this themselves or if they will need help.
Auditing Keys and Access Cards
Create a list of everyone’s keys, their passes, and their access cards. You will need to collect all of these cards before the moving day.
Your Special Services
You now need to discontinue hiring any security, landscaping, or cleaning services that you hire. Let them know when you’re moving so they can stop providing the service once you’ve left.
…looking at business insurance. If you are unable to transfer your insurance policy to the new office it’s time to research a new insurance provider.
…buying new furniture and other office equipment now. You need to make sure that there is enough good quality furniture in your new office. If you think you may be expanding the workforce you will need to buy new tables, chairs, and other equipment.
…off-site storage. This will be ideal if you don’t have enough room for all of your non-essential equipment just yet. You may have the chance to rent a storage unit in a nearby location. Use this location until you know where you’re going to place everything.
1 Month Before your Move
Start an Inventory
It’s now time for you to start an inventory. Make sure you tag all of your office supplies, equipment, and furniture. This will help to ensure that you avoid losing anything. It would make sense to take photographs of everything so that you have a catalog of all of your equipment and furniture. This will help you make a claim should you need to.
Transfer your Utilities
Contact your utilities supplier and let them know when you no longer need their services at the office. If they can supply your new office it will save a lot of work. However, if they cannot you will need to start searching for a new supplier.
Collect your Moving Supplies
Make sure that everyone has enough cardboard boxes, labels and pens, and packing tape. Chances are you’ll need more than you think so make sure you buy plenty of everything.
Organize your Change of Address List
You need to inform all of your contacts that your office is about to relocate. Send mail or an email to letting them know your new address and how they can reach you. You may have to send a reminder letter or email in case they forget.
You will also need to let the following people/entities know you’re moving:
- Accounts receivable
- Accounts payable
- Business accounts
- Company websites
- Financial institutions
- Listings on review sites such as Yelp and Google
- Magazine subscriptions
- Newspaper subscriptions
- Social media accounts
…getting passes or parking permits for the new office. Before you start working at your new office you may need to get the new passes or permits for your employees.
…arranging for a cleaning company to clean your office once you’ve moved out. Some full-service moving companies offer you this.
2 Weeks Before your Move
Finalize your Plans
Hand out your moving itinerary (If you have one) for the week or days that lead up to your move. This is especially important if you need to pack up and move one part of the office while another part goes about business as usual.
Order Access Cards and Keys
Order keys and access cards now so they will be ready when you move into your new office. Make sure that everyone who needs a key or access card has one.
Confirm Installation of your Phone and Internet
Have you hired a company to set up your phone and internet connection for you? If you haven’t you need to do this now. This is because you can get on with work once you’ve moved into your new office.
Confirm IT Services and Computer Setup
If your employees can set these services up, great. Make sure you know who will be doing this and they know exactly what they need to do and when. If no-one on your team can set the services up then hire some people who can.
Reduce your Office Inventory
If you have any broken furniture or furniture that is looking outdated try to get rid of it. Some goodwill charities will take and refurbish the items.
Back up your Data
Back up all of your data and your files. This is so that if anything is damaged or refuses to reboot you have everything saved. Make sure you save all those important documents too.
1 Week Before your Move
Inspect your New Office
If you can get in your office do a brief inspection. This will ensure you can deal with lights that refuse to work, areas that need painting or anything else that may crop up. The sooner you deal with any issues the easier your move will be.
Look at Your Schedule for your Moving Day
Take another look at what time the moving company arrives and who of your employees needs to let them in. Be sure that you know what will be ready to move on the day. Who is going to be there during the move? Who will lock up once the movers have left?
Pack your Belongings
If you and any of your employees have some of their personal belongings at work make sure they pack them. They should do this before the day of the move. Let them know they are responsible for these items.
If you supply your employees with all of the equipment ensure the movers deal with them. Alternatively, the IT department could deal with them.
…getting more packing materials. It is time to order more if you think you may not have enough of them.
…ordering moving blankets, safeguards, or surface protectors. This will help to avoid dents, paint chips and broken lights are less likely to occur. Some moving companies supply their own blankets.
…getting all your mail forwarded. This will ensure you don’t miss anything important. Tell the US Postal Service about your new address once you’ve moved.
1 Day Before your Move
Finish All your Packing and Labeling
If you have any equipment that needs to be specially handled or packed mention this to the person or people who are responsible for this.
Collect Security Cards, Passes, and Keys
Refer to the inventory list and make sure you collect all parking passes, security cards, and key. You will also need to make sure they are deactivated before you dispose of them.
On the Day of the Move
Check that the utilities are working properly. Do the lights come on? Is there water running through the faucets? If something isn’t right contact the utility companies. You cannot have a fully functional office if something isn’t right.
Get your Office Set Up
Use the office plan or outline so you can arrange all of your furniture, machinery, and equipment. If you plan to hire a moving company this is where all of that planning will pay off. You’re probably aware by now that office relocation planning isn’t always easy. However, having a plan can make this stage so much easier.
Plug in the IT Systems, Internet, and telephone
Do all this with your local provider so that your office is completely connected.
Walk-through your Empty Office
Walk-through your empty office and make a note of any damages. Not only will you need to report any damage but this walk-through will also help you spot anything that has been missed in the move.
After the Move
… testing your Wi-Fi, IT systems, computers, and your phones. Make sure that you test every piece of essential technology so you can get your business up and running once more. Troubleshoot any issues you come across.
… confirming your old lease’s termination. You may want to check twice this just to be sure. You will also need to ensure that all your business partners and clients is aware of the move. You should also verify that your new address is displayed accurately everywhere.
… getting your employees to unpack. Make sure they remove any tags or labels from furniture and equipment. Some professional movers can do this for you. However, the more help you have the sooner you can get your business working as per usual again.
We hope this office moving guide will help you make that move. Start off by working on your budget, and ensure everyone knows what they’re doing. If you think you need professional help hire a moving company as soon as possible.
Map out your nice new office as soon as you can and get new keys made for you and your employees. You may want to consider ordering a few more keys than you need. All of this needs to be dealt with before the week when your move is going to happen. The more you have done and dusted the more efficient your move will be.
No matter how organized you might be, there are always a few surprises, unexpected issues, and forgotten things. If you organize everything to the best of your ability all of these surprises, unexpected issues, and forgotten things will be so much easier to deal with.
Don’t forget that most moving companies are able to help you with packing your boxes to setting up your new office. Some will even help you to plan your relocation and get rid of the items that you will not need at your new place. This means you will have less to do than you imagined.
Start preparing for your office move as soon as you can. While you may think you have plenty of time in reality, the time will go quicker than you hoped. Don’t delay, start planning today!