Check out our 5-step checklist for a successful office move!
Let's face it. Moving, in general, isn't easy. Especially for an entire office. It takes a lot of people, preparation, and purposeful execution to ensure a successful move. You may be thinking, how would we have any clue what it really takes to perform an entire office move? We just help our customers find the furniture for their move.
Well, you'd be partially correct.
We do help our customers outfit their office day in and day out with the right furniture for them. But, did you also know that we recently went through an office move ourselves?
Yep, that's right.
We moved our entire office of over 100 employees a few miles West from our previous office location late last year. So, not only do we know how to help switch out furniture for a move, we know just about everything else that goes along with it.
In our office moving guide checklist, we cover everything that you as a small business should consider for your move. There's no sense in figuring it out all on your own if we've already been there and can provide you with some useful tips!
Subscribe to our email list below and get exclusive access to resources to help you with your office move including an office move timeline and task planner, a "Don't forget items checklist" and more!
Step 1. Defining the Why & Where: Things to Consider Before You Move
Reasons for moving are plenty. Maybe you found a better looking space. Maybe you found a larger place or you want to downsize. Or, you could just be flat out getting kicked out of your old place. Whatever the case may be, it's important to communicate to your employees in the most positive light as possible in order to keep morale up and retain your employees.
Since we've already been in that situation ourselves, we'd like to offer up a few tips on how you can do that.
Dealing with employee resistance for the move
While your office move may be a step up from your current diggs, there will be some resistance from your employees no matter what. Whether that's an increased commute time, taking them away from their favorite lunch spots, or even just a break up in their daily routine they don't want, you need to communicate all of the new changes and provide updates on your move progress throughout the entire move.
It shouldn't be all gray clouds though. This is also a chance to get them excited! Cover some of the benefits of the move to highlight the positives.
What are some things you can highlight?
- - The new change of scenery
- - Some pros of the new building
- - New lunch spots
- - Brand new office furniture
Transportation considerations for employees
With a new office change also comes updates to employee commutes and transportation. While not a requirement, providing information and help with transportation needs of your employees shows that you care about their well being and willingness to help with their transition to the new space.
Below are some ways you can help with the transition:
- - Addressing increased/decreased commute time
- - Offering employer-paid bus passes
- - Helping with parking structure costs
Amenities are a way to attract and recruit new employees, as well as a way to appease and retain current employees. As with any office move, your amenities may change, or get even better. Either way, it's important to highlight the changes and showcase in the most positive light as possible. Below are just a few amenities you can highlight:
- - Upgrades to the ol' snack machine(s)
- - A brand-new company shop!
- - Highlight the new lunchroom and/or outdoor dining area
Planning for future growth
Just about every company has plans to grow and expand. It all comes down to company goals and the economy. One of the most obvious things that comes to mind is having enough space for new employees and furniture for future growth. This is a good time to start thinking about that, especially if you have high growth projections planned for the near future. You don't want to outgrow your space too quickly!
If you're building out or expanding in your new building, determining the square footage needed for new hires is an important part of the calculation, as well as the costs associated to it like furniture.
Being that we are an office furniture company, we can surely assist you with those needs! What makes working with a company like us great, is that we can assist you over the phone and help go over your space planning requirements and any unique customizations you may need unlike many other companies.
One of the often overlooked, and perhaps one of the most important things to think about, aside from your office space and furniture is setting up your office to have the adequate technology needed to run the business. This includes everything from T1 lines to phone systems and more. It really depends on what your needs are, so below, we've listed some of the most important questions/to-do items to think about:
- - Do we need to set up a T1 line?
- - Are we purchasing a new phone system?
- - Are we moving or purchasing new computers/projectors?
- - Does the internal wiring in the new building meet our needs?
- - What are each department's needs in regards to data ports and printers that need to be set up?
- - Do we need wireless connectivity options for our conference rooms?
- - What type of technology will power our security system?
Step 2. Budgeting Your Office Move
Budgeting for your move is probably the most important thing in a move, because without money or enough, no one is going anywhere and things will fall through the cracks very quickly. Since determining a budget is unique to each business, you really need to figure out what that is based on what your needs and wants are as a business.
Some things to think about to help you build out a budget include:
- - How much do we want to spend on our customer facing areas like conference rooms and lobbies?
- - What is the estimated cost per employee for the move?
- - What are the costs to hire an interior designer and/or project planner?
- - Are we going to keep or get rid of our old furniture?
- - How much will it cost to finance new furniture?
- - What will it cost to hire a professional moving company?
- - What is the cost of the new building rent, construction, labor, and building materials?
Step 3. Managing Your Office Move Project
Managing an office move project is no easy task. We'd argue it's probably the toughest job of the move. At any point things could go awry and a project manager(s) is essential to get things back on track and moving forward.
The successful project manager knows how to identify the needs of the project, estimate the timing, budget, materials and people to ensure a successful move.
Some things to keep in mind when managing your office move project are:
- - Can you do it in house, or do you need to outsource? Or both?
- - Selecting or hiring a project manager(s)
- - Setting a move timeline – planning around lease, best time to move, etc.
- - Sending out a business relocation letter to customers and vendors
Step 4. Office Design & Layout Considerations
Whether you're moving into a bigger space, a smaller space, or a coworking/shared office space, the office has to be designed to fit your needs. That includes the design and layout.
Some things to think about are:
- - Flooring and sound requirements - do you need noise canceling and soundproof furniture? Carpet or hardwood floors?
- - Considering the amount of breakroom space you need
- - Controlling sunlight and shade (blinds)
- - Space planning considerations
- - Accommodations you can make for employees affected by move like new furniture
- - Taking fire code regulations into consideration
- - The design and location of bathrooms
- - Incorporating employee collaboration areas
Step 5. Building out Your Space & Construction: Vendors to Consider Hiring
Construction and vendor management is a huge part of the office move project. Not only does it take up a large portion of the budget, there are a lot of moving parts. Some of the vendors you should think about hiring to help you with your move, include:
- - Electricians
- - Furniture Installers
- - Interior Designer / Office Space Planners
- - Movers
- - Architect
- - Food & Beverage Vendors
- - Security Company
- - Telephone Company / Network Engineers
You may want to assign someone to contact and manage each of these vendors because it can get a bit overwhelming having one or two people managing all of them.
That covers just about all of the major areas you need to cover when making your office move. Subscribe to our email list below and get exclusive access to resources to help you with your office move including an office move timeline and task planner, a "Don't forget items checklist" and more!