If you’ve ever managed an office move you’ll know how stressful and time heavy the moving process can be. Most offices consist primarily of computers, filing cabinets, and other delicate equipment which is likely to be a task when transporting. However, with some preparation and making sure to stay ahead of the game, you can help to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Plan it out
An office move, like any move, is a major project which needs proper preparation. With so many things to consider, it’s easy to see why, for most, moving an office is ranked as one of life’s most stressful events. Now, there is a way to make moving less stressful because like any process, it can be broken down into simple tasks and checks. This excellent checklist from Instant Offices breaks down moving office into 5 distinct time periods, from 6 months out to actual moving day.
Planning documents, spreadsheets and office relocation checklists won’t only help you plan the move but can also act as a roadmap for the tasks ahead. When creating your documents make sure to include all the tasks that need to be completed and the individuals, teams and companies responsible for each milestone.
Choosing the best location
Out of all of the things you should consider, location is by far the most important. You don’t just need to consider how easy it is for your customers to get to you, but you also need to consider your employees too.
Some employees may not be able to relocate to an office that’s further away. This would lead you to have to find new staff, which is both time consuming and costly. You also need to factor in the cost of running an office in your chosen area.
You may find the perfect office space, but if it isn’t located in a convenient area, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to move.
Howver, there’s more choice than ever ever before when it comes to locating your company’s home. Long gone are the days where you need to buy a whole space to set up shop, now you can rent desk spaces instead of rooms where everything is installed and arranged for you, from internet connection to a cleaner.
Coworking spaces are popping up all over the UK’s towns and cities, companies like WeWork give small businesses the opportunity to afford their own workspace and compete with the big players in their industry. Of course, if you’re looking for a long-term solution, or you’re in need of a lot of space, then you may still want to look at traditional offices.
It’s important to plan for the future, not the present when it comes to choosing your location.
At the moment you may only need room for three desks, but what about in a year’s time? So it’s important to take a few minutes to think carefully about your future expansions plans.
If you’re thinking of taking on extra employees in the coming months, or even years, then you’re going to want to find somewhere flexible. Flexible in space and in contract, try not to get locked into a lengthy arrangement in a building which gives you no room to grow.
One of the most important documents you will sign as a business is your office lease. It gives you room to expand and grow, but it also needs to be fair and affordable. Stay away from signing overly long leases that lock you into the same right or don’t contain a break clause. After all, you can’t predict where the market will be in a couple of years, so unless you’re signing up for a deal which is too good to refuse, then look for flexibility.
The office space
It’s easy to get overly excited about a new space, what colour you’re going to decorate it, drafting up a new seating plan etc. but before you pull out the Dulux colour chart, bear in mind what type of office space you actually need and whether it has the facilities you need.
One of the most important things in an office is connectivity. You need to make sure your new office space is suitable for your choice of phone network and high-speed internet as there’s nothing worse in this day and age than struggling to work with connections, so check the providers in the area and be sure there are no cabling or connectivity issues. Don’t forget server room space. And make sure everything is installed before you move in.
Regarding décor and layout of your new office, relocating gives you a unique opportunity to completely redesign your working space which can play a vital role in how productive and happy your employees are. It’s worth at least looking into having the offices professionally designed but whether it’s a DIY or pro job, decide on your budget first. The move is also an excellent opportunity to declutter. Bring out your inner Marie Kondo (but with your business hat on…)
When you’ve decided on your brand new location and signed a flexible lease, it’s now time to pack up your building and actually transfer your equipment. Luckily, there are many dedicated commercial vans dotted around the country which you may want to consider to help you move.
Rather than just throwing your stuff into the nearest box and labelling them with sharpie, removal companies are experienced in moving, and sometimes even in restoring and setting up your equipment. Although it may cost a bit more, but these are fees you’ll potentially make in terms of working time, and if worst comes to the worst, lost equipment.
Just remember all this hard work is worth it when you see your shiny new workspace. Happy moving.