Are you relocating your office for amplifying your room space? Or do you want to expand your business to a more marketable location? While the reason to move your office could be any, what remains constant is the meticulous planning that goes behind it. You got to admit, for most of us, the planning part could seem even more unnerving than the move itself. And that’s exactly why you would bless the soul who could ease it out for you, right?
So, if you’ve been looking for some assistance to plan your office move, then here we’ve created a comprehensive office moving checklist to get you going. From what you’ll need to prepare before the move to how you can settle down post your move, let us take you through a step by step guide for all.
First Things First
If you’re at your initial stage of prepping for your office move, there are a few things you will have to primarily look at first. Once you’ve decided your new location, finalize the deal and get your new lease or agreement in place. Simultaneously, make sure to notify your current landlord or building manager for your lease termination, if applicable. You could also start having a design layout in place for the new space.
Now after you complete these preliminary tasks, the next step on your agenda would be to carefully draft a moving timeline, listing down all the to-dos, starting as early as 6 months before your move till up to a few weeks after your move.
Ideally, to keep things under control and to work in an efficient manner, you should start planning your office move at least six months in advance. It gives you plenty of time to take care of all the necessities as well as helps you keep the downtime of your business at the minimum. Keeping this in mind, we’ve drafted a simple and general timeline that you could follow.
6 Months To Your Move Day
You know you’re off to a good start, when you have a dedicated team and an assigned budget in place for your office move. These are the initial steps for you to start with. Decide and allocate a moving budget at the beginning itself so you don’t end up overspending on areas not necessary.
Next, assign a specific team who would be a part of planning and coordinating the move. This is a rather important step as you would need to choose employees who you think could positively contribute in the planning process, and at the same time can maintain their level of productivity at work.
You could also start looking up for moving companies who have the expertise needed for an office move. Get quotes from multiple moving companies, look at the services they offer, read up a few of their customer reviews and then choose the one that best suits you. While some moving companies do offer additional coverage plans, you could also choose to look at insurances provided by third parties. This could be useful, especially if you have heavy machinery or expensive equipment supporting your business.
4 Months To Your Move Day
While you may have already decided when you would be shifting to your new location, you should finalize your exact moving date at least when you’re 3 or 4 months away from your office move, if not before. Finalize your moving company and book them for your preferred date.
Good communication, both internally and externally, is important in the moving process. At this point in time, let all your employees know about the move with all the necessary details. At the same time, make sure that your building manager is in loop with when you would be vacating the old space. If you’re affiliated with local partners or suppliers, you will have to notify them about your change in address as well.
After you’ve got your moving team together, divide the roles and responsibilities among all. Assign move coordinators or leaders who would be in charge of executing your moving plan.
If your new space needs to be revamped or redecorated, now would be a good time to get in touch with a designer. Discuss all the ideas you have in mind for your new office space. Also, review all your furniture pieces, equipment and machinery. Make different lists – one for the existing items that you would be taking along with you and the other list of new equipment that you may need. If you need special machinery which may have to be assembled, it is best to pre-order it now.
2 Months To Your Move Day
As you’re nearing your move day, the next step on your checklist would be to design a detailed floor plan for the new office. One way of going about it is to compare both your old and new office space, and design the look, based on where the desks, furniture and machinery, if any, would be placed. Designate different spots for your employees and check for all necessary electric points like power sockets, so that no unnecessary time is wasted in placing all items.
You would have to either opt for full service movers who would look after all the un-installation and then re installation of your computer systems and internet connections, or you would have to get in touch with special service providers who could handle it for you. If you’re choosing the latter, make sure that the company is thorough with your requirements and are available as per your convenient dates.
General things to keep in mind:
Make a detailed list of all the keys, passes and access cards given to every employee, so you have a tally to collect them for your old office space and at the same time, make them available for your new office space.
Also, try and plan your project deadlines in a way that they aren’t affected by the move day. Ideally, try and wind up your existing projects before the move, or have ample time in hand to complete it after the move.
Whether you’re transferring your old business insurance, or are looking for some new options, do not keep it till the last minute, as a good amount of your time would be needed if you’re looking for new or better insurance options for your business.
1 Month To Your Move Day
With less than a month in hand to your move day, you should start tagging and labeling all your furniture pieces, tech systems and office supplies. Basically, be thorough with your inventory – what stays, what moves and what needs to be discarded. A good way to go about the labeling process is to use color codes. This will help you efficiently organize everything as well as keep unnecessary confusion at bay. Also, start arranging for all the necessary moving supplies that your employees would need to pack and label their stuff.
While you decide on the installation dates for the new office, make sure to notify the respective departments of either transferring all your utilities to your new office space, or finding new connections, whichever is more feasible. If you had any special services for your office, do remember to inform them about the change in scenario as well.
See Also: Cost of Utilities, Tips and Fees
Change of address:
This is probably one of the most important tasks on your moving checklist – updating the change in address on all necessary records. From your business clients to online review platforms, a few important places where you would need to update your address include:
- Banks and Financial Institutions.
- Business accounts – both receivable and payable.
- Customers, Clients and Business Associates.
- Website and Social Media accounts, if applicable.
- Newspaper and other subscriptions.
- Insurance Company.
- Utilities Centers.
- Review sites.
Related: How Long Does USPS Forward Mail
2 Weeks To Your Move Day
Finalize and cross check:
As you’re getting closer to the big day, for which most of the planning has already been taken care of, now is the time for you to re-examine and confirm everything is going as planned. Start by cross-checking with your movers and possibly draft an in-depth itinerary for all the tasks lining up till the move day. At the same time, confirm the dates and timing of the team that is assigned for all the tech installation including the phone and IT setups.
With so much happening together at a large scale, the last thing you would want is to lose important office data while in transit to your new space. That is why, immediately get to forming a back-up of all your office files and details – no matter how big or small. Avoid skipping or delaying this step any further because you may have a tough time after your move, if any of your important data gets misplaced or damaged while executing the shift in space.
Arrangements for the New Office:
It would be better if you could arrange for all the access cards and keys for the new office space, and get the employees accustomed to the new environment. Another thing for you to keep in mind would be to arrange for cleaning services for both your old office space, after you vacate and the new office space, before you move in. For this, you could also check with your moving company, as many of them do offer add-on cleaning services.
The Moving Week
Reminders and check-ups:
Now would be the time for you to prepare a list of all the necessary contacts, including the contact details of your movers and vendors, and confirm the details and timings with all. At the same time, start bringing together all your packing supplies and encourage all employees to have everything in place. Arrange for extra supplies if needed, or already return the extra ones to have only what is necessary at the moving site. Follow-up with your movers and also complete any remaining formalities for the new office space.
1 Day Before
If you’ve planned and organized everything in advance, chances are that the day just before your move would not be such a heavy one. All you would need to do is follow-up with the movers, vendors, your employees and everyone who is involved in the moving process to make sure everything is in loop and will be happening as planned.
Go through your final inventory and check if everything has been labelled accordingly. Also, collect all the old office accessories like the parking pass, security cards and access cards from all your employees. Discard and dispose of all the waste in a safe and appropriate manner.
Lastly, remember to take ample rest as the big day will have a lot going on, and a host of duties would need to be attended to even after you’ve moved to your new office.
At your old location:
Now that you’ve done in-depth planning right up till ‘The’ day, it’s finally time to bring it to action. Before the movers arrive, you could disconnect all your technological devices and phone system at your old location. From there, your professional movers will do all the necessary packing, loading and transporting for you. Make sure to have a walk through of the old office after your movers are done with their work, to check for any items that may have been missed or left unattended.
At your new location:
Once you reach your new location, ask the building manager to switch on the air conditioning or the heating, whichever is required. Let your movers assemble all your desks, chairs and machinery, if required. If you still have time in hand, then you could check the telephone and internet lines as well. If not feasible that day itself, then make sure to do it among the first few things in your after move week.
After You Move
Firstly, take a deep breath and pat yourself for successfully bringing your vision into action for your office move. While that definitely is an achievement, you will still have a host of things to tackle even after you’ve made the move.
To start with, get all your devices and equipment set up and check your telephone and internet system. Assign employees to unpack and stage all your office stationery and other necessary items. Thoroughly check your new space for any damage or arrange for troubleshoot with your devices, if required.
While your employees are at it, you could also double-check that all the formalities related to your old space have been duly taken care of. This could include – confirming the wrap-up of your old lease, getting back the deposit (if applicable), as well as making sure that your office address has been updated on all records. Do not forget to transfer your insurance and get the new insurance certificates in place.
And voila! You’ve successfully completed the office move that you’ve been patiently planning since so long! Remember, the settling down process for your office move could take anywhere between a week to even a few weeks, depending on the size of your move and business. Take your time to set-up everything at your new office space. You could celebrate your new beginning, with an office-warming party for all your employees.