A step-by-step guide to moving to a new office location

Think you have found the perfect venue for your new office? Here is a step-by-step office move guide by APSS to help you on your office relocation journey.

What is the key to a successful office move? Preparation, preparation, preparation.

Once you have chosen your new office space, it can take six to nine months to effectively plan and implement a full move from researching what you need to getting your staff in and settled, so you want to make sure you get the relocation process right.

Understanding the needs of your business

With the return to the five-day week in an office looking unlikely, many companies are opting to relocate and even downsize their office space.

But there are a few things you need to consider before putting that deposit down and creating your office relocation project plan. You need to know what you’re looking for in your new space and fully understand your reasons for moving away from your existing offices. Think about the following:

  • Why are you moving? Is your space too big? Too small?
  • How many people do you need to fit into you new office? Include any business growth.
  • What do you need your new office to provide? Consider a better location, additional facilities, collaboration areas, conference rooms etc.
  • Does your business rely on expensive, delicate, or large machines and equipment? If yes, you’ll need to find local contractors specializing in custom crating to avoid any potential damage to your equipment during the move.

Once you know what you need, start to set a realistic budget. Make sure you create a list and include everything you can think of. That way you don’t get caught out by any surprise costs.

Things to consider include:

  • Contract break fees for your existing offices
  • Deposit and dilapidation fees
  • Rent for your future office
  • Security costs
  • Contractor costs
  • Office Design and Fit Out Contractors
  • Insurances
  • Removal / relocation contractors
  • Storage fees
  • Service charges
  • Post redirection

It’s important to get all of this sorted as soon as you can. While you’re looking into the insurance that you need for the premises, you can also use this time to ensure that your other business insurances are up to date. To get the best policies, you can look into a business insurance broker to help. It might seem a little random, but while everything is changing, why not deal with this at the same time?

Consult a design and fit out company

Reaching out to a design and fit out company (that’s APSS by the way) early in the process helps you obtain critical information, including knowing a realistic budget. You need to know early on whether the space you like is suitable for what you need.

Having worked with a wide variety of customers, APSS has case studies to help inspire your new office design. The comprehensive turnkey service includes design, fit-out, project management, and ongoing support. It means you only have to work with one company to complete your project. The alternative could mean you are trying to negotiate with different contractors at the same time, which can become very stressful.

Create your checklist

A checklist is the best way to know where you are in the planning and implementation of the whole project. With so many things to do, it is a great way to keep on top of everything. Some things you might want to include when preparing to move are:

  • Appoint an internal project / office move manager.
  • Consult with an office design and fit out company to effectively space plan and create an efficient workplace. Consider functionality, the external shell of the building, M&E installation, storage solutions, available floor space, your company’s branding, meeting and conference space, private offices and office furniture.
  • Create a realistic timeline starting from when you have found your new office to your move-in day (APSS can help with this).
  • Confirm when you can gain access to the new office to make the necessary adjustments.
  • Approve new office designs from your office design and fit out contractor.
  • Get a confirmed move-in date.
  • Book removals and get moving insurance.

Your next step is to ensure the right people know about your move. Here’s a suggested list:

  • Give notice to your current landlord and confirm what dilapidation works you need to carry out on the existing offices (APSS can help you with this too).
  • Give notice to your current services (gardeners, cleaners etc).
  • Ensure your client lists are up to date in advance of customer communications about the move.
  • Tell your customers in plenty of time so they know where to find you.
  • Confirm transfer with new/existing utility providers.

Once you are ready to move, here’s a checklist of actions:

  • Have a big clearout. Be ruthless, if it’s not coming with you, sell it or bin it.
  • Conduct an audit of your current office furniture and tag it. Make sure you know who it belongs to. People are very sensitive about having their chair back with them.
  • Create a change of address list including all online listings – don’t forget social media.
  • Confirm service installation dates (IT, phones, gas, water etc). Your office design and fit out company can help with this too.
  • Get packing and label boxes.
  • Back up your servers – just in case anything gets damaged in transit.
  • Confirm a moving day schedule so everyone knows what they are doing and when.
  • Move.

Office design and planning

Before starting any office design or planning, it is important to conduct a site inspection of your new space. This will help the office fit-out company identify any potential issues or challenges. The site inspection will help you gain a better understanding of the space and how it can best be used to meet your requirements and create some floor plans.

You need to know your new office’s limitations. Do you have enough electrical sockets? Does it have the right infrastructure to support your IT network? Do you have enough space per person?

Once complete, the office fit-out company can start the design and planning phase. APSS will work with you to develop a design that meets your requirements and budget. The design should include a layout of the office space, the placement of workstations, conference rooms, and other key areas. It will also incorporate any new furniture you require, ie. new office desks, office chairs, filing cabinets etc.

Space planning will help to identify how much work is required from mechanical and electrical installations to the efficiency of the office layout. It is a step that can’t afford to be missed. Your office fit out company will work with you to create the best workspace design, showing you images and potentially providing a 3D virtual tour or a 2D video walk-through.

Construction

Once the design is finalised, the installation and construction stage of the project can begin. This includes the installation of partitions, flooring, ceilings, lighting, and any other necessary features. The office fit-out company will work with you to ensure the construction is completed on time, within budget and to your satisfaction.

You want to make sure you’re kept informed at all stages of the process. APSS holds weekly meetings to keep you up to date, obtain your feedback and make you aware of any potential issues before they become a problem or cause delays.

If you choose APSS, they provide you with a full programme so you know what timeline to expect. You can use this to book removal companies for any hardware, machinery and furniture you will be bringing with you.

It also helps you schedule IT support to set up the new network, internet, and phone systems. This way, you can hit the ground running as soon as you’re able to get your staff into your new state-of-the-art office with everything ready to go.

Move and installation

Once construction is complete, it is time to move your office equipment and office furniture in. The office fit-out company will coordinate the move and installation of equipment and furniture. They will ensure everything is installed correctly and to your specifications.

This will allow you to start to update your company’s mailing lists ready for the big moving day. Make sure you notify the post office, banks, and other financial institutions of the new address.

Finally, conduct a walk-through of the old office space and say your goodbyes to a place that has served you well over the years.

Once your staff are all moved in and unpacked it’s time to celebrate with an office warming party to bring everyone together and show them the great new features you now have available at your fingertips.

Long distance moving offices can be a complex process, but with the help of an experienced office fit-out company, the process can be made simpler. If you want to ensure you get the best use of the space, request a call back from one of our expert team and APSS will help you create your amazing new workspace.