The fourth in our series on Company Relocation
Planning is crucial when relocating. To help plan for an office move, the following checklist outlines important steps to consider when relocating.
The Planning Stage
During the early stages of planning for a move, it is important to consider the company’s needs and goals for the new location. Understanding these will help inform the design of the new space, as well as facilitate a smooth relocation.
– Choose a relocation team that is led by a senior-level champion
– Clearly define roles and responsibilities for affected departments and parties
– Engage employees and seek input
– Engage stakeholders, including board members, regulators, clients and suppliers
– Define goals and priorities for the new location
– Define needs for the new location, including amenities, services and storage space
The Development Stage
Once priorities have been identified and affected groups are engaged, the relocation process moves into the development stage. At this point, budgets and plans should be drafted. Sites should also be explored and narrowed down to identify the new office pace.
– Develop a project budget
– Identify long-term costs including utilities, lease and tax related costs for potential sites
– Choose a property agent
– Choose a design and fit out consultant
– Complete a feasibility study the proposed site or studies on potential sites
– Complete building surveys on the proposed site or potential sites
– Study the neighbourhood, including your businesses fit with other companies in the area
The Office Lease
When a site has been selected, you will need to consider the relevant legal requirements and paperwork.
– Confirm lease terms and any incentives such as rent-free periods
– Confirm business rates
– Purchase insurance
– Sign the lease
The Office Layout
Before any work begins on the site, it is important to design the layout of the office. This work should be done in consultation with employees and other relevant stakeholders.
Make sure you:
– Design a layout that complies with health and safety and accessibility laws, as well as amenities such as meeting spaces, staff amenities, utilities, storage space and other needs or requirements
– Consider environmentally friendly and sustainable elements for the office
– Draw designs, including look and feel concepts
– Choose reputable and accredited contractors, such as builders, interior designers, removal companies, and others
– Purchase furniture that respects the overall look and feel as well as the layout
– Purchase necessary computer, data, telecommunications and other IT equipment and services
– Appoint a health and safety point-person, and consider health and safety needs for the move such as parking and access at the new site
– Ensure the worksite complies with legal requirements related to tracking and disposing waste
The Office Move
The final stage of the relocation process will be the move itself. There are several considerations that need to be taken into account before and during the move.
– Inform clients, suppliers and other stakeholders of the move by email and/or letter
– Update the company website
– Print new stationary, business cards and other publications to reflect the new address
– Speak with IT specialists about the transition and texting after the move
– Select a packing point-person to coordinate packing and de-cluttering of the old office
– Select one-site point-people to deal with any issues at the old and new sites, and to keep track of the move
– Inform staff of the move and their responsibilities
– De-clutter the old office by removing unnecessary items such as old files and furniture that will not be moved to the new site
– Pack items for the move, and ensure all boxes and crates are clearly labelled
– Dispose of items properly including shredding confidential documents and donating unwanted items such as furniture and computers
– Arrange for the proper removal of waste
– Inspect the new site to ensure it is secure and ready for the move including cleaning up the site in advance of the move
– Arrange delivery of new supplies, including stationary and kitchen goods/items for the new site
– Test everything after the move including computers, phones and other systems
Once you have successfully completed your office move, celebrate with a get-together for employees at the new site.
Further reading on Company Relocation, Relocating People and Employees and Relocating your Office.
For information on office space availability and business centre opportunities for companies looking to relocate to London click here.