The thought of relocating your entire office to new premises can be daunting, but with proper planning and preparation, you can make the move reasonably stress-free.
Planning an office move
How you go about planning your move will depend on the size of your business. If you’re relocating to a large office, select a group of employees to function as your moving team. Choose people who are highly organised, good communicators and good at multi-tasking.
Determine the layout of the new office
Before the move, get a detailed floor plan for the new office space so that you can determine the layout of all furnishings and equipment before moving day.
Allocating space for workstations, equipment, offices, conference rooms, and storage space on the floor plan will help you to stay organised and focused, and make things easier for the moving team.
When designing the layout of your new office, follow these guidelines:
- determine the location of each employee’s workspace or office
- if applicable, determine the location of the reception, conference and storage areas
- plan where telephone, internet and other cables will run to avoid confusion
- determine whether you need to purchase any additional equipment or furniture for the new office.
Start preparing well in advance
To ensure a smooth move, follow these guidelines well in advance of moving day:
- speak to your IT specialists about the logistics of the transition to the new office space, in relation to your company network and workstations
- discuss your network downtime options with IT management, and determine how you can prevent downtime from interfering with business in both the old and new offices for the duration of the move
- make sure that all digital information is backed up in two separate locations before you move
- order telephone and data services for the new office in advance
- inform vendors and clients of your new phone number and business address, well in advance of the move
- order stationery and business cards with your new telephone number and address, and change your website to reflect your new contact details
- make arrangements with a removals company, and make sure your moving team knows the ins and outs of the moving plan so that it can be executed properly
- arrange a moving time with the management of your new office building, and schedule parking at the new site for the day of the move
- arrange crates and boxes for packing.
Packing up the old office
Follow these packing guidelines to make the process as quick and efficient as possible:
- establish a packing schedule for the entire office so that business can continue with minimal interruption up until the move
- as you pack up the old office, use the opportunity to clean all equipment, furniture, ornaments and wall hangings
- empty filing cabinets and lock or tape their drawers before the move
- label all boxes clearly to make unpacking hassle-free; it’s a good idea to colour-code all boxes based on the rooms in the new office where they must be unpacked to facilitate organised unpacking
- label all wiring, identifying its purpose and required location in the new office, to prevent cables from getting lost or mixed up during the move
- disconnect all paid lines at the old office.
Arriving at the new office
These guidelines can help keep everything in order once you arrive at your new office premises:
- refer to your floor plan to ensure that boxes and furniture are moved into the correct areas
- go over your office inventory to check that all boxes, equipment and furniture have arrived
- check that all facilities, such as power, toilets and fridges, are working properly
- wait until all items of furniture and equipment have been moved into the new office before trying to connect phones and computers.