Relocating your office can be a pivotal moment in your business's trajectory. Whether scaling up or optimizing for efficiency, a seamless transition is key to maintaining operational continuity and employee productivity. However, managing an office move involves juggling many tasks, each with unique demands and challenges. A well-thought-out plan and a clear timeline ensure everything is noticed. Commercial movers can be instrumental in facilitating a smooth relocation process, offering expertise and resources to handle the logistics of moving.
In this guide, we'll delve into a meticulously curated checklist to aid in navigating the complexities of office relocation. This checklist will be your companion, allowing you to manage every aspect of your move effectively, from pre-planning stages to settling into your new space. It will also provide insights into choosing the right commercial movers to match your needs, ensuring your transition is smooth and aligned with your business objectives.
So, whether you are a small enterprise making its first move or a large corporation with years of experience in relocation, this comprehensive guide is designed to equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary for an office moving success!
Navigating Office Relocation with Commercial Movers
The process of moving into a new office is as complex as that of moving into a new house. There's a lot of bulky furniture to pack, electronics that are difficult to store, and knickknacks from multiple rooms. There usually needs more time (you can only shut down the business for a partial week). Office relocation is a huge undertaking, no matter how big or small your business. Use this timeline and checklist to help you navigate a move to a new space.
Planning an office move can begin as much as a year in advance, but it is usually six months before the move that you start to look for relocation services. This step-by-step guide will help you to stay organized.
Six Months Before You Move
What you should consider six months in advance of a move:
- Examine the current lease. Will you lose your security deposit if your office's lease expires? It would help if you made repairs before handing the keys to your landlord. You are responsible for any property damage, such as chipped paint or broken lights.
- Designate a moving team within your office. Are you interested in all aspects of the move or only some? You may be the main person in your team, but you might want to delegate this responsibility to another member. Assign some tasks to the moving project management group, clearly defining their roles. Who will be responsible for planning, unpacking, and organizing?
- Make a decommissioning plan. Decommissioning is more than just cleaning up your old office. Decommissioning means restoring the office to its original state before you move in. Decommissioning involves removing all cables, electrical installations, furniture, signs, logos, and other fixtures. Repairs to property damage are also required, including small items like replacing light bulbs that have burned out.
- Budget your expenses Even if you have to adjust later, knowing how much money you will need to spend upfront can be a great help when talking to moving companies. Decide what you are unwilling to compromise and where to cut back to save money. Consider the buying process. How will vendors be paid, and who will purchase all moving-related items?
- Decide the amount of coverage for moving vehicles. Released Value Protection is a type of insurance offered by professional moving companies. The coverage is basic and costs up to 60 cents a pound. The federally mandated moving insurance included with the move will only cover a certain amount.
- Research moving companies. Here are some tips to help you compare and research local moving companies if you are moving within 50 miles. If you are moving long distance or locally, getting referrals, reading reviews, checking the BBB complaints history, and verifying professional accreditation is important. Verify that the moving company is insured and licensed.
- Three moving quotes are required. Get free quotes from several movers once you have found one that can move your business and is in your area. At least three quotes are recommended. Moving.com offers free moving quotes online from local office movers.
- Start a to-do list. It's a great idea to create a box with all your lists and notes since more than one person is likely to be involved in the planning and organization of the office move. It's better to do it online; for example, you could put all your Google Docs into a folder on Google Drive. Centralizing your information is a smart strategy.
- Inform your employees about the change and ask for their feedback. Plan to send a message and follow it up with a meeting in person or online. Emails should contain (The new address.Moving dates.Features of the new location.Reason for moving.)
- Check that everything fits in the new office. You may want to move that huge fridge from your old breakroom, but the size of the kitchen in your new space might not permit it. Compare the dimensions of the largest items you own to those of the new location to avoid wasting money, time, and energy on items that won't fit. It's important to consider things like conference tables, electrical equipment, and other large items that require a lot of space. If you are moving into a new office, ensure it can accommodate your current furniture and technology.
- Take an inventory. Record what you are taking and leaving behind. You may have to leave behind some items, even if your budget is tight, especially if there are differences in the new office's floor plan. An inventory of all your items will allow you to communicate with your moving coordinator your needs and give you an idea of what you need to leave behind.
Three to Four Months Before Your Move
What you should do 3 to 4 months in advance of a move:
- Your moving date will be locked in. You have now compared prices and selected a moving company. To secure your date, make a reservation right away.
- Plan your move. Plan your move by setting dates and tasks. Consider when the phone will be disconnected. When is it necessary to clear the desks? When will the internet be set up at the new office? Assign team leader and assign responsibilities to the team members.
- An employee moving date announcement Inform your employees of the date. Tell your employees when to pack up their offices, cubicles, or workstations, when utilities will be disconnected, etc. Ask the employees if they have any restrictions on lifting boxes. Be sure that each employee understands what is expected of them and when.
- Notify your current landlord. Tell your landlord or property manager as soon as you know the date of your move.
- Notify the outside company. Notify your business partners, clients, suppliers, and anyone with whom you do business. Your new contact details will be needed, and they may have questions regarding the impact of your move.
- Plan for the purchase of specialized equipment. Need help with moving heavy equipment or dangerous materials? You can order items in advance that will take time to manufacture and ship. Replace or upgrade any equipment that needs special handling.
- Hire moving vendors. You may need to find other vendors even if you hire an all-inclusive moving company. They will pack and unpack for you. Now is the perfect time to hire a designer if your new office requires landscaping or decoration. If the movers don't provide this service or your building doesn't, you may need to hire a cleaner to help with the cleanup after the move.
- Gather moving supplies. If your office does not have everything you need to pack or the movers are packing for you, start organizing and purchasing your moving and packing supplies. You may already have several items in your office (boxes, markers, stickers, etc.), but you will still need some special boxes, packing tape, and packing paper. Purchase it right away. Get creative sourcing your supplies, too. Many places offer free boxes and packing materials.
- Downsize. Tag everything that will be donated or sold. Consider a warehouse sale for your office or ask a charity to pick up donations free of charge.
- Speak to your employees again. You must have already made changes to your moving plan. It would help to continue communicating with your staff, who may have concerns and questions. Send out moving updates and invite questions and feedback via email. Also, remind your employees of any features they may need to know, such as on-site parking and access cards.
Two Months Before You Move
What you should do two months before a move to a new office:
- Plan your floor plan. Decide where you will place the furniture and office equipment, where employees will sit, and the common areas. It would help if you got a sense of the location of the power and ethernet sockets to plan where the tech equipment will be placed.
- Scheduled disconnection, transfer, and service setup. Install internet, phone, and utilities in the new office. You may also need to arrange garbage and recycling pick-up or security services. Work with your IT department to plan the installation of computers at the new site. Do they have the ability to do this themselves, or will they need outside help? Tell any vendors currently providing services to your office (landscape, security, cleaning, etc.) that they must cease or transfer service.
- Purchase new furniture and equipment. Start purchasing office furniture and equipment now. It will take time to ship and assemble. Furniture installation may require assistance, and decorating can take time.
- Reserve offsite storage. If you need to store items like holiday decorations, old office furniture, and files that you no longer use but may in the future, you can reserve a storage unit.
- Create a system of labeling for the entire company. It's your choice of labeling system – numbers, colors, shapes – as long as you use it consistently throughout the office.
- Start packing. Pack the non-essentials you will not need in the weeks before the move. Pack the non-essentials now to free up time for more important tasks, such as packing essentials.
- Address change orders should be in place. Order new business cards and letterhead as soon as you know your new address. As soon as you have your new address, order the necessary documents. You'll be much happier if your updated documents are ready before moving than if they aren't there when you arrive.
- Check out the new office. Is it dirty? You can start decorating now and bring the items that are not essential.
One Month Before You Move
What you should do a month in advance of relocating your office:
- Tag furniture, office equipment, and other items. You won't finish in one day. Ensure your moving team keeps up with the tagging and that the employees are equipped to pack their desks.
- Finalize your plans with the moving team. Confirm your move date and determine if you need a moving day itinerary to coordinate logistics.
- Order access cards and keys. Order keys for your new office and employee access cards if you use them in advance. This will ensure they are ready for distribution before the old office shuts down.
- Data backup. Use hard drive mirroring to create a duplicate of your hard disk. If your computer is damaged in transit, it's possible to replicate the hard drive onto a new machine. To lighten your load, you might scan files and digitize them.
- Plan the arrival and departure of moving trucks. Working with the building manager of your new and current building, secure loading and unloading hours. It's great if there are loading docks. But you may need to plan if the parking is tight or a lot of traffic is in that area. Do not wait until moving day.
- Take control of building rules. If you do not own the building or your company does not, you should get all the rules and regulations for moving. You may only be allowed to move outside of business hours, or you may need to make a special request to use the elevator. It would help if you got these rules as soon as possible from the building management, as they will determine how your moving day will go.
- Move non-essential items first. If you have a new lease, it's best to transport the small items as soon as possible. Take over bulk office supplies and plants to make moving easier.
- Allocate everyone to pack up their desk. Even if you hire a moving service to handle the bulk of it, having everyone responsible for their desk will greatly help. You can let your employees know when their desks need to be packed. Encourage them to take small steps so nobody is rushing to pack everything simultaneously. Give your staff a few hours off the day before to organize their desks.
One Week Before You Move
What you should do a week before relocating your office:
- Please update your address. Update your company website, financial accounts, social media, subscriptions, and local business listings (Google, Yelp, Local Directories) with the new address. Do you need help determining who to inform when you move? Check out our checklist for changing your address. The majority of items apply to both residential and business moves.
- Schedule your move with the moving crew. Discuss what needs to be done, when the movers will arrive, which items will go first, who will supervise them, who will lock the house after they have left, and whether or not you will tip the movers.
- Remind your employees to finish packing. All employees must clear out their cubicles and desks of personal items and office supplies.
The Day Before You Move
- Labeling and packing the final product. Everything should be ready for relocation by tomorrow. Make sure you do a walkthrough and that everything is in order. Do (or ask someone else to do) any last-minute packing.
- Collect keys and access cards for employees. Collect any keys, access cards, and parking passes to be returned to the landlord.
On a Moving Day
What to do on the day of your move:
- Meet the movers at the old office. You (or someone in your office) should be there to welcome the movers, give them a tip, and offer refreshments. (The last two items are optional). Also, someone should be present to help clear the way for the movers and supervise the move if necessary. It's important to let the movers know which items should be moved first and what they need to disassemble.
- Walk through your office one last time before you leave. It is important to check for any left-behind items and document any damage to the property. You should also return all keys and parking permits unless there has been an agreement with the owner or manager. You should also confirm your lease termination at this time.
After Your Move
Here are a few things you can do to settle into your new office after your move:
- Test your technology by unpacking it. Test your computer, phone, printer, servers, and other devices. You can troubleshoot your system to ensure you save time conducting business.
- Double-check any address updates. Verify that all those who need to be informed about your move have been notified, that you've updated your online presence with the new address, and that all stationery, labels, business cards, etc. You have updated any other materials you use.
- Meeting with your Post-Move Team. Discuss with your team how to ensure that you are back on track quickly and that your office looks professional. Ask who will remove the tags, unpack, and stock up the kitchen, bathroom(s), and supply cabinets. These tasks should be divided amongst the staff.
- Celebrate your new digs. Your employees will be affected by a relocation. You owe them some time off and recognition for all their hard work. Budget a small celebration to say “thanks” for the team's hard work and celebrate your new office. It can be a small event, but a luncheon in the middle of the day the first week following the move will show your employees how much you value their assistance and are excited about the new space.
Moving and packing an office can be monumental, often marked with complexity and many logistical considerations. A smooth transition is critical to maintain operational continuity and employee productivity. By following a meticulously curated checklist and maintaining a clear timeline, businesses can navigate the intricacies of relocation, from pre-planning to settling into the new space, ensuring each task is handled precisely. Commercial movers, such as Movers Mamaroneck Co, are essential in executing a seamless relocation process, providing indispensable expertise and resources to manage every aspect of moving logistics.
Are you planning to relocate your office soon? Choose efficiency, professionalism, and peace of mind by employing the services of Movers Mamaroneck Co., Our team is adept at ensuring a seamless transition, allowing you to focus on what you do best—running your business. Connect with us today for a stress-free moving experience that aligns with your business objectives. Let us make your next office move a success!