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Outgrowing the Office: 9 Steps for Relocating

By: Annie Button

 

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Outgrowing your office is a sign that your business is on the up. It’s a good thing but it comes with many headaches.

As a business owner, you have to think about every little thing that your business does and how it is going to be impacted by your move. From letting clients know your change of address to managing your equipment and security, there is a lot to cover. 

Flexible working must also be considered with 24% of workers saying the ability to work from home is so important to them. Business owners must now face the fact that employees are looking to work remotely as much as possible.

It’s easy to miss something in an office move so planning is key. This relocation guide should ensure you cover all important elements in the process.

Consider why you are moving

Outgrowing your office is one thing but this should also prompt you to think about the longer term and your business goals. You could relocate to a larger office but it may be in a different location or only suitable for a small time.

A further period of growth could prompt another move in the not-so-distant future, so having a clear idea of where your business is heading, and what you need from your office is important in the planning stage. 

You may also be prompted to move offices to attract more talent. Having a great location and desirable office space can make your business more appealing.

How moving office can increase productivity

Perhaps most importantly of all is increasing productivity. If office space is limited it becomes difficult to stay productive when everyone is practically sitting on top of each other. Research by Oxford University found that workers are 13% more productive when happy.

A new office space that is considerate towards employee wellbeing and morale will make a huge difference to your company’s success. Where is the nearest green space for employees to take a break from their desks? How will you incorporate flexible working into your new set up?

These are all considerations many office managers must make in today’s working world. A more modern environment, such as one with plenty of natural light or an open plan format, can improve connectivity and motivation.

Planning your office move

With your office goals firmly in place, it’s time to strategize. Being organized with your office move is critical to ensuring you cover all bases.

Some things to consider when planning a move include:

  • Creating a moving schedule with deadlines; especially for things like new technology and systems.
  • Scoping out your new location’s technological capabilities to ensure it can handle your needs.
  • You will need to get a commercial surveyor to check the state of your new premises as you don’t want to move in and discover the walls are falling down.
  • Creating an office blueprint or floor map and thinking about where departments and equipment are going.
  • Don’t forget about your current projects and how moving may impact them.
  • Try to create an overlap between the old and new office agreements to give you flexibility for moving day(s).
  • Communicate with your employees and ask for their input.

Budgeting for an office relocation

Moving offices doesn’t happen for free and the costs can spiral out of control if you don’t stay focused. Identify what costs are going to be involved and budget for them accordingly.

To give you an overview of likely costs involved we have compiled a simple checklist:

  • Administrative/agency fees
  • Connectivity and communications provider fees
  • Contract break fees
  • Deposits and dilapidation fees
  • Insurance
  • Post redirection
  • Refurbishment/interior design fees
  • Removal company/relocation suppliers
  • Rent (including rent reviews and VAT)
  • Security
  • Service charges
  • Storage fees
  • Utilities

Project task checklist

Once you have budgeted for the move, it’s important to switch your focus to ensuring all of your company’s tasks are considered. We suggest appointing an office move manager to assist with creating a project checklist but it is possible to do this in-house.

If doing it yourself, make sure it is a collaborative project. Each person in your company is an expert in their day-to-day lives, so they will know best what a realistic timeline is for their tasks.

Protect your data

It can be easy to forget about your IT equipment but moving offices is a great time to review your network security. During the relocation process, you could lose vital company data if servers or hard drives are damaged.

Make sure to back up all of your data to safeguard your sensitive company and client information. If you don’t already, consider moving to a cloud-based software company to allow remote access and any GDPR compliance requirements.

Address change orders

Suppliers and customers will have to be informed of your new location, whilst business cards and letterheads will also need updating. Likewise, many modern companies have their social media channels to update, which may cover several platforms.

Finally, your location change must be updated on Google as an incorrect address can impact your search results. Changing your online listing will ensure your local search engine optimization isn’t negatively impacted.

Physically moving

Hire a professional removals company to do the actual moving. They know what they are doing and will finish your move in a short time. Some will even do all of the packing up for you, but they come at a premium.

Do ensure that everything from your office has been labeled accurately, so that it goes to the right place in your new location.

Finally, clean your office and discard any old equipment or documents that you no longer need. When disposing of documents, make sure to comply with industry regulations relevant to your company.

Throw a party

Once moved and the stress is over, the only thing left to do is throw a party to celebrate the move.

Moving offices can be stressful for everyone involved so why not christen your new space with a little bit of fun? Even if you haven’t got everything set up yet, it’s good to acknowledge everyone’s hard work and welcome them to the new office.

Published: December 3, 2021
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