How to Organize and Benefit from an Office Move
As a business owner, you’ve probably had to move mountains. But move your office to a new location? Now there’s a challenge.
Even before you and your broker have completed the job of selecting a new office location and negotiating a lease, you should start thinking about a move. Keep in mind, moving does not have to be stressful. Read on to learn how you can plan an office move to go smoothly so your company and your employees will benefit.
Planning an Office Move
No pun intended, but an office move has a lot of moving parts: people, furniture, office tech and supplies, personal belongings, kitchen appliances and gadgets—the list is long. Then, there’s the question of what goes, what doesn’t and where to put everyone and everything that makes the move. For these reasons and more, a detailed plan is key to the success of an office move.
This plan should include:
- Move date
- A relocation budget
- Tasks that need to be completed
- Who is in charge of each task
- Deadlines for different tasks
- Mover responsibilities
- New office space layout
Because no two moves are alike, there may be other steps to include in the plan. For example, you may need to allot time for electrical, carpentry, flooring or painting work in the new space. And make sure the plan has some built-in time for flexibility in case one or more tasks take longer than anticipated.
Designate a Move Coordinator
Whether it’s you as the business owner or someone else in the company, there should be one person to coordinate the move. In a medium to large office, volunteers from each division can oversee their group. Together with the move coordinator, they will follow and make changes to the plan as necessary.
Packing for an Office Move
Each employee should be responsible for packing his or her own desk, files and personal belongings. Boxes need to be clearly marked with the owner’s name, department and location in the new office. Unnecessary paperwork can be recycled or shredded if confidential. Employees may want to take coffee mugs, framed pictures and other personal items home before the move.
Handle with Care
Packing office equipment such as computers, printers, copiers and other technology systems should be the responsibility of professional office movers. These are likely your office’s most valuable equipment and, therefore, require special care.
Before computers are packed, important data must be backed up to a hard drive or cloud service. Will there be a problem during the move? Probably not. However, if something does happen, you’ll be glad you and your team took the time to back up.
Plan Ahead to Avoid IT Headaches
In addition to hardware that must be physically moved, IT planning needs to be arranged well in advance of a scheduled move date. In fact, you may want to investigate moving your data center even before the location is finalized. Some carriers, Internet service providers and technology vendors need months of advance notice in order to complete the installation on time.
In some cases, the provider you have in your current location may not be available in a new one. Review contracts to determine if they can be cancelled in the event your business moves to a location where the provider does not offer service.
The Benefits of an Office Move
Moving to a new office space is an opportunity to make progress in a number of ways. In and of itself a move communicates to employees, vendors and customers that good days are ahead.
Among employees, a new environment can do wonders for morale and productivity. In fact, businesses often use an office move as a springboard to launch a revamped organizational chart. Similarly, this can be an opportunity to upgrade to newer technology, allowing employees to work more efficiently.
A move is also a good time to evaluate expenses. Review all costs, including everything from office supplies to telecom and utilities. You may want to get quotes from other providers. Despite the cost of the move, your new location may result in reduced operating expenses.
Finally, a new space can enhance your brand. The type of building you choose communicates a message. Moving to an office in a refurbished warehouse with exposed brick and wood beams says something very different than space in a single-story suburban office park. Your commercial real estate broker can help you find the location and building that will convey the right brand message and attract customers or clients.
The information contained in this article is general in nature and should not be construed as financial, tax or legal advice. As with any financial or legal matter, consult your tax advisor and legal counsel.