How to Plan and Execute a Seamless Office Move

August 6, 2018 / Posted in How-to
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

If you thought relocating your home is a complex task, you would probably condemn an office move as an almost impossible one. However, the corporate relocation could positively affect more than half of all employees (even 68%,) so it is essential that everything runs and finishes with complete success. Fortunately, we have some tricks and tips up in our sleeves – follow our guide so that your move passes without any setbacks.

A wooden desk with a phone and laptop
Relocating a workplace can be a manageable project if you follow our guide

How Do I Plan an Office Move – An Organization as the First Step

Like every other complicated task, an office relocation demands well-developed organizational and planning skills. You can’t play the Where I should move quiz in this situation – every aspect of your moving should be discussed and planned ahead. You should approach it as you would every other project – with a project leader, various teams, and a previously established budget you can operate with.

How Much Does It Cost to Move an Office Space?

The cost of your move can depend on numerous factors – on the size of your workplace, the number of employees, whether it’s a cross-country moving or a local one, do you need to update company’s equipment, on questions such as will you hire professional long-distance moving services, should you hire an auto transport company and so on.

Note that the cost of an interstate move can be significantly higher than local, similar to when you move your home, but especially because you need to count on relocation packages you should provide for your workers. Your current lease can also affect your budget – you may have signed that you will pay a certain price if you terminate it before it expires or if some part of the workplace is damaged. Make reviewing your lease one of your first priorities.

We can talk about average cost but note that every company is different with its own set of needs. That is why office moving costs can go anywhere from 5,000 USD to even 30,000 USD for large companies with numerous employees. Plan a budget in the starting phase of the move, so you know what your limitations are.

How Long Does It Take to Move an Office?

The time you will need for planning and performing a corporate move also can be easily determined, which is mainly connected to the size of your company – small firms can be relocated in the time span of three months, but medium and large offices can demand more than a year! Make sure to anticipate the amount of work needed to be done in order to plan the move date itself – a last-minute move is not a good option when relocating a workplace.

Who, How, and When – Key Questions in Planning the Move

Depending on your business’s size and your preferences, you could manage the move yourself, or you could pass the job to someone else or multiple managers, for that matter, who would create assignments for each team. Whichever option you choose, be sure that everybody knows what their task is and the timeline by when it needs to be done. It would be best to organize move-related meetings at least once a month, where you could summarise the progress you achieved, discuss current problems and strategies, and suggest innovative ideas.

When getting organized to move, every team should be assigned a different job – every part, from financial and marketing to designing and storing, should be completely covered. If some problem arises, make sure that your team can deal with it so that everything remains on track. In order to motivate your workers, either let them perform during their regular hours or give them a nice bonus for their effort.


A Moving Announcement – Get Everybody Familiar With Your New Workplace

A change of the workplace is not only a concern of the managers and higher ranks – it affects each and every one of your employees. It doesn’t matter if your corporation is getting bigger and you search for a larger space, or you are downsizing and planning to go with something smaller – it should not influence their further work in any way. In other to prevent a negative influence, you should consider talking to your workers and gathering all of the important information.

How Do You Communicate With an Office Move – A Guide for Talking to Your Employees About Moving

You should know what your workers think about the move – if they are not happy about it, see what you can do so you could increase their motivation. If there is something they need or want to have, encourage them to ask for it. You can activate an online group where all your workers can express their opinions and preferences, give some ideas, and help the common cause. And if they don’t want to do it in person, in one-on-one meetings, you can plan an anonymous survey. You could ask them about:

  • Possible change of sitting arrangements,
  • Workstyle preferences,
  • Equipment and gadgets they need,
  • Design ideas, and so on.

Ensure that every employee knows how important their help and ideas are and that every opinion will be considered and taken seriously.

Notify Your Exterior Contacts About Your New Workspace

You should inform your clients, customers, and suppliers about your move. If your reasons for a move lie in your business growth, ensure that your clients are familiar with it – that could be a good marketing strategy because it shows your success. Give them all of the information on your changed location and how your business will work during the move, but also explain if some aspects of your collaboration must be prolonged. In addition to that, remember to update your company’s address on the company’s website, business accounts, social media accounts, brochures, and so on (if you don’t want the next firm to wonder how to stop getting mail from previous residents.)

You also should cancel or transfer all of your utilities to your newest location in case of non-existent building management or the one that doesn’t deal with that task. Ensure to schedule internet and phone installations in your new workplace and later hire a part of your IT sector, if you have one, for computer and IT set up. Remember to hire a cleaning service if your current building doesn’t provide you with one.

A man in a suit holding a business card
Your address needs to be updated on every marketing source

Make an Inventory List – Planning Ahead

Similar to the home move, it would be best if you could make all kinds of lists for a corporate move – a list of your workers, most important actions, important dates, and alike. The inventory list, however, will give you a good insight of items you should:

  • Get rid of,
  • Pack, or
  • Purchase.

Almost every workplace has that one room with all of the items no one knows what to do with. Form a team that will go through every item to see how necessary it is to keep it. If you recently modernized your electronics, consider donating unwanted items or recycling them. Visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency to learn the best places you can donate or recycle your old electronics. The same goes for your old furniture – if you decide to remodel the new space with some modern furniture pieces, donate or sell your old ones.

Try to donate all of your unwanted items - many will need it

Get the Hang of Your New Office Space

You can’t plan anything for the company’s interior if you don’t know the new space – building’s blueprints and floor layouts. After you find out about them, ensure to compare them with your current setup to determine good and bad sides. Try to see if there can be any potential problems with new space and make an effort to overcome them before the move date (for example, if the place needs more or fewer cubicles if there is something that needs to be fixed, and so on.) If your budget allows it, get help from an interior designer – someone who will take all of your and your employees’ ideas and wishes and create a unique space that fits the best to all of your needs.

If you want to find out some hacks on how a work desk should be arranged so that the productivity of your workers could increase, be sure to watch the following video.

Choose Reliable Long Distance Moving Company

Although the price of cross-country movers may be more than your budget can stand, rethink your initial assessment. Long-distance movers can do all the work for you and provide you with a stress-free move. You wouldn’t need to engage so many of your workers, and your work and clients would undoubtedly suffer a little bit less. If you decide to hire movers, remember to look for a firm with extensive experience in the corporate move, not just in a home one. In that case, they will know all the right ways to manage your delicate items and have all of the machines for loading and protecting heavy objects.

When you are looking for the cheapest way to move out of state, don’t repeat the most common moving mistakes in trying to save money on choosing movers – it can backfire badly. With so many moving scams out there, be sure to check the company’s reviews and recommendations, their DOT number, and so on. You can never be too safe, especially if you move highly expensive equipment. And so the firm’s most expensive items stay safe, remember that relocation insurance should be on the list of questions to ask movers.

If your company has vehicles, you should hire a car shipping company, too. Try to hire movers that provide this type of service if you want to find the cheapest way to ship a car – maybe you could get a discount on your auto transport.

 A truck transporting multiple cars
A car shipping firm can be a good choice if your company owns vehicles

Packing Time – Be Efficient

In order to move efficiently and find the easiest way to pack for a move, try to divide all your items into three different groups:

  • Things you rarely use,
  • Things you seldom use,
  • Essentials.

The order of packing should go from first to last – you can pack items you rarely use and clear the space a little, even a month before the date of the move. Some essentials, however, you’ll be packing on the relocating day itself. Ensure that you collect all of the old keys, codes, and passes on the last day and provide your workers with new ones for the latest workspace.

If you want professional help with all the complicated and heavy equipment, consider hiring a packing service with packers who deal with delicate items every day. They will most certainly know how to pack electronics, as well as how to pack exercise equipment if you have some and do it in the best way possible. They will bring all the necessary material with them, so you won’t have to worry about it.

How to Plan Your Packing and Avoid Chaos

Packing is probably the most exhausting part of every relocation process, home or corporate, and that is why we offer you a few more suggestions on how to plan it, so everything doesn’t become one big mess:

  • When picking a company’s documentation, be smart and turn everything you can into a digital format – this process may take time, but it will help you get rid of the unnecessary paperwork. Of course, when you are done with digitalizing, remember to back up all of your documents.
  • When it comes to packing boxes, don’t forget to number and color code every box – give every department a color and every employee in the department a number and label every box so that the unpacking process goes fastly and smoothly.
  • Advise your workers to pack their desks by themselves if they have expensive or emotionally valuable objects there.
A pile of books, magazines, and papers
It would be best if you could digitalize everything - don't risk the complete chaos

Acknowledge Your Success With a Party

After following our moving hacks and carefully checking if everything is wired properly and that everything is functioning just right, it is time for the last of our moving tipsrelax a little. You and your team defeated the enemy and came to the other side as winners of the workspace move. Acknowledge everyone’s efforts and make a toast to yourselves before you go home – you earned it.

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