As with any major project, proper planning and organization are key to a successful office move. Once the decision to relocate is made, the first task is to create an Office Relocation Project Plan. This is one of the most important steps taken in an office move.
An office relocation plan outlines the tasks necessary to complete a successful move. It should also specify who is responsible for each task and when the tasks must be completed.
By creating an outline of every step in the moving process, you ensure necessary tasks are completed in the required timeframe. When following a good project plan, downtime and loss of productivity are kept to a minimum as the move is successfully completed on time and on budget.
Now that we’ve covered the reasons why you need a good office relocation project plan, let’s talk about how to create one.
How to Create an Office Relocation Project Plan
- Determine who will be the primary person in charge of the move, whether it be you or someone else within your company. This person will serve as the in-office move coordinator. He or she should be a great organizer, have the authority to represent your company, and be capable of making snap decisions when necessary.
- Select a small project planning team. The in-office move coordinator will serve as leader of this team, and together the team will create your office relocation plan.
- Know or determine your key dates, such as current lease termination, preferred move date, new lease signing, new office build-out start and finish, and final date for completion of the move.
- Estimate your relocation budget. Review it periodically throughout the move process to ensure the move stays within the budget.
- Develop a project plan customized for your office relocation. You can use tips on what to include, such as those provided below, but the best project plan is one created specifically for your office move. Build the plan in a Word document or Excel Spreadsheet (Google Sheets would work well). List every task that must be taken to complete the move, who will be responsible for each one, and when the task should be completed.
Tips for Creating Your Relocation Plan, What to Include
Every office relocation is different, so you (along with your team) will need to decide what tasks to include in your specific project plan. The priority is to make sure every detail is covered within a set timeframe and budget. Below are a few tips for a successful office move:
- Decide if you will use full service movers before creating your project plan. If you work with a full service mover, details of the physical move can be handled by a professional move coordinator. Your mover will manage the relocation for you, so those details do not need to be included in your project plan. You will, however, need to include in your plan the process of selecting the best full service office movers.
- Inform employees of the upcoming move, as early as possible. If you are making a long-distance relocation, discuss relocation packages. Keep employees informed throughout the process via regular emails, posted notices and announcements during company meetings. You can also prepare a relocation FAQ or guideline to answer many anticipated questions.
- Determine the required space needed in the new office. Consider future growth.
- Select the new office location and negotiate a lease. Decide in advance the type and length of lease you need.
- Work with an office space planner on design and buildout. Know the dimensions of the new space.
- Work with your IT department head in planning the new office infrastructure.
- An office relocation presents a good time to replace outdated equipment and furnishings. Perform an inventory and decide what items will be moved or replaced. Also decide how you will dispose of the outdated office furniture and equipment.
- Relocation also provides a great opportunity to purge unnecessary files and move paper records to digital. You might also consider offsite records storage to free up office space.
- Update all marketing collateral including the company website and online citations, brochures, stationary, business cards, etc.
- Notify customers and vendors about the upcoming relocation. Take advantage of this opportunity to communicate with your current, former and prospective customers multiple times throughout the relocation process. Announce the upcoming move. If you are relocating due to company growth, proudly tell customers and vendors. Later send an update about how well plans for the relocation are going, and then announce completion of the move.
- Review 20 Tips for Smoother Office Moves and other office relocation tips provided here.
Take as much time as needed to build your office relocation project plan. Refine the plan throughout the relocation process as necessary, and periodically check in with responsible parties of each task to ensure those tasks are completed as scheduled. Building and adhering to a good plan will provide the organization your office relocation needs to be a successful move that is on time and on budget.