Moving an office can be hectic, stressful and a huge task to undertake without the right preparations and plans in place. If this is your first-time moving offices, you may have no clue where to start or what to look for in a good plan.
We are here to provide you with the foundations to follow to make your next office move a seamless process.
Table of contents
- What is an Office Relocation Project Plan?
- Why is an Office Relocation Plan Essential for Your Office Move?
- Steps to Follow When Developing an Office Relocation Project Plan
- Assemble Your Project Planning Team and Establish Who Will Be the Leader of Your Move
- Determine Your Key Dates
- Put Together an Estimated Relocation Budget
- Establish the Requirements for Your Office Space
- Assess Spaces and Determine the Type of Lease You Will Need
- Determine the Type of Moving Company You Will Use
- Notify the Following Groups: Your Employees, Service Providers and Customers
- Plan Your New Office Space, Furniture Layouts and Organize Your Files
- Prepare All Marketing Materials to Reflect the New Information
- What tools or software do you need to make an office relocation plan?
- Additional Office Relocation Resources
- How Chipman Relocation & Logistics Can Help
What is an Office Relocation Project Plan?
An office relocation plan refers to a process document that identifies and outlines all the steps that are necessary to complete an office move. This plan can vary in detail but typically touches on aspects such as identifying the people in charge of the move, timeline, budget, inventory, and how you will communicate the move to everyone affected.
Why is an Office Relocation Plan Essential for Your Office Move?
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.
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.
9 Steps to Follow When Developing an Office Relocation Project Plan
1. Assemble Your Project Planning Team and Establish Who Will Be the Leader of Your Move
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.
We recommend you stick to 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.
2. Determine Your Key Dates
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.
3. Put Together an Estimated Relocation Budget
When estimating your office relocation budget here are items to consider as potential expenses:
- The office mover’s cost
- New office costs
- Existing office repairs
- Additional hours for staff
- Any fees incurred from terminating your lease early
- Any extra services for packing, installing IT systems, special transportation etc.
Review the budget periodically to ensure the move stays within the budget.
4. Establish the Requirements for Your Office Space
Depending on the type of company you work for, the office you need may vary widely. During the relocation plan it is extremely important to establish what are your non-negotiables when it comes to an office space for it to be the optimum place for productivity and the success of your business.
Ask yourselves the following questions when considering your requirements for an office:
- Does the property owner offer insurance?
- Does the space accommodate the size of your company comfortably?
- Does the space allow for scalable growth?
- How does heating and cooling work in the building?
- What amenities does it offer (kitchen, lounges, number of bathrooms etc.)?
- Does the neighborhood around the office have restaurants, supermarkets, and other social areas?
- Is the office easy to reach via various forms of transportation?
- Will it be easy to set up computers, monitors, printers?
Minute details such as the number of outlets the space offers may not come to mind at first but can affect the efficiency of the office and how your employees perform in the space.
5. Assess Spaces and Determine the Type of Lease You Will Need
Now that you have determined what your office non-negotiables are, select the new office location based off your needs and negotiate a lease if you do not own the new building. Decide in advance the type and length of lease you need.
The three main type of office leases are:
- Modified Gross
- Net leases
6. Determine the Type of Moving Company You Will Use
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.
7. Notify the Following Groups: Your Employees, Service Providers and Customers
When to Tell Your Employees
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 anticipated questions.
When to Tell Customers and Vendors
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.
What Service Providers Should You Notify
You should notify the following groups about your office location change:
- The post office, UPS, FedEx, and any other delivery service consistently used
- Relevant government departments
- Phone and data providers.
- Any ongoing subscription services such as newspapers, magazines etc.
8. Plan Your New Office Space, Furniture Layouts, and Organize Your Files
If you are planning to redesign the style of the office, reorganize layouts or completely revamp your furniture, an office move is the prime time to do so. And including these items in your office relocation plan can help streamline the process.
When planning for the new office space consider the following:
- What is the best floor plan for the space: Decide how to layout office furniture, establish co-working/communal spaces, and analyze the best places to put commonly trafficked areas such as copy rooms in a way that will not cause overcrowding in one area? Once you create this plan share it with your team, your moving company, and anyone else that will be helping set up the office such as furniture suppliers or an IT company.
- Take inventory of your current furniture and office amenities: An office relocation presents a suitable 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.
- Declutter your files: Office relocation also provides a fantastic opportunity to purge unnecessary files and move paper records to digital. You might also consider offsite records storage to free up office space.
9. Prepare All Marketing Materials to Reflect the New Information
Update all marketing collateral including the company website and online citations, brochures, stationery, business cards, etc.
What tools or software do you need to make an office relocation plan?
You do not need state-of-the-art software or fancy tools to develop an organized scalable office relocation plan. We recommend you build the plan in a Word document or Excel Spreadsheet. If you have multiple people working on the plan together a cloud-based platform that everyone can access such as Google Sheets would work well. If you 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 your office relocation plan can live within any document.
Take Office Relocation Planning One Step at a Time
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 for 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.
Additional Office Relocation Resources
Need more help putting together your office relocation plan? We offer a variety of informational documents that you can find with our blog but here are recommendations to check out:
- 20 Tips for Smoother Office Moves
- 3 Essential Tips for Moving Confidential and Sensitive Records
- The Important List of Moving Supplies