9 Top Tips for a Successful Office Relocation
The prospect of an office move or business relocation can be a daunting one but is often needed to meet the changing needs of the company. We have compiled the 9 steps for a successful and hassle-free office move. Download our free office move plan or call us on 0203 397 7444 for further information.
1. Assessment and objectives
Assess your current business needs as well as your expected future needs. What do you need from a business premises now, what do you hope to need in 1, 3, 5, 10 or even 20 years. Be clear about the reasons behind your office relocation (these could include the expiry of your lease, planned expansion or contraction, reduction in overheads, etc.) and think about both the long and short terms needs of your company to effectively map out the appropriate office move plan.
It can be surprising how soon in the process big decisions must be made so it’s imperative to know your objectives to ensure you are going to achieve them. At this stage, it’s also wise to gather all the relevant facts including the details of the existing lease and notice period and your current obligations and liabilities which will form the basis of the subsequent planning process.
2. Proper planning
In order to plan an office move effectively, a consensus should be reached by the decision makers about the reasons behind the office move and the overall aims of the project. Key questions to ask at this stage include:
Where do you want to move to?
How much space do you need?
When you need to be in by?
What key features you need your new office to have?
What are the planned business objectives (including growth plan) that the move needs to satisfy
What length and type of lease do you want?
What is your budget?
3. Team building
Putting together the right team of people to manage an office move is a vital step in the process. It’s unlikely that any one member of your staff has the skills, time and experience to manage an office relocation project alone.
Any office move, even for a relatively small office, is a major undertaking and a team effort is essential for a successful outcome. A good team should include people who will help facilitate all aspects of the move, this includes both internal and external members.
One tip is to appoint a project leader within the company at the beginning of the move process who can act as a single point of contact for external parties and keep all internal stakeholders in the loop. This person should be appointed as soon as possible after the decision to move office has been made and he/she should possess skills and qualities including:
Strong communication skills; they should be able to communicate effectively with both internal and external members and keep all stakeholders informed throughout the process.
Time; project leader should be readily available on phone and email and should have enough time to dedicate to the office move project.
Trust; the appointed person should have the trust of senior management and the authority to act and make decisions on behalf of the company.
Organisation; need to be a good organizer of people and processes, ideally a person with proven management experience who has experience of setting goals and working within budgets.
4. Don’t delay
There’s a lot involved in an office move so the sooner you start, the better your chances of achieving a smooth and successful move. We recommend that you should start reviewing your options 9-18 months prior to your lease expiration, whether you are considering relocation, renewing, or renegotiating. It is crucial that you allow plenty of lead-time to properly assess the various options and consider the amount of leverage and competition between each. This can result in being able to source better premises for the same cost or result in substantial savings in renegotiations.
Once the project leader has been appointed, work should commence and one of the first tasks is to create a budget. An accredited project manager with experience in office move management, such as Logic PM, can be invaluable when drawing up a realistic budget. A budget is a critical planning tool that will help you assess your costs, plan your finances and manage your expenditure throughout the process. Budgets can also help you to gauge the success of your project and measure it against your business objectives.
6. Work with professionals
Appoint the right office move professionals for your project. An office relocation can be complex, stressful and time-consuming, particularly if you have not done it before. Second to staff costs, property costs are typically the next biggest expenditure of a business. The decisions you make now will have an impact on the profitability of your company long into the future.
Working with the right professionals is our biggest ‘top tip’ for any business looking to move office. An experienced project manager will guide you through the process, minimising the stress and will typically save you time and money in the long run through effective planning and ensuring that you avoid any critical mistakes.
7. Think before you sign…
We recommend that you do not sign any lease documents without the proper legal advice. Your solicitors should be able to negotiate the detail of the lease document to minimise your exposure to potential liabilities. They should also advise you on the implications of the more detailed terms in the final lease documents to ensure you are fully aware of your ongoing responsibilities.
8. Communication is key
Communication: people inherently dislike change. It’s uncomfortable and unsettling. However, an office move is a fantastic opportunity to affect positive change within your business. The move may result in improved business performance, better facilities and increased staff morale. The key to achieving this lies in communication. Be upfront with your staff about your planned office move and keep them informed and engaged throughout the process. Hold regular meetings on the plans and listen to your employees as they may come up with some excellent ideas that you could implement.
9. Clear out and move on
Take advantage of the opportunity that an office move presents. Clear out old files and rid all storage areas of unwanted items prior to the move. Also, consider scanning documents no longer needed in hard copy and upgrading any out-dated equipment, furniture and computers.
For further information and advice about your upcoming office move, please contact us on 01622 535505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org