Everything You Need To Know
About Moving Offices
South African businesses are on the move! Whether downsizing or expanding, or simply seeking a change of surroundings, local companies are experiencing an upsurge in relocations all across South Africa. Anyone who has ever undertaken an office move knows that it is not a cheap or straightforward operation – and, of course, the bigger the business, the more complicated the move.
Moving, in general, can be a big hassle, however moving offices can be even more daunting. You need to plan, organise and ensure everything goes according to schedule. Don’t know where to start? Find out everything you need to know about moving an office in this article.
Your Office Move Checklist
Moving to new premises is difficult. Whether your new space is across town or in a building next to you, a move causes downtime and stress on you and your employees. There is so much to do, such as packing, and inventory. You need to plan and coordinate your move ahead of time to ensure that everything goes smoothly and that your employees are happy. Planning can help you to ensure that you have enough funding in your budget for a mover. Most businesses hire professional movers to make their jobs a lot easier. It is essential to plan around your budget for a mover to put their mind at ease as they do most of the tasks at hand.
A moving checklist helps you to organise, plan and coordinate every stage of your move. Moving should be treated as a work deadline or urgent task at hand – each stage should be broken down into separate goals. If you have trouble coming up with a checklist, don’t stress. Here are some of the stages for you to follow for a smooth office transition.
1. Create a Moving Deadline
When do you need to be out of your building? Speak to your current landlord about your lease and when you need to be out of your current location. If you don’t plan your move with your landlord, you might risk overstaying your welcome and breaking your lease if you leave early. Give yourself a deadline so you know when you need to pack up and be ready to move out.
2. Set Up a Budget
Set your budget for your move ahead of time. We recommend at least 6 months before your move as this will give you adequate time to determine how much you need for a moving company. Once you have your budget, you can contact a moving company for a quote and then cut back on expenses that your office does not need should you require more cash.
3. Designate an Office Manager For Your Move
Who is involved in the move? Who will your moving team answer to? Designate a person preferably in your project management team to be involved in every aspect of the move. If something doesn’t go according to plan, this person can step in to help communicate this to the team or movers and sort out problems that arise.
4.Inform All Parties Involved About Your Move
It is important to communicate your move with every party involved, including your customers and clients. Send out emails to your customers, suppliers, and clients to let them know you are moving to a new office and provide them with your new contact details.
Let your employees know about your move early so that they can plan their lives accordingly. Employees may need to arrange transport, childcare, and budget accordingly for the move especially if it is a long-distance move so they need to be informed ahead of time. Remember to notify a post office of your change of address so that you can receive all your communications.
If you have subscriptions or utility bills, they need to also be updated so you need to take care of these ahead of time to ensure that your new office space has the required utilities (such as electricity, water, and internet connections) when you arrive.
5. Audits Office Supplies and Equipment
You need to conduct an audit of your office furniture and supplies to ensure that you are taking what you need. Arrange your items in such a manner that your movers know which to take and which to leave behind. Colour coding can help you here. Use a particular colour for items that are staying with you, another colour for items you have to get rid of, and an additional colour for items that you may want to put into storage.
6. Get Moving Supplies
Professional movers usually provide their moving supplies but you might require your own if your employees might want to pack up their items. If you have boxes and tape around the office, you can make use of this or you can purchase your own if it’s within your budget.
7. Finalise Plans
Ensure your moving team knows when to arrive, and that everyone involved in your move is aware of your deadlines. If you have people on your team helping you with your office move, arrange for transport for these employees if needed.
If you are entering a new building, schedule any security or IT assistance that you will need. For example, you may need a building and parking pass for your employees. Ensure everyone has access cards and authorization to enter the new premise. You may need to get your IT team to back up your data on all PCs or hire IT to support you to help you out.
8. Check-in With Your Workforce
Whether you have a small or large staff, you need to check-in and make sure that everyone is happy during and after the move. There might be frustrations or anxiety with the transit. You may lose employees and that’s normal. Focus on the employees that are sticking by your side. Checking in shows them that you care and that allows you to address their concerns and put their mind at ease.
The checklist is just a rough draft of what you will need for your move. You can use these tips to prepare and avoid any unexpected events that may arise but take note that every office and location is different. You may need to adjust your checklist and add priorities as needed.
It is also recommended that you consult a mover for help with your checklist. A professional mover has years of experience in moving companies – consulting a mover will help you to tackle every aspect of your move quickly and efficiently.
How Do You Plan For An Office Move?
Now that you have a general idea of what to include in your checklist, you are ready to start planning your move. If it is your first move, you might be overwhelmed. Use the checklist above to help you draw up a strategy of areas to tackle before, during, and after your move.
Ask your employees for help, and once again, it is highly recommended that you budget for a moving company that will take care of every aspect of the move. If a moving company is not available to you, a designated manager needs to be available to coordinate the move.
Things To Consider
Staying organised is essential but sometimes unexpected events can arise during your move, for example, bad weather conditions or unbudgeted expenses such as extra moving supplies. You need to be prepared and save up a little more for your move than you estimate. If you need to move your employees to a new home, you need to cater for these expenses too. Should unexpected events occur, you need to be flexible and adjust your moving schedule. Don’t forget to push big deadlines for the post-moving week or try to tackle these ahead of the move to avoid any disruption.
6 months Before The Move
You leave your old office in 6 months. Here’s a summary of what you need to do to ensure a good move:
Check your lease dates and when you need to be in your old building
Take care of any building repairs or damage
Contact your moving company to arrange a date for your move
Make sure you don’t take on big deadlines or projects that you won’t be able to complete within 6 months
Start saving up for your moving costs
Assign a crew to handle your moving needs
3 Months Before The Move
You have 3 months to go. It may seem like a lot of time but you need to start to focus on certain aspects. Here is a quick checklist:
Finalise your moving date and ensure that everyone can meet the deadline
Give your property owner or tenants adequate notice of your departure
Let your employees know about the move and answer any questions they have
Arrange moving plans for employees if they need to move to a new home
Let your customers and clients know about your move
Inform your suppliers or manufacturers about your new office
2 Months Before The Move
You have 2 months to go before your move. If you haven’t already taken care of things that you should’ve done a month ago, this is a good time to tackle it. Other factors to consider include:
Taking care of utilities and any internet installations you need in your new office
Creating a floor plan for the movers
Giving employees a parking disc or any authorization they need to enter their new office
Setting up your new office
Ensuring the office is safe for employees to work in, setting up alarm systems and security as needed
1 Month Before The Move
You have one month to go. Don’t panic if you are falling behind – you have a few weeks to start your belongings. Here’s a summary of what you should be taking care of:
Getting moving supplies
Contacting your moving company and asking them if they require supplies or keys from you if you aren’t going to be present
Checking in with your employees to see if they are ready for your move and assisting them where you can
Update your company information, reprint business cards, update websites, etc.
Notify your bank and postal office of your new address if you haven’t done this already
2 Weeks Before The Move
There are 2 weeks to go. You are probably panicking at this point.
Now is the time that you need to start confirming everything:
Confirm all plans with your moving company
Ensuring your office is ready to move in
Confirm that your employees are ready for the move
Arrange transport for employees if needed
Confirm that your telephone line and internet is working
Remind your staff, manufacturers, clients, and customers of your new address
Buy new furniture or equipment for your new office if needed
1 Week Before The Move
The week before a move is an exciting time. You are ready to get settled in and hope your employees enjoy the new location as much as you do. Here is what you should do to make sure your move goes smoothly:
Visit or walk around your new office location and make a note of anything that looks out of place (such as broken lights or sprinklers). Inform your landlord or building manager of any issues before you move in
Ensure there are no safety hazards for your employees. Clean and sanitise your office beforehand
Go back to your checklist to ensure everything is taken care of
Check your budget. If you went over, you may have to cut back on expenses
Enjoy your move and celebrate your new office with your team