Relocating your office requires the seamless orchestration of a number of moving parts. Although you may already have goals in mind for your workplace move—such as sticking to your pre-defined budget, creating a smooth transition for your employees, and reducing your overhead over the long term—chief among these will be to minimize the disruption to your day-to-day business operations.
To help you plan a seamless office move that hits all these goals (and more!) we put together this workplace relocation checklist. Every business will have its own unique needs, so it would be tough to create a checklist that works for every one of them. However, this list will hit the must-dos that every business should account for to ensure nothing important slips through the cracks, creating an easy office move for all parties involved.
Prior to Your Corporate Relocation
- Weigh the cost against the benefits. Maybe you’re moving to a location with more favorable lease terms or a footprint that will better accommodate your business operations. As you make your final decision, consider the benefits of your relocation against the costs involved, including the move itself, FF&E costs, infrastructure upgrades at your new location and the impact to your business operations, among others. You may even want to complete a ballpark budget to give yourself an initial understanding of the expenses involved before you proceed.
- One item you’ll especially want to consider: the terms of your current lease. What kind of notice do you need to give? Will a move mean that you’re breaking your lease early, which may trigger early termination fees? What about property damage and post-move inspection terms? Make sure you read through your lease thoroughly so you understand your responsibilities and costs if you do decide to relocate.
6 Months Before Your Corporate Relocation
- Put together a task force dedicated to overseeing the move. Consider including one team member from each department so all of your teams’ needs are accounted for.
- Reach out to three different moving companies to get quotes. By gathering three different estimates, you’ll get a good lay of the land so you can start to budget. You’ll also want to compile a list of questions to ask during the selection process, such as:
- “What kind of services do you provide?” Some moving companies may also have project management capabilities that will allow them to orchestrate a number of aspects of the move for you from start to finish. Others may only be able to offer day-of moving services.
- “Can you work off hours?” Some businesses chose to move on weekends or holidays in order to minimize disruption to their operations. Ask if each moving company would be willing to work on this type of schedule.
- “Do you have storage options?” If you find yourself in need of a safe place to store some of your equipment—or even your company’s important files—can your moving company help?
- Put together a budget. Then, based on the quotes you receive from these moving companies, as well as your own internal calculations, put together a budget to help monitor and control costs.
- Start developing communication plans. You’ll need to share news of your move with a number of people. We suggest thinking about this in terms of two audiences:
- Internal stakeholders: How will you share your move plans and critical information with your staff? If you have a human resources department, they might be the right team to oversee this part of the plan.
- External parties: You’ll also need to notify your customers, vendors, service providers, and more. Your marketing team might be the right one to take charge of this area.
3 Months Before Your Corporate Relocation
- Select your moving date with the company you’ve chosen. Once the timing is confirmed, make sure to:
- Communicate the date to your staff.
- Notify the landlord at your current location.
- Work with the property manager at your new location to ensure that everything you need, such as elevator access, will be ready for your move-in date.
- Put together your company’s moving plan. This would be a great action item for your task force. Although every company’s plan will be different, consider including:
- A list of external parties to update, including:
- Clients – Make sure to explain how (and if) this will affect the way they interact with your organization.
- The US Postal Service – File a change of address.
- Your bank and any other financial institutions – Make sure they’re aware of your new mailing address and physical location.
- Insurance providers – Get a quote for your new location and include any premium changes in your operating budget.
- Regular vendors, including cleaning services, suppliers or security providers – Let them know when services at your old location will stop and negotiate new contracts for your future location.
- Utility providers – Reach out to your current providers to understand what’s involved with terminating service at your current location and establishing accounts at your new one.
- The Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation – Keep your info current with this critical agency.
- Magazines or newspapers delivered to the office – Let them know when you want to have your subscriptions delivered to the new address.
- A rollout plan for any corporate materials, including letterhead and business cards. Don’t forget to include electronic items, too, such as your website email footers and social media properties.
- A technology plan for phone and Internet services that covers:
- Shutting off your current service.
- Establishing accounts at your new location.
- Upgrades or installation of infrastructure at your new location to ensure minimal disruption during the move.
- Any new equipment you might need to order for your new space.
- Note: Your moving company may be able to assist with this. Make sure to inquire about their capabilities in this area during the quote phase.
- An owner for each task to give one person accountability for completion.
- A list of external parties to update, including:
- Select a professional firm to design your floor plan and the interiors of your new office. Make sure you cover both the functional side and the decorative aspects of your new space. If you’re going to need new furnishings or office equipment, make sure to get your order in as soon as possible so everything is ready for your new space.
- Do a security audit of your old location and your new one.
- Who currently holds access cards or keys to your current location? Make a master list you can use as an inventory on your final day.
- Will those same people need the same level of access at your new location? Put together a list that you can share with the property manager at your new location sooner rather than later.
4-6 Weeks Before Your Corporate Relocation
- Check-in with the milestones on your moving plan. Are any in danger of not getting met? If so, brainstorm with your taskforce to create solutions ASAP in order to keep your move on track.
- Order moving supplies. Make sure you have enough boxes, packing material, tape, markers, and labels for the move.
- Create a system to inventory and label everything that needs to get moved. You may need to create a template, then ask each department to use this template to create its own inventory list. If your staff will be packing their own areas, make sure they understand the label system to avoid any misplaced items.
- Check-in with your property manager to eliminate access issues. Make sure you’ve shared a list of what you’ll need—keys, access cards, parking permits, etc.—and set a date for when you can expect to receive them.
- Book cleaning services. Depending on the terms of your lease, you may need to hire a cleaning service to take care of your current office after the move. You also may want to have your new location cleaned before Moving Day. Get these dates on the calendar ASAP to avoid snags down the road.
- Order new stationery and business cards so they’ll be ready to go once the move is complete.
- Double-check on your utility accounts. Make sure everything is set for your new office space so the lights will be on when the move-in starts.
- Check-in with your technical team and confirm that everything is on track. Make sure you double-check the following:
- Internet and phone service at your new location: Will it be up and running when you need it?
- Infrastructure upgrades and installs at your new location: Are these on track for completion?
- New equipment: Is everything ordered and expected to arrive on time?
- Data integrity: Does your organization have a plan in place to back up your organization’s critical data, in case any equipment is damaged in transit?
2 Weeks Before Your Corporate Relocation
- Review your moving plan with your taskforce. Note any items that are behind schedule. If needed, assign additional resources to keep the plan on track.
- Touch base with your moving company. Make sure you’re on the same page with expectations for Moving Day and your transition to your new space.
- Bring your organization up to speed. Check-in with your whole staff to ensure they’re ready and excited for the coming transition. Consider holding a Q&A session to make sure everyone’s queries get answered. Make sure you communicate clearly what you need your employees to pack, such as personal belongings, and what items will be handled by someone else, such as your movers or your IT team.
- Visit your new location, with two goals in mind:
- Do a walk-through of your new space and put together a punch list of any items your new landlord needs to take care of before Moving Day.
- Pick up any keys, badges, or other items you’ll need to access your new office on Moving Day. Double-check these against the list you shared with the property manager to ensure you have everything you requested.
- Double-check your supply of packing materials. Do you need to source anything additional before Moving Day?
- Check-in with your technical team. Make sure all their milestones are all on track, especially that all-critical backup plan for your company data.
1-2 Days Before Your Corporate Relocation
- Update your address on your electronic properties. Make sure your team takes care of items such as:
- Your website
- Email footers
- Social media properties
- Google Business Listings
- Review sites like Yelp
- Ask your taskforce to check-in with their teams, as well as a walk-through of their departments. Identify any potential snags that could derail Moving Day and allocate resources accordingly.
- Gather up all access materials for your current property, like keys and badges. You’ll likely have to do this the day before your move, but the inventory list you created should make this easy!
- Take a trip over to your new location. Check the basics, like light, water, phone, and Internet access. If there are any issues, contact the appropriate agency immediately.
- While you’re there, set up a working office that can act as your control center for the move. Make sure you have a phone line and computer with Internet access, plus a printer and basic office supplies. That way, you’ll have a central location to operate from. If anyone has problems or questions, establish this office as the go-to location.
The Day After the Big Move
- Hold an orientation session on the first day in the office to make sure everyone knows where everything is. Consider starting with a session for taskforce members, then ask those taskforce members to give their teams the tour.
- Have a central point of contact so employees can report problems. Make sure you ask a few staff members across disciplines to dedicate time to troubleshooting in the first few days.
- Walkthrough your old location with your landlord or property manager. Create a list of any items that need to be taken care of on your part.
- Confirm that all services and accounts related to your old property are closed. It’s worth designating a team member for a double-check to put a lid on accidental expenses.
- A day or two after your move, bring your taskforce together to report on the transition. Troubleshoot any issues and reassign resources if needed to get your operations up and running as quickly as possible.
- Finally, enjoy your new office! Once the dust settles, consider hosting a party at the office to thank everyone for their contributions.
Executing a Move That Keeps Your Organization Moving Forward
Business doesn’t stop just because your company decides to relocate. However, by taking the time to carefully plan and execute your office move, you’ll set the stage for a simple relocation, one that minimizes disruption to your business, reduces stress for your employees, and keeps your customers happy from start to finish.
Need help with your office move? In addition to day-of moving services, we can assist with all aspects of your relocation, including project management, shipping new FF&E to Guam, equipment and furniture assembly and more. Just reach out to us for a complimentary consultation with one of our experts.