Office Move Checklist



How to manage a stress free office move

Developing an office move check list can save a great deal of time and stress. There are many reasons for moving office. They include:

  • Your business needs more or less space
  • You need to cut costs
  • You have a rent review coming
  • You need to improve office productivity
  • You need to enhance your corporate image
  • You need to attract or retain key personnel

Moving offices can kick-start a company into new thinking. An office move can be a catalyst for improved performance, employee satisfaction, enhanced public image and business growth. However, just like moving your own house, acquiring new offices is likely to be a very stressful event. Use this checklist to make the whole process as stress free as possible. It is organised into three sections:

  1. HOW MUCH SPACE DO I NEED?
  2. CHOOSING THE RIGHT PREMISES
  3. THE MOVE PROJECT PLAN

How much space do I need?

These days the trends in office space have been towards flexible space, hot desking, shared offices, etc. For many businesses this isn’t right. If you are looking to establish a business base with a corporate feel and culture, a conventional 3-5 year lease is the answer

The first (and most important) question you should ask yourself when looking for office space is: How much space do I need?

Although most of us work in metric sizes, conventional office space is advertised in sq ft. What are the rules of thumb to calculate how much office space is necessary? In the big high rent cities, the most commonly accepted rule is that 100 sq.ft. per employee is ideal. What this means is that the actual desk space measures about 50 sq.ft. and the other 50 sq. ft. makes up the kitchen, meeting rooms, and other communal areas.

Where there are high rents, many companies opt for the more cost-efficient ratio of 70-80 sq.ft. per person. Space saving ideas such as minimising storage facilities and using benches instead of desks allow the lower ration. Where there are lower rents, the opposite is true and larger offices are the norm.

These are approximate space requirements for meeting rooms, kitchens, corner offices etc:

  • Small Meeting Room (2-4 people) – 100 sq.ft.
  • Large Meeting Room (4-8 people) – 150 sq.ft.
  • Board Room (15 – 20 people) – 220 sq.ft.
  • Training/Conference Room (20 – 30 person) – 300 sq.ft.
  • Kitchenette – 100 sq.ft.
  • Small Server Room (1 server rack) – 40 sq.ft.
  • Large Server Room (4 server racks) – 120 sq.ft.
  • Manager’s Office – 100 sq.ft.
  • Senior Manager’s Office (with small meeting table) – 200 sq.ft.
  • Director’s Office (with four persons meeting table) – 250 sq.ft.

Choosing the right premises

Allow at least three or four months for choosing the right premises. Work to a deadline.

Don’t be fussy about looks especially if you are on a budget and looks are not important. The main issues are to meet your team’s requirements and to obtain a lease that suits you.

Flexible leases can get you into a premise very quickly. Non-flexible leases take up to three months or more negotiation before the contract is signed. Use professional advice negotiating the terms of your lease. Always check prices against similar office space in the area. If possible, talk to existing businesses.

Use this checklist when you make a decision:

  • Most importantly: is the space big enough and can you afford it?
  • Is there room for you to expand?
  • Is the office serviced or non-serviced?
  • If it’s non-serviced, how much extra will it cost you to put in all the fittings you need?
  • What’s the security like, in the building and the area?
  • How will this affect your insurance? (You will get a better deal the more doors and locks there are, and the further up off ground level you are)
  • Will you have to pay for your own locks?
  • How hands-on are the management? Do they provide their own plumber/electrician/etc.?
  • Who is responsible for maintenance – management or you?
  • Are there restrictions on usage?
  • Can you redecorate?
  • Will you have 24/7 access?
  • What are the service charges, if any? Are they due to be reviewed?
  • What are the business rates? Are they due to be renewed?
  • What are the transport links and parking facilities? Will this inconvenience visiting clients?
  • What shops and amenities are nearby? (You need somewhere to lunch!)
  • Is there a shower?
  • Is there a place to store bikes securely?
  • Is there a lift or do you have to walk up several flights of stairs?
  • Are there enough power sockets?
  • Is there a kitchen you can use?
  • Do you have a drinking water tap?
  • Is there air con/central heating? How hot/cold does it get throughout the year?
  • Are there any building works going on nearby that could disrupt you, and how long are they likely to last?
  • Check all the windows open.

The Move Project Plan

Before the moving date, appoint a project manager and have regular meetings with department representatives.

Q Office Furniture Office Move Project Planning
WEEKS BEFORE ACTIONS
10 to 12 weeks
  • Create an office layout
  • Call Q Office Furniture Ltd
  • Present new layout to the team and amend as required
  • Order furniture
  • Consider legal help
6 to 10 weeks
  • Arrange security company survey
  • Obtain quotes from trades people – electricians, decorators, partition suppliers, IT, floor covering, etc
  • Obtain removal quotes and book best firm
  • Sort out insurance, business rates, IT (talk to current supplier about managing the move), electronics/cables, phones and phone lines
6 weeks
  • Tell your current suppliers your leave date: milk, newspapers and magazines, water cooler, cleaners
  • Manage stationery quotes
  • Sign contract with security company
  • Organise change of address notification to customers and suppliers
4 weeks
  • Ensure broadband and phone lines are in place by next week
  • Manage postal redirections ready for move date
  • Start kitchen build
  • Determine how to get the essentials in place for when you arrive in new office: drinking water, internet, a phoneline, and anything else you need
1 week
  • Get crates delivered by delivery company and start packing up
  • Research and sort best deals for: utilities, water cooler, milk, newspapers and magazines
  • Build any big cupboards and storage units
  • IT company set up cables and wiring
  • Furniture delivered
  • Removals men set up furniture
  • IT company set up computers, servers, etc
  • Send all contacts change of address notice (and change of phone number if there’s no way you can keep your old one)
  • Organise cleaners to do final clean of old office if landlord requires it

Giving yourself an overlap of a couple of days between leaving your old office and entering your new one can take the pressure off, but it’s not essential. Just get crates delivered a few days before your leave dates and make sure you start packing early – non-essential items first.

You need to get your IT company to pack up all your computers and servers on your leave date (or before if you can work off laptops) and set them up again in the new office. Do not go vigilante on this one – the equipment is too valuable.

Always have someone from your team overseeing the removals team when they bring everything to the new office, and for when the furniture is delivered. Check all items off a list to make sure nothing’s missing. The furniture company or removals team should set up furniture and place everything in the right place – keep your floor plan close at hand.

Cancel meetings for a couple of days either side of the move, and remember to set out-of-office messages on move day. Forward calls from your old office to someone’s mobile until your new phoneline is put in.

Then, when you’re settled, send out your new address notification to contacts.

Finally, crack open the bubbly.

Contact Us

Have a question or need help in designing your new office space? Just call us on 01992 463358 today for assistance.

Brian Hallett, VSS

We had an argument with the landlord and we had to move quickly to a larger space on the other side of town. If it had not been for Gary and his team we would have been in real trouble. With their professional approach and local knowledge, they told us exactly what we needed to do and helped at every stage. It was so smooth, we barely lost a day in business and the staff are very happy with their new place.

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