Anyone who has ever moved will tell you that it isn’t easy. After all, there are about a thousand little things you need to take into account when moving from one home to the next. However, moving an office, and especially a big office, offers an entirely different level of challenges. As Nancy Zafrani, the General Manager of the famed NYC moving company Oz Moving, once stated, you have to consider a myriad of details during an office move. Some of those include your employees, transferring extra-large furniture and sensitive equipment, and figuring out how to continue working while the move takes place.
So, as an employer, you will need to organize a decent office move, and this article is here to help you. However, we will not cover the moving process itself. Rather, we will focus on the preparation stage, i.e. the very organization of the whole process.
Office Move Organization in 10 Easy Steps
1. Plan Early
According to industry professionals, a typical office move usually takes up to 12 months. With that in mind, it would be a good idea to start planning as early as possible. In fact, you might even start thinking about moving roughly a year and a half in advance if your office is particularly large.
2. Set a Moving Budget
Believe it or not, large office moves can cost anywhere between $5,000 and a whopping $30,000 (and beyond)! Obviously, determining the budget for your move is crucial, because:
- You want it done right
- You want to try and save as much money as you can
In order to determine the budget for the move, you will have to consult the other higher-ups of your business. Once you’ve agreed on a budget, you can proceed with other details.
3. Centralize All Info
Moving an office will require a lot of prep work. You’ll have to schedule meetings, discuss the details with employees, and take many, many notes. The notes can include schedules, to-do lists, spreadsheets, important papers, etc. So, in order to have all of that information regulated faster, you will need to centralize it. We suggest doing it digitally, with special apps for making lists and saving important data.
4. Organize Your Documents
This step is similar to centralizing the move info, but with one crucial difference. Here, you will store all vital business documents in one easy-to-find place. Those documents can include insurance papers, agreements, contracts, and other records. Digitize all of them just in case the originals get damaged during the move (taking a high-definition photo of a document will do, though you can always scan them). If possible, make additional paper copies and keep them in a specific spot during the packing.
5. Announce the Move
Your employees need to know when you’re moving and why you’re doing it. So, once you get all of the groundwork settled, you can announce the move to the workers. You can do it via a live meeting or, if some employees work from home or are not around, via a message, an email, a letter, or a video presentation.
Here is a list of things you need to cover in your announcement of the move:
- Why are you moving?
- Where is the new office?
- What does the new office provide when compared to the current one?
- What are the dates of the move?
- Which responsibilities do the employees have during the move?
- What future information will the workers expect to see about the move?
6. Discuss the Move With Your Team and Employees
The announcement should take a few weeks to settle, which will give you time to plan the next step. That next step is talking to both your team and your employees. Of course, if you can’t talk to them directly, you can always use a different method, including sending emails, surveys, video calls, or having the department managers do the work.
There are quite a few things you and your employees ought to cover, including:
- Changing any workspace needs in the new office
- Acquiring the right equipment
- Applying seating changes
- Taking workstyle preferences into account
- Discussing potential design choices and suggestions
Your fellow higher-ups will also be involved in the move, providing more or less the same list of needs. However, they will also help you in the decision-making process, as well as any potential budget changes. Most importantly, they will help you organize the workflow during the move itself. After all, a company should be available to its clients at all times, and lost time during the move can result in a drastic drop in revenue.
7. Make a ‘Have It/Need It’ List
This particular step is simple enough. First, make a list of all the furniture and equipment you plan on taking with you to the new office, from the biggest desk to the smallest paperclip. Then make a list of all the things that you either need to buy or can’t take with you, but will need in the new office from Day 1. These two lists will help your move go over smoothly.
8. Draft Origin and Destination Maps
Once you have your list of the things you have and the things you need, you’ll need to draw two maps that will help fit everything together. The first is the so-called Origin map. In other words, it is the map of your current office space, with all of the workers, furniture, and details labeled and marked for convenience. This map will help you while you draft the other important document, i.e. the Destination map. In it, you will use the Origin map and arrange your people and items in the way that best fits their workflow.
9. Contact the Right Moving Company
Getting the right moving company for your office will require some work. So, it might be a good idea to look into movers as early as before announcing the move to your employees. We suggest finding the highest-rated companies in your area with overwhelmingly positive feedback.
10. Get the Right Supplies
Office Move Organizing: The Bottom Line
Relocating an office takes time, preparation, and lots of planning. More often than not, it can be incredibly stressful, especially if you have a huge company with a large team. Hopefully, this article will help you start things off easily and with a lot fewer headaches.