Moving offices is a big project. If you’re planning an office relocation or simply expanding your existing premises, there’s a lot to keep track of, such as finding the right site, dealing with legal issues and making design and layout decisions. The stakes are high; a badly planned relocation can be costly and bad for business. So using an office relocation checklist can help you to look ahead, complete your tasks on time – and recognise when the project is in danger of lagging behind or going over budget.
What to include on your checklist
Your office relocation checklist should include the essential tasks for every stage of the process. If that feels overwhelming it can help to split these up into discrete sections, making sub-checklists for each step.
This is a process that shouldn’t be rushed or overlooked, as it will determine the success of the entire project. During the planning stage you’ll need to consider:
- Your business requirements in the next 5-10 years. Will the company expand? How much space will you need?
- Contractual obligations relating to your current lease: are you tied to the property for a particular length of time?
- Relocation team. Assign responsibilities to different individuals to ensure that every aspect of the move is taken care of.
- Budget. Do you need to cut costs?
Finding a new location
Securing a space that’s right for your needs can be a challenge. Your checklist can help to ensure that you find somewhere that meets all your requirements.
- Which area should you relocate to? This might already be a fundamental part of your plan, or you might have a general aim to keep up with your competitors by moving to a more central location or save costs on rent by looking in a cheaper area. Consider factors such as rental rates, proximity to public transport and staff retention.
- How much space do you require? How many people will work in the new building? Can you use your space more efficiently?
Red tape and paperwork
Ignore legal and contractual issues at your peril. An office relocation checklist should include a meticulous outline of every legal consideration that needs attention during the move.
- At your current office, go through your current contract to ensure that you understand all of your existing obligations.
- Get advice from a solicitor on the legal issues you’ll need to consider on relocating to your new headquarters.
Fitting out your new office isn’t simply about providing enough desks. A well-planned office fit-out can help you work more efficiently and keep your staff happy.
- Take the time to choose an office fit-out partner that understands your needs and can help you make informed decisions about design, décor and use of space.
After securing a site and putting things in motion, it’s time to consider the practicalities. This part of your checklist will help you ensure business continuity when the physical move takes place.
- Compile a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, so that if your move is delayed or the phones go down, you have a Plan B that keeps everything going.
- Find an IT and telecoms company you trust, who can deal with phones, emails and connectivity when you move to the new building.
- Make sure you can always be contacted; reprint business materials and update your website with your new details.
How to use your checklist
Keep referring to your office relocation checklist at every stage of the move. Add items as they arise, and keep notes of everything you have done. Make sure that your checklist and notes are backed up so that they don’t get lost in the move! When you are settled in your new premises, you’re likely to still need to check them from time to time – and a few years down the line, they will be invaluable for planning your next change of address.