Office Move Checklist
A move of any type can be daunting. Moving your office can have the most organized business owners overwhelmed and unsure where or when to start. The biggest expense of an office move is the downtime, it is well worth all the effort you will put in to minimize the impact downtime will have on your business. We created the Official Office Moving Checklist to help with the planning and organization that are key to a successful move to your new office.
6 months: Gathering Phase
Start gathering quotes and consider forming a committee to distribute duties. Things to work on during this phase of the move include:
- Floor planning/ space planning. Decide what you are taking with you and what you will buy for the new space.
- Ordering FF&E with long lead times. Often there are 3-4 month lead times OR MORE on custom pieces. Also ask your moving company if they can receive these items for you and store them until it is time for them to be installed.
- Get quotes from moving companies. Yes, multiple quotes. Make sure to ask about the FF&E, COI, any disassembly, and reassembly needed, if the relocation will be after hours, etc. Being thorough will result in the most accurate estimate possible.
- IT- notify your team so they can start their long list of tasks to get your tech all set to go
- Set a working budget. It may change a bit but start it now and update in the next month or two as plans formalize.
4 months: Scheduling & Communication Phase
Finalize plans and schedule services. This is the time to have all the planning done and start implementing that plan. Consider holding weekly meetings as things will begin developing quickly after this point. Lots of communication will happen in this phase, including:
- Make sure your current and new landlords are aware of your plans OR if you’re purchasing your new space (congratulations!) you’ll want the closing to be in this timeframe to avoid any occupancy delays.
- Communicate internally, make sure your team know what’s happening and when, even if they are not on your Move Committee.
- Update your address with your vendors, suppliers, customers, partners and on your website, Google- EVERYWHERE including stationary, business cards, and other printed materials. Consider a press release to local news outlets as well, might as well get some free publicity out of this!
- Contract your moving vendors including utilities, movers, insurance company, security service, schedule elevator or dock reservations if needed.
2 months: Preparation Phase
You will want to have access to your new space soon, if not already. Any work that your IT team can do ahead of time with wiring and preparing your new space will only minimize your downtime and make for a smoother relocation. It’s also time to start distributing the plan to the people that will be executing them.
- Keys and access badges should be assigned to appropriate personnel
- Mark & tag crates, boxes, furniture, and artwork/ whiteboards by color code on Floor Plan.
- Distribute floor plan to installers, IT team, Movers and have final on site coordination meetings.
- Schedule the stop any specialty services you may have like landscapers, coffee services, snack/ vending machines that will be staying on site, etc.
1 Month: Execution Phase
This is where all the planning starts really coming together. Do not be shocked if a few things pop up this month- there’s likely to be a loose end or two but you will be well positioned to handle it with all the preparation you’ve already done.
- Distribute boxes or crates to employees for recycling, packing/ moving. Make sure there is someone assigned to take care of common spaces and absent employee’s spaces.
- Reconfirm with your vendors; adjusting plans if needed.
- Resend customer communications about your new location.
- Update inventories and take pictures of everything before move day
- Have a staff lunch or breakfast- this has been a LOT for everyone; take a moment to pause, circle back on internal communications and expectations.
When moving your office, like any relocation, things will come up. But if you follow this Official Office Move timeline and checklist- you’ll be prepared to handle the unexpected & be set up for success in your new location. Don’t forget to minimize the downtime and ask ALL of your vendors how they will help you accomplish this- it is the unseen and often detrimental cost of commercial moves.