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  • Writer's pictureBrian Trimble

Three Stages of Planning an Office Move

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

Moving from one house to another is stressful. Imagine transferring a whole office space to a new one. It does not matter if the new office is within the same block or in another city; it will take a lot out of you and your team. Your team will have to work together to make the whole move successful.

Since there are several steps involved in making an office move work, this article has divided it into three stages. While you must know all the steps involved, you must also learn how to take things one at a time.

Stage One: Planning

The first stage is the planning phase. Without it, the other stages will not work. After all, they need a foundation.

Clarify your reasons for moving

First, you must understand why you are moving in the first place. Is relocating a must? While you can still work around some possible reasons, a few are unavoidable. No matter the number of employees you have, you may have to make a move to make allowances for the new company size. Perhaps the current space is being sold to another entity or has become too expensive.

Announce the move

Then, when you are clear with the real reason behind the move, hold a meeting. Announce the move, discuss the reasoning behind it, and illustrate the way forward.

Talk to the rest of the team

Simply announcing the move is not enough. You must talk to each department. Tell the team members what they need to do to prepare, and ask for recommendations on points you need help with (e.g., finding the best movers). Have them start preparing for the move.

Assign a space to manage your moving checklist

There should be a space in the office that houses your moving checklist. It should be the last place that you will need to move when phases two and three are finally ready to go. Each department may also need to have its moving checklist to see just how prepared it is.

Create target dates for every stage of moving

Each phase and its subparts should have target dates. Yes, you are still operating as a company in your old office, but you are also tackling the different moving stages simultaneously. There should be target dates for your current projects and your moving tasks.

Set a budget for moving

There should be an allotted budget for the move. It should not affect other operations. If it is sudden and has not been anticipated, you may have to take from your emergency budget. Whatever the case may be, stick to the final budget and have it approved the same way other budgets get approved in the company.

Negotiate with a property agent

A property agent can help you get the best deal on your new office. They can find a space in the right location at the right price. They can then connect with other agents representing properties that match your specifications.

Plan your new office space

Whether or not your company size is changing, you must have a plan for the new office space. You must be able to sketch the layout on traditional paper or even through an application. You may use a layout app, usually the same ones used for organizing classrooms and party venues.

Plan your IT relocation

With the new space confirmed for the move, find out if you need to have utilities installed or if you simply have to use what is already available in the new place. Find out how the computers will be arranged and where the outlets are set up.

Stage Two: Packing

Once your plans are ready, you and your team can engage in one of the most tiring moving stages: the packing stage.

Book the moving company

Once you have confirmed the availability of the new property, arrange for a moving company to do the necessary pickups and deliveries. Go for a company that provides you with enough workforce to carry boxes and furniture from one place to another.

Settle your responsibilities

Find out what you need to pay for or replace in your current space. If you need to have the old office cleaned and repainted, make sure you have made arrangements for these tasks.

Organize your documents

Place hard copies of your essential files in sturdy boxes. Organize and label them according to their categories to make it easy to know where each will go.

Discard unnecessary items

During cleanup, you will find some items that are no longer needed. If you believe some of these items are used by other team members, clarify with them. If they are no longer used, discard them or take them where they may be needed. This process can lighten your loads.

Get volunteers to help with the packing

The packing phase is a team process. Members are more familiar with their department and can do the packing for each.

Find sturdy moving boxes

Gather as many sturdy moving boxes as possible. They can facilitate organized packing and moving.

Engage a cleaning service

Set appointments with a cleaning service. The service should have enough people to clean the old office right after you leave with everything. It should also be able to clean the new office right before moving. Hiring two separate cleaning services is also a possibility.

Do the actual packing

Once you know which items go in which box, you and your team can proceed. It can be a tiring process, but at least the thinking part would have been completed – to some extent.

Meet with your employees

Regularly checking with your employees can help identify concerns and snags. Talking it out can also take away some of the stress.

Stage Three: Moving

Finally, you reach the moving stage, which completes the whole process.

Connect and disconnect utilities, as needed

Make sure utilities that you once connected (phones, etc.) will be disconnected in the old place. You should also make sure that the utilities are up and running in your new office space.

Frequently monitor the new office space

Since you may be moving a few items at a time, you need to monitor the new office frequently. Make sure the doors are all locked at the end of every moving day.

Go through the actual move

Have the moving service take your belongings in phases: furniture first, then file cabinets, boxes, etc. You and some of your volunteers can help move some of the items, especially if there are too many. You don’t want to delay starting a new chapter at the new office.

Set up a decorating committee

A decorating committee should get all the items set up according to the primary layout. The committee members can also add finishing touches.

For more work-related planning tips, visit Planwell Strategies.

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