A Guide to the Big Office Move!

By Ruby Clarkson

Any business that is hoping to attract the best people needs to ensure that the premises where they will be working are amongst the best that is on offer. With a great working environment, businesses can keep their employees happy, motivated and productive and therefore it is important that your offices are perfect for them.

Often this will involve moving offices as the business grows or changes – which can be a daunting prospect. So here is a guide to making that big office move go without a hitch!

Choosing the new building

It is important to carefully choose your new premises. You should be thinking about your needs now and in the near future – are you planning on growing the business more than it already has, downsizing – or are you looking for somewhere more modern?

You should take the new location into account, trying to make it as convenient to the majority of your workforce as possible.

Some businesses like to have an open plan office, whilst others prefer more private offices, meeting rooms or flexible rooms. Flexible rooms can be altered according to your business needs. It can be filled with desks, stack-able chairs, or incorporate big screens, for example, allowing businesses the flexibility to change what the space is used for. The layout of the office should be planned carefully before going ahead with a move.

It can be useful to make a list of your priorities and things that you would prefer to have, then try to find new offices which accommodate these.

Metropolitan Office Building View

The finance question

Whether you are looking to buy a new office building or rent somewhere, there are costs that must be considered. Although it can be costly, it is worth it if it gives your business the right environment to grow and prosper.

If you are buying your office space, you should consider the following costs:

  • Getting a commercial mortgage, including arrangement fees – usually between 0.5% and 1.5% of the loan amount.
  • Expect to pay between 0.5% and 3% of the cost of the property for surveyor’s fees.
  • Solicitors will usually charge between 0.5% and 1.25% of the value of the property.
  • Stamp duty is also due for a lot of commercial properties.

If you are renting offices, you will often have to pay an amount upfront as well as agent’s fees.

Other costs involved with moving offices include:

  • The costs of the relocation – it is important to get professionals in to carry out the removal, especially if you have machinery or other valuable, heavy or difficult things to move.
  • Business costs will also need to be considered – how much money you will lose by not functioning during the move, the cost of advising customers of your move, post re-direction, the loss of use of existing stationary, and the office fit out, for example.

Preparation 

There is a lot of work that can be done in preparation for an office move, including:

  • Developing a clear timeline to how the office relocation is going to happen and communicate this with all staff
  • Create a detailed plan of the layout of the new office and make all staff aware of it
  • Brief all staff on what is required from them before, during and after the move – do they need to pack up their own desk? Will they be required to move some of their belongings or is it to be left? Will they need to be at work on the day – if so, where and how are they to work? Remind them to label everything that they don’t want to lose!
  • It is also important to advise the staff on how long it will take before they can start work after the move. Can they expect telephones and internet immediately? How long will it take them to ‘get back to normal’?
  • Speak to IT and telecoms specialists to understand what is required for them and ensure a smooth transition
  • Speak to removal companies to understand what is required by them
  • How are you going to notify your customers (if needed), insurance company, clients, B2B customers?


Avoiding Disruption

Businesses are generally keen to cause minimum disruption to their every day running. If this is the case, you should consider:

  • Moving offices out of working hours
  • How to keep employees connected during the move (telephone, internet, fax machine, for example)
  • Actual objects needed – files, computers, pens, paper, for example
  • Physical access to the new and old buildings – for both employees and the removal company

 Moving offices can be a big deal and quite stressful. By choosing the right place and being well prepared, you can make the whole process easier, less stressful and ensure that you won’t need to do so again in the near future.