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Office Moving Checklist

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Moving your office to another location can seem like a nightmare but by beginning preparations on time and investing in some organized planning, you can transform this typically complicated task a piece of cake.

Relocating your office involves moving your equipment, furniture as well as your staff and rates as a tougher task than moving your home. The list is easier to execute if you sub-divide your tasks on the basis of equipment, staff, etc.

Read on for some useful tips to help you relocate your office smoothly and efficiently.


Preparing and planning for a realistic time-frame

If you want to move your office with minimal disruption to your business, it is very important to keep a realistic time-frame to plan your move. The best is to begin your planning at least 5 months prior to actually moving.

4 to 5 months before making your move


Here is a set of useful tasks to plan before the big day:

  • Make a comprehensive list of tasks that you will need to do. Do this slowly, quietly and divide the list into sub-divisions to add value to your itemized list.
  • Select a reputed and trustable moving coordinator. Choosing the right moving coordinator can make all the difference between a simple shift and an excellently facilitated one.

    The best way to do this would be to survey the market for competitive quotes and compare the rates to make your decision.

    There could be a significant disparity in rates so take your time in making the right decision.
  • How much are you looking to spend? Your budget should be realistic and take into account unexpected expenses. Keep your budget in sight while factoring in extras.
  • Meet with your building manager (the one you are about to vacate) and ensure that you understand all the formalities you need to complete such as settlement of bills.
  • Select a moving day and organize your schedule keeping that date in mind.

Tasks related to your new location

  • Make an appointment to see your new building manager (the premises you plan to move to) and ensure that you understand important issues such as the amount of deposit to pay, the date after which you can move in etc.
  • Take a good look at your new location to decide on the layout of your new office. Invest in the services of a good contractor to get your new office layout ready.
  • Apply for new phone and fax numbers for your new office location.

    Remember, it is important to have your new telephone, fax and internet connections up and running to ensure business continuity and customer service.
  • Examine your new location for phone line compatibility. For example, if you require T1 lines to be installed in your new location, you need to keep aside at least 6 to 8 weeks for the installation of fresh T1 lines.

Staff related tasks

  • Make an announcement and send out emails informing your staff about the upcoming shift to a new location. Ensure that you clearly spell out the date and details of the new venue.
  • Set up meetings with your staff members to keep in the loop of how you plan to execute your move.
  • Explain where the new venue is and the various ways of getting there. Engage your staff in a frank discussion about how they plan to commute to your new location and if any of them have any difficulties in doing so.
  • You can consider proving staff members with a map of the new neighborhood so that they can familiarize themselves with the coffee shops, cafes and restaurants in the vicinity of your new location.
  • Request staff for feedback and suggestions on various issues such as how to arrange the new layout for optimum efficiency and aesthetics

Now the broader tasks have been completed and D-day is fast approaching, here’s the next set of useful tips for moving your office.

Roughly 2 to 3 months before moving

  • Call a reliable and professional cleaning company to spruce up your new premises. You want to move your office into clean, hygienic premises.


Furniture and space allocations

  • Order business labels with your new address and contact details printed on it. Your customers must know where to contact you after the next two months.
  • Start browsing through office furniture at your new location. You will need to know exactly how much of your old office furniture you want to take along and how many new pieces you need.

Staff related to-do tasks

  • Get your systems administrator to check out your new layout to take stock of server room requirements. This could include basics like power points and wiring.
  • Write down a rough plan of how to allocate space in your new premises to your staff members. Factor in staff who may be leaving  or new recruits.

1 month before moving your office


The countdown is now close to climax. Here’s set number three of more useful tips while moving:

Equipment, furniture and packing materials

  • Take a comprehensive inventory of all your equipment and furniture. There could be old or obsolete equipment that you wish  to sell or get rid of. Include smaller stuff like adaptors, kitchen  equipment like coffee pots or cups.
  • Invest in purchasing packing materials such as bubble wrap, cartons, sponge etc. Since he is in the business of moving offices, your  moving coordinator may be able to suggest good places to buy these from.
  • Start packing operations for all accessories found in common areas such as water coolers, chairs or coffee tables. Your moving  coordinator will be much better at doing this so make sure you tell him about a week in advance.
  • Get professionals or your IT guys to check the telephone, fax and internet systems at your new location to ensure that they are working  properly. If there are any problems, there will be time to sort them out.

Staff related tasks

  • Put together a viable computer, networking and moving team.

This way you will be able to delegate tasks efficiently.

  • Designate the job of communicating with all your vendors to one worker. This individual will be in charge of keeping an  updated status on all vendor-based information.

A single-point contact makes it easier to keep an overall track of tasks during an office move.

1 week left to relocate your office


Staff related tasks

  • Remind your employees that you plan to move a week’s time so that they will have to time pack up their cubicles.

Furniture and Office equipment

  • Pack up each and everything that you have on your list of equipment and furniture.
  • Stand around and supervise the tacking on of labels to all the packaging. This makes it much easier to unpack at your new place.
  • Give clear instructions to the moving crew about which pieces are fragile and require careful handling.
  • Find out which the available loading areas are for your moving crew and where they can park their moving trucks.
  • Make and hang signs at your new office location to make it easier for the moving company to know where to put your furniture and equipment.
  • Supervise (or get an employee to supervise the moving of wall pieces in your office such as decorative showpieces, magnetic glass whiteboards, notice boards etc.
  • Spend time backing up all your office information on your computers. You can enlist the services of your IT guys to do this one well.

Tasks related to your old office premises

  • Shut off all the systems at your old office premises including water, electricity, internet etc. Double check this to ensure you  have not left anything running.
  • Check your fridge to see that nothing is left there including milk cartons, chocolates or water bottles.
  • Allot dates the following week to clients for meetings and conferences.

On the actual day of moving

Keeping miscellaneous cartons handy

  • Designate a ‘miscellaneous’ carton for all the odds and ends (there will always be some of those) that didn’t get categorized  and packed away.
  • Employ a cleaning crew to clean out your old premises. You could try negotiating rates if you give them the contract for  cleaning out both your old and new office premises.

Staff related tasks

  • Keep office attendance minimalistic. Call only a few reliable and efficient staff members to help out. Inform the staff that you  want available from before so that there is no last minute  confusion.
  • Split up the group of staff members between the old and new locations to facilitate smooth shifting.
  • Organize pizzas or other meals for all those who are helping you make the move including moving the crew.
  • Break in your new premises the following day with a celebratory breakfast or snacks for your workers

Who should know about your office move

  • The first on your list are your clients and companies. Inform them well in advance of your intended shift to new premises
  • Banks and insurance companies are next. You must remember to inform the bank to change your office address on your check books and bank statements.
  • Vendors and utility providers: This includes phone and internet service providers as well as courier services.

Moving an office can prove to be an overwhelming task where you have to juggle a major shifting process along with keeping your business  productive. Preparing a comprehensive checklist beforehand can make the task a breeze.


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