Office Moving Checklist: Guidelines for Office Relocation

For a company owner or startup entrepreneur, moving an office is a minor setback that would lead to more profit, whether in the form of gaining more customers from an expansion or cutting back on overhead expenses, the decision has been made. You’ve signed a new lease, now it’s time to move on and get an office moving checklist.

Office moves are far more complex and disorienting than moving homes, moreover, a small oversight could disrupt office operations, costing you money.

Here’s a helpful guideline to help you relocate your business efficiently:

6 months before

  • Create a timeline for all tasks to be accomplished.
  • Coordinate with both building managers and lessees.
  •  Build a moving committee – having a moving committee keeping an eye on all the moving errands will guarantee that nothing is amiss throughout the moving process. The committee is preferably split into two divisions; one to handle moving concerns inside the current office while the other will be setting up the new location. Assign a moving coordinator to lead the team.
  • The moving coordinator should function as the primary liaison for contractors and removalists.
  • Consult the IT department with special, technical needs.
  • Set a budget.
  • Check what needs to be bought, changed and refurbished inside the new office location.
  • Choose reliable contractors.
  • Secure permit and requirements.
  • Set a moving date.
  • Outline the new office setup and floor plan.
  • Create a colour-coded floor plan for your removalists. This will serve as a guide to help them determine which items go to each room. Purchase coloured dots for labelling purposes, and distribute them later into your moving timeline.
  • Decide which items need to be dismantled before the move.

4 months before

  • Book your move with a professional removal service.
  • Set up an internet connection for the new office.
  • Set up telephone lines for the new office.
  • Distribute communication packets to all departments/employees. Be sure to include the moving date and contact information of your moving committee.
  • Have the entire office staff declutter – specifically shred all unnecessary documents.
  • If required, secure parking permits for the moving trucks.
  • Make a reservation for an elevator if needed.

2 months before

  • Alert all company investors, affiliates, vendors, delivery services and customers of your new address.
  • Have the security system, alarms and closed-circuit television installed.
  • Prepare keys and access cards for the new office.
  • Hire a professional cleaning service – book two dates; one before moving to the new location and another for the vacated office once the move is completed.
  • Inform utilities and service providers about the move. Cancel subscriptions – or if possible, change the billing and delivery address to your new location.
  • Walk through the local removalists over specific items that need to be moved such as copiers and compactors. If the removal company does not provide this particular service, your removalists may refer you to other companies.
  • Visit the new office site with your removalists.

One month before

  • Purchase packing supplies for the move.
  • Obtain utilities for the new location.
  • Verify if the internet connection and telephone lines are all in working order.
  • Send the employees a detailed floor plan and indicate their designated places.

A week before

  • Distribute new keys and keycards.
  • Clean out the fridge and pantry.
  • Pack common area/lounge items.
  • Instruct all employees to pack their belongings. For those who won’t be participating during the move, ask them to: list down all their names, write an inventory of all equipment and label their workstation desktop.
  • Distribute coloured dots to your employees for labelling boxes.
  • Call to confirm all services booked on the moving day.
  • Unpack filing cabinets and have everything packed and prepared for the removalists.
  • Call removalists to dismantle furniture.

Moving day

  • Instruct the moving committee to be present at all times at their delegated site.
  • Do not have too many employees in either the old or new office locations.
  • Have a meeting with the removalists – distribute floor plans and give clear instructions on where things should be placed.
  • Tape arrows and signs to the walls to guide your movers through the new office.
  • Update websites, profiles and all communication materials/stationery to include your new business address.

Dealing with employees

Although most of your employees are not active participants during the move, some of them could be directly affected by your decision to transfer – such as their daily commute to work. So once the move is completed, boost company morale by giving your employees a treat. Depending on the size of your company or the number of employees, you could either have a lunch buffet on the first day or a pizza party!

For more office moving tips, check out Ultimate Guide to Moving Office.

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