How to Prepare for An Office Move
Pro Movers Offer Tips for a Successful Office Move
Relocating your office is no easy feat. Whether you’re moving in-town or to another city, with it comes immense preparation, organization, and determination.
To help you plan your office move from start to finish, we’ve compiled this office-move preparation guide. With enough preparation, you will be able to move seamlessly and as stress-free as possible.
Once you’ve found a new office to move to, contact local moving companies to secure a move date and for help with the move.
Phase 1: Planning (12-6 Months Before the Move)
Establish a Budget and Protocol for Purchases Related To the Move
Set a moving budget or get one from your company’s leaders to help you set guidelines for all your move-related purchases. Also, figure out how you will be paying for these purchases—e.g., company card, submitting invoices—and who will be signing off on contracts and purchases.
Designate One Location for All Move-Related Documents/Notes/To-Do Lists
Choose a secure physical or digital location to store all your move-related info—e.g., a file folder in your desk or on your computer desktop. Or Google documents stored in Google Drive. This will help with organization and prevent you from losing or forgetting about pertinent information.
Create a Separate Email Address for Move-Only Related Communication
Inform your staff of this email address so they can contact you with any move-related questions or concerns.
Establish Workflow Strategies among Management/Leadership Team for Before and During the Move
Encourage managers to develop plans for managing workflows throughout the moving process. This is especially important if they have any deadlines to meet within the moving timeframe. They must keep the move in mind when planning for new projects with employees and clients.
Record Key Details
Keep track of important details that could affect the move, including:
- Number of employees;
- Size/number of key items like servers;
- Size of the current office; and
- The new office’s size.
Record a List of Things You Have, Things You Need, Things You’re Not Taking/Discarding
Take inventory of everything you have in your office and make three lists:
- What you’re taking with you;
- Things you’re leaving behind/discarding; and
- Items you’ll need to get when you move.
Securely Organize Key Documents
Keep key documents, such as contracts, agreements, leases, insurance records, and other records in a secure location, ideally in the designated location for all move-related documents.
Announce the Move & Effectively Communicate With Staff
Create a detailed announcement about the move to share with staff. This announcement could be in the form of an email, newsletter, video, or town hall presentation. It should include all the information your employees need to know such as:
- New office name and address;
- Moving dates;
- Reasons for the move;
- Key features of the new office;
- Parking facilities;
- Public transportation;
- To-do list for employees;
- Moving email address; and
- The move-related information employees should expect to receive in the future.
Ask Staff to Volunteer for the Move
Ask your employees if they want to join a moving committee. When asking, describe the type of duties each person would be responsible for and the timelines they’d need to follow. Responsibilities could include:
- Organizing the office, and
- Designing and decorating the new office décor.
Phase 2: Packing and Prepping (6 – 3 Months Before The Move)
Hold Regular Meetings with the Leaders/Management Team to Evaluate Progress/Timelines/Workflows
Touch base with company leaders and managers to see how they are effectively managing their workflows throughout the moving process, such as if they are on schedule with project timelines and meeting deadlines.
Keep Clients in the Loop
Be sure to let all your clients know when and where you’ll be moving, including updating your change of address and telephone number digitally. And keep reminding them with email newsletters, flyers, and social media.
Communicate Effectively with Staff
Continue communicating with your employees throughout the moving process. Keeping them up-to-speed with the progress (and even roadblocks) will go a long way to helping them through this transitionary time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make a note of welcoming them, too. This feedback will help keep you on track and give you a sense of how ready or unprepared your staff are for a move.
Provide info on the new office’s neighbourhood, and be ready to explain and discuss how the move will impact your staff. Changes to parking, transit access, and even building access while movers get to work must be communicated. You also need to share vital information like the location of the new office, timelines, and key features of new space.
Research Available Vendors
Research online and ask around for recommendations for vendors you’ll need. Most office moves typically require the following:
- Moving trucks, and,
- Cleaning services.
Hire Professional Commercial Movers
Professional office movers have experience moving companies large and small to new offices. And this experience can give you peace of mind knowing your move will go smoothly in good hands. Commercial movers also offer most of the services you’ll need such as boxes and other packing materials, moving trucks, and a crew of office movers.
Determine the Unloading/Loading Locations
Speak with your current and new building managers to find the ideal loading/unloading locations and times. These locations must be large enough to fit your moving trucks without blocking traffic. And if you are using underground loading docks, make sure the moving trucks will clear the entrances and exits.
Pick a Date
Ideally, you will move on an evening or weekend to avoid business disruptions. If you haven’t chosen a moving date yet, don’t delay. This date is important for planning and keeping everyone well informed about the move.
Downsize and Start Packing
Walk around your office and place stickers on items you don’t want to take with you. You can do one purge a week to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Either donate the items, discard of them responsibly, or have a sale to sell off any big-ticket office items you don’t need.
The best way to avoid a stressful move is to start packing early. Divide your list of items to pack into early bird items that you rarely use and can pack early on; make-do items that are nice to have around, but you can make do without; and necessities that you need to pack last, either the day before or on the day of the move.
Spend short amounts of time packing so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Phase 3: Moving and Organizing (3 – 1 Months Before The Move)
While packing, make sure to label and organize boxes appropriately based on priority and department so the movers know where the boxes should go. Consider using a colour system to label boxes.
Communicate with Employees
Before the big move, keep communication open with your employees. Tell them where they need to be and what they need to do (e.g., how to pack and label their boxes), and reiterate key details like timelines, moving dates, key features, and the new office location.
Set Up Utilities in New Office
Make sure to connect the utilities in your new office before your move date—this includes electricity, water, internet, and phone systems. And frequently check in on the new office and with the new building manager to see if the office is clean and ready to move into.
Create an Unpacking Plan
Your unpacking plan should go in the opposite order as your packing plan—e.g., unpack necessities first. Use the help of your moving committee to unpack, organize, and decorate your new office. If your new building doesn’t have cleaners, arrange for a cleaning service to clean your new office.
Phase 4: Move!
For the big day:
- Pack Last-Minute Essentials
- Organize Plan of Attack with the Volunteer Committee/Designate Staff to Be On-Site At Old and New Building
- Make List of Damaged/Misplaced Items
- Plan a Moving-Success Office Party
Arrange to have food and drinks available at your new office so you and your team can celebrate after the move. Nothing shows an appreciation for completing a move like pizza and beer (or healthier foods and non-alcoholic bubbly if you prefer).
Lastly, don’t forget to breathe! Moving, especially an office move, is hectic and overwhelming. But with a plan in place well before your move, it should go much smoother.
For more help making your move as stress-free as possible, contact professional office movers.