Following a carefully planned office move checklist is your best option when it comes to executing a successful office relocation.
An office move or relocation can be a very stressful experience if not organised resourcefully beforehand. Whether you’re moving to another city or downsizing to a smaller office close to your current location, it’s important to take the appropriate steps to minimise the security risk to your business.
Below is a handy checklist to make your office move stress-free.
Step 1: 3-6 months before your moving date
Begin by discussing a plan with your moving team and delegate tasks to each member with time scales before the official moving date. Gather a list of quotes from multiple moving companies, storage facilities, IT providers, cleaners, insurance and other providers needed. Most importantly, set a moving budget to prevent overspending.
Notify the current landlord of your intention to vacate the old office premises providing them with your official notice period. You should check your contract for your required notice period and begin general checks of the office wear and tear.
Step 2: Communicate your move
Communication is key for anything that needs to be planned and organised. Failed communication can be more than just an inconvenience, it can actually be a security risk for your business. Assigning a project manager to make and keep a record of all communication can minimise the risk it poses to your company.
You need to notify the people most affected by your move to ensure all the people crucial to your business, including customers, clients and employees are kept right up to date with your plans to move. Provide them with all the relevant details, including your new phone number and address.
Who to send a change of address notice to:
- Clients and partners
- Customers and update your website
- Any professional organisations you belong to
- Stationery services
- Banks and financial institutions
- Any food service company
- Any suppliers
- Telephone company
- Service companies for photocopiers or printers
- Insurance companies
- Any accounts departments
- Internet service provider
- Any additional services your company uses
- Make a list of any new furniture and stationery you need.
- Arrange off-site storage facilities for any unwanted items or documents.
- Assign new rooms for each department and let your staff know your approach for packing their items. Ensure items and boxes are labelled clearly so they can be unpacked efficiently.
- Book moving vans and any other services required for your move day.
- Establish any new security measures for your new office.
- Plan a simple time schedule for your moving day for your staff to follow.
- Finalise all contract paperwork.
Step 3: Preparation
Once you have communicated your plan to everyone, it’s time to start organising your move. Here’s our ultimate checklist for the logistical part:
- Conduct an office inventory of your existing furniture and identify any new furniture needed.
- Create a list of emergency contact numbers for everyone involved so you can all easily contact each other on the day.
- Map out a detailed floor plan of your new office with dimensions. Plan the layout of each room/desks and delegate rooms to your teams.
Redundant devices and paper files
Your office relocation is the ideal time for an equipment overhaul, but many don’t consider what might happen to the devices or files that aren’t coming with you. Whether you choose to resell, recycle, shred or dispose of your redundant IT assets and paper files, these items need to be securely disposed of before moving.
This will ensure you comply with the environmental legislation, such as the WEEE Directive, and data protection regulation, such as the GDPR. Failure to deal with these redundant assets before you move could put any sensitive business data stored at risk, as well as resulting in financial and reputational damages for your business.
Step 4: The Big Move
The day has officially arrived. By now, everyone should be aware of the plan for the day and what they need to be doing if you have been closely following your office moving checklist. Here are some tips to ensure everything goes smoothly:
- Move all tech equipment first like computers, phones and printers.
- If you haven’t pre-arranged this already- arrange a date with your IT provider for telephone lines and systems to become operational.
- Be organised and have all the emergency telephone numbers you need close to hand. For instance, moving company, IT provider, team members numbers and anyone else that’s helping with your move.
- Check that all your items are in the correct rooms and desks are in the correct place. Having a checklist with every item listed per room will help with this.
- Test everything works before leaving like the internet, computers, etc.
It’s easy for things to go missing on the big day- be that paperwork, or smaller devices and cables. Not only is this inconvenient, hindering the setup process in your new location, it also leaves business data at risk. Creating inventories of everything that will be moving to your new office and keeping a record of the number of boxes, labelled well will reduce the risk of misplacing anything.
Consider who will have access to your new and existing office space during the relocation process. Everyone that has access to those spaces, from your staff to building staff and removal companies, must be accounted for. To minimise the risk during this time, access should be restricted to those that really need it and should be logged to help you keep on track of who is coming into contact with your business assets.
The do’s and don'ts of office relocation
Finally, to summarise the advice we have given in this article, we’ve compiled a list of clear ‘do’s and don'ts’ when following an office moving checklist:
- Give yourself a good amount of time to plan the relocation (we suggest up to 6 months before your moving date)
- Agree on a budget before anything else is decided
- Choose an office relocation manager to oversee the entire process
- Prioritise data security - consider security risks and potential information breaches at all stages of the move
- Rush - rushing could lead to heavy disruption and also put you at risk of security breaches
- Leave out your staff by excluding them from important discussions surrounding the move
- Cut costs and try to organise the move without the help of professionals
- Forget to tell clients, customers and other key stakeholders that you are moving!
Shredall SDS Group
We can help you with your office move by storing your furniture off-site in our Loft Container storages. We can also shred and securely destroy any old IT equipment or paper documents. Contact our team to discuss your office move.