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Moving Your Office Space

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There are various reasons for why you might want to relocate your business. Perhaps your company is growing too fast for your current office space, or maybe you'd just like to upgrade your facilities for current and future employees. Regardless of your reasoning, you can use the helpful moving tips in this guide to ensure a smooth transition from your old workplace to your new one.

Just like any other type of move, a business move can be extremely stressful. But with the right planning, preparation and communication, you can maximize the benefits of the move for yourself, your company and your employees.

Reasons for corporate relocation

As aforementioned, there are plenty of reasons for wanting to move your office space. Among those reasons, companies usually cite at least one of the following for their business move:

  • To upgrade facilities and/or equipment
  • To lower costs and increase revenue
  • To improve the quality of life for employees
  • To solve labor and work force issues
  • To reach new markets and expand your audience

When planning a corporate relocation, you'll want to take your budget into account. Will this office move solve all of your problems, including ones you may have with your finances? Or will it create new problems altogether? Consider your office's current location and compare it to the new potential office space. What's the difference in the cost of living? How will this affect your employees and their families? The cost of living is also important when considering your target market. Does your new location give you a better shot of reaching more of your target audience? Does the new office space make your brand/product more accessible to customers and clients?

Now that you've weighed your options from the business end of things, you must also consider your employees. Staff performance is crucial to the success of any company, so you should provide employees with the proper amount of technology and space required to work efficiently. Does your new office space feature a welcoming environment? This is something to think about if you plan on recruiting and hiring new members after your move. Does the crime rate, climate, education system or available recreational facilities differ from that of your current office's location? If so, how might that affect your employees' quality of life?

Before making any decisions, you must first consider whether or not this move will result in higher sales numbers and better productivity from your workforce.

Making sure the time is right for changing office spaces

It's normally a good idea to relocate your business, especially when you move offices for the right reasons. However, a business move can be counterproductive for a company if you miscalculate the timing of it. Here are some general mistakes companies make when relocating their offices:

  • Rushing the move and/or choice of new office space
  • Underutilizing resources such as time, finances and connections
  • Failing to plan for future hirings/expansion
  • Neglecting quality of life factors
  • Focusing on specific costs rather than "big-picture" factors

Look at all available options for your business move

There are ways to prepare for corporate expansion besides moving your office space. Two alternatives that tend to be effective include leasing a satellite office and absorbing a nearby or adjoining office space.

Opening up a satellite office can be very beneficial. Now, you'll have the option to divide your business locations based on staff members and specific tasks. Maybe the manufacturing and warehousing employees work out of one location and the marketing and sales teams work out of the other. This option is certainly worth pursuing if you think it makes the most sense for your company.

Renting an adjoining office space or a facility in the same building can be beneficial as well. First, it's convenient for your current employees. You can nearly double your office space and give everybody more room to work, or at least create more room for new equipment if necessary. You also avoid having to pay the price it would cost to move everything to another location, which is why this is probably the most inexpensive option. Additionally, you can save time from not having to deal with the change of address paperwork, and you might even get a sweet deal because you already know the landlord.

If not planned and executed with care, relocating your company can be tricky. The list of things that can (and usually do) go wrong in office moves ranges from unanticipated shipping delays and last-minute packing to equipment damage and unexpected service costs. This does not mean that your business should stick with the shabby quarters that are not conducive to productivity: it just means that you need to think your move through thoroughly. Here are a few tips to handle your office relocation like a pro and avoid common move pitfalls!

DO's

1. Set deadlines
Start planning your move as soon as you find a new office. This way, you will avoid hassle with move-out deadlines, last-minute packing, extra fees, and potential damage. Your staff can begin packing a few days before shipping, but if you want to minimize workflow holdups in the week leading up moving day, close the office a day before relocation to get the packing done.

2. Sweat the small stuff
When packing sensitive equipment such as PCs, artwork, printers, and other devices, use lots of soft fabric or bubble wrap and label the boxes as fragile. If possible, ship delicate gear separately from sturdy hardware to minimize the risk of damage in transport

3. Hire movers in advance
Hire a corporate relocation company as soon as you have found your new office space to avoid delays and extra fees. Reputed moving companies are usually booked months in advance, so waiting for the last week to contact movers will only land you a higher total move bill and/or lower service quality.

4. Plan the budget
The relocation budget does not boil down to advanced rent payments and shipping costs. To stay on the safe side of budget estimates, jot down necessary cleaning staples and packing materials, and take into consideration costs of outdoor storage, extra service fees, and insurance for worst case scenarios.

DON'T

1. Don't forget to notify clients about the move
During the relocation, your business will be closed, which is why many companies carry out the move during weekends, holidays, or slow work days. Even if you manage to complete the move in a couple of hours, your clients need to be notified that you are moving so that they will know where to find you when you resume work.

2. Don’t forget to cross-compare prices
Transport fees are usually the biggest expense involved in office relocation, so you should cross-compare prices from at least three different companies to find the best deal. To trim down total expenses, you can ship sensitive electronics by car, but do note that multiple back and forths also mean extra gas costs.

3. Don't think relocation is a one-day affair
Company relocation is rarely a one-day affair: from packing, loading, transport, unloading, and office cleanup to reorganization and decorating, the move will take at least one whole weekend. Even if you do manage to pull it off overnight, be aware that your staff may need a few days to adapt to the new workplace, which can impact short-term productivity and workflow dynamics.

4. Don't bank on office cleanliness
Some office leasers cover pre-move cleanup costs on their own, but do not bank on immaculate quarters unless you previously settled this point with the landlord. If possible, check out the new office a day before the move: if the space is shabby, you will have to clean it on your own before you can start unpacking.

Ryan Hussey  Posted by Ryan Hussey on July 7, 2015

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