Smooth moves: An office relocation checklist
Moving an office is a huge challenge that can make moving house feel like a walk in the park.
To help, we asked our in-house expert, REA Group Office Manager Courtney Cousins, to create the ultimate office relocation checklist to ensure that your next office move is as smooth as possible.
Before the move (planning)
- With the floor plan for your new location, work out at which desk each person will sit.
- Assign each desk a number. It’s easiest to sequentially number the desks. Also alter the number pattern per department. For example, if all your Marketing people sit in one area, assign their desks numbers 100 to 150, your IT Team 200 to 220, Customer Service 300 to 340, and so on. It makes items and areas more easily identifiable.
- People with individual offices should have a number assigned to the office. I would number offices situated next to each other sequentially.
- Match your numbered floor plan with the staff members who will be assigned that desk/office.
- Name communal spaces, up to you if you use names or numbers, just make sure they are clear.
- Work with IT to ensure all data and power needs are ready (or will be ready) for moving day.
- Confirm that you have all details to access the building and that there will be parking available for removalists.
Before the move (communications)
- To the removalists – send them copies of your numbered floor plan so that they have an understanding of the layout ahead of time.
- To staff – send clear instructions about the process of packing, along with a cut-off time to have their packing finished. Make sure they understand that any items that are not packed properly will be left behind and then disposed of.
- To staff – send a map of the new location so they understand how to get there, where to park, what public transport is available, etc.
Before the move (packing)
- Give each staff member his or her allocated desk number.
- Tell staff members to number all boxes, computer screens, hard drives and furniture. Ideally, each item type should be labelled in the same spot (base of the computer screen, top of hard drive, etc).
- Filing cabinets should be emptied and locked or taped closed for easy removal.
- All keyboards, cables, phones etc should be placed in plastic bags and labelled with their allocated number.
- Laptops, iPads and any other valuable/personal items should be taken home rather than packed.
- Items for shared areas such as kitchens or utilities rooms should be labelled in the same way they are on your floor plan.
Before the move (at your new location)
- Post signs for the removalists with directions to each area. For example, ‘For Numbers 300-500, turn right’.
- If you are moving desks into the space, use masking tape, or similar, to plot out where the desks should go. Label each space with its number. Obviously, make sure you’ve measured up ahead of time to make sure everything will fit.
- If the office is already fitted out then label the desks with their location number.
During the move
- Depending on the size of the move you may need to arrange to have company representatives at both locations; if there’s more than one truck working, someone needs to be at the new location to meet the first one that arrives while someone stays at the old location until the last of the trucks have completed their work.
- Try to have the removalists work on one area at a time, especially in a bigger building. It will ensure you can be there to provide instructions and answer questions.
- Wait until everything has been moved in before trying to connect phones and computers. This usually means waiting until the day after the move. You should aim to have all computers connected before staff return to work again.
- Before staff return, do a quick check to see that the boxes and items on peoples’ desks correspond with their allocated number.
- A nice touch is to create personalized desk labels for each staff member with their name, photo, job title and company logo and leave them on their new desks. It’s a nice surprise for staff and much more welcoming than the location numbers.
Before staff arrive
- Check the building is safe for people to enter, that any rubbish has been removed and walkways are clear.
- If the building is big, put up signage with directions for each team to find their way around.
- Spot-check all facilities – make sure power, toilets, fridges etc are working.