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How to project manage an office move

Define the reasons behind the office move

Firstly, it’s important that you establish why you need to move office in the first place.

Are you moving because you don’t have enough space in your current office?

Or is the office you’re outdated and you need modern office spaces? Or perhaps too expensive?

Answering these questions will help you understand what your future office requirements are and will give your Property Agent something to work with whilst they find you suitable places for your future office.

The real project planning comes to play when you’ve found your new office space and are figuring out the best way to logistically move the office.

Assess employee needs and wants

Once you have found your new office space your next consideration should be to inform your employees, but it’s important to bear in mind that change can be uncomfortable and some of your employees may not feel happy to be changing offices.

One of the things that can make change stressful for employees is that they can often be left out of the loop, resulting in the upcoming office move feeling sudden and abrupt.

One way to get proactive in trying to combat the negative feelings is by keeping employees involved from the early stages, this way employees can feel a part of the change and process. We’d recommend monthly updates and meeting so your employees can air any concerns – perhaps set up a specific internal email address employees can use to ask more private questions.

Employees should also be surveyed and interviewed about their office needs, including the following areas:

  • Discuss any mobility requirements
  • Find out best work style
  • Workplace support
  • Workplace needs
  • Storage
  • Technology

With attention also being given to special requests for things like noise level, privacy level, meeting space or proximity to other people or departments.

If your employees do not buy into the move, then your company’s morale and productivity will be negatively affected. If employees feel that their new space doesn’t reflect their status in the company and doesn’t allow them to do their jobs well, you might find there’s some resistance within your workforce. Allowing them the time to air any grievances and to be heard should help combat some of this.

Assemble a team that’s on hand to help you

It would be beneficial to appoint a main person who will oversee this office move. Company moves can sometimes be a year-long commitments and you’ll need someone who has plenty of forward thinking about the company’s long-term goals.

Office moves aren’t just about gaining more space, it can also tie into a company’s branding whilst having a huge impact on budgets and productivity levels.

By choosing someone to oversee this project you can help minimise the amount of disruption to productivity as company leaders will only need to meet with one individual to get status updates and hear of any issues.

You’ll want someone who is responsible, detail-oriented, able to take initiative and can prioritise this project over the rest of their workload. This individual may then choose to create a smaller internal team to give them a hand whenever they need it, this team may include external resources also such as real estate brokers, design consultants and reps from IT and HR departments.

Create a master plan

Once you had engage a corporate move management service and your appointed move manager has been filled in on the office requirements, they will need to have a master plan which can be easily shared, accessed, and updated by company leaders. This plan needs to clearly show what tasks have been done and what tasks are upcoming, who’s responsible and other important updates about the move.

You may have internal tools which you can use to help project manage and can be accessed by all employees, this will help you keep everyone in the company updated on the progress of the move therefore giving them enough time to ask any questions and raise any concerns they might have.

When creating your plan consider how many employees you’re moving and what the size of this project looks like. A moving plan for smaller companies will look somewhat simpler compared to that of a big corporation move. Bigger corporations might construct new buildings to house their employees, these plans will require much more planning and will need the support of external resources.

Create a checklist

Once you have a plan in place with a timeline that is easy to follow and is consistently updated through the days and weeks, we would suggest making a final checklist of what tasks need to be completed and what future tasks you might have when you get the keys to the office.

Keeping disruption to a minimum means trying to keep the process as smooth as possible and your master checklist can help with this.

  • Create/review the move budget
  • Create a communications plan to keep employees informed regularly
  • Create inventory of furniture and equipment (including hardware and software)
  • Find a moving company
  • Consult with potential interior designers/architects
  • Notify vendors, clients and other partners about the impending move and new address
  • Create and finalise a new seating plan for the office
  • Finalise the move-day schedule
  • Order boxes and moving supplies
  • Order a new company stationary/business cards/brochures/marketing materials if necessary
  • Make sure the office is move-in ready (internet working, mailing address forwarding set up)
  • Make sure everything is running (electricity, internet, etc.) at the new office well before move-in day
  • Stock coffee/snacks refreshments in the new office prior to moving day
  • Change official mailing address
  • Create a moving day timeline with the help of your moving company
  • Give employees instructions on how and when to access the new office, including how and where to park
  • Designate responsibility for moving physical items (for example, when will employees clean out their desks? Will they transport their own computers?)
  • Redirect phone numbers
  • Collect old keys and issue news one
  • Update the company website, online maps listings (such as Google Maps), company email signatures, and anywhere else the old address appears
  • Check the old office for left-behind items and make sure it’s completely cleaned out
  • Create ‘welcome packages’ for employees at their new desks and add touches to make moving day a positive experience

You don’t have to do it alone

Fortunately, we have many years’ experience providing securely delivered services which have been created to meet all your office move requirements. Planning and delivering a smooth commercial relocation on-time and budget ensuring we keep downtime to a minimum. You can find out more about our office moving service by giving us a call on + 971 (04) 2305300.

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