5-10 Months before Move Day:
While the 5 – 10 months before your move may seem busy, you’ll look back on them longingly once you get closer to your move. If you’re thinking that 12 months is a little early to be starting these tasks, you’re right — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Even though nothing is urgent at this stage, the more you get done now, the less you’ll have to worry about during those last hectic months.
The emphasis at this point should be on planning the major decisions that will shape the rest of the moving process: layout and construction in the new space, identifying new equipment purchases needed, scheduling and setting budgets, and defining responsibilities.
1-2 Months before Move Day:
As the move approaches, your focus should begin to shift to preparing your staff, customers, and suppliers for your change of address. Purchasing in these last few months will center around equipment and services for the new office.
- Assign office space
- Get rid of the junk
- Send change of address to all vendors
- Send change of address to all customers
- Update your web site
Office equipment and services
- Get insurance quotes for new space
- Arrange for copier move or buy new equipment
- Order monitored alarm system
- Closed circuit television
- Order keys, access cards
- Arrange for office coffee service
- Order vending machines
- Order checks and update financial records
1 Month before Move Day:
At this point, you should have a roster of employees and vendors lined up for your move. Keep in constant touch with your new landlord or building management: the more they know about your plans, the more they’ll be able to help you avoid any last-minute snafus.
Preparing existing equipment and supplies
- Inventory existing computers
- Inventory and tag existing furniture
- Store property that will not be moved
- Obtain moving crates/cartons
- Pack up common areas
- Tag all wall items and move to central location
Preparing the new office
- Build out new office
- Install systems furniture
- Install phone system
- Assign new phone numbers, extensions
- Order utilities
- Notify Post Office of change of address
- Order new stationery
Last week before Move Day:
Keep things as simple as possible this week. Avoid scheduling important client meetings and hiring new employees; have salespeople or account managers contact their biggest clients and warn them that you may be unavailable at times. Most of this week will be focused on preparing to move: packing, labeling, and finishing last-minute tasks.
Getting ready to leave the old office
- Pack up desks, personal spaces
- Back up computers
- Take down systems furniture
- Empty, defrost and clean refrigerator
Final prep for the new office
- Map out the new location and label everything appropriately
- Inspect the new building
- Reserve freight elevators and loading docks
- Distribute new keys, cards
Moving Day and afterwards:
Moving day belongs to the movers and the move managers: keep most employees out of both offices. All they can do is complicate the move — or get themselves hurt. Only the employees specifically chosen to help guide movers to the right spots and provide oversight should even be on the premises. Other employees may be curious, they may want to help, or they may simply want to catch up on their work — use strong enough language that they know they are forbidden from coming in on move day.
Little touches can make a big difference on moving day: provide some food for the movers and your staff who are helping. A pile of pizzas at lunch can boost everybody’s morale and help get the rest of the job done. Also consider a welcome breakfast on the first work day in the new space. It’s a good way to thank your employees for their patience, as well as to help familiarize them with the new office.
Moving day essentials
- Post coded signs in new office for movers
- Protect main moving paths
- Move plants
- Clean out old office
After the Move:
- Collect old keys, cards
- Replace office art
- Periodically visit old office to pick up mail
- Schedule security, phone training
Armed with this checklist and a focus on communication, you should be able to guide your company through an office move with a minimum of disruption. Good luck!