When planning an office move, it’s important to organize the process as meticulously as possible, to ensure crucial tasks don’t become overlooked along the way. One key method for accomplishing this is to make a list of the steps necessary leading up to the relocation, those parties responsible for them, and the time frame within which they should be “checked off.”
In most instances, it’s recommended you begin about three months prior to the projected moving date, and continue to outline and reprioritize as you proceed. While each situation will surely include its own unique components, following is a loose guide for the most common and pressing items on the agenda.
Three Months Prior
As you begin the process of determining the time frame of the move and finding a suitable business location, it’s advisable to delegate the responsibilities among several key people on the staff. Once you’ve locked in a date, be sure to notify your current landlord, as well as the employees, any local partners, affiliates, and suppliers. Take this opportunity to assess the status of any existing furniture and office equipment, and determine whether you will be keeping, donating, storing, or discarding it. Now is also the time to establish a relocation budget and begin to allocate sums to the various tasks to be completed.
Two Months Prior
Around this period, a detailed floor plan for the new office space should be well underway, taking into account the set-up of computers and IT systems, phone and internet installation, as well as any new furniture and equipment which may need to be purchased. Begin to conduct weekly move coordination meetings, and take inventory of any keys, parking passes, and access cards which will need to be turned in and replaced by new ones. If you haven’t already, it’s imperative to select an office moving company at this point, and secure offsite storage, if needed. Also, be sure to change your business address with the U.S. Postal Service.
One Month Prior
As plans for the move progress, you should begin thinking about a public relations effort to announce the relocation. Create a change-of-address list, update any company directory listings, and start to put together designs for new stationery and business cards, as well as any other collateral you may need down the line. A transfer of utilities should be set up at this time, and any security clearances, parking passes, and permits obtained. Determine a labeling system you’d like to implement, and start to inventory all furniture, equipment and supplies according to these guidelines as you commence the packing process. It’s also recommended you hire a professional cleaning service for both the old and new locations.
Two Weeks Prior
Two weeks out, and it’s imperative that any last-minute details have been worked out regarding setting up wiring and cables, and all computer and IT service, internet and phone installations have been finalized. Back up any important documents and data—just in case—and pare down the office inventory as you begin to clean and consolidate common areas. Create a list of important contacts to keep on hand the day of the move, and confirm the pickup date and time with your moving company. If keys and access cards for the new building have not yet been ordered, now is the time.
The Week Of
At this point, most major details should be finalized, leaving only a few loose ends to double check in the days leading up to the big move. Load up on packing supplies, and remind employees that they are responsible for transporting any personal effects. Stock up on moving blankets and protectors, in case they are needed for larger objects when the day arrives to relocate. Ensure that any confidential records are safely stored, and make a point to distribute all new keys and access cards so that it will be one less area of concern on the day of the move. Disconnect any remaining appliances and electronic devices, and conduct one final inspection of the new premises.
It’s the big day! Be sure to designate a handful of move coordinators to be onsite throughout the day, responsible for meeting with the moving crew and providing them with any information required. Any last-minute packing and labeling should be completed at this time, and a final walkthrough conducted of the vacated space, to document any damage. Take this opportunity to collect all keys, parking passes, and security cards from employees, and provide welcome packets with any needed instructions. Once at the new digs, turn the lights on, plug in phones, check the status of the internet and IT systems, and begin to set up any major equipment.
Of course, everything won’t be unpacked and settled in after just one day, necessitating a gradual process of removing tags from equipment and furniture, setting up desks, and stocking supply cabinets. After the move, confirm that your old lease has been terminated, and any change-of-address updates have been made.
For more information on coordinating your office move, and to request a commercial quote, contact Steinway Moving & Storage today.
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