Monday 29th April 2024

Moving Office? Utilise our Comprehensive Moving Office Checklist

Laura Beales 5 minute read
Office equipment packed in cardboard boxes ready to be moved into a new office
Moving office is a significant undertaking. However, the experience varies greatly based on factors such as the size of your company and whether you’re relocating to a serviced, managed, or leased office.

In fact, the experiences can be so distinct that it's possible to dedicate separate blogs to moving into managed or leased offices. For this blog, let’s assume you’re moving into a serviced office and all of the necessary details are sorted - contracts are finalised, and moving day is fast approaching. 

You might wonder, "Isn’t everything already set up for me in a serviced office? Won’t it be easy?" - and yes, while moving from one serviced office to another is indeed simpler compared to managed or leased office moves, there are still several overlooked factors that can slow down the process.

Whether you’re a startup with limited runway or an enterprise that can’t afford disruptions to core operations, minimising disruption and completing the move swiftly is crucial. This blog offers a comprehensive checklist for your office move - follow these steps, and we’re confident you’ll experience a seamless transition.

Six Things to Consider When Moving Office:

In this article, we’ll break down the main stages of moving office and outline considerations for each stage. Use this guide as a handy checklist to ensure you have a full view of factors to consider for a successful move.
  • Timings
  • Packing and labelling
  • Inventory Count 
  • Unpacking
  • Moving in tasks
  • Celebrating your office move 

1) Master the Timings

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. 

You may have heard of the 6Ps before, or perhaps the more illustrative 7Ps coined by the military. Either way, these principles apply to moving offices as well. 

Having helped hundreds of startups find office space, we typically send a note one week post-move-in to ask how they’re settling in, and if the move went well.

Undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges companies face is timing issues. When I ask, “how did the move go?” responses can vary from:

  • Went well but we struggled to find a moving company with a week’s notice

  • We didn’t quite realise how much stuff we had to move over, we could have done with more boxes!

  • We ordered new monitors but these didn’t arrive until a week after we moved in

These are genuine challenges I’ve seen startups face when moving office. It’s not like any of them are catastrophic, but it slows down your productivity more than moving offices does already. 

And I get why these issues happen, moving office isn’t part of anyone’s job description, it’s always an additional responsibility someone must adopt alongside their usual responsibilities. Even dedicated office managers find themselves shouldering the responsibility of the office search and relocation process, all while managing their existing workload. Understandably, timing issues can be difficult to avoid.

What is the optimal timeline for moving office?

When you're in a leased office with a fixed term, like a 5-year lease, you usually know well in advance whether you'll extend it. However, with serviced offices and their flexible contracts, you don't have this level of foresight. In a serviced office, you will need to give anywhere from 1-6 months notice if you're planning to move offices, meaning the timeline is considerably shortened compared with managed or leased relocations. 

Luckily, if you can aim to have a two-month timeline from notice served to move-in day, this is plenty of time to ensure a successful office relocation and with some dedication, a one-month period should equally provide you with enough time to properly plan your move. 

One month before the move (or as early as possible):

  • Once you have the move-in date for your new office, schedule the moving company for a day that causes the least disruption. Perhaps a day when your employees are expected to be working remotely.

  • Start packing non-essential items when you have the chance. You don't want the office to feel empty too soon, but packing items that are lying around can be helpful.

Two weeks before the move:

  • Begin packing essential items. The timeframe for this varies depending on your company's size. For instance, a startup with four people might pack all belongings a day before the move, while a larger company of 50 people with numerous monitors might start packing one to two weeks in advance.

  • Disassemble any furniture. Serviced offices often come furnished, but some companies bring their own belongings, like ergonomic chairs. These may need to be disassembled for transport. Contact your moving company to determine whether disassembly is necessary.

Important note: Ensure to discuss with your employees who is expected to help. Your employees may be more than willing to help with packing and other relocation related tasks, but this shouldn’t be expected. Have a discussion and wait for volunteers, rather than expecting your employees to support. If your employees are unable to help, you may need to find additional assistance, which may take time to organise.

Important: It's crucial to discuss with your employees who is expected to assist with the relocation. While many employees may be willing to help with packing and other tasks related to the move, it's important not to assume their involvement. Have an open discussion and wait for volunteers, rather than expecting automatic support from your team.

If some employees are unable to help, be prepared to find additional assistance, which may take some time to organise.

2) Packing and Labelling Your Office Equipment 

Once you have your timeline planned out, the first practical step will be packing and labelling your belongings. Admittedly, this can feel like a chore, but trust me, unpacking and organising a new office without a clue of where anything is located is even more tedious.

“Where's my specialist mouse? Oh, I think it's in the box with the plants and Ben's protein powder" 

This is exactly the scenario you want to avoid when moving office. Instead, create a labelling system that streamlines your setup process. The specifics of this system will depend on what you're moving, but the goal is to simplify your life as much as possible. If each team member has designated equipment, allocate individual boxes for them. Alternatively, if items are communal, consider grouping similar items, such as HDMI cables in one box for easy distribution upon arrival.

Top tip: take special care when handling delicate IT equipment. Improper storage of monitors or other specialised technology could result in costly damage. Perhaps worse,  losing hard drives or USBs throughout the moving process not only disrupts business operations but also poses a security risk. If you don’t use a cloud-based system for your files, backing up your hard drives is imperative.

Any level of organisation is better than throwing belongings into boxes, and will undoubtedly make your office relocation a lot easier. 

3) Inventory Count

While packing and labelling your boxes, conduct an inventory count simultaneously. Keeping track of your assets as your business grows can be challenging, but moving offices presents an excellent opportunity to take stock of what you have. Additionally, performing an inventory count allows you to verify that all possessions have been successfully transported to the new office, and identify any missing items.

4) Unpacking in your new office

Good news, if you've organised your belongings effectively, unpacking should be a straightforward process! Start by unpacking any furniture, such as chairs, and plan out where each employee will sit. This helps determine the amount of space needed for each employee and allows you to set up monitors accordingly. It's much easier to adjust chair placements than to move fully installed monitor setups later on.

Once the furniture is in place, take the time to personalize your space (within the guidelines of your serviced office). Arrange office plants, decorative posters, whiteboards, or any other items that make the office feel like a second home.

5) Tasks for the First Week:

In the first week of your office move, there are a few small admin tasks to complete:

  • Update your business address. Ensure all vendors have your new address and update your invoices accordingly.

  • Allocate key cards to all employees.

  • Ensure all employees complete training on emergency evacuation drills (your office provider will typically hold an onboarding session)

  • Update your contact details on your website and any other platforms where they are utilised.

6) Celebrating Your New Office

And voila! Just like that, you’ve successfully relocated your office. Now, cliche alert, it’s important to stop and smell the roses. 

If you’ve just upscaled your office, this is a huge achievement, but it’s so common to rush and work towards the next achievement. Sit back, take a moment, and celebrate with your team. Even if you’re downsizing your office for whatever reason, you’ve gone through a big process and a new office symbolises a fresh start, so kick off the fresh start properly. 

Oh, and if you know anyone looking for office space in London, refer them to us and we’ll throw you a party worth £500! 

Typeform to refer (T&Cs inside) - can be found here 

Written by Laura Beales

Related Articles

Get started today

Give your team access to amazing facilities - wherever they are. We'll get you up and running in next to no time.

Book a demo