Anyone that has ever moved to a new home knows it is stressful, time-consuming, and tiresome. And unfortunately, an office move can feel like a residential move on steroids since there is more to do and consider. However, that doesn’t mean your office move can’t be a success—you just have to plan well ahead of your move date. And when you start planning, here are 7 essential moving tasks you don’t want to forget.
1. Organize Tasks by Timeframe
You want to know not only what you need to get done but also when it needs to get done by. Start by making an office move checklist that details all your moving-related tasks. From there, assign dates to your to-dos with one of the options below.
- Place them in a calendar or day planner that lays out what needs to get done day-by-day.
- Write down a date beside each task on your list.
- Organize tasks under subheadings that gives a rough due date, such as “1 Week Before Move”, “Day Before Move”, etc.
2. Book Renovations & Installs
You should start searching for a new office space approximately 4 months out from your moving day, when possible, to ensure you don’t get jammed in a time crunch. And once you find a new office space, you should start booking any work that needs to be done ASAP. This includes renovations, as well as utility installs. The idea is that you have everything done before you move your team in so you don’t interrupt workflow and everyone can settle in sooner. After all, no one can work at full capacity with drilling or hammering in the background.
You will also want to swap over your utilities to ensure that you have everything from internet to water up and running before move-in day.
3. Change Your Address
There may be more places that you have to change your business’s address than you think. Here are a few you may be forgetting.
- Email signatures
- Social media pages
- Marketing material such as business cards, brochures, and flyers
- Utility companies
- Online directories
- Chamber of commerce
You’ll also want to make sure that your customers know where to find you, so consider mailing or emailing a moving notice a month ahead of your move date. Announcing the move on social media is also highly recommended. And finally, don’t forget about suppliers and vendors. Once you get possession of the new office, you should be getting anything you can shipped to that space right before moving to save on moving time and costs.
4. Inform Employees ASAP
Don’t keep your team in the dark. Tell your staff about the move ASAP. They’ll want to know why the move is happening and what it means for their job at the company. An initial meeting is often a good way to break the news, followed by emails to update them as you get closer to moving day. Also, make sure to field any questions that they may have—an informed team is a happy and productive team.
If you want to take employee engagement one step further, ask them what they would like for the new office. What amenities would make their jobs easier? What don’t they like about the current office setup? What would improve their worklife? They may offer insights on helpful amenities or layout options that may otherwise get overlooked.
5. Get Help
Hiring professional movers or even just professional packers can keep the moving process from becoming overwhelming. If you opt for a full-service move, then you can get everything from sourcing supplies to the heavy lifting taken care of. This also means that you won’t have to spend as much time on the move—so you can tend to office business—and you won’t be risking any injury to yourself or your employees. Just be sure to book movers 1-3 months ahead of time to secure your spot. And check that anyone you’re considering hiring has experience specifically with commercial moves as they differ from residential.
Still have too much on your plate? Hire an office move manager. They can take care of every step along the way, including gathering options for the new office space, keeping employees informed, and booking the elevators for moving day—something you should be doing in both your old building and the new one.
Moving is always a great time declutter—and the office is no exception. You want to go through everything from drawers to the supply closet to get rid of anything outdated, broken, or no longer in use. Send any outdated electronics to an e-recycling facility. Have extra office supplies? Schools are always looking for extra supplies, especially their art programs. Unused furniture should also be donated to a local ReStore or similar, which can be used as a tax write-off
Another place you should consider decluttering is your filing cabinets. These hefty metal monsters end up being a bit of a catchall for paper a lot of the time, so see what documents you don’t need anymore to lighten to load. Better yet, consider converting your files to digital documents and store them in a cloud for easy access. This can be done with a scanner or even a cellphone camera, depending on what office cloud storage service you decide to use.
7. Prioritize Business as Usual
Employees should be able to do their regular jobs during this transition without worrying about extra moving tasks loaded onto their plates. This means that ideally, your staff should only have to take care of their personal belongings in order to keep stress at bay. If you need help with your move, look to external sources such as movers, office move managers, and professional organizers.
An office move is a lot of hard work, but early planning will take a lot of stress out of the transition. If you plan well-ahead and don’t forget the 7 tasks above, you will be well on your way to a successful office relocation.
Nancy Zafrani is the general manager of Oz Moving & Storage in NYC. A day-one employee of Oz, she has 25 years of experience in the moving industry. As a New Yorker, Nancy also has lots of experience dealing with small apartments and organizing.