It’s been confirmed, you’re relocating offices and the countdown is on. Although an extremely exciting event for your firm and your people, for an Office or Facilities Manager it can be a daunting and extremely stressful time as you’ll likely be heavily involved. In an office relocation project, there are many moving (excuse the pun) elements. It can be difficult to monitor project progress and keep the office move on track and to budget. There are a ton of things to consider and in this blog we discuss our top 5 priorities to help get you focussed on the task ahead.
Along with outlining your goals and timescales, budget is up there as one of the most important considerations when embarking on any new project. This will dictate the type of support you can afford and determine what elements can be outsourced as well as which tasks will need to be managed in-house. How to calculate your budget will depend on many factors but here are some questions to answer;
a. Headcount to be accommodated?
b. Buying all new furniture?
c. Finish specification, high, mid, budget?
d. Staff hours permitted to dedicate to office move project?
e. Lease costs, deposits, agency fees, conveyancer costs and dilapidations?
2. Find the help you need.
Depending on the size of your organisation and the type of move, you could need to engage with dozens of suppliers to make your move a success. An Interior Designer may be required to help you design your new space and ensure you create a productive environment that not only suits your current needs but also your future growth. You will potentially need to engage with Workplace Consultants to assist with the change aspect of the project and maximising buy-in from staff to ensure the move is a success. Working with a Move Manager can help to alleviate some of this pressure and ensure you do what you need to do when you need to do it.
We've created an infographic detailing the actions you need to take in the lead up to your office move. Access 'Countdown to an Office Move - A checklist for Facilities Managers' below.
3. Office furniture.
Initially a decision needs to be made on whether you will look to repair and refurbish any office furniture for use in your new space. There is a debate as to whether this is cost effective. You need to consider the relocation costs of transferring existing furniture into your new space vs purchasing new. Additionally, is your existing furniture in good enough condition that it will survive the journey? Furthermore, will your existing furniture sit nicely in the new space in terms of fit and design? If you do decide to purchase new furniture, avoid replicating the volume of furniture you have currently as with advances in home and remote working, it’s an opportunity for you to reduce furniture requirements and move away from a 1-2-1 desk ratio. You could also move away from traditional furniture and consider more collaborative furniture including pods. Lastly if you do decide on new furniture, there will likely be a long lead time of anything up to 12 weeks.
A communication plan is not only key but essential! Involving staff in the office relocation project is key to overcoming any resistance to the move and will also reduce stress and panic. Initially you might benefit from putting together an internal steering group. This will consist of representatives from different divisions within your organisation and also key individuals from the organisations you select to work with. Regular informative meet-ups will ensure a smoother project with less resistance. Perhaps you could arrange a tour of the new office for this group of personnel (if this is available) if not, a virtual tour by your Architects or Agent could help to keep the final goal in mind and make everyone feel involved and included.
There are many amazing opportunities that come with an office move project. Staff will be in the mindset for change and so it will be easier to implement change at this time. As a Facilities Manager there could be projects you have been wanting to work through for some time and incorporating them into your move plan could be a way of getting them implemented in a timely manner. For example, decluttering could be one of those things. Rationalising furniture, filing or general clutter is more easily achieved at this time. In addition, reviewing contracts for printing, stationery, and other suppliers that would need to be reviewed as part of your move programme could be reviewed and improved during this period.
If you are seeking advice on office moves in general or need guidance/templates, you may wish to access other resources on our website.
ClearSpace Group’s Move Management team are an experienced bunch of enthusiastic and passionate individuals who love to help firms relocate offices in the most positive experience possible. Our team of Move Managers have worked on projects of all shapes and sizes and in various different sectors. Meet our team here.