The Secrets to a Successful Office Move
Let’s face it – the thought of moving any size office to another location is overwhelming and can typically lead to stress and anxiety. Worry not! We’ve outlined some easy steps and helpful tips to ensure a painless and stress-free office move. The most important thing to remember: pre-planning is everything.
1. Get Organized
Four weeks before the move date, determine headcount, team adjacencies and any special requests. To get prepared for the inevitable challenge of “who goes where”, it’s best to schedule a meeting with the leadership team to determine the most efficient and practical seating chart.
The three documents you will need to prepare for yourself and the movers:
- Origin Map – current seating chart. Basically a floor plan with staff names and/or desk number.
- Destination Map – new office seating chart. Again, staff names and move numbers. If multiple floors, a simple numbering system such as: workstations on the first floor 101, 102, 103; workstations on the second floor 201, 202, 203, etc.
- Move Matrix – spreadsheet like the template provided here with all the map info, departments coded by color, and any special instructions.
One week before the move date issue move instructions to all staff to cut down on the chaos. Check out our sample template. It’s expected that there will be some questions, be sure to include the contact information for the move manager.
2. Get Mobilized
First things first, organize your IT disconnect/reconnect crew to disconnect everyone’s workstations for the movers to relocate. The same crew will need to reconnect all equipment at the new location.
Rule of thumb: If less than 50 people (+/-), IT team can disconnect and reconnect equipment at the same time (note: 11pm – 12am is a typical cut-off time).
Stay close to the movers to guide them with any questions that might (and always do) come up. At the end of the move, do a walkthrough with your IT crew to make sure everything is arranged the way you planned and equipment is running properly. For example, quickly glance at each workstation to ensure phones and monitors lit up.
Designate a “lost and found” area where unmarked boxes or items misplaced during the shuffle can be located. Request that the movers place any miscellaneous items in this area to solve at the ‘Post-Move’ on Monday.
3. Get Up-and-Running
The next day (typically Monday), it is wise to have a couple movers and IT folks on site to help with miscellaneous issues, and let staff know about the designated lost & found area.
Your move matrix will come in handy to track any post-move issues. It will also help you prioritize the immediacy of what problems and questions should be addressed first.
Lastly, direct movers to collect empty boxes as employees begin unpacking. The moving company can recollect them, or simply request that it be moved to office storage.
Other Quick Tips:
- Request boxes from the moving company 2 weeks prior to the scheduled move date. (Usually 2-3 boxes per person)
- Schedule a walkthrough with the movers beforehand to get familiar with the new location space, parking, security, etc.
- Always have a facilities contact on site (that is familiar with the move) to help with any questions that arise.
- Place “DO NOT MOVE” signs on workstations that are NOT moving.
- Schedule a cleaning crew the Sunday before everyone is in their new locations.
- Make sure to contact building management to reserve EXISTING SITE and FUTURE SITE (if moving to a new building) freight elevator(s) and loading dock(s).
- For security purposes, instruct all employees to take home valuables, or lock them up.
- Before transporting boxes to the new location, do a quick run-through to make sure all boxes and equipment are labeled.
- If any printers will be transported, make sure to coordinate with your internal IT team to coordinate configuring ports.
- Buy the movers dinner during the move! It’s a great way to thank your team.
Moving the office isn’t easy, but with the steps above, your team is headed towards a smooth transition. Remember – preplanning is the key element – no amount of last minute lists can make up for a month of preparation.
Have a tip to share or a question to ask about moving your office? Post it in the comments below!
I need to move my team as we are growing and can no longer fit in our office. I don’t want to use an estate agent, because of the fees – do you know a more resourceful way I can see available properties in East London?
The template links report to a page that states template deleted. Please update the article.
If your company uses SharePoint, have a ‘team site’ for the move committee. Put the maps, contact information, dates for phone disconnect/reconnect, etc. and any other pertinent information there where the appropriate people can get to it. This way if one of the move team is out for any reason, the rest of the team has access to their information. We had a OneNote notebook on the site with all the information and pictures of the old and new locations as reference.
I’ve moved my teams/companies several times over the years. One of the things that I’ve learned is to NOT move over a weekend. It’s actually less hassle for your dev teams and on-call teams to not have to juggle and plan who will and won’t have access over a weekend. Instead work with the team leads to ID the people who need to be moved first/last (perhaps a day in advance or a day after) so that their connectivity to your customers is never cut off.
Awesome tip Constance! There are definitely pros and cons to moving over a weekend and every business needs to consider what will work best for them.
Thanks–I just moved a 40 person team this week. Another trick that got big raves for my team was given them personalized move directions & labels. I customized a form I got from my mover to be specific to our move, and included each person’s name & their from/to desk locations (gotta love mail merge); along with about 20 personalized move labels. It didn’t take me long to produce those documents, but it went a LONG way to making my team feel better about the move and the amount of planning that went into it.
Nice article; you guys can move my office any time!
Well I don’t know if we want to go thaaat far haha, but these ladies could probably make it happen!
Who are these people…how do they know all of this? They are awesome!
Right? Andrea, Jena, and the folks at Reel Grobman are amazing at what they do and we feel pretty lucky they decided to share their knowledge on office moves! Stay tuned for future articles from them :)
I have moved my office on two different occassions. It was a lot of work, but I found it fullfilling and a nice change of pace from the day to day work. Thank for this article!
Wow – moving an office twice is definitely a lot of work. We applaud you! Did you have any tips to add?
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