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Office Moves Made Easy: A Checklist for Relocating Your Business

By Steven Gorup

Relocating your business is definitely a big deal. There is a lot of planning to be done, a whole lot of people involved, and specific details that need to be coordinated. From vendors to service providers to your own team, which must be guided through the transition, moving your business into a new location—with as little disruption as possible to your operations—should not be done impulsively. But it doesn’t have to completely overwhelm you either.

After years of experience helping businesses relocate, we have found that planning ahead and remaining organized throughout the process are the keys to success. Many companies find moving to be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right guidance, planning, and preparation, it can be a smooth transition, and can even be enjoyable!

In effort to help you to seamlessly relocate your company into a new space, we have created this business move checklist. Whether you choose to work with a construction management team or handle the move on your own, this checklist will help you plan for your move with a clear picture of all that it will entail.

Business Move Checklist

3+ Months Prior to Move

  • Select a move committee.
  • Establish a preliminary relocation budget.
  • Determine whether the move warrants hiring a third-party move management consultant.
  • Coordinate moving of servers with your IT provider or support person.
  • Contact your telephone provider to get new numbers or relocate existing. Confirm your long distance carrier or consider other options.
  • Determine if any equipment requires specialized or approved vendors to move it. This could include copiers, lab equipment, certain electronics or manufacturing equipment.
  • Check your existing lease for restoration requirements/conditions for returning the current space to your landlord. Schedule a meeting with existing landlord to review these requirements.
  • Contact your telecommunications/data provider to schedule a cut-over date.
  • Reserve the building elevator (existing for move-out, new for move-in).
  • Order keys from the building.
  • Contact the building to confirm location of signage. Hire a signage vendor to plan, get approval for, and install new signage, if applicable.
  • Obtain a qualified mover by interviewing 2-4 companies, depending on the size of job.
  • Order new letterhead, business cards, forms, and other printed marketing materials.
  • Coordinate updates to your website, email signatures, and any place else where your address appears so they can be implemented on the day of your move.
  • Notify your clients of change of address.
  • Contact the post office, your bank and vendors (coffee service, vending machines, etc.) for change of address.
  • Contact the IRS, and your local agencies for change of address.
  • Notify your insurance carrier of change of address and new office requirements. Obtain certificates of insurance for the landlord, and any entities required by the lease.

Coordination & Organizational Tasks

2 Months Prior to Business Move:

  • Coordinate with IT on server move, desktop, and PBX timelines.
  • Assemble a move team with each department having a move liaison and schedule weekly coordination meetings.
  • Collect all furniture layout plans from employees for their new spaces.
  • Prepare a lab equipment ID matrix for all equipment being moved (if applicable). Coordinate with users to review special equipment installation/compatibility requirements.
  • Develop a preliminary move schedule.

1 Month Prior to Business Move:

  • Develop a labeling/tagging scheme and assign move numbers. Prepare floor plans/layouts.
  • Discuss and agree on move insurance needs with your company.
  • Create public relations campaign with press releases to highlight new location and/or office-warming party.
  • Coordinate with new site to add your listing to lobby directory.
  • Determine security procedures for the move.
  • Secure off-site storage location for old files.
  • Fine-tune move schedule.

2 Weeks Prior to Business Move:

  • Finalize move schedule.
  • Host employee move orientation meeting.
  • Schedule packing material and label delivery.
  • Prepare employee welcome packet for the new space (restrooms, gyms, break rooms, copy rooms, etc.).
  • Establish channels for move team communication and protocol for change requests.
  • Create list of emergency contacts, cell phone numbers, and vendors that includes moving company, building management, utilities, telecommunications, etc.
  • Schedule on-site help for move day.
  • Identify a ‘Move Command Central’ for mover and employee inquiries.
  • Select cleaning vendor for post-move.

Week of Business Move:

  • Schedule additional packing material and label delivery.
  • Tag and label destination site using room numbers and equipment IDs.
  • Distribute contact lists for emergency/on-site/on-call lists.
  • Review/finalize all move sequences/schedules and distribute to move team.
  • Prep building for move – surface protection, corner guards, etc.
  • Distribute new security ID card key entry badges.
  • Schedule training for all emergency procedures at new location.
  • As close as possible to moving day – change locks and access codes at new location.

Day(s) of Business Move:

  • Assign origin and destination move liaisons.
  • Coordinate on-site help to handle move related questions, etc.
  • Complete job walk each day of move to track progress, confirm the move is on schedule, and identify any goods or walls that might have been damaged during the move.
  • Allocate keys and/or access cards for new location.
  • Distribute employee welcome packets at their new destinations.

Post Business Move Support:

  • Maintain ‘Move Command Central’ post to support employee inquiries, manage lost & found, track honey-do lists, etc.
  • Dispatch appropriate team(s) for post-move set-up – hanging white boards, equipment fit up, etc.
  • Distribute new contact list and layout of department locations.
  • Collect all access items including security cards, keys and parking passes for old location and confirm return of deposits held by landlord for items.
  • Survey for damage. Prepare and submit reports.
  • Prepare move punch list and action items. Coordinate with appropriate contractors to address all issues, and track to completion.
  • Review final invoices against contracts.
  • Enjoy your new space!

Helpful Links to Moving Your Business:

Need more help? Please don’t hesitate to contact the Hughes Marino Program, Project and Construction Management team for questions you may have or to schedule a consultation regarding your business move.

Steven Gorup is director of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in project management, tenant representation and building purchases, with offices across the nation. Contact Steven at 1-844-662-6635 or steven@hughesmarino.com to learn more.

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