By The Hughes Marino Project & Construction Management Team
Moving a business can be a major project to say the least, and anyone who has relocated their company location can attest to the massive challenge. Over the many years of representing companies in their lease negotiations, as well as assisting in planning, build out, tenant improvements and expansions, our team at Hughes Marino has gained extensive knowledge observing the intricacies of moving a business, and we love sharing as much insight as possible to help our clients feel prepared and informed. Planning ahead and remaining organized throughout the process proves essential to ensuring the move goes as seamlessly as possible and will have your team feeling excited to take the next step in the journey.
In order to help our clients navigate their complex relocations, we have developed an extensive and free downloadable checklist to help companies get started on the right foot. Along with our handy checklist, here are four takeaways to consider as you relocate your business:
1. Plan Ahead
The more time you allow for planning, the better, and the more successful you will be when moving day arrives. We recommend planning a minimum of three months to a year before making a move, based on your needed move-in date. When establishing this timeline, companies should focus on appointing a moving committee or move champions, who are typically comprised of team members from facilities, IT, HR, operations and other interested and qualified contributors to establish a relocation budget. We recommend considering whether a third-party move management consultant should be hired to help alleviate the time burden so your team members can focus on their normal role and responsibilities. We also suggest talking with your tenant representative to review the existing lease for restoration requirements to return the current space, as well as meet with the landlord to inform them of your intention to relocate and planning to end your existing lease on its expiration date.
2. Create Moving Teams by Department
There are plenty of logistics to cover when nearing two months out from the moving date. This includes gathering furniture layout plans for team members’ new workspaces, scheduling meetings with each department lead and moving team, and working with your IT department on moving tech gear properly and safely. For biotech companies, it’s critical to prepare any lab equipment that may need to be transported to the new location, considering any unique transportation requirements for a safe relocation. Another pro-tip for staying organized–we highly recommend assigning numbers to a moving plan that correlates to a particular location, workspace or teammate, which will help expedite the load-in and move-in process day of. By labeling spaces and correlating boxes by number, the move team can quickly determine which boxes and furniture items go where, ensuring nothing gets lost during the transition.
3. Create an Internal and External Communication Strategy
Communication is key and will help your team have a smooth transition from one space to another. A few months out is also a prime time to begin crafting a communications plan for social media, clients and press releases announcing the move, scheduling and begin the planning of an office-warming event, finalizing security protocols for the move, locking in storage if needed, and more. This is also the time to go over any moving insurance needs. About a month before moving, we advise that companies make sure the new location is added to the lobby directory and also fine-tune any parts of the moving schedule that might need adjusting. Two weeks prior to the move, we recommend planning tours of the new space, as well as prepping welcome packets and swag bags for your team members. In the days leading up to a move, we encourage providing new security ID cards and entry passes, and organizing general on-site help for move-related support.
4. Create a New Location Support Strategy
The day has come, and your team is excited to begin the next chapter in your new space. Moves can be as exciting as they are challenging in getting into a routine and feeling established in a new environment to tackle your work. This is why it is imperative to continue to communicate and provide access to teammates who understand the lay-of-the-land and can answer questions, and provide direction and support as everyone gets settled in. During the week of the business move, we suggest distributing on-site contact lists and establish a central common center to assist team members as they get acclimated to the new location.
Whether you enlist the help of an external team or handle your business move in-house, proactive communication and organization are key. Our team has extensive experience and is happy to offer our services both to find and build out the perfect space before your office move. We look forward to assisting your team, and hope these tips (and our checklist) help you on your journey!
Hughes Marino’s industry leading Program, Project and Construction Management team has unmatched expertise in every type of commercial building project from tenant improvements to ground-up build-to-suits. With decades of experience, our project managers, engineers and LEED APs offer practical insights for the construction management professional.