The prospect of moving can be daunting, but much like anything else, it is just a process which can be broken down into a few simple tasks and steps, which will ensure a move on time, within budget and relatively hassle free.
Assess needs and the current situation
What is the purpose of the office relocation e.g. lease break, lease expiry, planned growth or downsizing? There are some major decisions which need to be agreed at the outset and these will inform the subsequent planning process including details of the existing lease, notice period and current obligations and liabilities.
Be clear about requirements
A clear understanding at the outset of the basic strategic and operational requirements will smooth the process considerably:
Where do you want to move to (location, location)
- How much space do you need and when do you need to be in by
- What key features do your new offices need
- Planned business objectives i.e. growth plans
- Type and length of lease
The right project team
Putting together the right team is critical and should include people who will facilitate all aspects of the move and will include internal and external members. Key though, is the project leader and this team player should:
- Have the trust of senior management
- The authority to act on behalf of the company
- Have the authority to and be able to make decisions
- Be a good organiser of people and processes
- Have experience of setting and working within budgets
- Be a great communicator
Once the decision has been made to relocate and the project team leader appointed, get going! Review of options should start at least 9 to 18 months prior to lease expiration regardless of whether you are renewing, renegotiating or relocating. Enough lead time will ensure you the amount of leverage to consider the various options.
A Realistic Budget
A critical tool that will assist in the assessment and management of costs throughout the process.
The Right Movers
After the people costs and property costs, the next most important cost will be the physical move, but appointing the right professionals should ensure that money is saved in the long run and that no critical mistakes are made.
Your attorney will negotiate the details of the lease documentation to minimise your exposure to potential liabilities and highlight the terms in the final documentation such that you are aware of the responsibilities.
Any change can be unsettling for staff, and an office move is no exception. At the same time as the move is going on, business must continue, but this is an opportunity to affect positive change management, improve productivity and increase morale and momentum. Everyone involved in the moving process should be regularly updated and channels of communication kept open at all times.
New Broom Sweeps Clean
Clear out old files and purge storage areas of unnecessary items. Also consider scanning documents no longer needed or archiving documents to free up valuable office space, provided they can be easily accessed and there is damage limitation in case of fire or other disaster. Consideration should also be given to the following:
- Upgrading – moving office is an opportunity to update to modern, efficient and space-saving equipment.
- Review existing suppliers – an office move could also be the catalyst to renewing / switching supplier contracts on favourable terms.
As a property and development company, J.T. Ross understands the complexities and pressures of moving. If we can offer advice, provide input or resolve your space requirements, please contact any one of our team.