An office relocation is an incredibly exciting prospect – but it takes significant time and planning to get right. From the location of your future office to your business’ strategy, there are many crucial aspects to consider. We’ve written an easy to follow step-by-step guide to ensure you get it right first time – you can thank us later.
Set a time frame
As you’re probably all too aware, an office move is a time-consuming project. Start planning your relocation as soon as possible and map out a project timeline to make the process as smooth as possible. In general, we recommend you start planning at least 18 months before your intended move date. Use our timescale calculator for a more personalised time-frame that considers your required occupation date and the size of your office.
Choose your project team
Every member in the team should be committed to improving the quality of your workplace. In particular, the project leader needs to dedicate large amounts of time and effort to managing the relocation. The rest of the team should consist of individuals across different departments. This will ensure input from every aspect of the company – Finance can manage the budget, IT can oversee the technological transformation and Marketing can ensure your company’s brand is represented in the space. Having a project move team of individuals from each department will also ensure your new workspace works for everyone – and, at the end of the day, this should be the main goal.
Align your business strategy with your workplace goals
The workplace is a powerful strategic enabler and an office relocation provides a great opportunity to align the space with your business’ goals. Now, this might take some time. After all, there’s plenty to consider. Start by thinking about how you want your team to work together in the new space. Do you want to enable agility, encourage cross-departmental collaboration or update your technological processes? Then consider how the workplace can help implement and encourage these changes.
Set a budget
Cost is probably the most divisive factor for companies relocating offices. Make sure to set a budget for the move early in the process and, most importantly – stick to it. It’s a good idea to map out your budget alongside your project time-frame to avoid unexpected costs. Our project budget calculator is a great tool for working out your fit out costs. But, don’t forget to include the cost of rent, maintenance, existing space dilapidations, commercial property agents, legal advice, IT infrastructure, furniture and change management.
Choose a location
The location of your office is incredibly important for a multitude of reasons. But mainly, it has to suit the needs of your clients and employees. Consider where your current team live and work out their average commute time – will they drive to work or are there good transportation links nearby? Then do the same for your clients – your office needs to be easily accessible to them too. It’s also worth thinking about whether or not you want to be close to your competitors. Do you want to have the market share or could you benefit by their presence? From a practical perspective, consider what amenities are in the area. It can be handy for both businesses and individuals to have a post office, supermarket and bank nearby. Finally, you want to consider the area more generally. Are there cafes, bars and restaurants nearby? A buzzing location can be a great tool for attracting talent and can have a huge impact on your team’s work/life balance.
Decide how much space you need
Now for the tricky bit – working out how much space you need. As leases can last between 3 and 10 years, this can be a particularly difficult task for companies experiencing rapid or hypergrowth. If this is the case, it may be worth hiring a workplace consultant to forecast your growth and asses how much space you’ll need in the future. Afterall, overestimating the amount of space you need can have a negative effect on company culture and profitability and underestimating the amount of space needed can soon leave you feeling cramped and restricted. If you know the amount of meeting rooms, the size of open plan workspaces and the number of individual desks you’ll need, our office space calculator can help work out how many square feet of space you’ll need.
Choose a property agent and design and build specialist
Property agents have extensive knowledge of the rental market and will be instrumental in finding a space that meets your requirements at the best possible value. At this stage, you’ll also need to consider which procurement method best suits your company’s needs. A traditional procurement method approaches the design, bid and build separately, meaning you will have to appoint an architect to deliver the design, then invite bids from construction contractors to carry out the works. With the design and build procurement method, the same team oversees the process from concept to completion, providing you with a single point of contact throughout the move. If you decide the design and build method suits your needs the best, our guide to selecting a fit out partner provides some useful hints and tips on finding the most suitable fit out partner for your business.
Put your people and clients at the centre of the design
A company’s people and clients are fundamental to its success – so it makes sense to design the workplace with these two groups in mind. It’s a good idea to pre-empt the design process by carrying out a workplace survey. This will give a clear indication of what your team wants, needs and expects from the new space. Alongside more practical considerations, make sure to properly consider wellbeing design aspects. Find a space that allows lots of natural light, provide your team with breakout spaces to encourage communication and introduce biophilic element in the design to prioritise wellbeing and boost productivity levels.
They say it takes a tenth of a second to form an opinion of a person, and the same can be said for a place. So, your workplace should create a winning first impression for clients. After all, your workplace is a visual representation of your business – make sure it doesn’t let your company down.
Manage the move
There are two main aspects of managing an office relocation: the practical side and the emotional side. The practical side involves managing the transference of tech, data, addresses, contact numbers and other collateral. The emotional side is much more personal. While an office relocation is a great opportunity for innovation, some people may fear the adjustments that accompany change. Since different emotions require different responses, emotions cannot be managed ‘en masse’. Take your people on the journey, and make the effort to understand and address any concerns within your team to ensure the move is successful.
Continue to make small improvements at regular intervals
The way we work – and the way we use the workspace – adapts and evolves as we do. As such, businesses should look to make small incremental changes to the business’ strategy and workplace design to ensure greater performance outcomes throughout the length of the lease.
So, there you go – 10 easy steps to the perfect office relocation. First up, set a time frame, allocate a project team and align your business strategy with your workplace goals. Next? Set a budget (and stick to it), choose a location and decide how much space you need. Then? Pick a property agent and design and build specialist, put your people and clients at the centre of the design, manage the practical and emotional responses to change and continue to make small, incremental changes over the course of the lease. Easy!
Want to find out more? Get in touch to see how we can help.