Whether you’re a growing startup upsizing to a bigger space or an established entity going to a more convenient location moving offices in New York City is exciting, but it involves a lot of moving pieces. Fortunately, switching workstations can happen without creating chaos for your leadership or your talent when you plan right and use your resources wisely.
Here is a step-by-step strategy for moving offices in New York City.
1. Prepare, prepare, prepare
Planning for your office move should start once you’ve secured a new space even if it’s a few months—or even a year—down the line. Depending on the size of your company, you might schedule your move in several waves.
2. Have a point person from start to finish
It’s essential to have a dedicated contact for your move, such as an office manager, who can juggle communicating with your new landlord, management company, and movers, as well as field internal questions.
3. Establish a realistic and actionable timeline
Manage your move with set deadlines to reduce interruptions in productivity and consider an overnight move to minimize downtime. Up until your move-in date, check in on the readiness of your new facility to avoid any unexpected holdups.
4. Keep your team updated
Provide your employees with clear info, such as deadlines and the availability of supplies for packing up their desks. Moving an office is a team effort and keeping your staff adequately briefed reduces overall anxiety levels about the transition.
5. Assess any maintenance projects
Schedule pre-move and pre-installation meetings to determine what needs to be completed before moving in. For example, it’s easier to paint an office, renovate a bathroom with new hand dryers, or set up cubicles before your staff settles in.
6. Think like an interior designer (or hire one)
Po a walk-through and look over your new floor plan carefully to decide where each piece of furniture will go. Ideally, you should have a marked-up floor plan serving as a map laying out couches, desks, chairs, rugs, shelves, and other items.
7. Build in a transition window
Allow for several days of overlap in essential utilities, such as electricity and phone lines, in case any delays occur in the readiness of your new office space. (If possible, it’s helpful not to have leases starting or ending back to back.)
8. Contact service providers
To be up and running on your move-in date, notify your internet, phone, and other service providers of your upcoming change of address and schedule your transfer or hook-up of necessary utilities.
9. Purge unnecessary items
As the date gets closer, encourage your employees to start clearing out the clutter from their workstations and provide extra trashcans and recycling bins. Send a few emails with fun tidying-up tips as gentle reminders.
10. Order fresh supplies
Before moving day, make sure you have office supplies and essentials on hand for the new space, such as toilet paper, hand soap, and paper towels, as well as pens and notebooks. If you can, coordinate delivery for coffee and snacks.
11. Practice mindful packing
Ahead of crunch time, order ample moving supplies, such as boxes and tape. For simplified packing unpacking, color-code inventory to keep track—and separate items that require extra-care handling. Make sure to clearly label and alert your movers of any fragile objects.
12. Communicate on both ends
Coordinate with your existing and new property managers to make sure there will be access for movers and other service providers on key dates, including parking and elevator usage. Ask for emergency contact numbers as a backup. If you’re moving from Manhattan to Brooklyn for example, make sure the property managers in both places know your moving schedule.
13. Set up workspaces
Reduce lag time by having computers, printers, and copy machines installed on the day of your move to avoid slowing down your business.