There’s a lot to coordinate in an office move. Not only lots of large furniture, technology equipment, and private records but many people as well. Add to that the need to keep downtime to a minimum so you don’t affect business operations, and you have a lot to consider in your planning.

There’s no way around it – an office move is a lot of work. But that doesn’t mean it has to be messy or burdensome. With a bit of planning and preparation, you’ll be sure to have a smooth transition to your new office space. Follow our top tips for moving an office.

Get a Head Start

If you don’t follow any of our other tips (but let’s be honest, you’ll be glad you did!) make sure you take this one to heart. Starting early makes every single part of your move so much easier.

If you can, try to start planning your move 4-6 weeks before the day arrives. This will help you get a clear picture of what needs to be done and plan accordingly. Saving any move to the last minute is always a risk, but with all of the things involved in moving an office, it’s detrimental.

Set benchmarks for the flow of the move so you can track your progress. Keep an itemized list of things to do so you don’t forget anything. Make sure you include things that seem menial as these are the most likely to slip your mind once the process begins.

Nominate a Project Manager

To help you with the bits and pieces, find a detail-oriented person who could take the role of Project Manager. Having someone overseeing this project is the best way to ensure nothing gets missed. It also means you have a single point of contact as departments and outside companies get involved.

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Depending on the size of your company, you may also need to get department heads involved. These managers should take some of the responsibility of making sure their individual teams are covering their department tasks. Ensure they understand they should sort through and dispose of things they no longer need, and that when moving day comes their things are prepared for the big shift.

Hire a Moving Company Early

Office moves require more than you would need while moving house. Special equipment for moving big items, a larger team of movers, and plenty of pre-planning to ensure everyone is prepared. Hiring a moving company not only ensures you have the people and equipment available, but it helps you factor the logistics into your moving budget.

Not only that but hiring a moving company well in advance means you can plan outside of business hours. To ensure you lessen your impact on business operations, schedule your movers on nights or weekends. Of course, many organizations are thinking this same way, so these are sought-after moving times. Get in early.

Get the IT Team Involved

This is another step you want to take early. Getting your IT team involved at an early stage means you have their involvement in the move and can plan ahead. Have your IT team evaluate the new space so they can determine if you need any upgrades to equipment or infrastructure.

Your IT department will help you to schedule installations for things such as internet, phone, cabling, etc. The US government requires that records and information are not only kept but transported in a secure way, and the IT folks will help you stay in compliance.

Communicate with Your Employees

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While moving an office can be an exciting chance for a refresh, it can feel uncomfortable for some people. Giving your employees a heads up on what to expect will help. You don’t need to tell them every little detail, but share your new location, timeline, and other useful bits of information. Give them space to answer questions about anything that may concern them, and be sure to communicate what, if anything, you need them to do.

Place Equipment Orders with Time to Spare

To ease the transition and keep your downtime to a minimum, make sure you assess your equipment needs beforehand. Whether it’s furniture, technology, or even office supplies, you’ll need these to be sure you can pick right up where you left off in your old place. Place orders for this equipment in advance so that you can coordinate delivery at your new address. That will save you from needing to move all of those things twice.

Make an Address Announcement

This one may seem obvious but trust us, it does sometimes slip through the cracks. Make sure you make an announcement to your customers about your change of address. If nothing else, it’s a great opportunity to reach out and let them know you’re making a move. Get business cards on order, schedule website updates, and check places such as Google My Business, social media accounts, and email newsletter footers where you may need to make updates to your location.