The reasons for relocating offices can vary but are generally due to a lease expiry or an approaching lease break. An office move is an excellent opportunity to review your existing workplace environment to determine whether it has sufficient capacity for future growth, highlight any current issues or challenges that could be improved, and to focus on potential opportunities that a reinvigorated workplace delivers.
There are several areas that can be developed as a result of an office relocation such as your workplace culture and investigating new ways of working. It also presents an opportunity to give your brand a refresh. Most importantly, moving your office can have a significant effect on employees, including attracting and retaining top talent, and improving staff productivity and motivation. Here are six steps to help ensure a successful office relocation.
Who do you need to manage your office relocation project? A project of this nature is likely to be too much for a single team member to handle, and we recommend you create an internal team that covers any relevant roles based on their skills and experience, and how much time they can allocate to the process. It is important that you assign a project leader who has authority to make decisions and can drive the project forward.
Good communication is essential within the team, along with the ability to set and work to budgets and deal with challenges. Their main objective should be to minimise delays and ensure a smooth running of the project so there is minimal distraction to the rest of the company, as well as making sure the finished result is aligned to the company’s key objectives and brand. It is a good idea to include IT, marketing and HR individuals in the team, to assist with systems, branding and staff engagement.
Goals & Objectives
Having selected your team, the next step is to define your vision. What type of space do you want? What are the most important factors to consider? Think about the number of staff, workplace areas you require, budgets, design and branding, and timescales. Brainstorm some ideas within the project team to ensure every aspect of the project is covered. This will develop your project foundation so it is important that you are as realistic as possible.
Make sure you know exactly what you need from your workspace including:
- Rent costs
- Local amenities
- Broadband coverage
- Commute times
This will help you to ensure any potential space is suitable for your business.
Locate a Space
With a project team and a plan in place, it’s now time to engage a property agent to locate a suitable space. Using a reliable and highly regarded agent will make the whole process a lot easier for you.
Anchorpoint work closely with a number of professional agent organisations that we can recommend as key partners in this part of the process. Some ideas to consider to ensure you choose the right agent are:
- Obtain references from previous clients
- Make sure they are intelligent as to the technical details of commercial property
- Find out if they have a good knowledge of the area you are searching in
Spending time to research a good agent is a worthwhile exercise as it will help avoid any potential issues or delays further down the line. Having chosen an agent, they will provide you with property options that match your brief, arrange viewings and help to negotiate the best package for your company.
The legal factors involved in an office relocation are vital for the ongoing security of your business. Obtaining some of the permissions, regulations and licences for your new office can involve lengthy processes, so make sure you leave enough time. It is a good idea to get as much legal support as you can. Some of the factors to consider are planning permissions, alterations licensing, building regulations and environmental legislative targets; health and safety requirements, disability discrimination compliance and legislation around leases.
If you are currently leasing office space, you need to be aware of what notice you need to provide to end your lease. Ensure the new lease safeguards your commercial interests. Your property solicitor should scrutinise your lease to highlight issues of concern and clauses that need to be negotiated further. Make sure the lease is appropriate for your needs, and if there are options to break the lease, and any entitlement there may be for extension or expiry.
Team members within Anchorpoint can obtain permissions on your behalf, whilst keeping you informed of all relevant client obligations.