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6 Steps to a Successful Office Relocation

27 February, 2019

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.

Getting Started

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
  • Parking
  • Transport
  • 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.

Legal

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.

Design & Fit-out Your Space

After you have selected your new office location, the next step is to find a design and build partner. This needs to be a company that can design and deliver to your brief, understands your requirements and has the creativity to come up with the right environment for your business. It is helpful to come up with a list of criteria to help with this selection, including factors such as their financial stability, health and safety, reputation and previous client’s feedback.

Once you have selected some potential design and build partners, set aside some time for their presentations, presenting your brief at the same time. They can then work on proposals and design concepts aligned with your requirements. At Anchorpoint we recommend clients visit some of our completed projects and live projects to show what we can do and how we work.

It is important to get your employees involved at the design stage by hosting workshops with your appointed design and build partner to help them gain a greater understanding of your business and how it operates, and get feedback from team members on what kind of office motivates them and what they need from the new workspace, keeping them informed throughout the project.

A successful design team will transform your ideas into reality, a design that aligns with the future of your company and current design trends, staff wellbeing and attracts and retains staff. They will suggest and advise on suitable colour schemes, furniture and lighting, and ensure you have the right balance of functional and agile working space throughout. Consider how your staff currently work. Can they be encouraged to work in different ways with more informal areas such as collaboration zones, breakout space and flexible space?

Your design team will be able to develop the perfect space by thoroughly exploring these factors.

Now that you’ve finalised the design, a detailed project programme needs to be created and agreed to enable your project team to plan and prioritise all tasks and provide a schedule for the team to work to. This should include as many details as possible, from packing boxes and moving servers, to office fit-out works and installation of furniture. Your design and build partner should provide a detailed programme of fit-out works that will include start dates and a timeline of when each trade will happen, through to completion and handover.

Planning the Relocation

With your workplace design agreed and the fit-out under way, now is the time to finalise your relocation plan.

Some of the key things to consider are:

  • Access to new office
  • IT systems and broadband setup
  • Phased move option
  • Office layout – department locations
  • Keeping staff informed of progress and key dates

It’s important that the project team have back up plans in place in the event of any issues, to ensure a smooth and efficient transition. Anchorpoint’ s move management team can guide and take care of your whole move management process and show a clearly documented plan as part of the overall project journey.

Now the office fit-out is finished, complete with furniture and IT systems, finally the staff move in day arrives! We recommend hosting an open day so that employees can get a feel for the space, which provides you with an opportunity to obtain feedback on the new environment. Remember relocating offices is a significant change and there may be tweaks to be made further down the line to ensure you are getting the most out of your workspace.

Anchorpoint’s Relocation Advice and Support

Our team of experienced professionals can assist with the entire office relocation process covering every aspect of the transition. Get in touch to find out more about our workplace relocation and fit-out services.


Is your office lease expiry approaching? Do you need to relocate your workplace?

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