Note: The information in this section is provided as a general guide only.
Planning the relocation of your business is a pretty big job. From finding the right place to mapping out a new floorplan, the better prepared you are, the easier the job will be. Read our moving business guide below so you can be ready for each stage of the process.
On this page, you'll learn things like:
- planning for a new floor layout,
- what to look out for in a potential work space, and
- why recycling is an important part of a stress-free office move.
If you’re moving business premises and looking to transfer over your power too, give our team a call on 0800 472 952 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Lifting and shifting!
Sometimes moving an office from one place to another is more complex than moving house – which in itself isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Where many businesses run into trouble is not leaving enough time to plan for the move properly. The reality is office relocation requires careful planning to get it all done in a day or a weekend. You’ll want to know where all your equipment is going with a floorplan, and have any fit-out completed before any moving takes place. During this process you’ll also need to make sure your utilities are switched on ready to go from day one.
We’ve pulled together some ‘good to knows’ on the topic of moving offices, but your moving company (if you use one) will also be able to help.
Finding a place that suits your needs
Before anything, you need to really understand what it is you need from a workplace. How many people will be working there? How much space will they need to do their job well? Does the location need to be near other businesses? Knowing this from the start will save you a lot of time and headaches later.
Transport may be one of the most important factors of choosing a premises. Is the building near public transport that operates frequently? Some of your employees will want to use the bus or train to get to work.
Consider what the drive is like from the rest of the central business district. Can you customers quickly taxi up to your workplace from anywhere in town?
Walking distance from other businesses is also a huge advantage; you’ll be easy to fit between other meetings in someone’s busy work day. While real estate further out of town can be cheaper, you do want to think seriously about your proximity to others. If you aren’t going to be hosting customers frequently then this may not be as much of a concern.
If you’re running a hospitality or retail outlet then location is absolutely critical. The wrong position and your business can suffer badly. But offices can also benefit from convenience. Make sure you speak to others in the same industry and commercial property experts for more guidance here. The better they know your business, the better the options they’ll be able to provide.
Accessibility should factor into your decision making. New builds will often have accessibility covered, but some older buildings aren’t equipped properly. You’ll want to choose somewhere that any customer, provider or staff member can access without issue.
Doing a budget for the move
Ideally you’ve started budgeting for an office move before even finding a new premises. Shifting isn’t particularly cheap at the best of times as there’s a lot involved. Accounting for the main costs will lessen the hit to the business afterwards.
Based on the size and financial position of your business, you’ll have a total budget that you have to work to. Knowing how much you’ve got to spend on a move is useful when negotiating with moving companies. You’ll know what needs to be done yourself vs what the business can afford outside help for.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but some moving costs you might encounter are:
- Packing materials
- Moving company (truck, movers)
- Any termination fees to utilities providers at old premises
- Final clean at old premises
- Overtime for staff helping with the move
- Any rental van or moving transport hired for the move
- Fuel for rental vehicle(s)
- Auction and success fees from selling old equipment on classified websites
- Tradespeople for any repairs or touch ups done to old premises before completing tenancy.
Listing out the costs involved is highly recommended, no matter how big or small the move is going to be.
Recycle and reduce
What better time to declutter and recycle anything you don’t need anymore than an office move. E-waste like computers, old appliances, and other office equipment can be sold or recycled before you start packing. The less stuff you have to move, the quicker and easier moving day will be. Don’t even start planning what will go where in the new place until this step is done. You’ll save yourself the hassle of changing the floor plan.
Review the equipment you have that’s in working order but not fit for your business purposes anymore. An outdated computer, for instance, may not stand up to the demands of your staff, but might still be usable as a personal computer. Here you have the option to sell the functional computers you don’t need any more and put proceeds back into your moving budget (or for replacement equipment). Similarly, if you have kitchen appliances that work but may not fit the new place, you can list these online and make some quick cash.
The other big part of this equation is recycling stuff you don’t need and which doesn’t work. New Zealand has recycling facilities all throughout the country. If there’s not a nearby station to take recycling to, you should be able to find a local recycling provider who can pick up everything to take it away. Not sure what you can recycle? Here are just a few things:
- Paper, cardboard, pads
- Dead computers, printers and devices
- Wood – pallets, shelving etc
- Office plans (green waste)
Before you dispose of, sell or recycle equipment, consider donating any items that are functional and safe. Slightly older computers, for instance, may be perfect for a school or family in need. You can speak with your local charity shops about your options here.
Every item has a (new) home
Now you’ve reduced your business’ equipment down to the essentials, it’s time to start planning. You should be able to get the floor plan of the new premises from your new landlord. This should contain floor space square meterage, wall heights and other dimensions that will help you slot everything in on moving day.
Mapping old to new
Take the time to measure up your existing furniture and appliances and work through the new premises floor plan to create a layout for your movers to refer to during the shift. It may take a few configurations to have the floor plan looking right, and you may even switch it around after moving in. Just aim for a set-up that leaves you plenty of room!
It’s not just furniture and equipment to think about – every item needs a place to go in the new space. You’ll likely box up small items together. Try and theme each box to a room or purpose and write this on the box clearly. By sending items to the right place in the new premises, unpacking is going to be so much easier for you and your team. Otherwise you could end up with a massive organising job at the other end after the movers have left. While we can get away with a slow unpack at home, it’s not a good look to have packing boxes stacked up in a reception area for weeks!
Finding movers with business expertise
If you’ve got a large move on your hands (and the budget) then you’ll be happy to know there are movers that specialise in business relocation.
A good office moving company can help you plan the move carefully, identifying potential challenges around access, floor planning and set up. They’ll have hundreds if not thousands of business moves under their belt, so will have the experience to help you solve any issues of the upcoming relocation.
Help with packing
Businesses sometimes underestimate the huge job that packing is – everything needs to go and to keep the business operating you’ll need to do some packing at the very last minute. Staggering the pack up of the business over a matter of weeks will reduce the last minute rush. A moving company can help provide packing materials and even people to safely pack everything up.
Project managing the moving day
On top of the planning and packing, an office moving company comes in particularly handy on the actual day. They’ll be able to project manage everything, having worked together with you on a moving plan. You might want to manage some of this yourself, but it can be useful having someone in charge of the movers when you are busy at either the old or new premises (such as coordinating a clean or set-up).
Business moving companies will often help connect everything at the new place – like plugging in computers and appliances. You may still need an IT specialist for any specific needs like setting up a network.
And remember, when you’re looking around for an office moving company, make sure you request a number of quotes from different businesses.
Pack it up!
Packing everything securely is key to reducing damage during the move. If you’re using a moving company, chat to them about the packing options they have. They may take the brunt of the packing work while you simply guide the process and categorise items.
If you’re packing up everything yourself, here are some tips to get you started:
- Wrap breakables in bubble wrap or other secure packaging and place in smaller boxes marked fragile.
- Categorise boxes based on the item and/or location. Stationery should have its own box and be labelled for the new office’s stationery cupboard, etc.
- Start tackling the smaller, fiddly stuff weeks out from the move date. If it’s not needed for daily use, pack it away.
- Use boxes that are in as-new condition. Old boxes that have gone soft or ripped won’t hold your items securely and are bound to give way on moving day, down a flight of stairs. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
- Cover sharp-edged items like picture frames with foam or bubble wrap. They could tear or damage other items in transit.
- Share the load – get the whole team to contribute to packing, starting with their own desk, but also divvy up the common area packing.
If there are highly breakable or valuable items, you might wish to take these yourself to the new premises, ahead of the official moving day. You may even want to keep fragile smaller items at your home until the chaos of the moving day is over.
Moving day – it’s all business
So the big day has finally come - you’re moving into a new office space ready to start the next phase of your company’s life. By now you should have packed, planned and recycled to make this day nice and simple.
A good way to guarantee a long tiring day is to start late in the morning. Never underestimate how long a shift can actually take. Instead, get up bright and early to get the first load underway. If you’re moving on the weekend to avoid closing the business during a work day, you should have a reasonably clear morning on the road. By lunchtime however, everyone’s out enjoying their Saturday, making traffic busy and loads slower. We’d suggest starting as early as the movers will accept, and attempt to get the majority of the shift done by lunchtime. This leaves you the afternoon to set up.
Don’t get in the way of your movers
Your moving plan should have you doing jobs that don’t slow down the moving company. You might just want to be stationed at your old premises to guide the loading, or perhaps you’ll be better positioned at the new office to help ensure the furniture is put in the right places. What you don't want to do is try and help with the loading if you’re just going to slow everyone down. You also shouldn’t try and pack your own vehicle with items while the professional movers are trying to load. You’ll get in the way and slow it down. Help your movers be efficient and stay out of the way!
Stop for lunch
Moving day is long and tiring. Stopping for lunch is absolutely essential to make sure you have a productive afternoon of setting up and unpacking. You’ll also want to drink plenty of water – chances are you’ll build up a sweat today! No gym necessary for a good few days…
Unpack as loads arrive
This is easier with a few staff or generous helpers. As boxes arrive at your new premises, you can start unpacking straight into drawers, cupboards and desks. The staff kitchen is an excellent place to start. If you can get into a good flow, you’ll have a good percentage of the unpacking done by the time the movers are done.
Do a clean at the old place
You might do this in the evening of moving day, or perhaps the following day. A basic clean of vacuum, mop, wipe down of the empty space leaves it in good condition for the landlord. Your old lease may have certain cleaning standards expected from an departing tenant, so be sure to read up on your obligations.
Review your floor plan
You’re in. How does everything look? Check the layout you planned ahead of the move against how the office is configured. You might find that even with careful planning, the configuration of desks just doesn’t feel right. It’s a good idea to review this on moving day, as you want the movers to help adjust the position of furniture right there and then.
To review your floor plan, you’ll want to have boxes cleared away as much as possible. Stacked boxes will make a space look cluttered or cramped, preventing you from making a call on the layout. Moving around furniture in the future isn’t the end of the world, but it’s much less hassle to get an acceptable floor plan sorted on move day.
Connect and check
You’ll now want to make sure that all your utilities have switched over or new providers are supplying you properly – internet, phone, power, etc. If there’s any issues, make sure you get onto the provider(s) immediately. You want to seamlessly continue operations throughout a move from old premises to new.
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Check the new premises in the morning before the first load arrives – any unexpected damage to the property will need to be raised with the landlord to address (think scuffed walls, dent in doorways, carpet scuffs, faulty fixtures).
Once you’ve moved everything into the new place, you’ll want to check the premises again, along with all equipment and furniture. You should raise any damage with the movers if they have insured these occurrences in your contract.
Once the move is done and dusted for the day, you want to double check the premises is locked and alarmed. You’ll probably be very tired at this point, so it’s worth including this in your checklist.
Getting set up?
Now you’re all moved in, head over to our guide on getting a new workplace set up!