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It is the process of moving your place of business from one location to another. Office removals are very complicated, as more people and resources are involved. Every step must be carefully planned. Staff preparation and relocation play a major role in the smooth execution of the removal. On top of that, there are more technical details involved around the relocation of the IT Department and the preparation of the new wiring.
To relocate without any major issues, you need to spend as much time on planning and organising, as on packing and transporting your inventory. Business moves, especially when we are talking about big corporate offices, can’t be executed without external help. Thus, commercial removals come to the picture. Here is how you organise everything:
See our office removals checklist to get an idea of what you need to do.
You can also download it for FREE from here: Office Removal Checklist
Just like any other project, you need to plan every detail. The most important thing is to find the perfect employee that will be responsible for the move. They have to answer to the following requirements:
You might think this is a lot, but if your company is bigger – has many employees, business partners and clients, you have to play it safe. A lot can go wrong during a removal, and almost always it has nothing to do with the moving company.
This is a very detailed plan describing different health, safety, management and technical problems that may occur during the relocation and the possible solutions to these potential obstacles. The idea behind it is to minimise both the risk for your employees’ well-being and any financial losses for the business. Bear in mind that you need to provide your staff with a safe work environment. A lot of injuries can happen during removal if you don’t plan every detail. Not to mention work-related incidents can seriously harm your company.
To help you, we have a template you can use to assess the risk for your particular business. Have a briefing and fill in the form with the things you think are most important.
Download your FREE Office Relocation Risk Assessment
As one of London’s top moving companies for almost a decade, we can also share with you a basic office relocation risk management plan. Use it as a guideline when you are working on the template.
This is a moving company that offers business and office removal services. Usually, these movers are experienced and have the necessary gears and professional packing materials to execute an uneventful safe relocation of furniture and electronic devices. Different companies can offer a variety of additional services like storage, unpacking, etc. There are a lot of factors involved in the choosing of the right commercial moving agency.
There are a couple of characteristics all good removal agencies must have:
You can usually determine all of those things after a fast browse of the internet and a call to the company. If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, then it is a duck.
Before you contact the office removal company, there are a couple of things you need to have the answer to:
There is no point in hiring a moving company if you don’t have a solution in place for all of the listed questions.
When booking an office relocation the removal agency will have lots of questions for you. However, you will need to ask them some important ones as well. Here is a list of relevant topics you need to discuss with your moving contractors before you book their services:
Usually, after the initial survey is done, a reputable commercial moving company can easily provide you with that information. They will also tell you how many movers to expect and give you a time estimate of the process.
We are talking about only the actual moving expenses here, and not the additional cost of renting a space, decorating, etc. It is important to note the rates vary from city to city, so these are the average prices for the UK capital.
|How much does it cost to move an office? (up to 100m2)||£1,000|
|How much does it cost to move a 1,500-square foot (140m2) office||£1,400|
|How much does it cost to move a 3,000-square foot (280m2) office||£2,800|
|How much does it cost to move a 10,000-square foot (930m2) office||£9,300|
Pricing an office move is a very complex task. There are too many variables which can swing the cost one way or another. Important factors are distance to the loading bay, whether a lift can be used, what is the lift capacity and whether any furniture needs to be dismantled. On top of that, one can get the optional services such as packing, shredding, disposal.
As a rule of thumbs, the average removal costs about £100 per head or working station that needs moving. So a 20 person office will be in the range of £2,000.
Again here we are talking about additional expenses for the moving services. Depending on what you want to be added to your basic package, be ready to pay for:
The terms and conditions of every moving company are different. However, with most reputable UK providers, you shouldn’t worry about the cost of:
Disclaimer: Some movers in the US charge additionally for all of these services, so be careful when you choose your company. If you are planning to relocate from the States to the UK, it may be more budget-friendly to pick a local agency.
This is the hardest part of planning a commercial move. There are so many factors you need to take into consideration. The expenses must be divided into categories. Depending on the type of your business, you can add or remove some. Here are the different types of costs, you can download our template with the full list of expenses and calculate your budget. Fill it in with the ones you feel, are relevant for your particular circumstance and keep track of your money.
For a detailed breakdown of each category, check out our prefilled template – Office Relocation Budget
NB: For large office spaces, it is easier to divide the expenses by room. Make a different sheet in the calculation file for each area and list all the things you need to do for that particular space. For example, the kitchen needs new appliances, furniture, decoration, etc. This way you can monitor your budget more closely.
Some countries have special programs for developing small or rural areas of their territory. They also give funding to improve some industries. You need to explore these options as there is a chance your local government can cover the majority of your moving expenses.
You can also lower your expenses by reducing some of the taxes you need to pay. For example, if you make your office more environmentally friendly, or you provide work for people from your new location. Explore these options and see how you can change your current business to fit better the local government standards.
It all comes down to what you want. Top Removals offers a standard limited insurance package with a basic cover of £40 per item moved. We would strongly recommend getting Open Cover insurance, which can be tailor-made to cover all or particular items for their full replacement value. This is an optional service and an additional fee will be added should the customer decide to use it.
The preparations for relocations can take up to a year. Things like finding the perfect office, negotiating prices with the landlords or buying a property, can’t be rushed. However, the actual act of packing, loading, transporting and setting up everything is much faster.
There isn’t an exact formula to calculate the time since it depends on so many factors and variables.
The smaller offices, up to 20 people can be moved within a day. Some more complex projects can require an additional day. The largest are done within 3 to 4 days. Our Top Removals’ teams try to complete the office relocations with minimal disruption. Often these moves happen after working hours or during the weekend. In such cases, we simply arrange more resources – people and vehicles, in order to complete within 2 days the move.
You need to inform your employees about the relocation as soon as the decision is made. This way it won’t turn into office gossip and accumulate negativity and stress amongst your staff. Everybody needs to be aware of the upcoming changes from the start, so they will have the opportunity to choose whether they will be moving with the company or looking for a new job. It is especially important if you are relocating to another city.
The most effective way that leaves no room for speculations is to just have a big office meeting and make the announcement. Be positive and explain why the office needs to be relocated. The more information you give, the less retaliation you will get. And be certain that some individuals won’t be happy and there will be a lot of bumps in the upcoming weeks or months.
Try to create a dialogue and discuss all the staff’s concerns regarding the removal. Here are some topics you need to talk about:
You can put a box and ask your employees to leave all of their questions inside. It can also be done using an online form. Then have a meeting and discuss each issue in detail. Transparency is very important, especially if your company is on the larger scale.
After all the initial questions have been answered, it’s time to lighten up the mood in the office. Create a survey and ask each member of your staff about their opinion on the new place. They can actually give you valuable insights about existing problems at the moment that can be avoided once you relocate.
Before you take any further steps with the relocation, you have to be sure your staff is on board. There may be individuals who want to leave the company, and this is normal. Make sure the documentation is properly prepared. The UK government’s site has a section specifically for such occasions. Check out the Employer relocation page and familiarise yourself with the legal requirements.
After you announce the big news to your staff, you have to properly inform your clients. There are a couple of ways you can do this. It is up to you and your marketing team to choose the best options.
Your staff and customers are not the only persons of interest when it comes to office removals. There are a number of agencies you need to notify:
Other important people and organisations:
There are 2 very popular methods to organise your removal with the common goal of knowing which box came from which department.
The first one is the colour coding technique. The idea is you use different coloured labels to mark each crate and carton to indicate where it came from and where the movers should put it. Look at the image below, you can see the different areas and departments. According to our London experts, this is one of the most effective and time-saving methods. You can apply it to both large working spaces and one-man offices.
The other popular technique to organise the packing of your business is by using numbers. For example, the head manager’s office will be wrapped up and labelled not with a red mark but with an index starting with 1. So all of their crates will be numbered 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc. The kitchen area won’t be in light blue but will be marked as 5. So everything there will be labelled 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, etc. Altho it may sound appealing this method can be quite confusing for bigger workplaces.
Due to the specifics of the business relocation, you need to purchase professional materials to protect properly your assets. Here is a list of what you need:
Disclaimer: Do not use DIY methods and materials to prep your business relocation, as there may be problems with your insurance if something happens. You won’t be able to get compensation due to inadequate packing from your part.
It is pretty easy to prep your archives for a relocation. You already have a storing system in place, so you just have to follow it when putting them in the file boxes. Bear in mind:
The actual loading, transportation and unloading will be handled by your moving company. If everything is properly labelled and the movers know what the crates contain they will arrange them accordingly in the truck.
After you arrive at the new office, you can easily put the archives into place – just follow the previous order of organisation.
This is a delicate job that involves a team of specialists. All of your company info is on those servers and laptops and a strict procedure must be followed. In order to complete the task in hand, you need to create a team who will be responsible for all IT questions. Include in the team the following professionals:
When this is done follow these steps to ensure the job will be done properly:
1. Make a backup to all of your files
Copy not only the documents but also all of your employees’ accounts. Everything must be replicated either to the cloud or a special server configured for that purpose only.
2. Take lots of pictures
If you have a server room, you need to take pictures of all cable connections. At the end of the day, you have to have a gallery containing images of the cabling of your servers, routers, DVR, NVR, switches and basically, everything that blinks, beeps and works in that room. This will save you a lot of headaches once you relocate.
3. Label everything
Every cable must be marked. You need to know which two devices it links and where exactly to plug it in.
Use a different IT crate for each device in the server room. Pack it with its cables, nuts, bolts, rack, etc. Do the same for your employees’ computers. Label every machine with the name of its holder and wrap it up with its peripheral components – keyboard, mouse, headset, etc. Consider booking a professional packing service for this step to ensure everything is done properly.
5. Transporting and storage
The IT Department is the first that needs to be relocated. That said usually the machines wouldn’t have to stay in storage for long. Don’t worry about it, the IT crates will provide sufficient protection to your equipment.
6. Setting up the IT system
When the cabling is done and all underfloor boxes are mounted in their proper spots, it’s time to move in the servers and PC’s responsible for the operating of the internal office network.
This is the most important step of the relocation of the IT department, as your systems administrators and technicians need to make sure everything from the cabling to the actual machines is working properly. Do not skip the tests. It will be harder to fix anything when the office space is filled with furniture.
8. Final arrangement
If everything goes smoothly, you can contact your moving company and let them know it’s time to bring the furniture. Once the desks are arranged, your sys admins can connect the employee computers to the network.
Here it gets a little tricky because you not only have plates, mugs and silverware but also a fridge, a microwave, etc. From the beginning, you need to decide whether you are moving the kitchen appliances or you are going to replace them with new ones. If you pick the first option, some important steps need to be taken:
Do not attempt to carry any of the heavy machines. In most cases, you will need at least two people and specialised gear to do it safely. Leave the loading and unloading to the professionals. Top Removals has a strict protocol when transporting such machines as our movers lay blankets and arrange the heavy items in a way they won’t get damaged or scratched while in the back of the truck.
Once at the new office you will need a handyman to reconnect everything before you can use it safely.
These types of office equipment are both quite delicate and very heavy, so it is a challenge for an unprofessional to pack them properly. However, it’s not an impossible one. Here is how you pack a large copy machine:
Once the copy machine is packed do not attempt to relocate or lift it. Wait for your movers to come and load it into the truck. They will also unload it properly when you arrive at the new office.
There you need to unwrap everything and put all movable parts back in their original places. If the toner has leaked, use new cartridges. Here is where the pictures you took come in handy as you can check to see if you assembled the machine correctly.
It would be of great help if you have the original user manuals when you reconnect and configure the machine.
It depends on how far you want to move your inventory, how large it is and what are your agreements with your present and future landlords. For example:
The topic of business removals is quite vast, and questions just keep piling up. Our London experts are here to answer them and help you execute an uneventful and stress-free relocation.
Moving office plants is similar to relocating with a houseplant. Luckily Top Removals has a comprehensive house moving guide that explains in detail what you should and shouldn’t do. You can check it out, there is even a cool infographic describing the correct way of wrapping and packing your decorative vegetation. There are 3 things you need to remember if you want your plants to survive the relocation:
Like you pick your removal company – after thorough research. You can use the same criteria as the one listed above. However, it may be easier than you think. Some movers can provide you with cleaning assistance as well. On top of that, they can also offer you deals and discounts if you book two or more of their services. This means you can actually save some money from the budget. Discuss this option with your moving consultant and see what they can do for you.
There is not much difference in relocating nationwide and internationally. However, you should be aware of the following factors:
It is important to keep a positive attitude and motivate your staff during the relocation. You can incorporate some fun activities in your office routine to relieve the build-up stress.
Remember, the relocation is a big change not only to your business but also to the lives of your employees. Respect them and do what you can to help them adjust.
If that seems a little too much for you, don’t worry you can rely on Top Removals to aid you in every step of your office relocation.
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