Relocating to a new office is an adventure, but it takes planning to make the move a smooth transition. You have to know why you’re relocating and what you, your employees and your clients need from the new location. Without those considerations, you risk moving to somewhere new that doesn’t have everything you need.
Don’t let an office move stress you out. Prepare with tips for relocating an office, and you’ll know how to tackle the move. We’ll walk you through how to prepare for an office move below with tips and things to keep in mind.
Why Relocate Your Office Amid the Coronavirus?
Operating a business during COVID-19 comes with plenty of challenges. You may think that relocating your office would add to those difficulties, but that’s not the case. As you’re relocating your office during the coronavirus, you’ll be able to rethink your workspace. Move to a new office to choose a workplace that functions well during these times and:
Use cubicles to promote personal space: Providing individual spaces for team members controls the sound levels of your office and designates personal space. Those are benefits during any time, but as you’re relocating an office during COVID-19, remember that cubicles help combat the spread of germs as well, unlike an open floor plan.
Minimize shared areas: Moving to a smaller space means you can cut down on public areas and save money at your new location. Instead of using small conference rooms, which put employees in close quarters, rely on in-office technology to bring teams together.
Choose a larger location with spread out shared areas: Relocating your office during the coronavirus means you can get a space with large shared areas. Roomy break rooms or conference rooms let your team maintain social distance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends maintaining at least 6 feet distance between others, so ample room in shared office spaces helps your employees keep a safe distance.
Choose a new location with surfaces that are easier to clean: Smooth materials, like sealed concrete or stainless steel, are ideal. The fewer seams and pores a surface has, the easier it should be to keep clean. CDC guidelines say to clean surfaces with soap and water and a disinfectant, so ensure the new office has waterproof surfaces, as well.
Things to Consider When Relocating an Office
From selecting a location to furnishing it, every step of the relocation process is an important decision. With so many factors to consider when relocating an office, having your needs and an action plan in mind will keep you on track. Check out these things to consider when relocating a business:
1. New Furniture
A new space is a fresh start. Treat yourself and your employees to new furniture, comfortable seating and ample workspace when you get furnishings for your relocation. Include this furniture list in your office relocation action plan to make sure you get everything you need for the next workplace:
Don’t forget about practical furnishings for break rooms and other areas, as well. Have adequate refrigerator space for a large office and include appliances that your employees often used in your previous office.
2. New Layout
When you relocate, think about what was and wasn’t working in your old office. Was there an adequate flow? Do the various departments of your office need their own spaces, or do they need to collaborate with various departments? You’ll be able to choose between an open-concept or cubicles, both of which come with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Open-plan offices promote collaboration, but they contribute to high sound levels and a disconnect between upper-level employees who have their own spaces. Use sound-dampening materials, like carpet or rugs, in an open-concept office. Encourage open-door policies with C-suite individuals and others.
If you prefer cubicles, you’ll need to find the perfect amount for your space. With too few, your employees will be crammed together, leading to discomfort and distractions. However, too many cubicles can make an office feel empty. Still, you want to have room for your company to grow, so carefully consider the layout of your new office.
3. New Style
An office relocation action plan doesn’t have to be strictly about the function of your new space. Have a bit of fun with a revamped design. Most companies that relocate or redesign focus on modern styles. Sleek lines, open-concept workplaces and minimal color palettes make a space feel fresh. Even with a modern design, there’s room for customization. Make the new style of your location work for your company and consider:
What your company does
The tone you want to convey
What your employees are used to
What your employees would like
Whether you have clients come to the office
What you want to convey to office visitors
Consider the size of your current office space. If it’s too big, you’ll want to downsize. Too small, and you’ll need a bigger workplace. Use your current space as a guide for what you need in a new office along with these considerations:
Number of employees: Every team member needs their own space. They’ll need enough room for their current work setup and a few personal items. You don’t want everyone close together, but you don’t want them so spread apart that working with the team becomes inefficient.
Number of departments: If your office gives different spaces to different departments, have an accurate count of what designated areas you need. You wouldn’t want to leave out an area for a whole department in your move.
Type of spaces you need: Consider the rooms and areas of your current office and what you use or don’t need. Prioritize conference spaces in a new office if you tend to use them a lot or a spacious reception area if clients visit often.
Among the things to consider when relocating a business is that location is key. When you move to a new building, you want to pick the best location for your company and your employees, so find a new office that:
Has a convenient commute: Try to choose a location that’s near major roadways and public transportation. You want your team to have options for getting to the office. You’ll want a location that’s accessible for potential employees in the future, as well.
Offers free and convenient parking: If your previous location had free parking, don’t take away that benefit. Look for a location that has parking that’s convenient and free. If you can find a location with covered parking, that’s another perk for your employees and visitors.
Provides safety and security: You want your employees, your new space and your visitors to be safe. Search for a building with security or hire your own. Implement safety procedures and ensure the building is up to code to create a safe workspace.
Has minimal noise from outside: Your new location may be right off a main roadway. Ensure the windows and insulation dampen the sound from outside to cut out distractions.
Has minimal noise from neighboring offices: If you’re in a building with different offices, ensure they won’t distract your employees. Thick walls and soundproofing materials cut down on noise from others.
Is easy to find: With clients visiting your office, you want a building that’s easy to find. Choose an office in a well-known building or use adequate signage to let visitors know where you are.
Tips for Employers When Relocating the Office
As an employer, you’ve got plenty of responsibilities when it comes to relocating. You’ll need to pick the best place and make sure it’s ready for your employees to have a successful move. Some stress and hiccups are bound to happen, but preparing for the relocation will help. Follow these tips for relocating a business as an employer:
Plan early and plan well: Once you decide that a move is best for your company, get to planning. Create an office relocation action plan with a schedule and a list of any movers or services you need to hire. Think about the timing of the move and how long relocating will take as you plan.
Set a budget: As an employer, you know what’s feasible for your company, so you’ll know what you have to spend on a relocation. Breaking your budget could mean compromises on company perks or new furniture, and no one wants that. But spending way under your budget could get you an inadequate space. Know what’s available to spend and stick to it.
Assign a project manager: Depending on your position, you can assign a project manager to the relocation process. Choose a team member with good communication and organizational skills to oversee certain aspects of moving to a new office.
Read the contract carefully: Once you pick a new location, don’t overlook anything in the contract. Negotiate anything that doesn’t work for your business. You’ll likely want lease flexibility rather than being locked in a long-term contract. Keep your current needs and future needs in mind.
Have services installed and tested: Internet, electricity, phones and plumbing are all essential to a workplace. You may have to handle internet services on your own and look into providers for your business. Once everything is installed, make sure it all works before employees relocate.
How to Help Employees Deal With Relocation
The office relocation impact on employees should be mostly positive. Still, relocating can lead to stress for your team. Being in a new location means redeveloping routines, having new commutes and needing to redecorate spaces. Therefore, managing employee relocation will take a bit of effort.
Working with office leaders to create a management plan helps keep everything organized. Managers should be confident and knowledgeable about the move, so convey everything you know to them. They’ll be able to share that information with employees or answer questions as necessary. Put your managers in charge of keeping employees calm and organized throughout the relocation process.
Whether you or managers address the move, follow these additional tips for a successful office relocation:
Let employees know as soon as possible that a move is happening.
Communicate often about the move with necessary updates.
Provide information about nearby transportation and directions.
Tell employees everything they need to know about parking and security measures.
Suggest nearby lunch spots if you’re moving far from your previous location.
Take suggestions for how to improve office layout and function.
Make yourself open to any questions during the moving process.
Don’t make a dramatic cut between how much personal workspace they have now and will have at the new office.
Reduce other changes during the move to avoid overwhelming employees.
Incentivize the move if your relocation is farther than just across town. Providing a relocation stipend, bonus and raise for employees moving out of their current community helps you retain your current workforce. You may even research housing in the new area, securing temporary housing for team members. Having your employees pick up and move somewhere new is a big ask, but if it’s worth it for a prime office location, offer support and incentives to keep your team together.
When Relocating Your Office, Trust Arnold’s Office Furniture
If the office relocation tips above have you feeling confident about your move, it’s time to think about furnishings. At Arnold’s Office Furniture, we’d be happy to help you transform your new location into the perfect office.
We’ve been in the business since 1929. That experience, along with our quality furnishings, means we’re the solution for all your office needs. Among our stylish office furniture options, you’ll find a selection of Sunline Sliding Cubicle Systems. We’re the exclusive distributor of these revolutionary cubicles that will transform your new office space. Give your employees private work areas, and create a workplace that fosters concentration and productivity with Sunline.
Request a free quote today to learn how Arnold’s Office Furniture can simplify your office relocation.