As many businesses were forced to make accommodations for remote work in the past few years, the benefits of flexible work options became apparent. However, the desire for space outside the home to work also made itself known. The solution that many companies are finding is coworking. Coworking allows for human connection without the expense of big offices.
In response to this interest in coworking spaces, the number of spaces offering the arrangement has grown in recent years. The coworking spaces grew from around 4,000 in 2017 to over 6,200 in 2022. Those numbers are significantly higher than the 14 available spaces in 2017.
Checklist for Coordinating an Office Space Move
The process involves many steps, whether moving to a coworking space or a giant new office building. To help you avoid overlooking an essential step in the haste of the move, we’ve put together this checklist of things to consider at every phase of the journey.
The planning phase
The initial planning phase is when you’ll be narrowing down your requirements and deciding on a new space. This is a critical phase to get right, as it will play a foundational role in the move’s success.
- Review your lease – You don’t want to be stuck paying for a space you aren’t using. Review your previous lease to confirm when it’s up, and look at any applicable penalties for early exits and any other charges that may impact your move.
- Determine how much space will be needed – Whether you’re expanding or downsizing, you’re requirements for the new office space are likely different from those of your current one. Determine how much space you’ll be needing so you can narrow down the search.
- Decide on a preferred location – Are you moving across the country or just across town? Regardless of the answer, you’ll want to ensure that your new office location is conveniently located for that goal.
- Find a new space – Now is the time to begin looking for a new space. As more workers desire to work remotely, flexibility becomes a more significant issue in your decision. For maximum flexibility, try to find a space that doesn’t require long leases and allows you to scale your available space up and down as needed.
- Set a moving date – Once you’ve found a new place and made arrangements to rent it, you need to select a firm date for the move. This date will guide the roadmap for future steps.
Getting the word out
Once management has decided on a new location and a move date, it’s time to inform staff, vendors, and other stakeholders about the move.
- Make a general announcement to employees – A public statement can go out company-wide, so everyone knows that the office’s location will move.
- Send more detailed information to affected employees – A more specific announcement should be made to employees affected by the move. Are they being asked to move as well? Are they laid off due to downsizing? Let employees know how the move will affect them as soon as possible.
- Give notice to the current landlord – Your lease probably has requirements for how much time you must give the landlord before ending your lease. Rather than push it to the limits, let the landlord know about your move as soon as you have a final date. This will give them the most time to find a new tenant for your old space.
- Communicate the move to third parties – People outside the company must make the final communications. Vendors need to know your new address, as do any relevant government agencies. A press release about the move can help get the word out to the public, if applicable.
Designing the new office
Once you’ve secured a location, you need to make it your own and prepare it for the equipment you’ll bring.
- Hire an interior designer – If you’d like to decorate the office to match your company culture, an interior designer can help you decide how best to do so. If you’re going to hire one, it’s best to do it early so they can play a role in helping with the decisions that come next.
- Decide how the departments will be laid out – If your company has several departments, you’ll need to decide where they will be in the new office space. Think of your current layout and how well it works. Would shifting things around result in improved efficiency? A change in offices is an excellent time to make such changes.
- Determine what furniture will be needed – Some spaces come partially furnished to save you from purchasing chairs, desks, and other simple office furniture. Compare what the office comes with and what your needs for it will be so everything is ready when it’s time to move in.
- Determine which furniture can come from the old office – There may be some furniture from the old office that belongs to you. If it is in good condition and fits your desired style for the new office, it can come over and reduce the need for new furniture.
- Buy new furniture as needed – Once you’ve seen your furniture needs and subtracted the table you can save from the old office, it’s time to start the purchasing process to get the new office furnished with anything still needed.
Related: Benefits of a Flexible Office Space
Planning for the IT equipment
The complexity of your IT equipment means that it should be treated as something distinct from furniture and other essential items. The steps below will help ensure a smooth transition to the new space.
- Evaluate the current infrastructure – Take a thorough accounting of your company’s everyday use. Even items such as cables need to be accounted for so there are no missing items in your new space.
- Determine what new additions are needed – If your company is upsizing or downsizing, your equipment needs may also change. Evaluate what changes you’ll need to make to the equipment you inventoried in the previous step.
- Purchase any needed equipment – Start purchasing the new IT equipment you will need.
- Make a backup of all critical data – Data loss can quickly ruin the excitement of a move. You should back up all important data before anything is moved.
- Decide where the equipment will go in the new office – Now that you know all the equipment in the new space, figure out how you will lay it out in the new office. This will make unpacking and setting everything up go smoothly.
Preparing to make the move
Now everything has been prepared for the move or purchased and sitting in its new home waiting to be set up. It’s time to transfer things from the old office space to the new one.
- Evaluate moving companies – If there’s enough furniture and equipment in the old office to hire a moving company, you’ll want to evaluate the possibilities. Is the option you’re considering affordable? Do they have good reviews? How do they handle the care of fragile objects such as IT equipment?
- Purchase moving supplies – If you’re using a moving company, they’ll likely have some supplies. However, employees will need to pack up personal belongings, and there may be items you want to transfer to the new location yourself. Having boxes and other supplies on hand will avoid delays.
- Acquire keys to the new office – If you haven’t already, now is the time to get the keys or access cards you’ll need to enter the new office. Be sure to get enough copies for anyone who needs them.
- Have utilities installed or hooked up at the new space – Before you start doing large-scale work on the new space, ensure the lights are on and any other utilities, such as internet and phone, are in place.
Leaving the old space
As you wrap up the transition to the new office, there are still a few last-minute things to close out your connection to the old office fully.
- Cancel utilities and other services – You don’t want to pay for services you aren’t using. Cancel any utilities and other services that don’t carry over to the new office.
- Remove your company belongings – Anything that didn’t make a move still needs to be removed. Company signage, the furniture you brought in but decided not to keep, and old IT equipment. Leave the office the way you initially took it over.
- Do a final walkthrough – A final walkthrough will ensure that there are no small items you’ll need later left behind in the confusion of the move.
- Return all keys to the landlord – When you’re ready to fully close out your relationship with the old location, return any keys or access card you and your staff have given to the landlord.
- Update the address – Your company address is printed in many places, including business cards, company information on Google, your website, social media pages, and so on. Be sure that all of these places reflect the new location.
Vuka is dedicated to providing everyone with the space they need to let their creativity flourish and accomplish the tasks ahead of them productively. We offer coworking spaces and dedicated office space to meet the needs of teams of all sizes. Our semi-furnished spaces are available with flexible rental options to keep your business as agile as possible, ready to adapt quickly to changes in size or other space needs. Contact us to learn more about your new office space.