How to Plan for an Office Move

7 minute read

We’re all pretty familiar with the trials and tribulations of moving home. The packing, the administration, the moving fees, and making sure that everyone is aligned. The notion of an office move is a similar one with a mix of emotions and stress, with the added complications of multiple staff whilst ensuring that day-to-day operations don’t fall by the wayside. Whether you’re simply moving to a larger space in the same building or completely making a change in office relocation, there are a number of hurdles to think about and items to add to the to-do list.

Appoint an Individual as the Main Contact

You know the phrase too many cooks spoil the broth? This saying is certainly true when it comes to move planning. It’s important to have a dedicated individual or small team who is in charge of the moving process. They’ll be the first point of contact for queries and will be committed to delivering a successful office move. There are many different elements to think about when looking for a new office space. From making sure that it’s in line with your brand and company’s long-term goals, how it will accommodate your team and future potential employees if you’re looking to expand, how it’ll increase productivity, and importantly, how much it’s going to cost.

Whilst an initial reaction is to have CEOs, Directors, Managers or leaders as a main point of contact, this could be a bad idea as it’ll distract them from their everyday role in keeping the company intact. Of course, they’ll need to sign off vital paperwork, any legal matters, and budget, but having a trusted employee or small group of people who can take ownership and make the right decisions is key.

Make a Plan

Top of mind when planning any office move is how far in advance should we start planning! Whilst this depends on multiple factors including the scale and type of move, atypical rule of thumb is for 5000sqft you should allow 6 months to plan. Similarly, 10000 sqft, you’ll want to allow 12+ months to prepare. As with any project, large or small, you need to have a plan. From the initial thought of moving offices all the way through to moving day, having an office moving checklist will help to streamline the entire process and ensure that every aspect has been covered.


 Set Budgets and Goals

Goals are vital because they’re part of the office moving checklist that will make the process easier. As a company what do you want to achieve with the move? You should be thinking about your long-term and short-term workplace strategy. Here are some questions we recommend you ask yourself to ensure a strategic approach and allow you to prioritise what’s important:

1. Are you looking to boost recruitment and retain staff?
2. What type of space will best support your business needs?
3. Are you looking to reduce costs and overheads?
4. Does your current environment support employee performance?
5. What new ways of working do you want to implement in a new office to get the most of your employees?

An office move that includes some level of fit-out, will most likely be one of your companies largest expenditures. Creating a budget will set the benchmark for how much you can spend not just on the office building itself, but all the other elements that encompass that. Key elements will include advisory fees, the capital expenditures, logistical fees and soft costs including insurance, staff training etc.

Find an Office Relocation and Design Company

Office designing is no easy feat. Although you may have the vision, they’ve done this time and time again and can advise on what course of action is best for you and the company. At Cobus our services include:

1. Building appraisal
2. Refining your workplace strategy
3. Space Planning & Design
4. Budgeting & Project Planning

Talk to your Employees

An office move isn’t just about one single vision, it’s about the vision of the whole workforce and how they’ll benefit from it. When employees are left out of the planning process this can cause apprehension as they don’t feel included and left unsure of what the plan of action is. Each individual’s needs in the office differ from one to the other depending on their job role and what actions they need to carry out every day to achieve optimal performance. Whether that’s the need for meeting spaces, soundproofed rooms, accessibility access, storage, technology or wellbeing areas, there’s a lot to consider.

Employee feedback is key because they’re the ones who will be using the office on a daily basis. Not only will they feel like a valued member when you start planning, but they also won’t feel alienated and instead heard. There are a number of ways to achieve this including communicating with each department, hosting meetings if you have a small company, posting in the internal Facebook group or sending out a company-wide email to express that you’re hosting a forum for thoughts and ideas.

Our Office Move Checklist

12 Months Before the Move Date
If your commercial relocation is going to be a year-long process, this gives you a great deal of time to truly get to grips with all your administration and small details you may not have originally thought about.

End or Extend Lease
Nominate main point of contact
Establish key team members and stakeholders
Create a workplace strategy
Partner with an office relocation and design company
Set Budgets
Set completion date


6 Months Before the Move Date

At this stage, it’s key to communicate the move with stakeholders and make sure that departments are kept up to date with how progress is going.

Ensure new workplace paperwork has been signed
Set your moving date
Communicate move with employees
3 Months Before the Move Date
In the final three months, create a document of all companies, stakeholders, or individuals that need to know your new address so that any correspondence doesn’t get lost in the post. 

Establish a list of the final tasks to be completed in your new office before the move
Inform relevant people of your new address
Allocate desk space for employees
Book cleaning service for both your new and current office space


1 Month Before the Move Date
Now it’s down to the remaining items before the big day.

Book and confirm your removal company
Send out detailed plan of the moving day to employees and management
Organise food, drink, and office essentials to be delivered to new office
Set a date for computers and other tech to be moved and repositioned in new office
Organise removal of any old furniture that isn’t being moved to the new office

Once the handwork is complete, update your website information with the new address, sit back and get planning that new office welcome party!

Whilst there are many finer details we haven’t included within our checklist, partnering with a workplace design company can help take the load off your team. Talk to our move management team today, as your embark on this exciting journey!


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Some of our previous projects