Office relocations can be like organising a military operation. Managing sensitive computer equipment, confidential documents as well as staff and other belongings requires a clear and comprehensive plan set out well in advance.
Here are some top tips to help ensure your office relocation runs like clockwork:

Plan in advance
You should begin preparing for your office move at least three months in advance of the move date if not more, and avoid any significant project deadlines. Make sure both clients and suppliers are also aware of where you will be moving and when, so that payments and deliveries comes to the right address and clients are aware of any potential for disruption.

Keep employees informed
Keep employees informed at all stages of the move; make sure that they know where you will be moving to and when as soon as possible as it may affect their decisions on taking holidays, for example.

Do your research on removals firms
Make sure you approach a number of different firms; will provide instant quotes from up to four reputable companies. They should visit both your old and new premises when organising the move, and check that they have the necessary insurance. You should also ask for references, and if they have the ability to move any unusual equipment.

Make sure all staff know what is expected of them as part of the move

Back up all computer files
Be sure to back up all computer files and transport the disks separately to avoid damage. It may even be worth having two back-up hard-drives as extra insurance.

Plan the layout of the new premises
Devise a floorplan for your new office, and run it by key employees to make sure that you haven't missed something important. Take measurements to make sure large items will fit in the new office and remember to leave space for drawers to open! It is also useful to colour-code boxes according to different areas of the new office.

Speak to your phone and internet providers
Phone and internet networks can take time to connect, especially in offices with large numbers of users. Speak to your providers and make sure that all connections are ready and working in advance of moving day to minimise disruption.

Make sure staff know their responsibilities on moving day
Make sure all staff know what is expected of them as part of the move. Are they responsible for packing files? What should they do with personal items? Will they be expected to come to work on moving day if it is during the week? Will you need their help if it is over the weekend? If possible, arrange a site visit prior to moving.

Be aware of and comply with all Health & Safety regulations

Moving office has several health and safety implications. Do not allow staff to lift heavy loads, be careful to clear away any trip hazards. Ask your removals company for advice to ensure compliance with all the requirements.

Secure all necessary parking permits
You may need to liaise with local authorities to obtain parking permits for the removal vans. Equally make sure staff have any necessary parking permits or access to bike racks for the new office building ahead of their first day in the new premises.

Be aware of security
Your company's documents and equipment are always more vulnerable in transit. Losing confidential information or valuable equipment can have a serious impact on your business, so it may be worth asking all employees and removals men to wear security passes on moving day, when doors are likely to be left open, and unfamiliar faces might go unnoticed.

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