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How to Write a Business Case (Template Included)

ProjectManager

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What is a business case, business case template, how to write a business case, key elements of a business case, how projectmanager helps with your business case, watch our business case training video.

A business case is a project management document that explains how the benefits of a project overweigh its costs and why it should be executed. Business cases are prepared during the project initiation phase and their purpose is to include all the project’s objectives, costs and benefits to convince stakeholders of its value.

A business case is an important project document to prove to your client, customer or stakeholder that the project proposal you’re pitching is a sound investment. Below, we illustrate the steps to writing one that will sway them.

The need for a business case is that it collects the financial appraisal, proposal, strategy and marketing plan in one document and offers a full look at how the project will benefit the organization. Once your business case is approved by the project stakeholders, you can begin the project planning phase.

Our business case template for Word is the perfect tool to start writing a business case. It has 9 key business case areas you can customize as needed. Download the template for free and follow the steps below to create a great business case for all your projects.

Free Business Case Template for Word

Projects fail without having a solid business case to rest on, as this project document is the base for the project charter and project plan. But if a project business case is not anchored to reality, and doesn’t address a need that aligns with the larger business objectives of the organization, then it is irrelevant.

The research you’ll need to create a strong business case is the why, what, how and who of your project. This must be clearly communicated. The elements of your business case will address the why but in greater detail. Think of the business case as a document that is created during the project initiation phase but will be used as a reference throughout the project life cycle.

Whether you’re starting a new project or mid-way through one, take time to write up a business case to justify the project expenditure by identifying the business benefits your project will deliver and that your stakeholders are most interested in reaping from the work. The following four steps will show you how to write a business case.

Step 1: Identify the Business Problem

Projects aren’t created for projects’ sake. They should always be aligned with business goals . Usually, they’re initiated to solve a specific business problem or create a business opportunity.

You should “Lead with the need.” Your first job is to figure out what that problem or opportunity is, describe it, find out where it comes from and then address the time frame needed to deal with it.

This can be a simple statement but is best articulated with some research into the economic climate and the competitive landscape to justify the timing of the project.

Step 2: Identify the Alternative Solutions

How do you know whether the project you’re undertaking is the best possible solution to the problem defined above? Naturally, prioritizing projects is hard, and the path to success is not paved with unfounded assumptions.

One way to narrow down the focus to make the right solution clear is to follow these six steps (after the relevant research, of course):

  • Note the alternative solutions.
  • For each solution, quantify its benefits.
  • Also, forecast the costs involved in each solution.
  • Then figure out its feasibility .
  • Discern the risks and issues associated with each solution.
  • Finally, document all this in your business case.

business case template for office relocation

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Use this free Business Case Template for Word to manage your projects better.

Step 3: Recommend a Preferred Solution

You’ll next need to rank the solutions, but before doing that it’s best to set up criteria, maybe have a scoring mechanism such as a decision matrix to help you prioritize the solutions to best choose the right one.

Some methodologies you can apply include:

  • Depending on the solution’s cost and benefit , give it a score of 1-10.
  • Base your score on what’s important to you.
  • Add more complexity to your ranking to cover all bases.

Regardless of your approach, once you’ve added up your numbers, the best solution to your problem will become evident. Again, you’ll want to have this process also documented in your business case.

Step 4: Describe the Implementation Approach

So, you’ve identified your business problem or opportunity and how to reach it, now you have to convince your stakeholders that you’re right and have the best way to implement a process to achieve your goals. That’s why documentation is so important; it offers a practical path to solve the core problem you identified.

Now, it’s not just an exercise to appease senior leadership. Who knows what you might uncover in the research you put into exploring the underlying problem and determining alternative solutions? You might save the organization millions with an alternate solution than the one initially proposed. When you put in the work on a strong business case, you’re able to get your sponsors or organizational leadership on board with you and have a clear vision as to how to ensure the delivery of the business benefits they expect.

One of the key steps to starting a business case is to have a business case checklist. The following is a detailed outline to follow when developing your business case. You can choose which of these elements are the most relevant to your project stakeholders and add them to our business case template. Then once your business case is approved, start managing your projects with a robust project management software such as ProjectManager.

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary is a short version of each section of your business case. It’s used to give stakeholders a quick overview of your project.

2. Project Definition

This section is meant to provide general information about your projects, such as the business objectives that will be achieved and the project plan outline.

3. Vision, Goals and Objectives

First, you have to figure out what you’re trying to do and what is the problem you want to solve. You’ll need to define your project vision, goals and objectives. This will help you shape your project scope and identify project deliverables.

4. Project Scope

The project scope determines all the tasks and deliverables that will be executed in your project to reach your business objectives.

5. Background Information

Here you can provide a context for your project, explaining the problem that it’s meant to solve, and how it aligns with your organization’s vision and strategic plan.

6. Success Criteria and Stakeholder Requirements

Depending on what kind of project you’re working on, the quality requirements will differ, but they are critical to the project’s success. Collect all of them, figure out what determines if you’ve successfully met them and report on the results .

7. Project Plan

It’s time to create the project plan. Figure out the tasks you’ll have to take to get the project done. You can use a work breakdown structure template  to make sure you are through. Once you have all the tasks collected, estimate how long it will take to complete each one.

Project management software makes creating a project plan significantly easier. ProjectManager can upload your work breakdown structure template and all your tasks are populated in our tool. You can organize them according to your production cycle with our kanban board view, or use our Gantt chart view to create a project schedule.

kanban card moving into next column on the board

8. Project Budget

Your budget is an estimate of everything in your project plan and what it will cost to complete the project over the scheduled time allotted.

9. Project Schedule

Make a timeline for the project by estimating how long it will take to get each task completed. For a more impactful project schedule , use a tool to make a Gantt chart, and print it out. This will provide that extra flourish of data visualization and skill that Excel sheets lack.

10. Project Governance

Project governance refers to all the project management rules and procedures that apply to your project. For example, it defines the roles and responsibilities of the project team members and the framework for decision-making.

11. Communication Plan

Have milestones for check-ins and status updates, as well as determine how stakeholders will stay aware of the progress over the project life cycle.

12. Progress Reports

Have a plan in place to monitor and track your progress during the project to compare planned to actual progress. There are project tracking tools that can help you monitor progress and performance.

Again, using a project management tool improves your ability to see what’s happening in your project. ProjectManager has tracking tools like dashboards and status reports that give you a high-level view and more detail, respectively. Unlike light-weight apps that make you set up a dashboard, ours is embedded in the tool. Better still, our cloud-based software gives you real-time data for more insightful decision-making. Also, get reports on more than just status updates, but timesheets, workload, portfolio status and much more, all with just one click. Then filter the reports and share them with stakeholders to keep them updated.

ProjectManager’s dashboard view, which shows six key metrics on a project

13. Financial Appraisal

This is a very important section of your business case because this is where you explain how the financial benefits outweigh the project costs . Compare the financial costs and benefits of your project. You can do this by doing a sensitivity analysis and a cost-benefit analysis.

14. Market Assessment

Research your market, competitors and industry, to find opportunities and threats

15. Competitor Analysis

Identify direct and indirect competitors and do an assessment of their products, strengths, competitive advantages and their business strategy.

16. SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis helps you identify your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The strengths and weaknesses are internal, while the opportunities and threats are external.

17. Marketing Strategy

Describe your product, distribution channels, pricing, target customers among other aspects of your marketing plan or strategy.

18. Risk Assessment

There are many risk categories that can impact your project. The first step to mitigating them is to identify and analyze the risks associated with your project activities.

ProjectManager , an award-winning project management software, can collect and assemble all the various data you’ll be collecting, and then easily share it both with your team and project sponsors.

Once you have a spreadsheet with all your tasks listed, you can import it into our software. Then it’s instantly populated into a Gantt chart . Simply set the duration for each of the tasks, add any dependencies, and your project is now spread across a timeline. You can set milestones, but there is so much more you can do.

Gantt chart from ProjectManager

You have a project plan now, and from the online Gantt chart, you can assign team members to tasks. Then they can comment directly on the tasks they’re working on, adding as many documents and images as needed, fostering a collaborative environment. You can track their progress and change task durations as needed by dragging and dropping the start and end dates.

But that’s only a taste of what ProjectManager offers. We have kanban boards that visualize your workflow and a real-time dashboard that tracks six project metrics for the most accurate view of your project possible.

Try ProjectManager and see for yourself with this 30-day free trial .

If you want more business case advice, take a moment to watch Jennifer Bridges, PMP, in this short training video. She explains the steps you have to take in order to write a good business case.

Here’s a screenshot for your reference.

how writing a business case for your project is good business strategy

Transcription:

Today we’re talking about how to write a business case. Well, over the past few years, we’ve seen the market, or maybe organizations, companies or even projects, move away from doing business cases. But, these days, companies, organizations, and those same projects are scrutinizing the investments and they’re really seeking a rate of return.

So now, think of the business case as your opportunity to package your project, your idea, your opportunity, and show what it means and what the benefits are and how other people can benefit.

We want to take a look today to see what’s in the business case and how to write one. I want to be clear that when you look for information on a business case, it’s not a briefcase.

Someone called the other day and they were confused because they were looking for something, and they kept pulling up briefcases. That’s not what we’re talking about today. What we’re talking about are business cases, and they include information about your strategies, about your goals. It is your business proposal. It has your business outline, your business strategy, and even your marketing plan.

Why Do You Need a Business Case?

And so, why is that so important today? Again, companies are seeking not only their project managers but their team members to have a better understanding of business and more of an idea business acumen. So this business case provides the justification for the proposed business change or plan. It outlines the allocation of capital that you may be seeking and the resources required to implement it. Then, it can be an action plan . It may just serve as a unified vision. And then it also provides the decision-makers with different options.

So let’s look more at the steps required to put these business cases together. There are four main steps. One, you want to research your market. Really look at what’s out there, where are the needs, where are the gaps that you can serve? Look at your competition. How are they approaching this, and how can you maybe provide some other alternatives?

You want to compare and finalize different approaches that you can use to go to market. Then you compile that data and you present strategies, your goals and other options to be considered.

And then you literally document it.

So what does the document look like? Well, there are templates out there today. The components vary, but these are the common ones. And then these are what I consider essential. So there’s the executive summary. This is just a summary of your company, what your management team may look like, a summary of your product and service and your market.

The business description gives a little bit more history about your company and the mission statement and really what your company is about and how this product or service fits in.

Then, you outline the details of the product or service that you’re looking to either expand or roll out or implement. You may even include in their patents may be that you have pending or other trademarks.

Then, you want to identify and lay out your marketing strategy. Like, how are you gonna take this to your customers? Are you going to have a brick-and-mortar store? Are you gonna do this online? And, what are your plans to take it to market?

You also want to include detailed information about your competitor analysis. How are they doing things? And, how are you planning on, I guess, beating your competition?

You also want to look at and identify your SWOT. And the SWOT is your strength. What are the strengths that you have in going to market? And where are the weaknesses? Maybe some of your gaps. And further, where are your opportunities and maybe threats that you need to plan for? Then the overview of the operation includes operational information like your production, even human resources, information about the day-to-day operations of your company.

And then, your financial plan includes your profit statement, your profit and loss, any of your financials, any collateral that you may have, and any kind of investments that you may be seeking.

So these are the components of your business case. This is why it’s so important. And if you need a tool that can help you manage and track this process, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager .

Click here to browse ProjectManager's free templates

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Free Business Case Templates for IT, Project Management, and More

By Kate Eby | June 25, 2018

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A business case helps stakeholders understand what you want to do, how your plan will benefit the organization, and if that plan is possible. A business case template provides a structure for researching and presenting a clear and comprehensive document.

In this article, you’ll learn what to include when you create your own business case , and find the ready-made, downloadable business case templates in Word and PowerPoint formats, like a one-page business case template , a construction business case template , and more.

One-Page Business Case Template

One Page Business Case

‌  Download Template in Word

Try Smartsheet Template   ‌

If you have a straightforward but costly proposal, use this short business case template to make a concise list of what you want to do, why you want to do it, how you want to do it, who benefits from the project, and anything that could hinder the project’s success. This template can also help form the basis of your project charter .

Project Business Case Template

Project Business Case

Sometimes, it’s not easy to quantify benefits and disadvantages of a project. This project business case template includes a weighting scheme to create a score for each proposed option, and allows you to score risks.

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Construction Business Case Template

Construction Business Case Template

‌ ‌Download Construction Business Case Template - Word

This construction business case template includes sections for the many types of information and analysis a large construction project may require. It lists the types of documents needed to prepare for construction and includes detailed information on stakeholders and their interests. It also includes tables to help visually compare analyses. The project delivery or implementation details can form the basis for your project plan.

Simple Business Case Template

Simple Business Case Template

‌ Download Simple Business Case Template

This simple business case template in Word addresses all the essential areas needed in a business case. Add as much information to each section as is necessary, or include other sections to reflect your own organization’s requirements.

PowerPoint Business Case Presentation Template

Business Case Presentation Template

‌ Download Business Case Presentation Template - PowerPoint

A simple Word document may provide a good way to document the reasons for, requirements of, and costs included in your business case. But visual representations can communicate vital facts quickly and may be necessary if you present your business case in a meeting. Use this template to visually communicate information.

IT Business Case Template

Simple IT Business Case Template

Download IT Business Case Template

For enterprise-level changes, a business case may be necessary to justify costs, resources, and effort. This IT business case template provides space to discuss why you require the change, how you will source the new solution, and how you will manage the migration and implementation.

Life Sciences Business Case Template

Life Sciences Business Case

‌ Download Life Sciences Business Case Template - Word

In addition to the usual content sections in a business case, this life sciences business case template includes blocks for version control and revision tracking.

What Is a Business Case?

A  business case  (also known as a  business need ) defines a problem or opportunity, measures the effect of a project that solves a problem or exploits an opportunity, and clarifies the costs and benefits of a proposed plan.

You need a business case when you have to justify a resource or expenditure on a project. Through a well-considered business plan, stakeholders and investors can determine whether the enterprise should invest resources in the project. A business plan also provides a structure for presenting findings and recommendations. Moreover, it offers a way to determine if the project aligns with an organization’s strategic objectives. 

Although preparing a business case may seem like yet another document in a long chain of project management tasks, this front-loaded preparation is essential to the eventual success of any undertaking. When started before a project begins, a business case shows stakeholders — and even you — if the project is worth starting. It can reveal problems that could potentially waste time and other resources without yielding benefits. Without business cases, you have no way to prioritize projects. If you don’t clearly articulate the desired results before the project begins, investors and stakeholders can easily be dissatisfied or frustrated with the outcome. And, as the project progresses and ultimately concludes, you have no reference point for measuring achievement.

Inputs for a business case include such things as regulatory and legal requirements, changes in the market, and customer demand.

You can use a business case template as a guide so you remember to include all the necessary content. A template also offers formatting, so you don’t have to worry about layout and design. 

The Business Case and Business Case Template Writing Process

Poor preparation and a lack of senior management involvement often contribute to eventual project failure. A good case study can help you avoid these pitfalls.

Start by consulting key people, such as the finance department, to get accurate estimates and details of the current situation and an idea of what improvements would look like. In addition, remember to follow any pertinent company policies and procedures while preparing the business case and elaborating on the proposed project.

When writing the business case, consider these pointers for success:

  • Write in the voice of your readers and stakeholders, but avoid jargon as much as possible.
  • Communicate concisely regarding the essential content.
  • Be interesting, even entertaining.
  • Be clear about your goals and how they can benefit the organization.
  • Limit the number of authors to keep the voice and style consistent.

The Main Elements of a Business Case Template

Your business case is intended to provide sponsors, stakeholders, and investors with a clear picture of the outcomes and benefits of your project. In general, a business case contains the following particulars about a project:

  • A high-level summary
  • Financial information about the costs and benefits
  • Details of the scope
  • Benefits and risks
  • Information about how the project will be managed
  • Measurements for success

A sample business case template is available here for the management certification guidelines used in the UK, Australia, and other countries. The number of sections and detail of your business case will vary with the complexity and scope of your intended project. Typical elements include most or all of the following:

  • An Executive Summary: Particularly in government or formal business situations, the executive summary may be the only part of the document that stakeholders, investors, the media, and other interested parties read. An executive summary must convey what will be done, who will do it, how much it will cost, and how and who it will benefit — in one page or less. Another gauge for length is that it should take no longer than five minutes to read.
  • Purpose: The purpose of the project describes the background of the business problem or opportunity. It details how the change envisioned (by completing the project) will improve the situation.
  • Alternatives: Researching and describing viable alternative options to the recommended project will help provide a more vivid context for the recommended solution. Presenting alternatives will also demonstrate to stakeholders that you’ve given your project healthy consideration and that it was not chosen arbitrarily.
  • Strategic Alignment: Explaining how your plan fits into and advances the overall strategic direction of the organization is crucial. Stating project goals and objectives in this context can strengthen your case.
  • Organizational Impact: Discuss how the proposed project will change the organization. Consider any relevant departments, equipment, processes, or roles. Stakeholder analysis (i.e., understanding the current situation and the requirements of each stakeholder) can contribute to this picture.
  • Assumptions and Constraints: Be clear about any anticipated resources or limitations. For example, if funding from one agency is certain, note that. If success depends upon implementing a new platform, note that. The list of assumptions may grow and change as the project progresses. You may also consider any interdependencies that might affect the plan.
  • Benefits: Articulate the anticipated outcomes to show how the entire organization gains and improves from your project. Examples of benefits are more customers served, less eye strain for service reps at workstations, or a roof patch ahead of storm season.
  • Schedule and Costs: Outline the plan with a brief timeline for project development and completion, including major milestones. For technology projects, provide an overview of the migration plan, if required. On the timeline, add a cost benefit analysis and budget, possibly even with ongoing maintenance costs.
  • Risks and Opportunities: Risks describe what could happen to delay or prevent the completion of the project or raise the costs of the project. Depending on the scope of your project, complete your business case analysis by studying PESTLE factors (political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental). For each risk you identify, include a mitigation plan.
  • Recommendation and Justification: State the preferred option and summarize its risks and costs as well as the justifying factors that recommend it.
  • Governance and Progress Tracking: Describe who is responsible for managing the project and who is accountable for supporting it. Indicate how progress will be measured and reported.

You may also want to include signature blocks for approvers, a table with the sponsor name, the names of anyone providing support or expertise to the document, a table of contents hyperlinked to first- and second-level headings, an appendix for attached worksheets and other supporting documents, and a glossary of terms. To title the document, follow the naming conventions of your organization and provide a version number, especially if the project is complicated and the business case is likely to go through revisions.

Who Is Involved in a Business Case?

The project sponsor prepares the business case in cooperation with team members and subject matter experts from the applicable areas, such as IT or finance.

Some companies may have dedicated project management offices. In that case, the project management office prepares the business case. If an outside organization requests support, that entity prepares the business case. The project sponsor and interested parties review the business case. Based on the business case, the project may be approved, rejected, altered, or postponed.

Tips for Creating a Compelling Business Case and Business Case Template

A business case may seem to require a lot of information, but you can keep it simple if you keep a few things in mind:

  • Define the strategic role and goals of the project early in the case study.
  • Create context for the project by discussing its history and background.
  • Show similarities between the proposed project and previous successful projects. Also, discuss important differences.
  • Don’t just show fixes to problems. Find opportunities where possible and highlight them in your case study.
  • State the benefits that will occur once the project is completed.

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How to Write an Office Relocation Letter to Your Employees

By Office Move Pro April 13, 2022

staff reviewing office relocation announcement

We recommend involving your employees in the relocation process from the start, whenever possible. That means including them in early discussions about moving .

If it's not feasible to involve everyone, consult with Human Resources so that you can factor in staff needs alongside company mandates when selecting a new office.

Regardless of how you involve your employees in the decision-making process, it’s important to issue an official letter once the decision to move has been finalized.

We suggest you avoid sending an office relocation email, because email is better suited to less formal communication. Instead, hold a face-to-face meeting where you can discuss the relocation and provide your staff with personally addressed letters documenting the news.  

Read on for samples, and to download an office relocation letter template.

For help navigating an upcoming office relocation, contact us today.

Why send an office relocation letter to employees.

The main goal of an office relocation letter is to provide reassurance and clarity for your staff.

Offer Reassurance

Moving offices can cause a great deal of stress . Concerns range from increasing commute times to fear of job loss. So your number one goal is to put people at ease. Make your staff aware of management decisions that affect their jobs in advance, to reduce gossip and stress.

Begin your letter with a brief introduction. Then clearly explain the reasons for moving.

If this is a positive step for your business, focus on the benefits of relocating. For instance: space, growth, convenience, cost savings and amenities.

If your company is downsizing, be sensitive. Don’t pretend it isn’t happening. Address the change respectfully and provide ways for employees to easily respond, ask questions, or connect with each other for support.

Tip: Use a tone appropriate to your situation. If people are losing their jobs, don't sound excited about the upcoming change. Rather, keep the tone informative and understanding. Above all, be genuine and remain professional.

Next, lay out a clear plan, as far as one has been decided.

A basic office relocation announcement will include:

  • A general timeline with important milestones
  • A target move date
  • Staff responsibilities
  • Applicable compensations
  • A meeting date to discuss the announcement further

Here is a general office relocation letter template.

Download it now to get started. You can adjust this template to fit the unique circumstances of your move.

office relocation letter template download bar

Then continue reading for more letter samples, layout suggestions, and tips.

A Sample Format for Writing Your Letter

Introduction: Begin with a brief statement that introduces the topic of your letter and provides context for the news that follows.

Due to company growth, we are expanding our sales and technical departments. As a result, we will be moving to a larger office in May.

This statement quickly tells the reader what is happening, and why. You may also wish to include a subject line that introduces the topic immediately. For example, Subject: New Office Location .

Body: This is the main part of the letter. In one or two paragraphs, summarize the details and business case for moving. How much you write will depend on how much your employees already know about the move, and how receptive they are. Try to anticipate their key questions, and use this as an opportunity to answer those common concerns.

We have procured office space in the newly renovated Regent Square commercial building at 123 Fourth Street. We will occupy the entire fifth floor, giving us ample space and technology upgrades to meet our current, and growing, business demands. A company-wide move will take place on Friday, June 20. By Monday, June 23, all departments will be set up in the new location. We have hired a team of professional office movers to help manage our move. With their help, we will provide you with more detailed information about packing and moving day expectations in the coming weeks.

Closing: Outline next steps and end on a positive note.

We will hold a meeting to discuss the upcoming relocation tomorrow at 9 a.m. in the conference room. On behalf of the entire management team, we encourage you to raise any questions in the meeting, as it will benefit everyone to hear the answers. For questions and concerns of a personal nature, please meet with Darlene Shultz, Director of Human Resources, or with your direct supervisor. We are committed to supporting you during this transition.

Salutation and Signature: Sign off your letter with a professional salutation like ‘sincerely’ or ‘regards’. A handwritten signature provides a personal touch.

Additional Tips for Writing a Letter to Employees About Office Relocation:

  • Draw attention to key dates by bolding or highlighting them
  • Use official company letterhead, not email
  • Be as specific as possible
  • Designate contacts
  • Be professional

View a sample office relocation letter

Commit to keeping staff updated. Start by scheduling regular meetings to discuss the status of your office relocation. This is a great opportunity to form committees so that staff become active participants instead of mere observers, which brings us to your next objective.

Your Secondary Purpose Is to Engage your Employees

business case template for office relocation

This information may be best delivered in a followup letter to employees about office relocation tasks. Assign jobs, then provide instructions and tools to help your staff complete them. 

Followup communication can be handled by email once a firm timeline has been established.

Outline responsibilities including:

  • Staff assignments
  • Packing deadlines
  • Packing instructions
  • Computer downtimes
  • Work expectations
  • Company limitations and employee allowances for moving
  • Collection of security badges, parking passes, and keys
  • Transportation and parking notices
  • What to do after arriving at the new location

At Office Move Pro, we provide detailed packing instructions for everything from desk contents to technical equipment and artwork. And our move coordinators will help you create a clear plan that you can share with your staff so that moving day goes as smoothly as possible. 

business case template for office relocation

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Ultimate Office Move Checklist: Free Template Included

female and male packing boxes, female sat down on phone, man standing holding a moving box

From remote work, to hybrid, to resigning because an employee doesn’t provide either of those options, the world of work has changed. But that’s not to say that the physical office is going anywhere soon.

In fact, a recent PWC survey found that only 13% of executives are ready to let go of the office for good, and 87% of employees say the office is important for collaborating with team members and building relationships. 

What’s more, 87%  of executives expect to make changes to their real estate strategy over the next 12 months. These plans include consolidating office space in premier locations and/or opening more satellite locations.

Due to the increasingly fluid nature of workspaces, many companies are reimagining their physical presence. These changes often mean an office move and that means workplace leaders must stay prepared. 

Here’s the what, why and how of an effective office move. 

How do you plan for an office move? Things to consider 

Unfortunately it’s not as simple as  just picking up and moving everything to a new office. Below are a few things to consider when planning for your office move: 

1. Think about your timeline and create a schedule: Winging it doesn’t work when you’re changing office locations employees and vendors will expect a specific timeline and date for when they can expect to occupy the new space. Developing a detailed timeline for your move will help keep you on track and ensure that you’re meeting crucial deadlines.   ‍

2. Conduct an analysis of your new space to fully understand it’s IT and spatial capabilities: ‍ Understanding your new space is imperative for making sure things get moved and set up in the right place. If you need specific IT functions, you should map out those spaces so the teams responsible for set up know where they should be.

3. Create a blueprint of your new office space to map out where things should go: Having a blueprint can help you organize the physical items you’ll need to move. For example, desks shouldn’t necessarily go where the new kitchen should be, right? 

4. Audit existing projects and think about how the move could impact deadlines and timelines : ‍ An office move is a huge undertaking, and it will undoubtedly impact any collaborative projects going on. Consider pausing any non time sensitive projects until everyone is established at the new space.

5. Develop a budget: Your budget for your move will dictate whether or not you can do things like hiring an external moving company or moving manager. A larger budget will allow you to outsource a lot of the trickier logistics of moving so you can focus on designation and orchestration. 

Your office move checklist

Moving anywhere is hard. But moving an entire office, employees and all? That’s even harder.

The key to doing it seamlessly (or at least, as seamlessly as possible) is staying organized. That's why we created a foundational checklist that you can personalize to the specific needs of your new office location. 

Download Robin's free template here .

Stage one: Plan the logistics

  • Review your existing lease : Will you be fined for breaking your lease early? Are you responsible for any damages?
  • Set your budget : You should establish a budget well before your actual move, ideally 6-8 months prior. This will determine the price of a moving company you can afford, where you can scale back, and where you should be spending.
  • Consider a moving company: About 6 months before your move you should begin getting quotes from moving companies and determining which ones fit within your budget and meet your moving needs.
  • Designate a moving team and/or manager: Do you have a facilities team that can orchestrate the move? Do upper level executives need to be involved in the move? Even if the work will be divided, it’s important to have a designated person or team that can facilitate orchestration.

Stage two: Communicate with key stakeholders 

  • Notify your current landlord: Let your existing landlord know of your move as soon as possible. This gives them time to find new occupants.
  • Ensure the current client list is up-to-date: An email or newsletter can let your current clients know you’re moving — important especially if they visit the office.
  • Notify the post office and other important entities of your change of address: This ensures that important communications and deliveries are sent to your updated address.
  • Review and update all delivery subscriptions: If you are currently receiving deliveries or receiving services on a subscription basis, they should be apprised of your move so that you have everything you need the day you step foot into the new office.
  • Notify employees: Employees should be notified about 3 to 4 months before the move. Communications about the move should outline expectations and responsibilities.
  • Assign responsibilities to team members:  Let team leaders know how they should be dividing work amongst their team, i.e packing responsibilities.

Stage three: Conduct audits of supplies and equipment 

  • Conduct an audit of existing furniture and order any you might need  for the new office: Tag or color code all existing furniture that is moving to the new office, and schedule pick-ups or removal of any furniture that’s no longer required.
  • Collect moving supplies: If employees are responsible for packing their own items, make sure they all have the packing supplies they need (i.e cardboard boxes, tape, markers, labels, etc.).
  • Transfer utilities:  Make sure you set a cancellation date for existing utilities as well as a start day for your new services.
  • Establish security needs: If you require any security needs for your new office, you should contact the company you intend on using ahead of time to ensure their timeline is consistent with yours.
  • Book loading bays or parking spots for day of move: Making sure you have the actual space to move in the most efficient way possible will ensure a smooth day-of-move.
  • Determine the IT needs of the new office: Schedule service for close to the day-of-move.

Stage four: Get ready for moving day 

  • Finalize plans with the moving team: Make sure that the moving team has the right amount of people for the job, and are still planning to be there at the designated time of arrival.
  • Collect parking passes, key, access or security cards for the old office: Collect all employee access cards for the old office, and have new ones made and distributed.
  • Backup important documents and data: Backing up information gives you peace of mind in case anything is damaged or lost during transit.
  • Finish packing and labeling: It’s time to start wrapping things up! A few days before your move, make sure everything that needs to be in the new office is packed and labeled.

business case template for office relocation

Moving offices for a changing workforce

No move ever goes perfectly. Whether you’re moving to a new house  or changing office locations, by referring back to a moving checklist, you can help minimize frustrations and help employees transition to a new location. 

Change is hard but in this new world of remote and hybrid work, flexibility is the key to ensuring that an office move goes smoothly.

Download Robin's free template here.

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How to Develop a Business Relocation Proposal

How to Develop a Business Relocation Proposal

Relocating offices can be a challenging and time-consuming process. Therefore, having a well-organised and carefully planned business relocation proposal is essential. This will ensure a smooth transition and bring significant advantages to your business.

Whether you’re moving to increase in size, access new customers, or better adapt to the changing world of work, a strong and well-planned strategy is a key part of the process. 

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make sure you execute your office relocation strategy flawlessly, from who should take responsibility for the plan to how to build it up, next steps, and how we at Knight Frank can help you find the right space for you .

Who Should Own the Office Relocation Strategy?

Before you get into the details of how to build your business relocation proposal, you need to clearly establish who in your organisation is responsible for your strategy. 

How you split this up will differ based on your business’s size, sector, and structure. 

Still, there are some general tips to keep in mind. 

First, you should know what goes into a business relocation proposal. 

You need to assign responsibility for: 

  • Research and scoping 
  • Decision-making and detail
  • Presentation and selling 

Research and scoping can begin at a high level. You want someone with a strong sense of your company’s overall vision. CEO input is crucial here, to help consider what precisely you want to achieve with your office move, and to have final decision-making authority.

CFOs, meanwhile, bring financial expertise and deep knowledge of your business’s accounts and can help analyse the costs and potential benefits of a move. 

An office manager or facilities manager will bring valuable insights on the day-to-day operations and requirements of the current office space, while HR staff can provide input on employee wellbeing and the impact of the move on the workforce. 

Finally, your marketing and communications personnel will be best placed to present your proposal , both within your organisation and, later, externally. 

The most important thing to remember when assigning responsibility is to ensure that you have buy-in from key stakeholders across your organisation. While you want to avoid the dangers of having too many cooks, you also don’t want to miss out on key insights by leaving out someone important. 

For best results, put together a dedicated team to work on the proposal. This should include representatives from each of the relevant departments in your company, as well as a leader with overall project management responsibility. 

How to Create an Office Relocation Proposal 

Once you know who in your organisation is responsible for which aspects of your move, you can get started on developing your proposal.

Define Why the Move is Needed

The first step in developing a business relocation proposal is to clearly articulate the reasons behind the move. 

These can include:

  • Needing more space to grow
  • Searching for better access to a larger or more diverse workforce
  • Saving money, either to optimise operational costs or to downsize
  • Moving closer to a target customer base
  • Adapting to changes in the world of work, including hybrid working 

Whatever your reasons for moving, it’s crucial you list them clearly before moving further with your proposal. If you don’t know what you aim to achieve from your relocation, you’ll find it impossible to identify the right space for you.

business case template for office relocation

Define the Benefits of the Move 

Once you’ve established what you want to achieve by moving, you need to outline the benefits the move will bring you. You know the goals you want to achieve: now you need to consider how your move will help you achieve those goals.

If you’re seeking a new space that better suits your business, your business relocation proposal should outline how specifically it will benefit you. 

Consider questions like: 

  • What new equipment does the move give you access to, and how will you use that equipment? 
  • What benefits will the move provide to your workers and customers, and how? 
  • If you’re moving to a better connected area, how will those connections help your business to serve its customers and grow?

Define the Risks of Not Moving 

And, of course, you need to look at the other side of the coin: what are the potential downsides of staying where you are?

This will be easiest if there are problems with your current space - inadequate facilities, say, or cost increases that make it difficult for you to continue operating. 

Inflation, high interest rates and rising energy costs can also add to the risk of staying put. If your current space is in an old or inadequately insulated building, energy costs will likely be a particular concern.

You should also consider any issues that your workers have raised. Do they find the current location difficult to commute to, for example? If so, staying might have a negative impact on staff retention. 

If you chose your current office location several years ago, you may also find that it is not optimised for a changed working environment. Flexible working and work from home are here to stay, and you need to make sure that your company has an office location that is fit for the new world of work. 

You may also find that you have simply outgrown your current location - that you need access to a market that is bigger, more diverse, or just different. 

Define the Costs Involved

Finally, you need to pay close attention to how much this will all cost. 

Any successful business relocation proposal should include a detailed list of expenses and a realistic estimate of a budget for the move. 

Make sure to be comprehensive here: include everything, from renting or buying the property to transporting furniture and equipment, to any repairs, refurbishments, or redecorations you might need to undertake to make sure the new location is perfect for you.

Next Steps in an Office Relocation Strategy

Once your business relocation proposal is mapped out and approved, you can move on to making a more detailed office move plan . 

You’ve made the business case for your move, so now you can turn to the nitty-gritty: how you’re going to execute your strategy, including a detailed timeframe for the move.

Then, you’re ready to move on to selling your plan - communicating what you’re doing and why to your staff, stakeholders and customers, and showing them how they’ll benefit.

How Knight Frank Can Help You Relocate Seamlessly

Relocation planning can be difficult to get right, but the benefits can be enormous. And choosing the right space is one of the most important parts of the process. Luckily, here at Knight Frank, we’re experts in office moves. If you’re considering putting together a business relocation proposal, why not get in touch ? 

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Office Relocation Project Plan the Key to a Successful Office Move

Moving an office can be hectic, stressful and a huge task to undertake without the right preparations and plans in place. If this is your first-time moving offices, you may have no clue where to start or what to look for in a good plan.

We are here to provide you with the foundations to follow to make your next office move a seamless process.

Table of contents

  • What is an Office Relocation Project Plan?

Why is an Office Relocation Plan Essential for Your Office Move?

  • Steps to Follow When Developing an Office Relocation Project Plan
  • Assemble Your Project Planning Team and Establish Who Will Be the Leader of Your Move
  • Determine Your Key Dates
  • Put Together an Estimated Relocation Budget
  • Establish the Requirements for Your Office Space
  • Assess Spaces and Determine the Type of Lease You Will Need
  • Determine the Type of Moving Company You Will Use
  • Notify the Following Groups: Your Employees, Service Providers and Customers
  • Plan Your New Office Space, Furniture Layouts and Organize Your Files
  • Prepare All Marketing Materials to Reflect the New Information
  • What tools or software do you need to make an office relocation plan?
  • Additional Office Relocation Resources

How Chipman Relocation & Logistics Can Help

What is an office relocation project plan .

An office relocation plan refers to a process document that identifies and outlines all the steps that are necessary to complete an office move. This plan can vary in detail but typically touches on aspects such as identifying the people in charge of the move, timeline, budget, inventory, and how you will communicate the move to everyone affected.

As with any major project, proper planning and organization are key to a successful office move. Once the decision to relocate is made, the first task is to create an Office Relocation Project Plan. This is one of the most important steps taken in an office move.

By creating an outline of every step in the moving process, you ensure necessary tasks are completed in the required timeframe. When following a good project plan, downtime and loss of productivity are kept to a minimum as the move is successfully completed on time and on budget.

9 Steps to Follow When Developing an Office Relocation Project Plan

1. assemble your project planning team and establish who will be the leader of your move.

Determine who will be the primary person in charge of the move, whether it be you or someone else within your company. This person will serve as the in-office move coordinator. He or she should be a great organizer, have the authority to represent your company, and be capable of making snap decisions when necessary.

We recommend you stick to a small project planning team. The in-office move coordinator will serve as leader of this team, and together the team will create your office relocation plan.

2.  Determine Your Key Dates 

Know or determine your key dates, such as current lease termination, preferred move date, new lease signing, new office build-out start and finish, and final date for completion of the move.

3.  Put Together an Estimated Relocation Budget

When estimating your office relocation budget here are items to consider as potential expenses:

  • The office mover's cost
  • New office costs
  • Existing office repairs
  • Additional hours for staff
  • Any fees incurred from terminating your lease early
  • Any extra services for packing, installing IT systems, special transportation etc.

Review the budget periodically to ensure the move stays within the budget.

4. Establish the Requirements for Your Office Space

Depending on the type of company you work for, the office you need may vary widely. During the relocation plan it is extremely important to establish what are your non-negotiables when it comes to an office space for it to be the optimum place for productivity and the success of your business.

Ask yourselves the following questions when considering your requirements for an office:

  • Does the property owner offer insurance?
  • Does the space accommodate the size of your company comfortably?
  • Does the space allow for scalable growth?
  • How does heating and cooling work in the building?
  • What amenities does it offer (kitchen, lounges, number of bathrooms etc.)?
  • Does the neighborhood around the office have restaurants, supermarkets, and other social areas?
  • Is the office easy to reach via various forms of transportation?
  • Will it be easy to set up computers, monitors, printers?

Minute details such as the number of outlets the space offers may not come to mind at first but can affect the efficiency of the office and how your employees perform in the space.

5. Assess Spaces and Determine the Type of Lease You Will Need

Now that you have determined what your office non-negotiables are, select the new office location based off your needs and negotiate a lease if you do not own the new building. Decide in advance the type and length of lease you need.

The three main type of office leases are:

  • Modified Gross

6. Determine the Type of Moving Company You Will Use 

Decide if you will use full-service movers before creating your project plan. If you work with a full-service mover, details of the physical move can be handled by a professional move coordinator. Your mover will manage the relocation for you, so those details do not need to be included in your project plan. You will, however, need to include in your plan the process of selecting the best full-service office movers.

7. Notify the Following Groups: Your Employees, Service Providers and Customers

  when to tell your employees.

Inform employees of the upcoming move, as early as possible. If you are making a long-distance relocation, discuss relocation packages. Keep employees informed throughout the process via regular emails, posted notices and announcements during company meetings. You can also prepare a relocation FAQ or guideline to answer anticipated questions.

When to Tell Customers and Vendors

Notify customers and vendors about the upcoming relocation. Take advantage of this opportunity to communicate with your current, former, and prospective customers multiple times throughout the relocation process. Announce the upcoming move. If you are relocating due to company growth, proudly tell customers and vendors. Later send an update about how well plans for the relocation are going, and then announce completion of the move.

What Service Providers Should You Notify

You should notify the following groups about your office location change:

  • The post office, UPS, FedEx, and any other delivery service consistently used
  • Relevant government departments
  • Phone and data providers.
  • Any ongoing subscription services such as newspapers, magazines etc.

8. Plan Your New Office Space, Furniture Layouts, and Organize Your Files

If you are planning to redesign the style of the office, reorganize layouts or completely revamp your furniture, an office move is the prime time to do so. And including these items in your office relocation plan can help streamline the process.

When planning for the new office space consider the following:

  • What is the best floor plan for the space: Decide how to layout office furniture, establish co-working/communal spaces, and analyze the best places to put commonly trafficked areas such as copy rooms in a way that will not cause overcrowding in one area? Once you create this plan share it with your team, your moving company, and anyone else that will be helping set up the office such as furniture suppliers or an IT company.
  • Take inventory of your current furniture and office amenities: An office relocation presents a suitable time to replace outdated equipment and furnishings. Perform an inventory and decide what items will be moved or replaced. Also, decide how you will dispose of the outdated office furniture and equipment.
  • Declutter your files: Office relocation also provides a fantastic opportunity to purge unnecessary files and move paper records to digital. You might also consider offsite records storage to free up office space.

9. Prepare All Marketing Materials to Reflect the New Information

Update all marketing collateral including the company website and online citations, brochures, stationery, business cards, etc.

What tools or software do you need to make an office relocation plan? 

You do not need state-of-the-art software or fancy tools to develop an organized scalable office relocation plan. We recommend you build the plan in a Word document or Excel Spreadsheet. If you have multiple people working on the plan together a cloud-based platform that everyone can access such as Google Sheets would work well. If you list every task that must be taken to complete the move, who will be responsible for each one, and when the task should be completed your office relocation plan can live within any document.

Take Office Relocation Planning One Step at a Time

Take as much time as needed to build your office relocation project plan. Refine the plan throughout the relocation process as necessary, and periodically check in with responsible parties for each task to ensure those tasks are completed as scheduled. Building and adhering to a good plan will provide the organization your office relocation needs to be a successful move that is on time and on budget.

Whether you're looking to move from city to city or state to state, Chipman offers a unique and personalized moving service. Our expert staff of relocators, movers, and drivers will handle all your packing, moving, deconstruction, and reconstruction from start to finish. To find out more about what all we can do to help for your next move, explore our services below.

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business case template for office relocation

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A Guide to Office Relocation Project Management

Office relocation project management.

Moving your office is one of the largest financial investment your business is likely to make, yet many companies don't have the experience, time or resources to plan and execute and office relocation project plan effectively.

This step-by-step guide will give you some top tips on how to project manage your office relocation and which external advisors you need on your team to execute a smooth and successful office move:

Step 1: Appoint a Leader

Someone (within your organization) needs to be responsible for project managing the office relocation. They need to be well organized and a good manager of people and processes.

Step 2: Get a Checklist

An Office Move Checklist will guide you through the entire office relocation project and outline which tasks need to be done - and when. The Office Move Checklist will be your roadmap to navigate your business through a smooth office relocation.

Step 3: Clarify your Requirements

Define exactly what you are looking for in the new office space. Taking into consideration size, facilities, location, type and style of building etc. Use the Office Space Calculator to work out how much office space you are going to need.

Step 4: Book your Moving Company

As soon as you know your moving date, you need to book and confirm an Office Moving Company to carry out the move. It's wise to shop around and get 3 estimates from various office moving companies in your area so you can achieve best value.

Step 5: Appoint a Tenant Rep Broker

A Tenant Rep Broker will be responsible for finding and securing the right office space on your behalf. Their role is invaluable in negotiating the a favorable office lease deal on your behalf with the Landlord.

Step 6: Appoint a Real Estate Lawyer

Once you have found the ideal office space, a Real Estate Lawyer will review the office lease, following the negotiations with your Tenant Rep Broker, to ensure everything has been accurately documented and your company's legal interests are protected.

Step 7: Office Design & Space Planning

To get your new office looking fully functional and make it an inspiring place to visit and work, you need to engage the services of an Office Design Company . They'll be able to review your working practices, culture and corporate image and advise on color scheme, office furniture and space layout.

Step 8: Plan your IT Relocation

Moving PCs and business phone systems require logistical planning, and you will need to ensure your new office has the correct cabling installed so that everything functions as it should on the first morning in your new office. Use the IT Relocation Checklist to ensure you have all bases covered as far as your business critical equipment is concerned.

For more help and guidance on project managing an Office Relocation, download the FREE Office Move Checklist to plan every step of your office move.

Planning an office move? Go the office relocation planning resource center

Start Planning Your Office Move

Wherever you are in your office move process Help Moving Office has the information you need to plan your office move properly.

Access The Resource Center

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How to Plan an Office Move: 8 Steps to a Stress-Free Workplace Relocation

business case template for office relocation

Over the last few years, we’ve seen the demand for flexibility, productivity and a workplace that enhances company culture in a hybrid world force businesses of all sizes to reconsider their office plans – and for many that means relocating.

An office move brings with it not only the logistics of moving the business from A to B, but also stakeholder management, workplace strategy and business continuity plans that need to be considered long before the boxes and labels are out. With all this in mind, it’s unsurprising that the very thought of finding a new workplace has become synonymous with uncertainty and stress.

Thankfully, we’ve worked on our fair share of office moves – so if you’ve decided it’s time to relocate and you’re wondering where to start, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the complexities of relocating.

The following steps will assume you have already determined your business case for the move and identified your space requirements , but if that’s not the case and move-in day is still a way off, our Office Relocation Guide & Checklist details everything you need to know before you get started.

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How long does an office move take?

An office move should be planned approximately 12 months in advance for a 10,000 sq ft project. You can usually add or subtract six months per 5,000 sq ft. However, the scale of your project will typically determine how long it takes to plan, manage and complete your move.

What do I need to know before thinking about an office move?

The most important thing to do before moving office is to check the lease on your current space to help you understand your legal requirements and determine when it is you’re able to terminate. Most property leases last for 5-10 years, so make sure you check the following:

• When your current lease expires • If there’s a break clause • Required notice period • How you’ll need to serve notice

By checking all of the above in relation to your existing space, you’ll be able to set a deadline for your relocation.

Relocation-Timeline-aspect-ratio-3840-2160

These are the major relocation project milestones with their approximate duration. For projects of a larger scope, these stages may take longer.

Step 1: Define budgets and costs

An office relocation will likely be one of the largest investments your business makes, and with all of the building-related costs, logistical fees and capital expenditure it can be very easy to run over budget.

Break your move down into the different cost categories and aim to get a range of quotes for each in order to draw up a detailed budget for the entire project. We would typically recommend five core categories for your potential expenditure:

• Building-related (e.g., rent, maintenance, dilapidations) • Advisory fees (e.g., property agents, legal advice, audits) • Capital expenditure (e.g., fit-out, IT infrastructure, furniture) • Logistical fees (move management) • Soft costs (e.g., insurances, staff training)

As a part of this step, you may want to explore cost savings to maximise the value and savings from the project. This could be different lease options, allowances (e.g., sustainability) or landlord contributions.

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Step 2: Assemble your team

There are a lot of moving parts that come with an office move, and it will likely have a substantial impact on everyone in the business. To ensure the right decisions are being made and that everyone is working towards the best possible outcome, it’s helpful to define roles and set responsibilities for all key departments.

These departments will look different for every business, but as a starting point you’ll need to consider how each team will be impacted, the role they’ll need to play and who your key stakeholder is going to be.

Step 3: Appoint your design and build partner

Once you have your building, your design and construction teams will turn the empty shell of the interior into an operational space for your team. This transformation is where the majority of your costs will be spent, so it’s important to have the right team.

Here are a few things to consider when looking for the right partner to support your relocation:

• Do they work on a fixed and transparent budget? • Do they offer workplace consultancy as part of the design? • Do they guarantee on-time completion? • Are they financially stable? • Do they have examples of previous projects similar to yours? • Do they have environmental credentials? • Are they aware of the legal requirements of the project? • Do they have health and safety experts?

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Step 4: Review IT requirements

Your IT relocation will be one of the most important things to get ahead of when planning your office move. Due to the timelines that come with installation, you’ll want to get started as early as possible and begin working with your internal or external project managers to ensure you’re able to have everything up and running from day one.

Your relocation plan should include (but not be limited to):

• A site visit of your new space to review requirements • Contacting all providers ahead of your move • An audit of all equipment and documents • A business continuity plan • Labelling everything (including cables, monitors and any AV accessories)

We’d usually recommend a soft launch ahead of move-in day, while having contingency plans to work remotely for key members of staff is also a good idea to act as a safety net for any initial complications.

Step 5: Review your storage needs

Storage is often overlooked when it comes to an office move, which causes organisational issues further down the line. Whether it’s documents, housekeeping or personal storage you require, getting ahead before the move will boost efficiencies and improve the overall experience in your new space.

Look at how much you’re currently using and whether requirements might grow in the future. If you think you’re going to need more than you have available in your new space, consider external storage options for the items you won’t need day-to-day.

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Step 6: Communicate your move

An office move is an exciting time for a business and its people, but a new location and environment can potentially cause anxiety and uncertainty among employees. To help mitigate that risk, it’s important to communicate relocation plans with the team once the project is underway. Not only does this aid in ensuring things move smoothly, but it provides the opportunity to engage your teams and find creative solutions to their departmental requirements.

In some instances, it’s the law to inform stakeholders about any direct changes involving your staff, so when communicating your move make sure to also consult any regulators, board members or parent/sister companies.

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Step 7: Select move champions

Move champions are an important piece of the relocation puzzle. In larger businesses, we would recommend selecting a champion from each department to help ease the natural burden that comes with the adaptation to your new office.

They can be troubleshooters for the rest of the business in the first few days, and support general introductions to the new space with office tours for different teams to help them familiarise themselves with their new surroundings.

Step 8: Get set for move-in day

With so much to manage on the day itself, there are a few things we would recommend doing to make the launch as smooth as possible.

• Give yourself enough time to pack – ask your movers to drop off boxes and crates a few days before to ensure everyone has enough time to pack personal items ahead of the day. • Set up your redirects – ask every department to run through their list of suppliers and issue a friendly reminder a week before so that everything will be sent to your new office from day one. • Label everything – if you’re relocating to a large space across multiple floors, we would recommend a format for your labels (such as name, team and floor).

There are several key reasons a business may be looking to relocate, but regardless of whether it’s a strategic change or a result of the economic landscape, a new space is an opportunity to transform your business and refresh processes, habits and productivity.

Planning your office move in as much detail as possible is the best way to ensure that your new space can start acting as a catalyst for positive change from day one.

The Office Relocation Guide and Checklist

A workplace move is an opportunity for huge positive change: find out how to best harness the potential of office relocation by utilising our time-tested tools, strategies, and checklists.

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Office Relocation Can Transform Your Business

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  • Moving Blog
  • Commercial Moving
  • How to Develop a Business Relocation Plan: 10 Steps for Success

Joshua Green

By Joshua Green

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

Martin Panayotov

Fact-checked by Martin Panayotov

Reviewer & editor

Business Relocation Plan

  • Moving a business from one location to another is a complicated task with various risks both for employees and customers.
  • As a business, you have to make sure the business relocation process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible, without any complications whatsoever.
  • Follow this 10-step office relocation plan to pull off a successful commercial move from one office to another.

1. Set out the reasons for the business move

2. assess and compare office relocation risks and benefits, 3. choose a new location, 4. establish a business relocation budget, 5. set an office move timeline, 6. allocate project management responsibility, 7. prepare a personnel relocation strategy, 8. create a business relocation communication plan, 9. follow an office moving checklist, 10. trust a top-rated office moving company.

A business may need to relocate for a number of different reasons – to lower taxes, cut overhead expenses, stay in touch with the target market, move closer to skilled or specialized workers, or look for more space due to having outgrown its current location.

Sometimes the main reason for business relocation can be something as trivial as a lease running out.

Moving a business from one location to another is a complicated task that’s not only extremely time-consuming and disruptive but one that may have numerous risks to employees and customer relationships as well.

So, in order to make the task of business relocation as smooth and stress-free as possible for everyone involved in the move, creating a business relocation plan is a must.

In its essence, an office relocation plan outlines the critical tasks necessary for completing a successful commercial move from one location to another. A well-developed business relocation strategy ensures a painless and stress-free office move.

Read on to learn the 10 steps to developing a business relocation plan for your company.

First things first.

One of the very first things you need to do when drawing up an office relocation plan is to list the major reasons why the business has to move. You want to make sure the company is moving to another location for all the right reasons so that there are no regrets later when it’s too late to undo what’s been done.

In reality, the unique needs of a business will determine the specific reasons for the relocation. It’s important to actually write down those reasons so that you can work out the best solution under the circumstances.

Potential reasons for a business move may be

  • The lease for the current office place has expired with no option for extension;
  • The company needs more office space because of its growth;
  • The company is looking to cut overhead expenses, so it’s downsizing;
  • The business needs to lower the operational costs, including paying lower taxes;
  • The company wants to move closer to a target market;
  • The company management is looking for a more skilled workforce.

Regardless of the underlying reason for the relocation, understanding why exactly the company is changing location will prevent a bad decision that can cost the business a lot of money and many problems down the road.

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The next step of establishing a working business relocation plan is to assess and compare all the risks and benefits of the planned office move. This is a critical phase of the project simply because it can pinpoint possible risks that are too great to justify the planned business relocation.

Potential risks that may endanger the success of the entire business moving project may include costly disruption to the production process, loss of key members of the company who do not wish to relocate to the new location, loss of customers due to the downtime, or the inconvenience of the new location, and much higher business relocation costs than foreseen in the beginning.

For a successful business relocation, the benefits should outweigh any potential risks. The advantages of a new company location may include but are not limited to a much-improved working environment, more space for employees and the production needs of the company, and easier access to suppliers or skilled workers.

Devise a detailed plan that will minimize all risks related to the upcoming business relocation.

business relocation project plan

It should come as no surprise that a business relocation plan cannot get underway unless a new company location is found and secured.

Therefore, that’s exactly what needs to be done as the next preparation step for the commercial move.

Create a list of all the areas that are considered suitable for moving the business. Then, list all the facilities and properties (office spaces) in those areas that are available for rent and compare the pluses and minuses of each one.

Bear in mind that the new location for the business must have indisputable advantages over the current one – otherwise, the entire business relocation plan could prove to be unsuccessful when the dust settles shortly after the business move.

Negotiate the terms and conditions of leasing the new business location before you have put the business relocation plan into action. Create a detailed floor plan of the new property and office space to be certain that the new place will satisfy the present and future needs of the company.

The creation of a business relocation budget is critical – there’s just no way to skip this step since the financial aspect of the commercial move is one of the factors that will determine how successful the company move has been in the end.

Make sure you include detailed expenses in the business relocation budget, both direct and indirect costs that come as a result of the planned relocation. Estimate the rough costs of renting or buying the commercial property in the target location, plus the monthly maintenance costs.

The budget should also include possible costs for repairs and refurbishment of the new business location, and possibly even for its redecoration.

Of course, you should also calculate all costs related to the business move itself, including the price of hiring reputable commercial movers to help you transport all office furniture and office equipment to the destination place.

Once you set a budget for the business relocation, consult with it frequently to have better control over the move-related expenses – in other words, that preliminary budget should keep you from overspending on an already expensive company move.

A business relocation plan can be complicated to prepare promptly and execute smoothly and this is why it’s often the combined result of a massive effort from various company departments working together toward one common goal.

After the company relocation budget is created, the next step is to set a timetable for the office move – a detailed schedule that lists when each move-related task should be completed. It’s important to understand that Moving day itself is only one part of the entire business relocation timeline.

Here are several questions that will help you set the office moving timeline:

  • When do you have to leave the current location?
  • When will the new place be available for move-in operations?
  • Is it possible to move during a period of relative downtime for the company so that you minimize the negative impact of the business relocation?
  • What is the timeframe for relocating all company employees?
  • When should you notify all business partners and government institutions of the company move?

Plan the company move dates carefully for minimal disruption of the business operations.

how to plan a business relocation

One of the key moments during the relocation of a business is the correct allocation of responsibility for managing the company move.

In many cases, this step alone will either guarantee a smooth transition for the business itself or create numerous problems along the way.

Pick a leader from the company employees – a person who you know has the qualities to handle such a responsible task. It just has to be an extremely organized and exceedingly resourceful individual who can oversee the whole company relocation project from start to finish.

Also, put together a project planning team to help out the leader every step of the way. In the best-case scenario, one employee from each department should suffice – that way, you can be sure that each company department is on the same page and no misunderstandings will occur in any stages of the business relocation process.

Schedule periodic meetings of the business relocation project team – ranging from weekly to daily depending on the available time prior to the move-out date. Have the team leader report to you on a daily basis on the progress of the business relocation project.

How to plan a business relocation? You do it with the cooperation of all company employees, of course.

Prepare an employee policy for relocation – everyone who works for the company must be informed about the planned relocation before anyone else. That should give them the time they need to first process the news and then decide what their part in the commercial move will be.

A priority task is to explain to all employees the major reasons and benefits of moving the business to another location. Then, encourage each worker to cooperate in any way they can to ensure a smooth business relocation. At the end of the day, each one must have a pretty good idea about their exact role in the move.

Some of the employees may not want to move to the new company location, especially if that new location is far away from the current one. In such a case, there should also be alternative arrangements for them.

When a company is moving from one location to another, there are many people, organizations, and institutions that should be informed about the business relocation. Therefore, when planning a business relocation, it’s crucial to inform all entities that have any business relationships with the company.

Prepare a business relocation communication plan.

First of all, all employees should be informed first of the move as mentioned above. It’s a bad idea to let company workers hear about the news from the press or from people outside the company as that may lead to disappointment and anxiety.  

Then, provide all customers, suppliers, vendors, or agents working with the company with correct and timely information about the planned business relocation, including updated contact details such as the address and telephone numbers.

Finally, be sure to communicate the commercial move to important government institutions and state organizations. Don’t forget to update your corporate website and your social media networks with the new contact information.

Office moving checklist

Developing a business relocation plan is a complex task that requires many days of hard work and company resources to spare.

Once the decision to relocate is made, all attention should be focused on the essential activities for achieving the set goal.

Practice shows that the best way to plan a business relocation strategy is to create a list of must-do tasks that will serve as a guide to making it all happen. Each move-related job should be accompanied by a deadline and a person who’s responsible for each completion.

In other words, you should have a business relocation schedule with key completion dates and responsible persons.

But here’s the issue: it won’t be easy to get your hands on an office moving checklist that’s good enough and detailed enough to serve as your starting point. In fact, there are so many tasks to do during an office move that things could easily get out of hand, leading to total disorganization and unacceptable loss of valuable company time.

Luckily, we got you covered!

Our super-detailed Office Moving Checklist contains 50+ essential tasks that will point you in the right direction as far as organizing a business relocation is concerned.

Moving a business from one location to another can be a big hassle. The complexity of the business relocation will depend on the company itself.

Moving an office from one place to another – office furniture, standard office equipment such as computers and computer peripherals, scanners, copiers, phones, etc., and all the people working in the office – should be the easiest type of commercial relocation.

On the other hand, moving an office AND an entire production base with numerous big and heavy specialized machines is probably the most complex business relocation there is.

Either way, the best way to approach the difficult transitional period for the company is to hire specialized office movers who have the required experience and knowledge on how to handle a commercial move.

Get business relocation cost estimates from at least 3 reputable commercial movers and compare the prices and conditions. Then, ask those business moving companies to visit the company in person in order to give you accurate estimates in writing.

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More about the author

Written by Joshua Green

Relocation Expert & Book Author

Posted on Monday, November 27, 2023, Last updated on November 27, 2023

Joshua is a moving expert and author who dedicates his time to helping people move quickly and safely.

Moving or relocating can be really very stressful and hence any wise person should know the importance of planning. I am also in the profession of providing relocation services locally and hence I can easily relate with your article here.

Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading your post about business relocation plan. I will surely bookmark this post.

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How to Make the Business Case for Employee International Relocation

  • February 5, 2018

Think it’s time your business invested in international relocation projects? Here’s how to argue your case to management.

International relocation has the power to be hugely influential with regards to corporate success. Globalisation presents many advantages and is becoming far easier to achieve in the digital age. Despite this, some businesses are apprehensive when it comes to setting up overseas divisions.

Whether you’re a member of management trying to convince directors and shareholders, or an employee who believes their skills could be put to better use on the global stage, you’re going to have to make the business case for employee relocation to the higher-ups.

While a stern belief that international relocation could reap untold rewards is one thing, that confidence must be backed up with solid evidence and a strong argument. In this blog, our experts in corporate relocation outline the process of making that business case for employee relocation.

Demonstrate the Benefits

A claim that international relocation will benefit the company is unlikely to be enough to sway members of management who have their reservations about the idea. Before you take any further steps, it is crucial you provide information about what exactly these benefits are:

  • Profit Growth — Expanding into new markets  means new sales opportunities and new customer bases. Research your intended relocation destination, assess the potential for growth and report back to senior staff.
  • Employee Development — Moving employees overseas allows for diverse growth and development opportunities , leading to more valuable and better-qualified employees. Argue the case for this by providing examples of how international work can provide career growth.
  • Global Links — International employee relocation offers an opportunity to develop links with global contacts. Networking is a powerful tool that should never be underestimated, and creating overseas ties has the potential to bring in new and previously unobtainable opportunities.
  • Operational Costs — Different cities and countries have different costs associated with them . Relocation can dramatically reduce operational costs through numerous channels, from general cost-of-living to resource acquisition. Being able to prove that a move overseas would lower costs is a surefire way to make a strong business case for employee relocation.

Provide Them With the Necessary Details

Convincing your superiors or colleagues that an international move is beneficial is only the first step in creating a bulletproof business case for employee relocation. The next stage of the process is helping them understand the practicalities and the logistics of the relocation project.

Essentially, you need to be able to explain what’s involved:

  • Budget and Resource Expenditure — How much should the company be expected to pay for relocation, and what resources (including people) will be involved? Costs often depend on location and can vary widely. Perform a full cost analysis to ensure you have accurate information, and that the fees are realistic given profit margins and potential growth, before proposing a move.
  • Planning and Logistics — A relocation process requires detailed planning, logistics and precision project management. Develop an outline of how this will be handled and how the whole process will be completed successfully. We recommend getting the help of international relocation specialists, such as us here at Gerson Relocation, when creating your business case for employee relocation. As experts in moving people abroad, having assistance and support from a company like ours will ensure senior staff know the move is being managed and planned by skilled and experienced personnel.
  • Relocation Policy — What will the company be responsible for when moving employees? Provide details on proposed liability for both individuals relocating and the corporation.

Outline the Pitfalls (and How to Combat Them)

Transparency is key to good corporate relationships. Failing to outline the potential pitfalls of international moving when making the business case for employee relocation could result in animosity later down the line. It could also be seen as disingenuous if you discuss all the positives without accounting for the difficulties that may be faced; especially if your co-workers or superiors have concerns after previous relocation mishaps.

The trick here is to be clear about the potential for problems, while also proposing solutions to either eliminate them as threats, reduce the risk of them occurring, or provide suitable problem-solving techniques should something happen.

In order to offer solutions, though, you must first identify the problems:

  • Early Repatriation — 70% of failed international assignments are caused by issues with family and an unsettled personal environment. Addressing concerns prior to a move, and creating support structures to engage with employees and guide them through stressful relocation experiences thereafter, can greatly reduce the risk of early repatriation.
  • Failed Task Completion — Many workers placed overseas find they struggle to complete their work properly, resulting in inefficiency and wasted resources. Ultimately, the reason behind this is lack of preparation. Only 25% of businesses provide appropriate preparation in terms of cultural understanding and communication skills with international relocation. Just as with any workplace, if adequate training is provided, work can be completed to a satisfactory level.  
  • Overspending — With international relocation being an expensive process, management will likely have concerns over costs. Considering the variables involved, it can be easy for budgets to run over. The best way to avoid this happening is to employ third-party relocation specialists, with an abundance of knowledge pertaining to moving employees abroad, in order to ensure as little resource wastage as possible.

A Final Word on Making the Business Case for Employee Relocation

A simple version of our message would be this:

Convincing management or coworkers to run an international relocation project relies on being able to provide accurate and comprehensive information. Provide evidence of not only the benefits, but also how the process will work. Take out the unknown variables, focus on the facts and you’ll have a strong business case for employee relocation.  

Need help making your case for employee relocation? Contact Gerson Relocation today and we can explain exactly how we’ll support your overseas projects.

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How to Plan an Office Relocation

Here’s everything you need to know for a seamless and stress-free office move, with a comprehensive office move checklist

Moving is a normal part of life, but that fact doesn’t make it any less stressful. It’s never an easy decision to make, but many businesses have to move to a new space at least once as their needs change. Whether you’re moving because of rapid growth, a better location or market reach, it’s too easy to get lost in the sea of paperwork and cardboard boxes that pile up during this process, all while you still have a business to run. To make your move a little simpler, use our office relocation project plan (and download it as a spreadsheet ) to guide you through the entire process of moving an office, from planning to unpacking.

Getting Started

Long before you begin packing up, you should start assembling your relocation plan. In the early stages it doesn’t need to be completely concrete, but the details of your strategy should become clearer as the move draws nearer. Begin with the big picture stuff, including the general area in which you plan to settle, lease stipulations and employee needs.

Many businesses end up moving for ease of accessibility, so both your clients and employees need to be able to access your new location. Their satisfaction should be one of your top priorities. Understand your brand’s public perception as well as the feel of the neighborhoods you’re considering, assuring that it makes sense for you to relocate there. Draft your business development and expansion strategy with expansion in mind, noting new hires and space requirements that you might need over the next several years. Each company’s needs will be slightly different, so consider the ways in which your business will have to adapt to a new area and space.

After you have taken all of these factors into consideration, you should start looking for a reliable broker or business real estate agent to help you along in the process. On some occasions, you’ll be able to find a suitable office location on your own, but it can be quite a challenging and time consuming process. Moreover, some landlords work only with real estate brokers, limiting your options. Some businesses can rarely have a detailed look at a space for lease without a broker unless you are part of a large company or corporation.

You should also discuss the move with your stakeholders, including investors and employees, so you need a broker who is able to present multiple locations for consideration. Not all locations are created equal and not all of the available options will fit into your sometimes limited budget, so you will want to gather and pore over a varied list of possible office locations. Take your time and compare the advantages and disadvantages of each location. In the real world, there is no place that offers only advantages, no matter how perfect it might seem.

Space Options

Planning an office move is a critical business decision, so of course it shouldn’t be taken lightly. You’ll more than likely call your new office home for the next few years or decades, meaning that you should carefully consider your motivations and needs behind the relocation. More importantly, you need to know in great detail how the new office will address your pressing business needs. Assess all your current expenditures and compare them against the new office location. Take into consideration all the services you need to run your business smoothly and put them on the list to check how the new place compares to your current infrastructure. Nowadays, there are plenty of different ways to rent office space.

The traditional route is the classic leased building. Under this model, you will likely pay a monthly fee for your space, which will also often require a multi-year lease as well. You’re locked into this space for a while, so it’s crucial that it meets a majority of your needs. This option is stable and allows you to come to work each day in a space all your own, which is ideal for companies that want to stay in their new space for a long time.

A fresh option that’s especially viable for newer companies and startups is coworking, which allows you to rent a space inside of a larger facility that is shared between other companies, teams and freelancers. You likely won’t have to sign a lease, making it easy to cancel and relocate if you find a better space for your brand to grow. Coworking is especially popular among the younger crowd, allowing them to work side-by-side with other young professionals with different backgrounds and experience. However, you have to compromise on privacy at least a little bit. Only you can decide the right space for your relocation, so make sure you’re considering each option available to you, even the less obvious ones. You might be surprised at the location that ends up being the perfect fit.

Office Requirements

Now that you’re considering a variety of spaces, it’s time to get picky. Focus on tiny details that could become huge problems down the line. First and foremost, make sure that you can afford the rent, taking into consideration the fact that you’ll likely be signing a lease. Other obvious considerations should be if the landlord offers insurance, if the office can fit everyone comfortably and if it’s easily scalable for future growth. But there are plenty of other factors to include in your deliberations.

Look for a good number of conference rooms. Ensure that there is heating and cooling built into the space. Include amenities like a kitchen, communal spaces, multiple bathrooms, and even showers. Scour the immediate area for restaurants, shops, and cafés. Consider public transportation and parking. Make sure that clients and employees will feel safe and can find you easily. Count the number of power sockets. These details will make or break your new space.

You should start getting a budget in place comprising of current figures and costs associated with your new location. Costs could be either lower or higher depending on the reason for the move, so it’s up to you to decide whether these expenditures are defendable from a financial standpoint. You’ll also need to plan also for relocation expenses and any bumps in the road that may come along. Moving costs include professional movers, shipping office furniture and losses due to downtime during the move. These are one-time expenditures, but they still impact your bottom line, so plan carefully.

Once you have selected your new place, you need to finalize your office relocation project plan to make the process as easy as possible. Before the moving trucks come, make sure you’ve finalized the lease for the new location and notified your current landlord of your move-out date. Advise your staff far in advance of the date and location of the move. Create a master list of everything, like mail services and bank accounts, that might be affected by moving, then send them moving notices. Bid and draft a contract with a moving company. You can also consider hiring an interior designer for the new office. Hold a meeting with everyone involved with the move at your new location at least three weeks in advance to ensure all details are covered and all responsibilities are clear.

Before the Move

It’s now time to get into the fine details. You should reserve elevators and loading docks for moving day and inventory everything you plan to bring along. A good rule of thumb is to plan to move any non-essential items first, then tackle bigger pieces. Another best practice is to label all boxes before the move. Audit your building keys and store them safely. Arrange for the storage or disposal of old files. Look into updated or new contracts for internet, utilities, office supplies, and other equipment like printers. Order updated stationery, business cards, and checks, plus any new office furniture or decor you might need. Make sure you’re listed in the new building directory.

On the employee side, there are plenty of other ways to prepare. Organize a staff moving committee if there is enough interest or need, then delegate responsibilities. Schedule and prepare an agenda for an employee moving meeting. Finalize a new seating plan or layout. Assign moving supervisors from each department who can look over more specific needs. Schedule post-move training for safety procedures. Distribute access cards and keys to your employees for easy access. Develop a master relocation project schedule, including packing, unpacking, stocking, and cleanup. You want to be operational as soon as possible after the move. Verify your moving insurance, set security procedures, and make sure you can access the new location. Arrange for your staff to tour new premises a few weeks prior to the move to get acquainted with the new space.

Thanks to all the planning before the big day, it might seem anticlimactic when it actually comes. Arrange with your building manager to have the air conditioning on during the move. Begin installing big equipment like servers as soon as possible. Keep an eye on your emergency contact list of experts for elevator maintenance, utilities, internet, and moving. Safety is your first and biggest priority. While the process is happening, make sure that you’re focusing both on big-picture stuff and smaller details, making sure that everyone knows their role and is contributing equally. Your employees should have the day off, and you’ll likely make the move over a weekend.

After the Move

Everything is inside and the movers have driven away. Now the harder work begins. Install and test your routers, computers, telephones and printers, making sure each works and troubleshooting as you go along. Devise and internally distribute a new phone list and office map, outlining the locations of departments, administrators and managers. Complete a detailed walkthrough of the premises, noting any issues or damages to report to the moving company or building owner. Audit the final invoice from the moving company against your contract.

You’re not entirely done with your old space yet. Confirm the termination of your old lease or agreement. Collect parking passes, security cards and keys for your old facility and ensure their return to the landlord. Transfer your insurance to your new location if you have not already done so, getting insurance certificates in the process. Complete and file all warranty information for all new furniture and equipment and update your fixed asset accounting system for all of those pieces as well. Confirm that your address has been correctly updated everywhere it needs to be. Schedule a press release and client announcement for the next business day.

Finishing Up

Moving can be one of the hardest yet most rewarding changes your business will face. After the move, make sure you take a moment to breathe and try to move beyond the stress of relocation. Give your teammates and employees the same treatment, especially if they have called the old location home for quite a while. Just like when you move houses, changing up your office space can be both exciting and hard to process at first.

In the first few days of operation, make an effort to be positive and to improve office culture. Your entire team has been through a lot, so make sure everyone feels appreciated. The relocation will be much easier if you lead by example and treat the new space as a beneficial and necessary step forward. Ask your employees what they want to see in the office and try to make it happen within your means. Make sure to create excitement, give regular updates, and involve your people throughout the whole process!

Key Takeaways

A business relocation plan is no easy job. It may involve dozens upon dozens of tasks and cover thousands of items, even in the case of a small business. However, the more thorough you are, the easier the move is likely to be. Laying the right groundwork is essential to success. When you’re considering a move or getting ready to relocate, make sure you do the following:

1. Draft a relocation plan including your desired area, your needs and wants, and how long you plan to stay.

2. Consider many different types of spaces for your new office, including ones you may never have decided to tour.

3. Create a tight budget and finalize your office relocation project plan weeks before your moving date.

4. Set yourself up for success by reserving elevators, setting up the internet and completing other small tasks before you start moving.

5. Install equipment and clean the new space as soon as possible to be able to reopen as soon as possible.

6. Treat the space like home and make sure to take a little time to relax.

Don’t forget about moving insurance, which is actually a must-have for many businesses. Cleaning up your last office location is another task you should have on your list. Really, any office move is a stressful experience, but if you equip your team with a comprehensive office move plan and have a thorough checklist in place, you can make the entire process more pleasant and efficient for everyone involved.

Download the Checklist for New Offices

Fill your space the right way with this supply list.

The Checklist for Your New Office

Whether you’re moving into your very first office or changing from one facility to another, most businesses will have to deal with the hassle of relocation at some point in their lifespans. Even the idea of moving can be stressful, but with the right planning, you can make the process a breeze. Setting up a new office can even act like an effective test of your business planning capacity, requiring you and your colleagues to mobilize your budget management , design and visualization skills to incorporate all of your essentials into one ideal workspace.

The new office setup checklist won’t work perfectly if you decide to leave it to chance. Solving sudden problems on the fly is an exception to this rule, but careful planning will only serve to make everything easier. Every office, from small spaces to startups to established offices, can benefit from planning ahead. Use this checklist to make the entire process — from choosing a security system to completing finishing touches — as easy as possible.

Picking a Location

While you may already have your ideal future location in mind, remain open to new possibilities until you sign your lease or ink a deal. You never know when the perfect space might come along. It’s suggested that you do your research and check out the area both online and in person. Look into safety concerns like crime rates and law enforcement, wellness factors like walkability and access to amenities, and business perks like proximity to clients.

Prioritize the health and safety of your employees — even if one location might be cheaper, consider the area as a whole before you commit to a lease. While picking your new location, don’t forget to consider other aspects of your business. Newer businesses could move into a coworking space instead of a traditional office building. Moving into an up-and-coming neighborhood could make your office look savvy and smart without much effort. Location, after all, is the reason why you’re planning to move. Make it count.

Managing Security

In the midst of the hectic moving process, many new managers forget that they need their new office to be a secure place. After all, moving is a perfect chance to install security measures with little downtime and relative ease. At the same time, consider internal security. For example, you need to decide between separate offices or divided desks. Most startups also share office space, so think about enacting security measures for an open, shared office, including locked cabinets and strong passwords.

The best way to accomplish total security in a modern office is with an access control system, which allows you to assign badges to all of your employees and monitor their access to certain amenities, including conference rooms and elevators, using card readers. If you are renting a space or just sharing a coworking office, you might not be in charge of the building’s access control, meaning that you need to seek approvals and permissions from the building manager. In contrast, you might be able to equip your rented or self-owned space with electronic access control and manage it all from your own central network. Choosing the right doors and locks, organizing alarms and detectors, and assigning proper access levels will help you serve the needs of your team while keeping your space safer. The good thing about modern security is that it’s incredibly smart, so you won’t have to worry about installing complex systems — in many cases, you can rely on a mobile app.

Optimizing Access Control

When managing security in your new office, you need to think ahead of any security issues, including burglary and natural disasters like fires. While they are worthwhile investments, nearly any camera or other alarm input can be deactivated, and a single locking mechanism can be broken if used as a standalone safety measure. In these cases, there is human factor that accounts for security breaches and information leaks. Access control systems allow workplaces to find an all-around solution to their safety needs, serving as an umbrella of multiple security devices that help to maintain safety within the premises. Access control also helps to protect valuable or sensitive assets and allows you to authenticate and authorize every cardholder and visitor who walks through your office. As an employer, this give your the power to identify your the appropriate level of access for each of your workers based on their role within an organization. For example, you can control when certain employees can enter the building and who has access to assets like laboratories or server rooms.

Legacy access control requires investment in servers, wires and in-house personnel who can supervise work on the system. As opposed to traditional physical access control systems, cloud-based access control is more cost-effective as it does not entail huge costs upfront, although owners of each space should seriously consider which type of system is right for them. Cloud-based is can be scaled easily and is more flexible, sparing you the hassle of hardwired components. Moreover, with IP access control, you can entrust your security to a service provider who will overlook all the processes all year round, so there’s no need to hire a security manager.

Choosing Equipment

After you’ve dealt with security, it’s time to think about the extra components of your office. Think workstations, internet, and furniture and decor. These are the basics for offices of any size, and they shouldn’t be chosen last-minute. Consider what, exactly, you’ll need for your space, both for business and for employee satisfaction. Make sure you have at least the basics in your kitchen, plus perks like vending machines and a dishwasher. You should have both private office space and communal areas for collaborative work. Furniture should be well-made and designed to work with your office’s layout and design style. Visualizing how a typical day or week at work would look like is a helpful exercise to use when deciding how to fill your space with equipment.

One of the most important resources to immediately check off of your office setup plan is setting up your internet connection. Establishing internet is the easiest way to get your workspace back online without too much interruption. Necessary physical technology most often includes phones, a fax machine, copiers, shredders, projectors, computers and servers. If you’re working with a limited budget, you should only include the essentials and avoid investing in larger equipment. It might be wiser, for example, to outsource printing, copying or faxing services to an external provider. To save money, especially in coworking spaces, you can try a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy. You should also invest in software such as anti-viruses as well as various applications needed to run your business. Office supplies like stationery and pens should also be stocked before you open your doors.

Sample Checklist for Small Offices

The small office set up plan is a challenging task, but with a bit more attention to detail, you can turn your new space into a functional and pleasant workplace. Pay attention to these details:

  • Decide whether to rent or lease equipment and services to save money and space.
  • Design a smart office layout, including steps like placing team members as neighbors and providing equal access to certain communal amenities like files and the kitchen.
  • Maximize the potential of the floor plan by examining each separate areas. Include a small reception desk instead an entire area, meeting tables instead of conference rooms and kitchen space that can possibly replace a conference room when there are no free ones.
  • Remove unwieldy furniture and unnecessary IT equipment that will only take up extra space and make planning harder. Really think this part through — it can impact your office for years to come.
  • Maintain safety and security standards by thinking about these needs in new ways. Choose ergonomic furniture, proper internal and external lighting, private workstations, fire extinguishers and a smart access control system.
  • Don’t forget about interior design choices. Make sure you have a consistent style throughout your space, which will be better for both your employees and visitors.
  • If your office is animal-friendly, think of how this policy might affect the daily work of your employees in such a small space.
  • You can cut down a long list for a small office set up by paying attention to what you can do by yourself and what is best left to others.

Sample Checklist for Startups

A startup office needs to be able to respond to rapidly changing needs. Launching a new business in a real office comes with plenty of risks, mostly due to space and budget constraints. Pay attention to these details:

  • Understand if you own or lease your workspace. Be wary about signing a multi-year lease, especially if you anticipate rapid growth.
  • Consider coworking, which is good for startups that want a formal space, but don’t need a great deal of room.
  • Think ahead about working from home and if this will mean you will implement a BYOD policy. Requiring your employees to provide their own device can reduce costs and make remote working much easier.
  • Look into what, if any, alterations can be made to the decor and design of your rented space.
  • Decide if you plan to work with your building’s wireless network or if you plan to install your own servers, which can increase internet speed, security, and fidelity.
  • Plan ahead for security, including how you might implement an access control system if you do not already have one installed in the building. Security is incredibly important for startups, which often deal with sensitive information or plans.
  • Budget for high-quality furniture, office supplies and stationery. Purchase only what is necessary and rely on renting for pieces that you cannot yet afford or can easily be unloaded on an outside contractor. Vendors should be arranged for everything from staples to snacks to copiers.
  • Make sure your space is ready for visitors. If you plan to bring investors or members of the media inside, their experience will be crucial in how they view your business, so make sure you have solid, modern interior design.

Sample Checklist for Large Offices

Whether you’re part of an established corporation or a small office making the jump to a big one, moving into bigger spaces presents its own set of challenges. There are many departments and even more people in large firms, which means that space should be organized smartly and efficiently. Pay attention to these details:

  • ‍Decide whether to use separate areas for each department or to opt for a more centralized layout. Security, sociability and ease of use should all factor into this major decision.
  • Make sure there is easily accessible parking or transportation resources within your building’s vicinity.
  • ‍When it comes to choosing between open space and private offices, spend time thinking about what suits your business model more. Thankfully, it’s not black and white — you can do entirely one or the other, but you can also choose to place an emphasis on both styles of working, which might make your office feel more social .
  • Create meeting rooms for customers and partners, which can also double as conference rooms. Pay attention to the technology and design details within these spaces, which can make your business look even more professional.
  • Designate common areas where employees can interact. There are the typical spaces such as kitchens and conference rooms, but you can also install a lounge with comfortable seats and plenty of table space for a place to work away from a desk.
  • Implement an access control system and decide how it can be implemented based on the setup of the office. The more complex your layout or hierarchy is within your organization, the more layered the access to assets and information will have to be. However, even complex offices can be given access control without much difficulty.

Taking the Next Step

Although moving into a new space can be stressful under even the most ideal circumstances, the benefits of a move often outweigh the drawbacks. Small businesses and startups can benefit from the professionalism and legitimacy that an office space provides. Larger offices, meanwhile, can completely reinvent the boring layouts that are favored by tradition, but not by employees.

Finally deciding to move from your current space to a new one is a tough decision that ensures more work on your end, but planning ahead properly will only make the undesirable parts of this process easier and less stressful. Before you move, make sure that you’re relocating to the best possible space, that you are sticking to a reliable budget, that you have a plan for when you arrive, and that you are ready to reopen as soon as possible. With a proper checklist, moving is no longer a hassle — it can be a positive experience.

Download the Office Cleaning Checklist

Our chat with Managed by Q, summarized in one downloadable list.

10 Modern Startup Offices

10 modern startup offices you have to see to believe.

These startups are not only taking the New York and the U.S by storm, their startup offices are making a splash in the design world. Whoever said cubicles and white walls are elements of great design could not have been more wrong. It takes creativity, ingenuity and great taste to make any space modern and great. Not only are these startups revolutionizing their particular industries, they are also taking their office design and decor to the next level.

Projective Space

Projective Space Office

Projective Space is among the trendiest coworking spaces in NYC . It features high ceilings, dark hardwood floors, open spaces, and lounge areas that create a homely and comfy feeling. What makes this coworking space so innovative is their minimalist and urban details – when you are at their space, check out their keyless office access .

Intent Media

Intent Media Office

This relatively young company took New York by storm in 2009 and has become a leader in retail media and commerce advertising. What is special about their office is the open concept design. Their minimalist design and attention to industrial details makes this space truly unique.

The Farm Soho Loft Office 1

As its name indicates, The Farm is a rustic oasis in NYC. This co working space truly stands out thanks to its thematic accents. The barn inspired doors, and wood furniture give this space a rustic feel. If you want to leave the city without stepping outside of Manhattan, this is the place to go.

Styleseat Office 1

Styleseat makes looking your best easy and effortless. Their mission is to make beauty experts accessible with a click of a button. Their focus on beauty greatly translates into their San Francisco office. Open space is beautified by wood beams and a slick glass balcony. The office is also decorated with plants and wood beams to create a warm and natural feel.

NYC Awesome Office

Awesome is among the top design agencies in NYC. This great space features modern glass offices, minimalist furniture, high ceilings, and industrial elements. Its emphasis on minimalism and attention to architectural design and human centric technology makes the office truly beautiful and an eye-pleaser.

Kargo Office 1

Kargo’s combines seamless experiences with brand advertising to create one of the best marketing platforms. Their focus on interactive user experiences translate into their startup office design. The strategic use of orange in different parts of the office matches their logo and their website’s color scheme.

Bark & Co

Barkbox Office New York 1

Bark & Co’s love for dogs goes beyond providing them with treats, and dog-friendly vibe translates in their relaxed and friendly office atmosphere. Their white furniture along with gray and red accents exudes a contemporary atmosphere. Plus the spacious kitchen and open layout makes it a great startup office to work .

Skycatch Office 2

In the span of 2 years, Skycatch has become a leader in drones and robotics. Aside from dominating one of the most innovative and forward thinking industries, this company also dominates in office design. One of the most distinctive aspects of its office is its pops of color. Unlike other startup offices whose main color scheme are neutrals, Skycatch truly takes advantage of vivid colors such as yellow, green, and blue to brighten the office and its co-workers.

Harry's Manhattan Office 2

Harry’s is a delivery service selling top of the line razors. With only a few years in the market, this newcomer is disrupting a 30 billion dollar industry. And guess what? Their office is also creating some buzz in the interior design industry. I mean, how can you not want to work at their beautifully renovated Soho loft, where their office features repurposed brick walls, high ceilings glass wall, and modern furniture.

Download the Basics of Office Security

Professional insights on how to secure your workplace.

Tips for a Trouble-Free Transition

Planning an office move is both exciting and stressful—and if you’re an office manager, it’s probably more stressful for you than almost anyone else. Whatever your company’s reason for moving (whether it’s to relocate to a more convenient locale, or to scale the org up or down), the task won’t be a small one. And the breadth of factors to consider can become even more staggering when you’re constrained by a tight budget and/or a time crunch. Luckily, we have a few tips that’ll make your move as frictionless as possible.

Get the Timing Right

Having a sizeable buffer of time before the big move is the key to making the transition less of a hassle. Unless you’re moving into a turnkey, pre-furnished space, you’ll want to start the moving process four to six months before your projected move-in date. We recommend that you pick a convenient time six months in advance—a good rule of thumb is to choose a 2-3-week period in which there are no big client or board meetings and no important deadlines. Check in with stakeholders from each team to find a window of time that everyone can comfortably plan around.

Pick the Right Moving Company

Because there’s so much more that goes into relocating a business than a residence, you’ll want to err on the earlier side when it comes to hiring movers. Aim to hire one to three months in advance, depending on the scale of your move.

Before contacting movers, determine your budget and the type of moving services your business will need. If convenience is king, you may want to look into experienced full-service movers who will take care of everything for you, including packing and unpacking. SMBs in expensive markets like New York City , where office space can cost up to $80/square foot, might prioritize being economical and prefer to get as much done in-house as possible. For this, consider project-based office relocation services.

Once you hire movers, you’ll want to provide them with detailed layouts and floor plans of both your current and your new office as soon as possible. And because you’re better off safe than sorry, take the necessary precautions: Request the movers’ insurance information in advance, and ensure that the floor and walls will be protected to avoid damage during moving.

Communication is Key

The move should interfere with productivity as little as possible, so you’ll want to let employees know about it well in advance. Communicate all crucial details of the move to everyone at the company, so they can take the necessary steps at their leisure.

You should also involve IT team members when touring viable office spaces, as they’ll need to assess the new space and make sure that all the right infrastructure is in place to accommodate your business’s technology. You don’t want to be locked into a lease when you realize that a space isn’t right for your company’s tech needs.

Optimize for organization A big move presents a great opportunity to do a little spring cleaning. When packing up the office, throw away any old materials that are no longer necessary—when unpacking, your future self will thank you. Ditching the nonessentials will make you more efficient, thereby making it easier to stay organized.

Other organizational tips include labelling or color-coding all your boxes, so that you aren’t stuck trying to remember what goes where in the new space. Employees can write their names on their boxes for movers to match to a seating chart and place in the correct spot—this will help avoid a frenzy of people looking for their belongings.

Get up-to-Date

You’ll want to get in front of updating your address information well before relocation, so that you’re not getting mail or clients showing up to your old address. Update your Google business listing at least three weeks in advance; if you’re not eligible to verify changes by phone or email, you’ll need to verify by mail, which can take up to two weeks (and we always recommend building a buffer for those just-in-case situations!) Make sure that any other directories, in which your business is listed, get updated as well and that all clients are notified. Additionally, as soon as your lease terms are squared away, start updating your printed materials—business cards, sales collateral, and anything else with the company address on it.

Above all, make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to prepare for any unexpected considerations that may arise, and that you’re communicating with stakeholders along the way. Though this process may feel overwhelming, our tips above will set you up for a stress-free move. ‍

SquareFoot is a commercial real estate technology firm dedicated to finding the perfect office space for businesses as they evolve. Based in New York City, SquareFoot uses smart tools to aggregate listings throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The Ultimate Guide to Office Operations

Featuring expert advice from office managers & tech specialists.

Office Manager During a Move

When companies have outgrown their space and take on an office relocation project , it is common to hire a project manager. But when the move is complete, who is left to take on daily office operations? Who coordinates with building security and schedules office cleaning services? What about planning weekly happy hours? Catering daily lunches?

Keeping the office running smoothly during a period of rapid growth is no easy task; having a dedicated office manager to ensure the coordination and preservation of your company’s culture , technology, and security is crucial.

Marcie Kowalski , Head of Global Facilities and Real Estate of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC , is a distinguished professional with years of experience in facility and operations management. She has vast knowledge of what it takes to grow companies in everything from real estate and property management, to company culture and technology processes.

Currently, Kowalski is in charge of finding locations, hiring staff, and building out policies and procedures for her rapidly expanding organization. According to Kowalski, owning such an important part of the business includes “negotiating deals with real estate brokers, project managers, architects, construction managers, and engineering firms.”

Although this may seem like a lot for one individual to take on, Kowalski doesn’t believe in outsourcing project managers or office managers, as it isn’t an accurate reflection of the culture the company is looking to foster. Having someone who “lives and breathes the culture every single day,” is critical to growing and integrating the company culture into every aspect of the business, Kowalski says.

It’s safe to say that Kowalski is an office management rockstar. She’s the heartbeat of the company: she is constantly working both behind and in front of the scenes to ensure her company is running smoothly. She’s a champion of the office culture, a promoter of a positive work environment, and an advocate for great technology.

With the help and insights from Kowalski, we’ve put together 3 tips for office managers who are looking to be a company rockstar.

Tip 1: Be Adaptable and Agile

At a growing startup, change is inevitable; you’re constantly hiring, moving offices, adjusting your culture, adopting new technologies, and so much more. Owning such a large part of the ever-changing atmosphere at a company requires office managers to be able to easily adapt to new situations and be agile in their task management. There’s no doubt it’s a lot for one person to own, so being organized and having good critical thinking skills is imperative.

Your agility as an office manager is crucial to ensuring the success of the company. Your role involves so many areas of the business – operations, facilities, human resources, IT, culture – so being able to quickly pivot from a task in one area of the business to the next will allow you to tackle and own overall growth of the company.

To guarantee this success, no office manager is complete without his or her technology toolkit. For project management, Kowalski suggests Wunderlist , an app that allows you to “get stuff done” by managing your to-do lists, reminders, and errands. For visitor management, Envoy is a powerful and easy-to-use tool. Slack is a widely-used communication tool that gives office managers the ability to monitor company channels and send out updates on the company, team, or individual levels.

The key to selecting the right tools for your company is to understand the needs of your company; office management tools are not a one size fits all solution. Once you’ve established this, your use of the tools you select allows you to adapt to and complete your tasks quickly, efficiently, and seamlessly.

Tip 2: Talk to and Communicate With Co-Workers Everyday

In a startup environment where everyone is scrambling to accomplish as much as possible as quickly as possible (especially office managers), maintaining strong communication between teams can easily fall by the wayside.

Everyone from interns to managers to the CEO should be part of your communication strategy with the company, as they are all dependent on you whether they realize it or not. While you may not need to update everyone in the company on a daily basis, you should at the very least be keeping the company in the loop by letting them know of changes you are implementing that will impact their day-to-day work experience. By communicating with employees, you’re establishing expectations with your peers and ensuring that they’re never caught off-guard by changes.

Outside of communicating your efforts with the company, you should be in contact with teams within the organization that you can leverage or work alongside to streamline your efforts.

For example, IT managers and office managers are often thought to have two completely different roles when, in fact, they have many of the same job responsibilities such as office security and access management.

“It is not uncommon for an office manager to do what the IT manager does, so it’s important for them to work and communicate closely as the company grows,” says Kowalski.

Because facilities are often an organization’s largest expense that falls under the non-revenue generation category, Kowalski stressed that it’s critical to have a direct line of communication with the COO and CFO to set proper expectations. As an office manager, you are in charge of emphasizing why daily operating costs are needed and how they correlate to company growth.

Tip 3: The Office Manager’s ABCs – Always Be Considering

At the end of the day, office and facility management demands a lot from managers. When you’re asking one individual to take on such a variety of duties – from reordering office supplies to installing a new security system, to choosing a new office space, to letting the company know that lunch is being served – it’s easy to feel stretched thin and short of creativity.

To tackle this, Kowalski follows the ABC principle: “Always Be Considering.” For her, everything is an opportunity to spark a new idea for tackling her job in a fun, creative way. “I can go to Starbucks, be staying at a hotel, or be reading a magazine, and something may catch my eye and trigger inspiration. I’ll think ‘Wow, I can apply this to my office.’”

Not only is Kowalski always learning from her day-to-day role at her company, she’s following the ABCs to optimize the impact she has.

When Kowalski has time to do some proactive learning about office management, however, her favorite reads are:

  • Space Planning Basics
  • Architectural Digest

Being an office manager is an ever-changing role, especially in the startup environment. You have hundreds – if not thousands – of job duties, many of them invisible to the average employee. During an office move, your responsibilities are multiplied and the impact of your actions are magnified. By remaining adaptable and agile, open to communication, and mindful of the inspiration around you, you’ll establish yourself as the badass office manager who’s running the show.

Interior Design for Office Moves

Thomas Jensen’s clean office interior aesthetics, with his emphasis on open windows, airy, shared workspaces, and shafts of light, define JIDK ’s approach and the firm’s goal of creating “happy and bright offices that are healthy for people to work in.” Jensen has been working with the restrictions of NYC real estate landscape, since 2008, to help improve the offices of major tech companies and entertainment startups. As a middle man and communicator, Jensen is concerned with ensuring smooth office relocation process for his clients.

Placemeter Office Space By JIDK

On a personal level, my daily responsibilities involve communicating decisions and needs. At JIDK, I am the middle person between specialists and clients where I communicate the needs of the clients and translate these needs or requests into actionable plans and details for the specialists – architects, interior designers.

He discussed the disconnect in information that affects the stakeholders during the moving office process. Jensen also shared the tips and lessons he has gained from his experience in commercial office design.

Understanding The Office Relocation Process From The Perspective Of An Interior Design Service

Office relocation typically takes about 6 months from start to finish. There is usually 2-3 months of preparation meetings, design, lease negotiation and permit filing before any construction begins. Depending on the size of the project and the condition of the site, construction usually takes about the same amount of time. After the client moves in, JIDK likes to spend about a month conducting follow ups and tweaking the site to make sure the client is satisfied.

When the client first signs on, Thomas sits down to discuss their brand identity and vision for the new space. “We meet our clients first to get to know their values and needs better. They have a good story to tell and these narratives often serves as a good inspiration fodder for us.”

Buzzfeed Chinatown Office Drawing

At their earlier stages, Buzzfeed positioned itself as an undercover detective agency, investigating and scooping on good stories and news. In response, Jensen was inspired by Kar Wai Wong’s 1950s cinematic renditions of Hong Kong offices , seen in the The Mood For Love.

The design philosophy of JIDK is simple. They take a fluid and organic design approach, which manifests in Jensen’s personal vision of an office.

Personally, I believe the office is part of a fluid lifestyle. It is not static but evolving where the office is multi functional in its needs, accommodating organically to its people lifestyle

Persado Office Space

For more tips on coworking space design , do not forget to check out our article.

How Not To Work And Why It Affects The Office Moving Process

Clients often wrongly perceive an office relocation project as a home relocation project.

“Planning an interior design strategy for an office differs from planning an interior design for a home.” He said that with moving and planning a design for a new office, there are often various factors and considerations that come into such planning. The company’s working style. The office layout. The test fit drawing of the physical office. The identity the company wants to portray to the visitors. “To believe that the process of planning for an office is synonymous to the process of planning for a house would be problematic.”

Enterprise technologies and design are unlike home technologies and design. It requires more planning and researching where it helps to incorporate new technologies early in your office design strategy. As with design and new technologies, incorporating IT and office interior design later in the process is often tricky and complicated. “Technology is often seen as an accessory but it is a tool that should be planned early on in the design process.”

Getting an expert to facilitate with office moving, too late in the process.

One area where clients often mistake: they try to research the office moving process alone, without the help of experts. The time taken to research the office relocation, in-depth knowledge and technical literature of each individual process – leasing, brokerage, architecture consulting to interior design – could otherwise have been more efficiently used for everyday business operations.

When you get an expert as soon as possible, it really helps to ease the workload and pressures of moving an office.

How To Work And Why It Matters For Your Moving Office

The ideal client is self aware of its corporate identity and new office space.

In Jensen’s experience, an ideal client would have a new office space “with great light and empty to space to work from. They would also have a strong identity of their firm, where they would know what they want.”

Outbrain Office Door

Looking at a test-fit plan is crucial to understanding your new space. As with the nature of the human eye, “there is human error when it comes to visualizing and judging an empty space so a test fit space plan is important for any interior architectural team to ascertain the amount of square footage of an office space.” Most often what happened without proper test fit of an office is: a client walks into the space thinking that they can fit a certain number of desks. The reality is they often overestimate – or underestimate – the potential of their office space.

Client knows what they want and is transparent about their office relocation process and information.

“When it comes to renovating an office, it is crucial to be transparent about the process to both the stakeholders – brokers and interior design consultants. Clients should check with brokers on renovation restrictions of their office space.“ He mused and insightfully added, “It is a matter of managing expectations of the different players.”

Parting Thoughts

Jensen ended with five tips to ensure a smooth office relocation.

  • Bring in experts early in the process.
  • Assign a project manager to be in charge of the office relocation.
  • Be realistic and transparent with the landlord and broker. Whatever your budget is, be transparent about it.
  • Use test fit and visualization.
  • Incorporate technology early in your plan.

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Process Street

Office Relocation Checklist Template

Create office relocation timeline, identify moving team, budget calculation for the relocation, approval: budget calculation.

  • Budget calculation for the relocation Will be submitted

Select new office location

  • 1 Small (1-10 employees)
  • 2 Medium (11-50 employees)
  • 3 Large (51-100 employees)
  • 4 Extra Large (101+ employees)
  • 2 Cafeteria
  • 4 Conference rooms
  • 5 Outdoor space

Hire professional movers

  • 2 Unpacking
  • 3 Furniture disassembly
  • 4 Furniture reassembly

Notify staff members of office relocation

Create floor plan of the new office.

  • 2 Marketing
  • 4 Human Resources
  • 5 Operations

Approval: New Office Floor Plan

  • Select new office location Will be submitted
  • Create floor plan of the new office Will be submitted

Arrange for utility transfers and updates

  • 1 Electricity

Plan for data and communication infrastructure relocation

  • 3 Firewalls
  • 5 VoIP systems

List all office equipment and furniture to be moved

  • 1 Excellent
  • 5 Not applicable

Dispose or sell unnecessary equipment or furniture

  • 5 Reallocate

Arrange for new signage, office stationery, and branding materials

  • 2 Business cards
  • 3 Letterheads
  • 4 Branded merchandise
  • 5 Brochures

Approval: New Office Signage and Branding Materials

  • Arrange for new signage, office stationery, and branding materials Will be submitted

Plan and execute the move

  • 1 Pack office equipment
  • 2 Dismantle furniture
  • 3 Label boxes
  • 4 Coordinate with movers
  • 5 Manage documentation

Set up and organize the new office

  • 1 Install workstations
  • 2 Arrange furniture
  • 3 Connect utilities
  • 4 Set up IT infrastructure
  • 5 Stock office supplies

Conduct a post-move audit

Completion sign-off, take control of your workflows today., more templates like this.

Tactical Project Manager

Is your company moving into a new office?

The "a-to-z" office relocation checklist, all the things that former office move coordinators wish they had known to have a smooth, efficient and stress-free move.

business case template for office relocation

Are you responsible for an office relocation?

Are you looking for resources to help you with the planning?

Do you want to make sure you’ve considered everything?

What you’ll find here is kind of unique and new.

Because here’s the thing:

The resources you’ll find on the web about moving offices tend to cover only a particular area:

For example, there are relocation checklists covering the topic of cleaning and waste disposal, document archiving, health & safety, legal or the HR aspect of the relocation …

The reason why they only cover only a particular aspect: these resources are created by specialized contractors who manage one aspect of the relocation, so as a result:

These checklists don’t cover the entire project from A to Z.

In particular, they don’t tell you what you as the moving company should prepare or do – sometimes long in advance – to ensure a smooth transition.

For example:

  • Communication: Who you need to inform and share the new address wit
  • Clearing your current premises: You may not want to take all your current equipment and furniture with you, so disposal of unwanted items needs to be planned – long in advance!
  • Labeling/Developing a good numbering system for your shipment boxes and furniture so that the movers will know where to place the items in the new space
  • Testing & Checking: During the hectic moving process, people often miss checking the new facility in-depth before fully moving in. You want to ensure all necessary services — power, gas, wifi etc. – are operating properly.

Points like these should be on an office move checklist!

Don’t you think so?

So here’s what I did:

I interviewed dozens of people who had been part of an office relocation and asked them about their experience

You know, the great thing is:

Almost anybody with a corporate job has been part of an office relocation at some point in their career.

For some, it’s just been a move of their department to a new floor or new building.

For others, their entire headquarters was moved because the team outgrew the available space, or maybe the contract wasn’t renewed by the owner.

Whatever the reason for the move, these people all have insightful stories to tell about things they’d learned from the experience and what they would do differently if they had to move offices again.

Here’s what I asked people:

“What do you remember about your office move? What didn’t go well? Do you have any tips for people with an office move coming up?”

Believe me, I got to listen to a ton of stories!

Moving offices apparently is a very emotional endeavor for people.

The interviews proved incredibly helpful and I was able to gather a ton of fantastic insights and precious tips.

Here are some examples: 

My friend Philippe was taking his startup into a new office space. The move went well except for one thing: The team discovered that, on the day of the move, the elevator in the new building was down for maintenance. They had to move all their furniture and boxes up to the 5th floor! “My legs still hurt”, Philippe said.

Technician checking elevator. Make sure to check if elevators and other facilities are operative on the day you plan to move offices

Takeaway: Check if elevators and other facilities are operating on the day of the move.

Or consider this feedback from Brenda:

US-based executive assistant Brenda shared her difficulties purging the office of no longer needed items. She wanted to give some of the old furniture to charities in the neighborhood. But without enough notice period, these charities couldn’t take the furniture as soon as Brenda needed. So she had to hire an office removal service to take care of the old furniture, which came at a significant extra cost.

Takeaway: Inspect your furniture and equipment and decide what is no longer needed. Organize the disposal process long in advance.

Want to hear another story?

The watercooler

Assistant Esther coordinated the office relocation for the charity organization she was working for. Two weeks before the scheduled move, as she was roaming the current facilities checking if the clearing activities were making progress, her attention turned to the humming noise of a water cooler, just behind the door of the finance department. “Are you taking care of this guy?” she asked the accounting team. “Oh … great you ask. We haven’t thought about that. We probably have to speak to the vendor. They may have to take the machine to the new office?”

Vending equipment or water dispensers are often managed by service providers. They need to be contacted for relocating the equipment to your new office.

Takeaway: If you are using coffee or vending equipment provided on a service contract basis, you need to ask the service provider to manage the move of the equipment to the new space. Moving the equipment on your own could be a violation of the service agreement.

As you can see, I was able to gather some really useful tips.

Ultimately, I took all the input from the former “office movers” …

Put everything into a checklist.

You can read more about the checklist here:

The A-to-Z Office Relocation Checklist

Packed with insights from former “office movers”, the checklist helps you accomplish your office move in an efficient and seamless way.

This super-detailed checklist gives you all the steps you need to consider to ensure a smooth relocation from an existing office space to new office premises. Whether you’re moving your office across town or to a new city, whether you are moving headquarters or just a subsidiary, our checklist is your trusted companion for the relocation process.

The checklist is based on a large survey of former office movers – assistants, managers, CEOs, and other employees — people who have recently been part of an office move and who have kindly shared their experience, and who have contributed lots of valuable tips and what you need to ensure and what pitfalls to avoid.

Please note that the checklist covers the general case of an office relocation. The transfer of warehouse or production facilities is not covered by this checklist.

What the checklist covers:

  • Initiating the project:  Setting up a team, gathering department-specific needs, appoint relocation coordinator …
  • Planning & preparation:  Assessing employee relocation rights, establishing key dates, setting up a budget, reviewing current furniture and equipment, organizing contractor help, identifying necessary changes to online and print content, preparing for updates of legal contracts, creating a floor plan/office layout etc.)
  • Communicating the move:  Website/social media updates, informing clients & vendors and staff, building manager etc.
  • Pre-move logistics: Office purging and cleaning, conducting health & safety assessment, dismantling of equipement and furniture, packing … etc
  • Performing the move:  Pre-move inspection, kick-off, transfer of office equipment, setup furniture and IT requipment, necessary checks
  • Post-move logistics:  Post-move inspection, return keys to former office, release web content update etc.

business case template for office relocation

More than 80 specific action steps

Included: project timeline template.

Along with the checklist, you’ll get an Excel project timeline template where you can easily plan your moving project on a day-by-day interval. Fully customizable! Share the timeline with your team and contractors and everybody will be on the same page.

Along with the checklist, you will get a project plan template for an actual office relocation project.

Frequently Asked Questions

What scenario does the checklist cover.

The checklist covers the general scenario of a company moving its entire office or parts of the office to a new location.

Does the checklist also include any IT steps?

The checklist covers necessary IT work on a high level (“Check wifi connection”, “Set up printers and copiers” etc.). As we are covering a general scenario, the checklist does not address special cases like moving a data center. Look at my Data Center Relocation Playbook for data center relocation.

What format is the checklist provided in?

The checklist comes as an Excel workbook.

How will I get access to the checklist?

Once you have made the purchase, you will get an email with a download link.

Is your payment process secure?

Yes, I am using Paddle.com, a US-based payment services provider

I have a question about the checklist. How can I contact you?

Use the contact form below to submit your question.

What if I later discover the checklist does not fit my needs?

No worries. You have a 30-day money-back guarantee. Just contact me within 30 days after the purchase date and I’ll give you a refund.

No risk for you

No-risk guarantee: You can get a refund within 30 days after purchase if you are not satisfied with the EVM Guide

Hi, I’m Adrian Neumeyer, founder and CEO of Tactical Project Manager. I have been working as a Senior IT Project Manager for the past ten years. Today my focus is to help people who manage projects — people like you! — by providing practical tips and time-saving tools.  Connect with me on LinkedIn .

Get the A-to-Z Office Relocation Checklist

Built using feedback from former office movers, this office relocation checklist is the most complete resource you can find on the web

  • Covers a full office relocation project including all major topics (planning & preparation, communication, pre-move and post-move logistics, best practices etc)
  • Built using feedback from dozens of “office movers”, people who have recently been part of an office relocation
  • With project timeline template (fully customizable)
  • Excel file: You will get an email with a download link
  • 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not happy
  • Secure payment via FastSpring, a US payment provider
  • You will get an email with a download link
  • Contact form for questions and support

This website provides a secure checkout process

Drawing of Stakeholder map

Project Management, Project Planning, Templates and Advice

  • Concise, focused guide that cuts through the clutter
  • Step-by-step instructions for creating a project plan in under a day
  • Master essential skills like work breakdowns and task sequencing
  • Real-world troubleshooting for 20 common scheduling challenges
  • Rapidly get up to speed if you're new to Microsoft Project
  • Includes glossary, support resources, and sample plans
  • Start planning like a pro
  • Get your copy today!

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Office Move Excel Project Plan

  • See a screenshot of the template

What's in the plan?

How to use the template.

  • Download the Office move plan

An Excel project plan for an office relocation

  • Acquiring the property
  • Space planning
  • Construction drawings
  • Contractor procurement
  • Contractor bid process
  • Assessing the new building
  • Install network and cabling
  • Install security system
  • Inventory of hardware
  • Fit out furniture etc
  • Packing up existing office
  • New office signage
  • New office travel, parking info. for staff
  • Post move checks
  • Training on new equipment

What you might need to add to this plan

  • Hot desk areas
  • Moving meeting rooms
  • Fitting out communal areas
  • Purchasing a pool table
  • Kitchen/refreshment areas
  • Car park access & signage
  • Move of reception & up of new

Duration and dates in this plan

How to set up your gantt chart.

  • Enter the name of your project in cell A1.
  • Enter the start date and today's date
  • Enter your name or organization in the 'PM' field.
  • Check the Settings tab and adjust the settings if you wish. We recommend leaving the default settings.

How to add new summary and sub-tasks

  • Start entering your tasks. You can add new tasks or overwrite the existing tasks.
  • Give each task a unique ID. For summary tasks use whole numbers.
  • Enter the start and end date.
  • The days planned, elapsed, remaining and overrun will calculate automatically!

How to insert additional tasks

  • Select the row where you want to add an additional task, right click and select 'Insert'.
  • Give the task the next unique ID e.g. if the previous task was 1.4 number this task 1.5. It is best practice to align the numbering of tasks in your project plan with the numbering in your Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) .
  • The Work Days Planned, Elapsed, Remaining and Overrun will calculate automatically!
  • Update the numbers of the tasks below, so each tasks has a unique ID.

Download the automated Office Move Excel Project Plan

Excel download - office move project plan (excel), marketing campaign excel project plan, example project schedule for a software development project, example project schedule for a warehouse build, acknowledgements, share this image.

An Excel project plan for an office relocation

business case template for office relocation

Home » Blog » Office Relocation Checklist: 30+ Items You Should Include

Office Relocation Checklist: 30+ Items You Should Include

January 21, 2019 by aley brown.

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Table of Contents

Office relocation.

This can be a heavy phrase for many due to the causes of said relocation.

Sometimes it can occur because your business is doing well . Other times, it can be the consequence of your business doing poorly.

For example, let’s say that your business has experienced huge growth over the last 3 years. So much growth that you can no longer produce enough of your product to meet demands, due to your facility’s constraints. This would be a great reason to relocate your office!

office relocation checklist

Another reason for an office relocation could be due to company funds. Rent might have increased for your facility, or you might no longer be able to make any profit in the geographic area where you are located.

As you can see, there are a plethora of reasons why a company might partake in an office relocation.

But no matter the reason, office relocations all have one thing in common: their importance. (Hence the need for an office relocation checklist!)

The success of companies depend on how well office relocations are conducted, so management and HR must put their full effort and brain power into making sure that they run smoothly.

A mistake in an office relocation could lead to a company losing thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars. This could be the result of downtime in production, errors in paperwork, or even lawsuits from employees on the grounds of unfair practices.

These are just a few ways that an office relocation could go south, but hopefully it gives you some understanding of why it is so important to get them right.

In this blog we will go over the 5 different areas you need to include on your office relocation checklist, and the 30 tasks involved with completing checklist. If you would prefer our template version, you can download it here.

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Office Relocation Checklist: New Space Optics

It shouldn’t be a surprise that this topic is on our office relocation checklist. This is because everyone relocating has to make sure that the space where they are moving to is ready to go, so that their business continues on strong.

So, what tasks should you include in this area of your checklist?

Well, it depends.

office relocation checklist

There are a millions reasons why an office could be relocating, and every business has its own objectives. So the tasks needed to make the new space ready for business will be different on every office relocation checklist.

We tried to take this into consideration when making a list of tasks for this section of the checklist. Here are the things we consider the most important:

  • Determining the new office headcount
  • Desks needed
  • Common areas
  • Organization of different departments in the building
  • Style/brand of the office
  • Inventory usable furniture from old office
  • Purchase new furniture if needed

This is a pretty general list, but it is a good starting point for leaders looking to develop their own office relocation checklist.

It is pretty common to add onto this list the hiring of a designer (if office aesthetic is important for your brand), and consulting with workforce planning to determine how departments should be organized, based on the growth of different teams in the future.

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Office Relocation Checklist: Technology

The most complicated of all of the sections on our office relocation checklist is technology, which is one of the most important relocation issues.

Data is sacred. Losing data or even having a security breach could have huge impacts for your business. So, it is important that your leadership team, and your technology side of the house is completely prepared for the relocation.

We aren’t tech experts, but it is pretty simple to understand what goes into relocating an office from a technology perspective.

  • Power sources
  • Backup any important files or data before the relocation
  • Develop a plan for the new office location
  • Power sources?

Here is an office relocation checklist specifically for IT professionals that provides more detail.

Office Relocation Checklist: Business Operations

Business operations refers to the people and the processes involved with leading the move. This part of the office relocation checklist mostly pertains to the high level executives at your organization, as well as the HR and organizational development teams tasked with conducting the move.

Here are the most important tasks to include on your checklist in this area:

  • Appoint a relocation committee
  • Set a timeline for committee members and executives to individually relocate to the new location
  • Develop a timeline of the relocation
  • Create a new seating and layout chart
  • Create a protocol for moving confidential and important data, equipment, etc

This section of the office relocation checklist is very important, because completing these tasks will determine the company’s ability to move the office quickly and efficiently.

office relocation checklist

Things that could also be included in this section: hiring management of the new office, conducting studies about the new locations labor pull and different market segments for your product, etc.

Office Relocation Checklist: Old Space Management

Have you ever leased an apartment and had to inventory the damages to the space after moving out?

Well, in this section we basically go over how to do this exact process, except for an office space.

Here are the things you need to do to close up shop in your old space:

  • Electricity
  • Cancel services like utilities, electricity, internet, etc
  • Remove company signage and branding
  • Hire and schedule a cleaning services
  • Return building keys, passwords, etc to the landlord or new owner

This section of the checklist is probably one of the last things you will do in the entire office relocation process. It wouldn’t make sense to hire a service to come clean the office with your workers are still in it, so make sure that the timing of all of these activities are well thought out.

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Office Relocation Checklist: Communication

This area of the office relocation checklist is all about communicating your big move to various stakeholders of the organization.

While it is important to communicate the transition to everyone, it should be noted that not every stakeholder should be treated the same way. For example, how you communicate to employees about the office relocation should be very different than how you let the press know about your move.

Here are our tasks for this section of the office relocation checklist:

  • Internal announcement to employees
  • Relocation letters to impacted employees
  • Layoff letters to impacted employees
  • External announcement to vendors, clients, government, and press
  • Send out instructions to impacted stakeholders about the moving timeline
  • Update company information wherever it is listed with new information

If you are relocating your office a large distance, you will need to be prepared to offer some or all of your employees relocation offers or severance packages. These are two completely different conversations, so make sure your managers are ready to have them both with our relocation letter template and our layoff letter template .

Another thing to consider is if your organization will be subject to the WARN Act, a federal and state law that mandates notifying the government and employees if your relocation results in a big enough layoff. You can see if you will be impacted by the WARN Act with our self assessment list here.

Office Relocation Checklist: The Final Say

Relocating an office is no small feat, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly by the involved parties. To ensure success, make sure that your business has a solid office relocation checklist.

Aley Brown

Aley is a versatile global business leader with proven experience managing high-performing teams and engaging a data-driven approach to strategies that exceed company objectives.

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