How to stay on schedule during an office relocation

Monday, 2nd November 2015

How to stay on schedule during an office relocation

Many people underestimate the time it takes to relocate offices and end up stressed, over budget and behind schedule. The key to avoiding this? Planning.

We recommend reviewing your options around 12-18 months before your lease expires, regardless of whether you are renewing, renegotiating or relocating. If you’ve decided to move offices, here’s a general timeline of activity to help you stay on time and on budget.

Develop a workplace strategy: 2-4 weeks

Before starting your search for a property, it’s best to undertake a workplace strategy. This will help you define the goals of the business and understand what kind of space will support your business now and in the future. Your workplace strategy will include a needs analysis, an accommodation analysis and a location feasibility study. This process generally takes around two to four weeks.

Search for a property and lease space: 6-9 months

Finding the right space can take time, but it’s an important decision that will affect the long-term success of your business, so it’s important to be patient. Your workplace strategy will help you narrow down options for your new space.

The next steps are to:

  • inspect potential properties
  • submit offers for short-listed properties and start negotiations
  • choose your preferred property and finalise negotiations
  • conduct spatial test fits and a building evaluation
  • provide final approval and sign the lease.

 Design your space: 8-10 weeks

Once you’ve leased your property, it’s time to start planning what is required in the new premises. You should start with an in-depth briefing and a needs analysis with a design consultancy firm. Get fees from a number of design consultancy firms, preferably ones with the capacity to build. This will ensure a seamless office relocation. Once you’ve chosen your preferred company, seek statutory approvals and develop contract schedules as required.  

Delivery: 10-12 weeks

Don’t underestimate the time it will take to have all furniture and fittings delivered and installed, as well as time to set up IT and phone networks. Other renovation works like painting should also be considered in your timeline. During the fitout period, your Axiom project manager will be on-site to deal with any issues straight away and ensure everything is being implemented according to your workplace strategy.

The big move: 2-4 weeks

Planning ahead will help you minimise downtime and ensure your team can set up their workspaces and get settled in with a minimum of fuss. You’ll need to work closely with your delivery team to make sure they are moving items at a suitable time and placing them in the correct position.

Common mistakes to avoid when moving offices

When it comes to office relocations, even the smallest mistakes can make a big impact. Here are the most common mistakes we see in companies looking to move offices:

  • lack of planning or preparation, which can spell disaster for your project
  • leaving the planning too late, resulting in hasty decisions, increased costs and fewer options when it comes to service providers
  • not having a budget, or having unrealistic expectations about costs. Get quotes for everything and record all your costs so you’re informed at every stage of the project
  • not having the right team in place, leading to poor communication and expensive mistakes. A collaborative effort is required from key people in your organisation, as well as external stakeholders.

Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your office relocation needs, including the development of a workplace strategy.