Office Relocation Checklist
It’s exhilarating to move into a new office—the change of scenery, better facilities, better location and all the associated increases in efficiency that come with this. In short, relocating can be a really important step in moving the business forward. However, it can also be overwhelming to manage and fraught with challenges and pitfalls.
From start to finish, the goal is to make sure operations aren’t disrupted, especially when it comes to your IT and telecommunications. The effect of settling into your new office only to find your equipment and internet service won’t be working for a few days can be very costly and reputationally damaging.
To make sure moving day goes smoothly for you, we’ve broken the big office relocation down into these 10 handy steps:
1. Create A Plan And Timeline
Most businesses cannot afford to cease operations, even for just a day. Planning and creating a realistic timeline helps reduce the impact of relocation and minimise downtime. To do so, answer the following questions:
- When do you intend to move?
- Will you need storage and/or a professional team to help you move?
- How long will moving take (including settling in the new office)?
- What do you need to move (e.g. equipment, desks, chairs, etc.)?
- What are the services that need to be reconnected into the new office (e.g. internet, phone lines) and how long will each take?
- Who will take point in managing the move?
- How much will the entire move cost you (e.g. storage, moving company, IT relocation, etc.)?
- Are there any legal issues that you need to settle?
Once you have this information, you can then create a realistic schedule, whether that’s in half a year or 12 months from now. Whatever you do, give yourself ample time to move. Remember that internet and telecommunication services often take weeks to set up in a new location, especially if you have a big company.
2. Work With Your IT Providers Before You Move
As soon as you’re set on a moving date, contact your IT providers (carriers, ISPs, tech vendors) to let them know that you’re moving. Then, arrange these details:
- Check if your ISP can provide the same internet connection at the same speed (or better) in the new area
- Check if the existing contracts can be transferred to the new office
- Schedule a site visit to look at cabling requirements, so you’ll know if there’s sufficient infrastructures or if you need to build/purchase more
- Check if your telecommunications provider can transfer your office numbers to the new location
- Introduce your office fit out company (if you’re going to work with one) to your IT providers to create an efficient and effective layout, know where the equipment will go, and how to transfer equipment safely
3. Evaluate All Your Equipment
If your IT infrastructure is outdated, this relocation provides you with an opportunity to upgrade. Evaluate office equipment by:
- Taking inventory of every equipment, looking at damages or need for upgrades
- Get rid of anything that won’t work in your new location
- Return leased equipment that you can’t take with you
- Responsibly dispose of, or recycle, broken equipment and replace it
- Double check if you have everything your new server room needs or if you need to purchase more equipment
4. Site Visit
Regular and thorough site visits will give you a better idea of everything that you need to do prior to moving. Bring your IT provider and networking professional with you to do the following:
- Check all communication requirements (phone lines, cabling, power outlets)
- Map out the ideal locations for cabling, power outlets, workstations, and other office equipment (e.g. printers, routers, etc.)
- Find out if the server room has all the requirements it needs (e.g. security, cooling, space, cabling, etc.)
- Check if need to upgrade, especially if your company intends to grow in the next 5 years, but make sure the infrastructure can accommodate growth
5. New Office Fit Out
If you choose to work with an office fit out company, make your new office suitable IT-wise by prioritising the communications and/or server room. Design it well, as this is the heart of your entire network infrastructure.
Calculate the server room area and if it can fit all equipment, cooling, and cabling requirements. Air flow should also not be obstructed. Then, move to the rest of the office and do the same. Make sure that all employees will have sufficient room to work and will have access to the internet where their desk is located.
6. Conduct Dry Runs
Test your new office and check that everything will work prior to moving day. This is ideally done about a week before relocating.
This includes your internet connection, phone lines, and other IT services that you use. Have a contingency plan in place, just in case something doesn’t go right when everyone has moved in.
If you can, schedule the move before the work week ends. This way, you can still coordinate with your IT providers on a business day, instead of waiting it out the entire weekend.
7. Protect All Data
Prior to moving, create several backup copies of all important company data. Remember that a lot of things are out of your control during the moving day itself like equipment getting damaged while in transit.
Store your backup copies in places where it won’t get damaged. If you’re using hardware, pack them properly. You can also upload backup copies in the cloud. The goal here is to make full data recovery possible, if the worst case scenario should happen.
8. Have A Moving Day Checklist
Transporting all IT equipment needs to be handled by experts. The moving company you’re going to work with should have plenty of experience handling tech and other electronic devices and would know how to transport them all safely.
Includes the following in your checklist:
- Transport backup copies of company data separate from the main moving truck. If possible, have backup copies in all vehicles to make sure that if one meets an accident, you’ll still have another backup to use.
- Label all wiring, devices, and data cables, clearly stating where each of them will go and what equipment it’s for.
- For easier organisation, colour-code equipment based on which department they’re used.
- Create a comprehensive list of everyone who will help out in the move.
- Have a ready a list of emergency contacts in case something untoward happens.
- If possible, move IT equipment first.
- Accomplish all paperwork prior to the move.
- Create and provide a detailed floor plan to the movers, so they’ll know where each equipment will go.
- Get your team involved by holding a meeting prior to moving and explain the system to be followed.
- Send a change of address notice to everyone you work with such as clients, banks, organisations, insurance companies, etc.
9. Setting Up In The New Office
In the new office, run multiple tests on your entire network once all equipment are put in their right place. Check if the phones work, if you can connect to the internet, and if you can send emails. Migrate any data that’s needed, and see if your servers are all working properly.
If possible, have your internet and telecom providers with you, so they can immediately address any issues.
10. Settling In After The Move
Orient your staff as to where everything goes and how the new office will work. Address any damages or issues, and make sure everyone can start going back to their day-to-day activities without any disruption.
Relocating brings plenty of benefits to companies. However, improper planning and execution can bring about costly mistakes.
If you want your moving day to be hassle-free for you, contact our professional IT team and we’ll make sure you’ll get the support that you need before moving when settling in.