Moving offices is exciting, but it’s also really overwhelming - particularly if you’re the one in charge.
But don’t panic: we’ve distilled our office moving wisdom into a roundup of 26 serious (and not-so-serious) tips and essentials for nailing the run-up to moving, and for surviving the day itself.
Plus, we’ve made this (entirely serious and genuinely useful) downloadable office move checklist PDF covering everything you need to do from up to six weeks prior to move day. It even has check boxes so you can tick as you go and feel cool, calm and collected.
The summer of 2018 was one of the UK’s hottest ever, and offices without aircon were hardest hit. While there’s no official law for a ‘maximum’ office temperature, nobody works well when they’re uncomfortably hot. Even if you’re moving office in mid-winter and T-shirt weather seems a million miles away, think ahead: it’s far less disruptive to get aircon installed before you move in.
Don’t be stingy with the bubble wrap: screens, crockery, awards… none of these take kindly to a rough handling. Wrap them good and tight.
Liquid fuel. On move day, make sure the coffee (and water, of course), is flowing to keep spirits high.
In the long term, you’ll also want to have a good coffee machine set up in the office. Choose something robust and simple, like this automatic Jura model. And you’ll definitely need a water cooler, too. Pop your new office details in here to get a quote for yours.
Keep your water cool, too. Find me a water cooler
As office furniture goes, desks are pretty non-negotiable. Depending on what kind of office you’re moving to, they may already be provided. If not, think about whether taking your existing ones is the best plan. Are they looking a little tired, and will they fit in the new office (both literally and aesthetically)?
If not then it might be time to invest in some new ones, rather than paying to move the old ones. We love this simple Ikea desk which can easily be raised so you can work standing up. Very cool. Very millennial.
Whether you're a sitting-downer or stander-upper, Ikea have you covered with the SKARSTA desk
Most offices have a pretty plentiful supply of plug sockets, but it’s a good idea to have a few extension cables to hand in case. Just make sure you don’t overload them.
When you’re disassembling any office furniture, you’re going to end up with a handful of screws and bolts that you really don’t want to lose. Have a stack of freezer bags on hand. That way you can keep all the smaller parts in one place and tape the whole bag to the main bit of furniture, all ready to be assembled at the other end.
Because getting lost or stuck in traffic en route is the last thing you need...
Health and safety
If you’re going to get your staff involved in the moving process, make sure you’re aware of your health and safety obligations as their employer. Common moving injuries include strained backs from lifting incorrectly, and injured toes from dropped objects. Make sure everyone knows how to carry items safely, and nobody is carrying anything above their means.
For your office move to be as efficient as possible, you’ll want your team to be up and running in the new location asap. Nothing puts the brakes on a business like a lack of internet, so get yours sorted well in advance of move day.
‘I love pressing F5 - it’s so refreshing!’
That was less of a moving office essential and more just a tech banter interlude.
Moving swiftly, on to K...
Does an office upgrade justify a kettle upgrade? We think so.
This Bosh model will keep water at the desired temperature for 30 minutes, and has settings below boiling for those who prefer a herbal tea.
This Dualit model a) looks really rather smart and b) is one of the fastest and quietest around, making for the stealthiest of tea breaks.
"Stick the kettle on" will inevitably become your office move mantra
When moving office, most people spend too much time worrying about getting stuff out of A, and not enough time thinking about where it should all go in B.
Don’t be like most people.
Make sure you know the dimensions of the room(s) you’re moving into in advance so you can sketch out a plan of where to set up desks etc. when you arrive. It will save you lots of time and rejigging of heavy items.
In the run-up to move day, keep your office move checklist taped somewhere visible so you can watch your progress and feel on top of everything.
Having the right mindset for your move is key. No matter how well you plan, there will be some bumps in the road. There will be hiccups and hurdles, but the trick is to prepare yourself for them.
Remember that, so long as nobody injures themselves, the only negative impact can be money lost. So prepare to lose some, and keep it all in perspective.
Neat and tidy
That’s how you’ll be expected to leave the premises you’re moving out of. Make sure you have cleaners booked to come in after you’ve cleared everything.
It’s how you’ll want your new office to stay, too. That’s why it’s important to organise for regular commercial waste disposal prior to moving in. Fill your details in here to get a tailored quote.
Okay, if you haven’t got this part sorted yet then you’re a bit ahead of yourself. Check out our advice on choosing the right office space for your team.
More space calls for a better all-in-one printer. If you’ve been working from a serviced office, you might not currently have your own anyway. Check out our roundup of the best office printers on the market - you can buy them outright or lease them for a small amount each month.
If you’ve upgraded to a bigger building, this is the perfect time to plan for a bit of ‘quiet space’ in the office. Somewhere a bit cosy, where people can sit to concentrate on a particular task, or take a quiet moment away from their desk. And somewhere for you to sit and pop all the bubble wrap, of course.
The modest but much-loved 'quiet corner' of the Expert Market office
Hiring a team of pros certainly has its appeal, but it doesn’t come for free. Decide whether it’s worth it for your situation, or if you can get the job done easily enough with your own team and a van. It’s completely up to you.
For disassembling furniture, gesturing dramatically, and carrying around confidently like you know what you’re doing.
A couple of weeks prior to move day, send your IT team in to get the new office telephones all wired in.
Again, this might be the time to look at your current setup and assess whether it’s still your best option. An expanding team moving to a bigger space needs a telephone system to match. Modern office phones do a lot, and cost surprisingly little. Get a quote for yours by filling in this short form.
If your telephone number is changing, be sure to communicate this to all the right people: customers, suppliers, contractors etc.
In terms of utilities, what was best in office A often won’t be cheapest for office B: get a business energy quote in the weeks leading up to your move. Have an old bill to hand so you know how much energy you use in a typical month.
On move day, take meter readings in both premises and update your old and new suppliers accordingly.
And while we’re on U, don’t forget to update your website and social media with your change of address (and phone number, if applicable). The same applies for business cards, letterheads and any marketing materials.
If you decide on the DIY moving option, you’re going to need a van. Try to pack it as evenly as possible, and put heavier items on the bottom. Make sure you have a permit to park in front of both offices so you can easily pop back and forth.
Or, if you’re a business which has a fleet of vehicles to get from A to B, now is the perfect time to look into getting a vehicle tracker. They’re super easy to set up, and you’ll reap the benefits long after you’re all moved in.
They say many hands make light work… but also that too many cooks spoil the broth. If some/most of your employees can work from home on move day then they should, and make sure this is prearranged so it runs smoothly.
You’ll definitely need some help, though - how much just depends on whether you hire a removal service or go it alone.
We call that a photocopier on this side of the pond! See above.
Because it’s the best. Hands down. Don’t move in without it.
What you’ll be doing come 9pm on move day! Moving office is hard work and can be stressful, but plan ahead and it will all be worth it in the end.
We really hope you’ve found this list helpful, and don’t forget to download our office move checklist to track your progress and make sure you don’t forget anything.
Have you moved office before? Do you have any top tips? Anything you couldn’t have done it without? Tell us your experiences in the comments below!