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Week-by-week office move checklist

Prepare for your office relocation up to 24 weeks in advance with a move checklist.Start by defining the scope of your project and allotting a move budget.

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An office move is a huge project made more complex by an often inflexible deadline. From setting a schedule to selecting vendors to engaging employees and protecting your equipment, there’s a lot to be completed for a successful transition. Here is a detailed week-by-week checklist to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

24 weeks before

  • Define scope, identify resources, assign roles.
  • Establish preliminary move budget.
  • Complete space programming and determine business unit move sequencing.
  • Set move date and develop master schedule.
  • Order/procure long lead items (furniture, IT, telephone & network circuits).
  • Determine change management messaging.
  • Contract with supplemental consultants as needed.
  • Create office contents inventory and determine disposition plan.
  • Match existing furniture to new office layout and supplement with new.
  • Refurbish existing furniture as applicable.
  • Confirm delivery and installation of procured or refurbished items.
  • Collaborate with IT to incorporate their needs into master move plan.
  • Coordinate relocation of printers, MFDs, vending and appliances.
  • Identify preferred vendors.
  • Prepare RFPs with defined scopes of work as applicable.
  • Conduct pre-bid building tours and policy and procedure briefing.
  • Confirm damage claims and damage repair procedures.
  • Level bid responses and make vendor selection.
  • Obtain Certificate of Insurances from all vendors.
  • Introduce move team to associates and define communications protocol.
  • Create master move to and from move matrix.

16 weeks before

  • Identify business unit move coordinators.
  • Chair weekly move meetings.
  • Confirm security and safety procedures.
  • Confirm adequate parking at origin and destination and identify challenges.
  • Get artwork appraised and obtain additional insurance.
  • Create file mapping plan.
  • Begin purge and recycle campaigns.
  • Maintain old phone number with recorded message for minimum of six months.
  • Consider wireless network as backup networking plan.
  • File change of address forms with post office, vendors, clients, subscriptions, etc.
  • Order updated business correspondence materials.
  • Procure new security at destination.
  • Arrange for each department to have a floor plan of the area in the new facilities.
  • Arrange tour of new facilities for key personnel.
  • Schedule dates for the dismantling/reassembling of special equipment.
  • Prepare employee welcome packets and “how to” instructions.
  • Conduct move orientation meeting with associates.
  • Schedule elevator service in old and new locations.
  • Confirm master move plan aligned with completion of construction.
  • Finalize move logistics with all vendors, meet floor supervisors, obtain cell phone numbers and confirm escalation procedures.
  • Finalize floor plans and confirm names to seats.

8 weeks before

  • Arrange for the relocation/reuse of artwork, chalkboards, whiteboards, etc.
  • Confirm access to facilities to all applicable personnel.
  • Distribute move communications packets to each employee.
  • Color code all furniture and equipment on floor plan of new facilities.
  • Place individual room layouts on each office door for quick reference by installers.
  • Mark, tag, and color code every item to be moved making sure high dollar items are photographed for possible use in damage claims.
  • Confirm color code labeling on contents and signage matches move sequencing plan.
  • Arrange air conditioning in remain operation during the move.
  • Confirm communications between old and new locations established.
  • Assign someone to pack and label contents of absent employees.
  • Assign individuals to pack and label common use areas.
  • Arrange delivery of packing crates and materials one to two weeks prior to move.
  • Arrange for the distribution of parking and building access passes.
  • Develop “punch list” of items to be completed by the contractors/suppliers.
  • Confirm Certificate of Occupancy and other permits obtained.
  • Arrange day one breakfast or lunch.
  • Conduct a final prep meeting with supervisory team and vendors.
  • Coordinate plant pickup and delivery.
  • Distribute packing instructions and employee check-out list.
  • Assign staff to unpack and restock supply cabinets, storerooms, file rooms and remove tags from all furniture and equipment post move.
  • Arrange for post-move cleaning.
  • Confirm property management has notified other tenants of move dates and times.
  • Confirm loading dock, elevators and building ingress/egress scheduled.

1 week before

  • Confirm employees’ work areas are in order and organized and schedule and assign work tasks for day one Help Desk.
  • Confirm everything labeled appropriately at origin and destination and all office contents ready for transfer.
  • Put up temporary directional signage, placards, workstation/office numbering and identification and post furniture plans/configuration where appropriate to aid in installation in the new facility.
  • All keys to desks, file cabinets, etc. should be wire tagged and labeled and placed in a safe place. Tape keys to empty desks and file cabinets. Make sure you have duplicates and masters.
  • Disconnect specialized equipment relocating.

Moving day

  • Protect elevator cabs, lobbies, walls and floors against damage from moving.
  • Staff origin and destination to provide direction to movers and vendors. Record start time and number of movers.
  • Check inventory as contents are loaded into each moving van/truck.
  • Complete check out list per employee; collect old keys and distribute new.
  • After the last moving van is loaded but before it leaves; walk through the facilities to search for anything left behind. Look in elevator lobbies, hallways and offices.
  • Carefully read the bill of lading before you sign. It is your mover contract. Keep it with you until everything is delivered, charges are paid and any claims have been settled.
  • Walk entire destination floor and verify that everything is in order, fully operational, clean and ready for day one operations.
  • Inspect every filing cabinet to ensure it is balanced and safe to start loading.
  • Setup, connect and test every computer as soon as possible and confirm printing and network mapping complete and fully tested.
  • Indicate on mover’s inventory any damaged boxes or items before you sign anything. This is necessary to process any claims.

Post move

  • Staff Help Desk with all applicable trades such as IT, movers, furniture to insure all go-live operational issues are logged and addressed fully.
  • Have a new phone list and map showing location of departments on each person’s desk when the offices open for business.
  • Confirm when you call your old telephone number, a recorded message or an operator gives out your new telephone number correctly.
  • Reconfirm end of lease obligations at old location fulfilled.
  • Confirm the proper completion, delivery and installation of all items on both the construction and vendor punch list.
  • Audit final invoices against contracts and progress payments and pay retention.
  • Complete and file all warranty information for all new furniture and equipment.
  • Update fixed asset accounting system for any new furniture and equipment purchased and or disposed.
  • Identify empty crate staging area with temporary signage and extract crates as necessary.
  • One week after move, arrange pickup of remaining crates.

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