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How to Move an Office Successfully

How to Move an Office Successfully

If you think moving houses is stressful, commercial moving is even more so. Not only do you have to execute the actual move, but you also have to ensure business continuity during the entire relocation process. While it's not easy, careful planning will help you get everything in order and in good time for a successful move. Before we get into the fundamentals of moving and how to move an office, let’s see how commercial and residential moves differ.
commercial movers

What is The Difference between Residential and Commercial Moving?

Residential moving relocates residential items from one house to another, while commercial moving moves different businesses to different locations. Because of the intricacies involved in moving, moving business premises requires commercial movers, while residential movers move homes. Depending on where the house is, it can be anything from a one-bedroom to a five bedroomed home. On the other hand, commercial movers move offices, warehouses, labs, gyms, and so on. Commercial movers must have the manpower, know-how, and equipment to move business appliances, machinery, tech equipment, and industrial-grade furniture. Both residential and commercial movers can disassemble, pack, move, unpack, and reassemble items at the new house of business premises. Commercial moving often has tight, strict deadlines, and a business can lose a lot of money if these are not adhered to. To accommodate this need, commercial movers are always open to working longer hours to minimize a business's downtime. On the other hand, residential movers have equipment and packing materials sufficient to move everyday household items. Similarly, most of them keep regular daytime working hours, save for long-distance residential movers that might be on the road for long hours.

Types of Commercial Moves 

Commercial movers handle different types of specialized moves. Let’s look at some relocation services.

Office Relocation

Most office relocations are straightforward. However, hiring a moving company helps mitigate some risks and potential mistakes associated with office moves. Remember that office moves in this day and age are not restricted to cabinetry and desks. Instead, most offices will also have computers, laptops, and storage devices with crucial business information. All these need to be moved and set up at the new location.

IT Equipment Relocation

IT equipment can complicate a move with its accompanying cabling, modems, and numerous other bits and pieces. Not just that, but many companies today can only do so much with a functional IT system. Without advanced planning, a company risks losing productivity and, even worse, losing valuable data during a move. Both these outcomes could be disastrous to your business. This means you need your IT equipment unplugged, transported, and reinstalled at the new premises safely and speedily.

Warehouse Moves

A warehouse move involves transporting numerous palates and crates, lifting equipment like dollies and cranes, and other medium to heavy machinery. A reputable commercial moving company will have the equipment, know-how, and manpower to disassemble, pack, transport, and reassemble your equipment at the new location.

Industrial Relocations

Industrial moving includes transporting heavy equipment. In some cases, there is also inventory and raw and finished goods to be moved. The larger and heavier your equipment is, the more powerful the moving equipment has to be. Moving companies ensure to invest in state-of-the-art equipment to enable them to handle such jobs with ease. With professional movers, everything from equipment handling to crating and packing is handled expertly.

Laboratory Moves

Labs and medical facilities call for expert relocation know-how. These moves have delicate, valuable lab and medical equipment that require specialized knowledge and training. Aside from equipment, lab and medical facilities have biological and chemical samples and substances. These are often time- and temperature-sensitive and must be moved under a controlled environment. Everything from packing, loading, transit, and unpacking must be done meticulously. Over time, professional movers will develop their own proprietary methods and tools to ensure such moves are executed seamlessly. office moving

 How to Plan for Your Commercial Move

Commercial moves have many moving parts. The entire process can be stressful, slow, hectic, and disruptive without proper planning. This is why a comprehensive moving plan is crucial to the entire process.  Here is an outline of key details you need to get squared away when moving an office.

 1. Create an Office Relocation Checklist

An office moving checklist is a detailed step-by-step road map of executing a successful move. You already know an office move begins before you physically move your items and equipment. As such, a checklist outlines all the tasks that need to be handled from when you decide to move to when you actually do. Getting this breakdown on pen and paper provides an actionable guide and breaks things down into chewable bits so the entire move looks less overwhelming.

 2. Work on a Moving Budget

If you don't identify, control and manage your moving expenses, this oversight will cost you well after the move. So budgeting for the office relocation project is crucial.  Some of the moving costs to budget for include:
  • Leasing, office design, or build-out costs for the new office space
  • Replacing old or outdated equipment and furnishing
  • Installation costs
  • Moving company costs
  • Cleaning of the new office space
  • Existing office repairs
  • Termination fees for suppliers, disconnection and reconnection fees for cable, parking,   phones, internet, and so on
  • Accounting for staff hours used in coordinating the move
  • Moving Insurance New office space signage and security systems
  • An interior designer for the new office location
 Your budget will give you a ballpark amount of how much the move will cost you. It will also help you stay within budget. Ideally, this should be on a template or other accounting software, ensure you use this for accountability and to tell when you are going off-budget. The earlier you can detect going over budget, the better placed you are to place mitigating measures to get back on track.

3. Communication

An office move requires proper communication with an organization's internal and external publics.

Internal communication

The first people that should be aware of the move are all your employees, without exception. This information can be done in one-on-one meetings or through company leaders, depending on the size and structure of your organizational structure.  Here provide reasons for the move, the new location and so on. You can later assign a point person and team leaders to oversee specific tasks of the move. Similarly, divide up, and assign different roles for individual employees so everyone knows their responsibilities. This will ensure nothing falls through the cracks.  Also, provide a deadline for when employees must have packed and removed personal belongings from the premises. A team should also be working on mapping out a detailed floor plan, obtaining parking passes, interior design, and so on.

 External Communication

This is communication to everyone who deals with your business in various capacities outside your employees. These include:
  • Notifying local partners, supplies, and affiliates of your move and how it affects your business dealings with them
  • Let customers know of the move and the new office address
  • Change your office address on your social media accounts, company website, letterheads, Google, and Yelp
  • Cancel subscriptions or move them to the new space

 4. Resolve Property-Related Concerns

Your current contract will tell you when and how to communicate your moving notice to your current property manager. You have to look at this immediately after you consider moving out. Complying with the required notice period saves you from having to pay in lieu. Another thing to do is determine if you need to conduct any repairs on the current office and create time for contractors to do the job.  As you do this, have your attorney look over the new lease and ensure your interests are protected. It also helps to have a team overseeing the new office space. They can design a floor plan before the move so you know where everything goes. After the move, they can also begin setting up office subscriptions, finding new cleaning companies, landscapers, and other services your business will need. Ensure to have someone available to hand over the current office space to the building manager, do a walk-through, hand in all keys, and sign off.

 5. Book an Office Removals Company

Central to your office relocation project plan is a reputable moving company. Using a commercial moving company is faster, offers unparalleled convenience, and is much safer for employees and your business resources. Once you have done an audit of what you will be taking and disposing of, find a company to assess your items and give a quote. Once you negotiate the cost and agree on everything else, lock in a date so you are all set for the move. best commercial movers

 How to Find the Best Commercial Moving Company 

The company you partner with for your office relocation project will dramatically influence the success of your move. Picking the wrong company can leave you stuck with hidden costs, lateness, loss or damaged items, and so on. As soon as it’s certain that a move is inevitable, one of the things you need to begin thinking and planning for is finding the right relocation company. How do you do this? Here are some pointers for your upcoming relocation.

Follow the Rule of Threes

Begin executing your office relocation project plan early to allow your business enough time to shop around. With the rule of threes, you don’t settle for the first estimate you get.    Instead, shortlist a couple of companies, and request estimates from them. There are two things to pay attention to here. The first is to get in-person estimates. This is where the companies send someone to your business to see what needs to be moved before giving you an estimate. You can't trust an estimate that's given without this being done because the amounts given can go significantly higher after the move is executed. Good moving companies will do this for free. The other thing to look at is cost vs. value. For the three companies, look at the services, benefits, and add-ons offered Vis a Vis the cost. You can identify one that delivers the most value to your office relocation project plan at the best price.

 Ask About Specialization

If you have special items to be moved to the new office, ask the companies you vet about them. Most moving companies can move basic office equipment. However, some specialized equipment and items require more targeted expertise. For example, if you are moving a lab with biological and chemical specimens and substances, it's better to use a company that has handled such moves before. Not only will they have the equipment to move items, but they will also be aware of any special licenses required. They would know of the health and safety protocols surrounding the relocation of medical laboratories.

Vet the Mover

Different industries have unique registration and licensure requirements. Companies that comply with these requirements meet industry standards, and you also have some avenues for recourse should they not deliver as agreed. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that interstate movers have a USDOT number. Regulations for instate moves differ. Ensure the movers you are considering have all their paperwork in order. Further, read FMCSA’s booklet on ''Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.'' This booklet will give you in-depth information on moving, required paperwork, disputes with your overs, lost or damaged items, and so on. Affiliations are important as well. Companies must meet certain standards to be affiliated with industry-related bodies. By going with a certified, affiliated company, you get a company that is known to uphold industry standards.

Get References

Your family, friends, and business contacts that have moved recently can suggest good companies to manage your relocation. This offers you a tried and tested options.  You can also ask the three companies you have shortlisted to give you contacts to three clients if they are comfortable doing so. You can then call or email them to find out how the move was executed and their overall experience with the mover.  If this is not possible, look them up online and try and find organic posts about the company, including news articles. Steer clear from companies with overwhelmingly negative reviews and even worse, lawsuits.


Reputable companies are very clear about their services, including billing. Additionally, they have no problem exploring what you are paying for. As you vet moving companies, pay attention to how open and transparent they are about their operations. Ask if they bill per square footage or as per the specifics of the items being moved. Also find out if charges are higher over the weekend or for bulky items. Similarly, seek to know about their postponement of cancellation policies. Depending on the timelines, you should expect to be fined for these, but a credible company will not be highly punitive. They should also be open to discussing logistical information, milestones, and other aspects of a successful move.

 Years of Expertise

There is no substitute for experience. A significant number of years of experience tells you that a company has learned the ins and outs of moving over time. It has made mistakes, learned from them, and designed systems to help them avoid industry pitfalls. As a result, experienced companies know how to do things better and faster. While trying new market entrants occasionally is okay, you do not want someone learning on the job with your lab equipment or IT hardware. A commercial move requires old hands. As you review different companies, also check how long they have been in business. This information can be obtained by calling individual companies or browsing their website.

 How Much Do Office Movers Cost

Office moving companies set their prices based on different aspects of a move. These include:
  • Per square footage
  • Number of employees
  • Number of truckloads
  • Amount and size of the material to be moved
  • Special handling requirements of items to be transported
  • Time
  • Number of loaders
  • Distance covered      
Typically, your quote will combine several factors to arrive at the final figure. So let’s look at more specific figures… Broadly speaking, moving a small office will set you back $750 to $4500, $1,500 to $9,000 for a medium-sized office, and $5,000 to $30,000+ for large businesses.  Let’s break these figures down further. Moving a 1,500-square-foot office will cost $750 to $4,500, depending on what's to be moved. So a laboratory with biochemical specimens that need temperature control will cost more than an accounting office with files and computers. Packing and moving a 3,000-square-foot office averages $1,500 to $9,000, depending on much equipment, files, and furniture you have. A large 10,000-square-foot office will average $5,000 to $30,000 and upwards for large businesses with numerous employees and workspaces to be moved. On the other hand, companies billing per truckload charge $500 to $1,500 per truckload. The final figure depends on the loading complexity, special requirements, and the number of movers. Truck rates average $100 per hour with three movers. You can get a ballpark amount for your move by multiplying this figure by the number of hours it will take to get to your new destination.  A mover billing by the number of employees in a business will charge $50 to $250 per employee. These costs include disassembling, packing, transporting, and reassembly. Other numerous moving services are not included and have to be paid for separately. These include:
  • A moving consultant to help direct the moving process, end to end
  • Long carries or shuttling items through stairwells and elevators
  • Cabling for data and data lines
  • Tipping movers
  • Storage facilities for office items, be it in controlled temperature storage, racked spaces, and open floors.The above will be billed separately. You can also request that the packing be done outside business hours or on weekends. Note that this might cost you extra.
Interstate moving companies are required by Federal Law to have valuation coverage on your items. This is typically pegged at 60 cents per pound per item. This is known as released value protection. Keep in mind that this is different from a moving insurance plan. A third party offers the latter and gives you broader coverage, including fires and natural disasters. This has to be acquired separately by the relocating business. While a moving or relocation insurance cover is not mandatory, it's a must-have if you have a lot on the line or are making a long-distance move. Usually, these covers are charged at 1% or 2% of the total value of items being covered.

Enjoying a Smooth Office Moving Process

Your business needs a quick, seamless move with as little disruption to your operations as possible. Anything less than this means a loss of revenue.  Whenever you relocate, you need a steady, highly experienced moving team with things down to a science. That's us - Evolution Moving Company. Check out our services and service areas to see what we can do for you. If you want to move offices, don’t gamble with your investment: talk to us at Evolution Moving Company today, and let's get your business to where it needs to be-flawlessly. commercial moving company

FAQs on Office Moving

When should relocation planning start?

It takes about three months to move a small office and six to eight months to relocate a large office. These timelines allow you ample time to plan, budget, communicate with relevant parties, create floor plans, and find a reputable mover.

Are moving costs tax deductible?

In some instances, moving costs are tax deductible. Use this IRS tool to help you determine if your move will be tax deductible.

Are there ways to save money when relocating offices?

Indeed there are. The most basic one is to declutter before the move. For companies that charge per truckload, it makes little sense to pay to move damaged office furniture and outdated and unused items only to discard them on the other end. You can also find out from the moving company if doing your own packing will have a percentage of the charges knocked off your invoice.


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