Just like moving from one home to another, moving offices can be a very challenging task, especially if you aren’t aptly prepared beforehand. There are several things to consider when moving to a new office location, which is why it’s a smart idea to create a detailed office relocation checklist prior to the big move. In a dynamic city like Mississauga or in the nation’s capital, Ottawa, it’s in your company’s best interest to find an all-inclusive office space that’ll suit all of your needs.
Checklist for Moving Office Premises
If you’re considering moving to a new office building to expand your business or because your current lease is about to expire, here’s a comprehensive office relocation planning guide that you might find useful.
Sufficient Physical Space
This might seem glaringly obvious, but any time you’re thinking about relocating your entire business, you need to make sure that the new premises will have sufficient space to comfortably accommodate all of your employees and clients. People don’t just need enough space to complete their work; they also need a little excess room to move around with ease and store a few personal effects at their work station with easy use of their peripheral devices.
Choosing an office that’s already fully furnished will ease a great deal of stress for you and your employees come moving day because it’s one less thing you need to worry about expensing to the company and arranging to set up. A move-in ready space is an essential component of all-inclusive office spaces in Mississauga and Ottawa and it should definitely be a top criterion for your new office location. Before the move, just make sure that all of the available office furniture is in good condition and fully functional. If anything needs to be replaced, make sure it’s taken care of before moving day.
Communications Service Providers
Prior to officially moving into your new office location, it’s your responsibility as the business owner to ensure that all communication services, such as Internet, phone, and electricity, are all sufficiently installed and in good working condition. Imagine how chaotic it would be if your employees showed up on their first day of work at their new office and nothing was working correctly. All lines for power and communication should be installed and adequately tested at least a week before the move-in date to ascertain that everything is ready in time.
During the research phase, you should find out what your options are for Internet connectivity and familiarize yourself with the Internet provider you’ll be dealing with directly. Arrange for an Internet plan that can adequately accommodate all of your employees’ individual requirements as they all play very different roles in your company. Secure and fast-running Internet services are an extremely essential part of running any modern business because they affect all business practices from wireless communications to e-mail to conducting online research to protecting sensitive company information.
Even in the age of smartphones, landline phone systems are still a mandatory amenity in modern office settings. From receptionist phone systems to personal lines, it’s important to ensure all phone lines are up and running well before you relocate your entire company to a new office building. Ask the building manager or landlord how their phone systems are set up throughout the building and whether they can make any adjustments to accommodate the needs of your business.
Free and Convenient Parking
If your old office building had convenient free parking within close proximity, then it would be imprudent to move your business to a new location that doesn’t offer this amenity. After all, it’s very likely that your employees have become accustomed to parking their vehicles for free in front of your place of business, which means it would be completely unfair to suddenly expect them to pay a daily, weekly, or monthly fee for this amenity. Even if the new office building is located in a large and dense metropolitan city where street parking is prevalent and underground parking is scarce, it’s your responsibility to try to take care of your employees as much as possible.
Taking care of your employees also entails ensuring their safety by making sure the area where they work is safe and that they’re fully protected from any unforeseen dangers. You can accomplish this by either hiring a well-trained security detail to monitor the premises or setting up a state-of-the-art IP-based security system in which employees and clients have to electronically sign in to gain access to the building.
Reliable Office Management
Before making your final decision about where to move your company, be sure to fully examine the physical state of the building to get a good idea of how thoroughly it’s being care for by the office management. If the building is old and looks dilapidated or there are a lot of neglected repairs that need to be made, this should raise some huge red flags about the poor state of the management. Ask yourself if that’s something you’re willing to deal with for the duration of your lease agreement and whether it’s something you want your staff to be exposed to and endure.
Keep in mind that older buildings, no matter how well they’re maintained, can also have internal structural problems that could pose potentially serious health issues for yourself and your employees, such as mould and asbestos. Considering you and your employees will be spending prolonged periods of time in this new office space, it’s important to take these things into account. You can save yourself a great deal on upfront costs by inquiring about the age of the building, whether there’s a cleaning staff and how often they come in, as well as whether the building comes equipped with standard amenities. Asking these questions from the beginning will help establish a strong and amicable working relationship with your new landlord.
Plan Your Office Move
No matter the size of your company, relocating to a new office building can be a daunting task. There are a lot of factors you must plan for and take into consideration before you can even begin packing up boxes full of office supplies. First, you need to consider what the possible repercussions of this move could be and how it’ll affect your employees, your clients, and your business as a whole. Second, you need to make sure that every last detail is accounted for and double check literally every little thing to make sure that you’re not forgetting anything. Generally speaking, the time between researching different office locations and the actual moving day could be a minimum of 12 months. So, use that time wisely and try to ascertain that the new locations you’re looking into have everything you need to run your business as smoothly as possible.
Choose an Ideal Location
When it comes to renting an office space in a new area, location is key. You need to make sure that the new building is located in a central area that comes equipped with convenient and free parking spaces for your employees and clients and that it’s easily accessible via public transportation for those who don’t drive into work everyday. There should also be a great deal of desirable amenities and restaurants ideally within walking distance so that your employees have interesting places to go to on their lunch breaks if they feel so inclined.
Set a Budget
Feasible office space rentals require that you set a strict budget that also happens to leave plenty of wiggle room for additional important factors you may have overlooked in the beginning stages of planning the move. No matter how meticulous your efforts are to try to consider everything, there’s always something that may come up unexpectedly or at the very last minute. Make sure you leave enough room in your budget for last minute items or expenses that you might not have thought of before, but also be careful not to go overboard with your spending. The best way to track your budget along the way is to create an itemized list of all of your expenditures and add to it or remove things from it as necessary.
Health and Safety of Employees and Clients
As part of your search for a reliable office space for rent, you should check out the history of the building. Find out how old it is and investigate how well it’s maintained. Inquire about any potential structural issues, mould manifestations, and other factors that could affect the health and safety of your employees and clients. Remember, you’re going to be spending a significant amount of time at this location so the last thing you want is to risk your own well-being and the well-being of the people who work for you.
In an effort to minimize their carbon footprints as much as possible, most modern office buildings have comprehensive environmentally friendly cleaning services in addition to offering the option of recycling goods for their occupants. Renting an office space should offer excellent energy efficiency and this is a bonus because it can help you save a great deal of money on your office expenses in the long run.
Aesthetically Pleasing Interior and Exterior
The physical appearance of your work environment matters almost just as much as the operation of your company. In fact, the first thing your existing and prospective clients will notice is how well kept the exterior grounds and interior setup of your new office building is. Choose a location that has exceptionally high standards for aesthetic beauty that comply with the image you aim to present to your employees and clients. Everything should be visually pleasing to the eye and kept clean and organized to keep your business running as smoothly as possible. All office equipment should be updated and in perfect working condition as well.
Good IT Support
Nowadays, having a reliable Internet connection is essential to running a business, especially since a lot of employees tend to work from remote locations. In some cases, businesses even outsource employees from other regions or countries to help save on costs. For this reason, it’s important to rent an office space that provides top notch IT support for businesses that rely heavily on a good Internet connection and other technological elements on a daily basis. If a piece of equipment breaks down or your Internet stops working for whatever reason, you should be able to rest assured that you have a dependable IT support team that’s available at all times to rectify the problem. This is a service that should be included in your lease or rental agreement.
The key to obtaining optimal flexibility within your lease agreement is to read through it with a fine-toothed comb before signing on the dotted line and negotiating any elements that don’t work for you. Try to avoid being locked into a long-term contract as this can end up costing you more money and eat up a great deal of your finances. Negotiate adding room for expansion, updating older office equipment, and any other points that might make sense for the growth of your company. Always keep the future in mind and remember that sometimes downsizing might even be a necessity. Make sure your lease agreement allows for that as much as it does for expansion. You shouldn’t have to pay for square footage that you’re not using.
Get Rid of Old Equipment and Unwanted Furniture
Take a detailed inventory of everything your business owns before packing it all away into boxes and get rid of anything that might be outdated or useless to your enterprise. If you’re renting an office space that’s already fully furnished, then you won’t need your old furnishings. Depending on the condition they’re in, you might even be able to sell or donate them. Not only will this save you money on the cost of having to transport large equipment from one location to another, but it might even generate a little extra profit for your company if you’re able to sell the old equipment.
Choose an All-Inclusive Office Space in Mississauga or Ottawa
Innovative Professional Offices is committed to helping your business succeed in every way possible, and we’re always available to answer any questions you may have about leasing an office space with us. All of our services and rental plans are fully customizable to meet your standards. We have a wide selection of affordable package to best fit your business needs. To learn more about our all-inclusive office spaces in Ottawa and Mississauga and how we can help you check off all components from your office move checklist, please contact us.
Photo Credit: istock.com/mavoimages