This is the third post from our “How to manage an office relocation, the stress free way” mini blog series.
If you missed our first two blogs where we set out to identify the four key stages of your move and what to consider when planning to move out of your current office building you can read them here:
In Part 3, we’re moving on to drawing up a wish list for your new premises and how to plan the space so it’s perfect for your business’ needs.
The four key areas of this stage are:
- drawing up a wish list
- appointing an agent
- planning your new space (including fit out)
- choosing office furniture
Consult on Premises and Agree Wish List
The selection of the new office is an important one, as the right premises will have a positive impact on your company’s productivity, image, culture and profitability. Agree a wish list and consider the following:
- Size of office required
- Length and type of Lease
- The preferred location
- Type of Building required and area allotted to warehouse / office space etc
- Facilities required, canteen, parking spaces
- Timescales for move
- Budget for lease
Appoint an Agent
Make sure you select an agent that you are confident has listened to your requirements and understands them. Communicate your wish list and be specific on what can and cannot be compromised on.
Space Planning and Fit Out
When selecting your office fit out company, make sure you are comfortable with the project management team as they will be liaising regularly with you. Another consideration is to ensure they understand your company values and culture, and don’t over complicate issues with unnecessary jargon.
At Cubex some of our customers have told us, especially those managing a relocation for the first time, they don’t recognise certain terminology and parts of the quotation, and design. We talk our customers through every aspect of the design and quotation, advising them of their responsibilities in terms of such things as building regulations and duty to manage asbestos (where applicable), leaving them completely comfortable with what is expected of them and what can be achieved with a new office layout.
Considerations for your new fit out should include:
- The space available for both offices and open plan areas
- Allow and plan in for any expected growth in personnel
- Consider the size of key areas like reception, board room, meeting areas, kitchen and rest rooms. Consider how many personnel are likely to be in these locations at any one time
- Location and size of staff workstations
- Location for common IT equipment like printers, photocopiers, faxes etc
- Consider ancillary items along with partitioning, lighting, storage etc think about trunking, data points, floor boxes, (even toilet roll holders can get forgotten!)
- Consider how removing or including partitions and walls effects lighting and air conditioning
- Think about how some departments need to be in a more confidential environment like HR, Accounts and Legal teams
- Consider teams and individuals that require close proximity for collaborative working, like Marketing and Sales
- Be sure to plan for adequate storage and equipment areas in order to avoid clutter and safety hazards.
Choose Your Office Furniture
Depending upon your budget you may need to consider reusing your existing furniture and adding to it. Most good space planning companies will take that into consideration when creating your layout design. Again the furniture should complement the overall design as well as fulfilling practical and comfort requirements.
Points to remember when selecting your office furniture:
- Lead times – establish the lead times for your furniture as some are made to order and can have a 4 week plus delivery schedule.
- Ensure your furniture supplier will not only deliver, but assemble the furniture, place it in situ and remove all of the packaging (you will be amazed at how long some furniture can take to assemble, and how much packaging is involved with just 1 desk!)
- If you are not retaining any or all of your furniture consider finding an ecological way of disposing it. Some furniture suppliers will be happy to buy it from you and sell on, depending upon it’s condition – whilst others will break it down and recycle it) or perhaps a local charity would be glad to take it off your hands.
- Discuss the ergonomic requirements of your new furniture with your team and HR department if you have one. Buying cheaper office chairs is not always a cost effective option as staff sitting for prolonged periods of time can develop muscular problems which has an adverse effect on staff sickness levels. In fact we recently wrote a blog about the importance of sitting comfortably which included a useful graphic on the importance of proper seating. Read our “Are you sitting comfortably? The Office Chair Set Up Guide”.
Organising the relocation of services
With stages one and two safely under your belt, we turn our attention to the relocation of important services such as your Information Technology (IT) and the consideration of new service providers. Jump to our fourth post “A Cubex Guide: Relocating IT and setting up new services”.
If you’ve already got that covered you may be interested in the other posts in our “Moving Offices” mini series:
(part 3) A Cubex Guide: Selecting your new business premises and planning the space