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Everything You Need to Know When Moving Offices

February 11, 2019

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By, Richard Barker – Director and Cofounder of Talent Locker discusses his personal experience with moving offices and the information he believes everyone should have when they relocate.

Whether your lease is expiring or you’ve outgrown your first office, there will come a time for every growing business to move into a new office. In September 2018 we moved from a city-center location in Winchester to the comparably unheard-of Chandlers Ford, and we had to get this decision right. We absolutely love our new office and think all employees should get a chance to work in an exciting but cool, calm and professional office environment.

Martyn (my co-founder) and I both place a supremely high value on the importance of great people, which is probably down to having long careers in recruitment. We also put greater significance on our office choices, as we frequently work with experts in technology and specialists in workplace design. This means we’ve been frequently exposed to what it means to have a really great place to work for the past decade, and as such we knew it was time for us to step up and put our ideals into practice.

The incredibly high standards we’ve set ourselves, in combination with the extremely satisfying results of our new office mean that I’m now ready to share that experience with others who are about to go through the same process.


Location, Location, Location

It may seem like I’m teaching you to suck eggs, but the location you select cannot be underestimated. We considered several locations around Winchester, Southampton and the surrounding areas, including Chandlers Ford. One of the best things about our Winchester office was the city center location and the access that gave us to shops, eateries and local pubs, so we didn’t want to lose that. The downside of course was that Winchester is a very old city, meaning that parking is at a premium and the annual costs are unreal – we were looking at £1-2,000 per person every year.

It quickly became obvious that Chandlers Ford was a great choice of location. We have just about everything that you could want from a city center right on our doorstep but without the costs of being there. Transport links are good, we have everything from sushi counters to hardware stores, banks and hairdressers. With everything so easy and convenient, we’ve found that we are getting the best of both worlds.

So, when considering a new area, you need to take into account everything you are losing from the old location and see if you can find something similar. We didn’t want our employees to feel they have lost out as part of the move and we needed them on board to take us forward. Which also means it’s important to try and consider how the new location will impact on them and how far they’ll need to travel to the new location.


The Office Itself

When it comes to designing the office, we worked with a company called Spectrum Workplace, who specialize in this kind of project. They took on-board everything we wanted to see in our office and created something we’re very proud of. We needed an environment that was going to be professional but also fun, bright and engaging for our team. The result has been an incredible office that we enjoy working in and I’d recommend working with a specialist rather than leaving it down to your new landlord if you have the chance!

If you are expanding too fast for your current office, the biggest considerations when it comes to your new space are going to be the size of the new location and the speed of the technology that office can reasonably expect. It’s not simply a case of making sure you can fit everything in, you need to make sure the facilities match up to your requirements.

Additionally, remember to consider the people in your team and their needs. Do they need parking? Do they need a lift to reach your new 5th floor office? What you are trying to determine is what would make your office more appealing to them, that wouldn’t necessarily be considered by your competition or hasn’t been a feature of offices you’ve worked in the past.


Admin and Communications

There are certain obligations when it comes to changing location, and it’s important to update companies house, your insurance providers and any legal paperwork too. Remember to redirect your post as it’s £40 and you’ll catch anything that you happen to forget and can then just change it when you see the post arrive with the big redirect stickers on it!

Whilst we managed most of the address change admin properly, we did miss a few things like updating our address on social media, and more importantly Google My Business. These aren’t the kind of things that get picked up automatically, so luckily these have been picked up by our new marketing manager who took on this part of the move.

As part of the move, it is important to keep your team in the know and to help them by letting your clients and suppliers know too. This may mean writing a press release, emailing people, or updating them on social media. One more novel approach to doing this is to set up your emails with a footer that highlights that you are moving and links through to a blog on your website with more information.


Is Everything Ready for the Move?

An office move is all about preparing for the potential problems and pitfalls, whilst ensuring you have the capacity to deal with unanticipated issues that arise. It is important that you make a list of a set of criteria for what you want that highlights the most significant factors and facilities for you and your team. This will allow you to prioritize the site you select, which obviously makes a huge difference with what you can do to the new office.


Conclusion

As with any big project, it’s all about managing the risks, creating a robust plan and executing on the plan. You’ll probably miss something important as part of the move, but if you plan it properly then it shouldn’t be anything too damaging to your business.

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