A Facility Manager's Change Management Checklist for Office Moves

facility manager checking her clipboard

An office move can be expensive. Estimates range from $42,000 to $57,500 for a 10,000-square-foot office and are even higher for larger spaces. Proper coordination is necessary in order to avoid critical failures and ensure that your team can hit the ground running in its new space.

By using change management principles, you can be sure that a move goes as planned. Keep the following checklist of considerations in mind when you're preparing for your next office move.

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Business-critical systems

ethernet cable

Some departments require more prep time to change offices, especially critical ones that need to be constantly running like IT or telecommunications. Transferring these departments can involve additional considerations.

For instance, your company may need to back up data or contact your service providers before IT systems can be migrated.

Take note of which parts of your business need to remain active during a move, and put a continuity plan in place to account for these factors. Your plan should include testing, as IT and telecommunications will need to confirm that equipment is working properly once the move is complete.

Inventory management

computer and office equipment

Monitoring all your equipment and furniture might require robust tools, depending on the size of your office. Having a resource tracking system can help you stay up-to-date on the location of your assets and their working conditions.

With a clear record of your inventory, you can remain confident that nothing will end up misplaced or stolen, especially in cases of expensive specialized equipment.

Tracking your inventory on a granular level provides other benefits as well. You can combine this knowledge with financial data or strategic plans to inform your decision-making before and after a move.

Communication plan

group of office employees talking

An office move represents a major change for employees. Some stakeholders might be well-adapted for a move to a new floor or building, while others may be apprehensive. By setting up a reporting structure and communication plan, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page. Clear and ongoing communication will help maintain a coordinated effort for the move, and prevent mistakes during the actual moving process.

Be sure to set up a consistent channel like Slack or Trello for communicating updates, action items and any concerns that may arise.

It's also helpful to appoint change leaders—people in the office who can help keep your move plan on track and mobilize different groups during the process. Communication and reporting needs to extend to any contractors involved to avoid potential conflicts or coordination issues.

Logistical requirements

office blueprint plans

The logistics and planning of moving to a new location requires a penchant for details. You'll need to run through the process step-by-step to check that there are no red flags in the project plan. Small issues can end up wasting a lot of time and resources, so it's crucial to account for factors like employee coordination, furniture disassembly, booking loading bays and safety practices in order to keep the plan moving without delay.

With a move management tool, you can easily plan out your office's new seating arrangement and make real-time changes to account for any issues that may pop up at the last minute.

Moving offices can be an intimidating task that presents many challenges. With careful planning and proper communication between departments, you'll find it easier to reduce liabilities during the move and establish a strong start in a new office space.

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Photos: Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com, Piotr Lohunko, Marcin Czaja, Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com, ClassicallyPrinted