So, it’s nearly time to move. Your current lease or co-working contract is ending and you’re beginning the search for your team’s next space.
You could be after a new location, more space, or perhaps it's just about time you had your name on the front door.
Whatever your reason, the search for a new office is a complex and time-consuming process often littered with obstacles – so where do you start?
Before you even begin the search itself, you'll need to get planning. Here are a few key things to make sure you cross off your list.
1. Understanding your goals and needs
At the beginning of your office search, it’s important to establish what your business needs from the workspace. The role of the office is shifting, but every company will have a different version of what that looks like.
Start by working out why it is you need a new space. It could be as simple as a new, convenient location, or a more strategic rethink of what a productive environment now looks like for the business.
By mapping out what the business goals are in the short and long term, you’ll start to get a clearer picture of what you need from your next workspace, and that will help you set your criteria for the move.
2. Consulting your team
That brings me on to my next point, which is to consult your team. Obviously, you won’t be able to meet everyone’s individual needs, but it’s important to consider the preferences of your team before beginning your search.
If the majority will find it difficult to travel to the new location, or don’t feel that they need a fixed desk space because they get most of their focus work done at home, then this will need to feed into the criteria you set.
One way to streamline this process might be to conduct a workplace survey. This will provide you with the relevant feedback that may inform your office search and will help bridge any disconnect between employees and the business.
When setting the criteria for your move, a budget will need to be agreed on with key stakeholders in the business. This will ensure you don’t overspend and will speed up the search by removing options that are beyond budget.
You’ll also want to determine your moving office budget (the expenses you’ll have before your first lease or rental payment). This could include costs such as IT relocation, design fit-outs or agency fees.
It will depend on which solution your business opts for. With a managed office provider like Kitt, there’s no upfront Capital Expenditure as businesses can spread the costs for things like design, build or furniture over the course of their tenancy - and have it built into a monthly price.
4. Setting responsibilities
Moving office is a complex process, and you’ll likely need a big helping hand from members of the team along the way. With various people chipping in, communication can get a little messy and there may be some confusion over who is looking after what.
It’s helpful to spend some time defining clear roles and responsibilities for each team member involved in the move before you get started, and make them visible to the wider company. By doing this, you’ll streamline internal and external communication and avoid any potential hiccups!
Having an IT relocation plan will be one of the most important processes during your move. Whether this is sorted internally or externally, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got everything you need ready and waiting for you in the new office.
We recommend having a soft launch of your new space, to give those setting up and testing the new office the time to ensure everything is in place before the rest of the company move in.
Before you begin planning everything you need to do for your move, get a move-in date set in stone. If your current lease is up that will likely already be determined, but if not, confirming a date that you want to be up and running in your new space will provide you with the scope to work backwards with the rest of your planning.
There are several cogs in the office move machine, so it’s important to get the order and the timings right for each stage. Having deadlines will help keep things efficient, and keep everyone working towards the same goal!
These timelines will look different depending on your office option. For example, in a managed office you can expect the move to take around 5-6 months.
Finding an office
The office search is a complex and fragmented process. At Kitt, we work with businesses to simplify the process, making it hassle-free and giving time back to businesses to focus on what’s important to them.
Our team help tenants to define what they want to achieve from their space, and support them all the way from finding an office through to thriving in it.
This means that the whole journey is taken care of. From organising viewings to designing and fitting out a bespoke space, everything is covered by us to help make the tenant experience as hassle-free as possible.