How to manage your office move

The end of your lease may seem like a long way off but even with the most meticulous planning, identifying and securing the right space always takes longer than you would expect. If your lease expires in or before Summer 2021 – now is exactly the right time to put your planning process into gear, to avoid a last-minute rush (and missing out on the office of choice).

If you’ve been assigned the task of managing the move, here’s what should be on your radar right now…

Define your operational goals

What do you want to achieve from the move? First and foremost, you need to secure the correct amount of space for your team. Whether you’re upsizing, downsizing or consolidating, an accurate assessment of near-future staffing levels is essential. Key lease events and the need for more (or less) space tend to be the most common triggers for relocation, but there could be other benefits to moving. Other than ‘more desks’, points to consider may include the following:

Enhancing your brand – how well does your current premises align with the image you want your company to portray? What would you change to make it a better fit? What do your clients think of your current space and is it easily accessible to them?

A catalyst for new ways of working – perhaps you’d like to be more dynamic in terms of open, collaborative workspaces and hot-desking. Creating a modern environment will also help you secure the best employees and retain the ones you have.

Join a hub or cluster – would your finance company benefit from a move closer to Glasgow’s ISFD? Or do you want to be closer to Edinburgh’s Fintech cluster? Your next move could be the opportunity for your firm to move into your location of choice, where all the action is.

Short-list your options

You’ve set-out what your business wants to achieve from a move. It’s now time to focus on bricks and mortar. Rather than trawling the market for hours on end, identify a benchmark to work against: a hypothetical picture of your ‘ideal’ office space.

Ask your colleagues for their opinion on what features a new office should have. You’ll probably get lots of different views and opinions, but it will help you make an informed choice. Listening to the needs of others means you’ve covered all the bases and nothing slips through the net.

Features to focus on include:

Budget (including rates and service charges)

Capacity

Location (don’t just consider yourself, also think about your clients and staff)

Bespoke needs (office layout, executive offices, reception area, number of meeting rooms, presentation suites, mail room, secure storage. etc.)

IT & Services (power and data points, cabling, comms/server rooms, telephony, backup power, on-site support)

Staff amenities (kitchen, toilets, break out spaces, showers)

Building facilities (secure 24-hour access, disabled access, lifts, concierge, gym, parking)

Local facilities (nearest tube, bars, shops, sandwich shops)

Get expert advice

To make sense of the market, expert input from an agent is necessary. But be cautious – many agents act for both landlords and tenants which can cause a conflict of interest. You can address the issue by instructing an agent that acts solely for occupiers.

Preparing for moving day

Fast forward to 2019 – you’ve acted early, and with the help of your agent, you’ve been able to secure your preferred option that fits perfectly with the needs of your business.

It also means that your date of entry corresponds exactly with the expiry date of your current lease, meaning that you haven’t had to implement any awkward stop-gap arrangements. Your removal company is primed ready to go and your IT team have their plan worked out to ensure business continuity. Leave unwanted items in storage to keep the new office tidy.

Most importantly of all, your team are delighted with their new space and you’ve done a great job.

For expert, unbiased advice on the market and help on all aspects of moving office in Glasgow or Edinburgh, contact North Property Advisors for an initial meeting on 0141 354 8962, or email us at [email protected]