How Long Does it Take to Move an Office?
Relocating a business involves risk, and, therefore, several months of planning, negotiating with landlords and ensuring the transition causes the least disruption to operations. While small businesses can relocate sooner, large and average-sized offices can expect the following moving timetable.
An average office move can take up to 12 months, however, most office moves handled by Chicago Office Movers usually take between 5 and 9 months
1. Look for a New Space 12 Months in Advance
Business owners who anticipate relocating should begin planning at least 12 months in advance. Plans for moving start with looking for a new office space. Finding the right office can take a substantial amount of time, especially when multiple decision-makers are involved in the process.
The current office may no longer suit the needs of the business. Rapidly growing businesses require a larger office space. Downsizing also prompts business owners to search for a new, smaller space. A visit to the prospective location is important to get a sense of what the space affords.
Certain cities will require a larger or smaller budget, which can potentially exclude some locations from the search. Consider location, such as urban or suburban, and public transportation options for employees. Nearby neighborhood amenities also contribute to the quality of employee work life.
When on the hunt for a new office, factor in the lease terms. Short-term leases are attractive for small businesses, especially those that are likely to outgrow an existing space within a short span of time. It is also helpful to explore the community of tenants to determine affability.
2. Seal the Deal with a Landlord 3 to 6 Months in Advance
Once a desirable office space is found, negotiate the lease terms with the landlord. Commercial leases are flexible and typically average three years. Work with a tenant rep broker or a lawyer who can win favorable deals and help a business owner understand complex clauses.
Counteroffer asked base rent, initially offering 10 to 15 percent less than what the landlord asks. Try to negotiate on more than one location at a time, which allows business owners to walk away from at least one negotiation. Be aware that a longer lease term results in a better base rent.
3. Announce the Relocation 2 to 6 Months in Advance
Office staff should be informed of the upcoming move well in advance. Hold a staff meeting and provide each member of the office team with a detailed plan of the move. Ask for input from employees that would help make the relocation smoother and less disruptive to business operations.
If possible, allow a virtual tour of the new office space. Once team members see where they will be working, they will know what to expect and can continue performing without the tension often associated with being unprepared for the future.
Delegate tasks to each employee in preparation for the relocation. Check to see if any office employees require new equipment. An option to retain good employees is to offer a relocation package, which may include transportation expenses, temporary housing and finding a home.
4. Hire a Commercial Mover 4 to 8 Weeks in Advance
A commercial moving company experienced in corporate relocations will be a company’s biggest asset when it comes to facilitating a smooth office move. Research a handful of potential commercial movers, paying careful attention to customer reviews and ratings, affordability, and availability.
Spring and summer are the peak moving seasons, and moving companies are tightly booked. Relocating during the off-peak seasons of autumn and winter is cost effective and gives business owners increased flexibility and scheduling options. Plus, fall and winter’s less congested highways speed up the move.
5. Pack IT Equipment 1 to 3 Weeks in Advance
Once the relocation date is set, hire information technology (IT) professionals to back up all important business data. Experts are necessary to prevent risks, such as the loss of information. Technology can be replaced, but the sensitive business data cannot.
The process for packing and relocating IT equipment, including disconnecting services and shutting down systems, is lengthy and complex. Hire IT technicians if experienced employees are unavailable to disconnect all cables safely and correctly. Photograph wire connections so that reassembly is easier at the new destination.
6. Prepare the New Office Within 1 to 4 Months
Once the commercial mover arrives at the new office destination, it is time to unpack and prepare the new workspace. Depending on the size of the office and the number of personnel, this process can range from one to four months.
All office furniture and equipment will need to be unpacked and reassembled. Professionally set up the IT systems and equipment. Establish all utilities and internet connections. In the event any equipment is damaged during transport, be prepared to start immediate repairs or replace the units.
Work with a Commercial Mover
A corporate relocation is a stressful event but partnering with a commercial mover with experience shifting large and small companies to new destinations eliminates the tension. Chicago Office Movers is a highly rated commercial mover with services that will meet all your business relocation needs.
Crews at Chicago Office Movers are licensed, trained and background-checked to ensure your business goods are handled safely and securely. We have successfully moved fragile IT systems, delicate electronics, antiques, science lab equipment, artwork, heavy office furniture and cubicles.
Chicago Office Movers’ trucks are climate-controlled and feature air-ride suspensions, so that your technology remains protected during transport. With full access to our tracking equipment, business owners have the ability to track the movement of goods during the relocation process.
Follow in the footsteps of prestigious companies, like Alcatel Lucent and Northwestern University, that have utilized our commercial moving services with great satisfaction. Our multiple five-star ratings are a testimony to our commitment to excellence and dedication to serving area businesses.
Get a Free Estimate
Choose Chicago Office Movers for reliable and comprehensive corporate relocation services. We provide budget-friendly moving services, from long- and short-term storage to packing and unpacking.
Whether you plan to move locally, long distance or internationally, contact us for a free estimate at 312-244-2246 or by filling out a contact form.