How To Ace Your Office Move

How To Ace Your Office Move

Man standing by box

There’s good news and bad news!

First the good news. Your company is growing at a significant rate of knots – the bottom line looks great and you have loads of happy customers.

The bad news is your people are practically sitting on top of each other in your current office and negotiating desks, people and equipment to get to the coffee machine is becoming a mission.

So, now’s the time to make the big move.


The Plan

Assuming you’ve already got your new premises all lined up, the first step is to have a well thought-out plan of action that will create as little disturbance to your productivity as possible, which could ultimately affect your bottom line.

A good rule of thumb is to start planning your move 4-6 months before D-Day (or rather M-Day)..

Get quotes on costs and set a budget.

Next, set the date and book your removalist.

Bearing in mind that most people are nervous about change it’s important to keep your staff in the picture by communicating the details of your office move as you go along.

Treat your move as you would any other project your company would undertake and use your resources – rope in staff to help with everything that needs to be done.

Depending on the size of your company, it would be a good idea to appoint a project leader in each department to make sure everything runs smoothly.


The Execution

Moving office comes with its own set of challenges and a good checklist is crucial to make sure all your bases are covered.



Your office move not only impacts on your own company, but if you’re in an office park or block it could disrupt other businesses in the building.

For starters, find out if there are any restrictions on moving in or out from the building managers. Remember moving office is a two-step process – so clarify the building regulations at both your new and old premises.

Find out whether you can move during office hours. Some building management company’s don’t allow office moves during normal business times due to the disruption factor and inconvenience to other tenants.

The best thing to do is to establish what the rules are, and coordinate well in advance with your removalist company if you have to plan an after-hours move.

Also find out from your removalist if there are any additional charges involved if you plan to move at night or over the weekend.

If you’re in a multi-storey building, find out from the building managers whether you need to book the goods lift for your office move, and how far in advance the booking needs to be done at both ends of your move.

Also get information on how many lifts you can use as well as if you have exclusive use, these are things your removalist will want to know.

Investigate whether your current or future building has a loading dock. You’ll need to let your removalist know its height so that they can organise the right truck size for the move.

If the loading dock is accessible through an underground garage, find out the clearance restriction and let your removalist know this too.

Ask how far in advance you need to book the loading dock, if at all.



Either (or both) your current or new building could be access controlled, therefore the management company may require details about the removalist team (company name and contact number) in order to issue passes or key cards.

In most cases, your removalist company will also have to produce their public liability and workers compensation certificates to satisfy the building management.

Something else required from your removalist is a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS). This is legislative paperwork which outlines the safety steps, main hazards, risks and controls associated with removing heavy objects such as furniture from residential and commercial premises.

Your removalist will also need to know whether you require on-site inductions (safety training documents) prior to the removal.



Ahh. Packing is probably the most… er… interesting part of any move. This is especially true of a commercial move because there’s electronic and IT equipment, paperwork and large heavy furniture to think about.

If your workstations have data and power running through them, you’ll need an electrician to disconnect the power. Your building management should be able to recommend someone.

Have you got any leased equipment such as a photocopier? You’ll need to contact the leasing company to check if the warranty requires that they move it. Often if you move leased equipment without the service provider’s permission you void your warranty.

Filing cabinets (hanging files) are very cumbersome and heavy, so they will need to be completely emptied prior to the removal. If you were thinking of relocating them while they are still full you face two problems:

 (a) the hanging rails could break in transit, and

 (b) the weight may exceed the limit allowed for the removal team to lift.

This means on the day of the office move, the files will need to be removed and packed into boxes which may slow down the entire removal process.

You may also think it’s unnecessary to clear pens, pencils and paperclips out of desk drawers.

But they do need to be emptied and the contents packed into boxes and/or zip lock bags, because your removalist  quite often stack desks and drawers upside down on top of each other for transit, and things could fall out.

One of the easiest ways to make sure that all the boxes get to the right spot at your new office is to number them. After taping up a box, write a location/name/reference on tape on top of the box and not directly onto the cardboard. ALWAYS use a permanent marker on the tape as other pens will rub off easily.

Then create a template by printing out the corresponding numbers and a small description on A4 paper. Place it in the area where you would like your removal team to place the boxes.


The Conclusion

A commercial move can seem very daunting. There are more aspects to consider in terms of logistics, paperwork (including legal documents) and packing requirements. It boils down to planning well – knowing what you need to do and getting it done with minimum fuss.


Image courtesy of Becky Stern,Flickr,CC BY-SA 2.0

7 Quick Questions To Ask Your Removalist

7 Quick Questions To Ask Your Removalist

Man lying under pile of boxes


It’s not only best to choose a moving company that has a great reputation and a proven record for reliability, but value for money should also play an important part in your selection.

As part of this process, look for trustworthy references outside of the testimonials on their website. No one is going to put negative reviews from customers on their website are they?

So when you’re researching removalists, always check Google reviews for honest opinions on all elements of their service. Remember, you’re paying the moving company to do a job, so selecting a removalist is pretty similar to interviewing a new employee, you need good references.

When you’re moving house who better to talk to than a removalist to find out what you should be asking your prospective removalist company? Dominic from Smartmove – a moving company in Sydney – was put to the test when he answered a few questions.


1. Are your removalists reliable and trustworthy?

When people ask us if our guys are good, we say yes! They are the best.

Our guys are courteous, polite, hard working and can think for themselves with regards to etiquette and the customer’s needs.

Our client base is mid- to high-end and we move a lot of family homes so we only employ guys that we would be happy to have around our own children. We don’t employ people with offensive tattoos or those with a criminal record.

We also get asked if we use sub-contractors (removalists not employed by Smartmove but used when our bookings are full). We don’t.

Every one of our moves is undertaken by guys directly employed by us. That way we know you will receive the best service possible.


2. How much do you charge?

We don’t have any minimum charge whereas other removal companies can charge a minimum of 4­-6 hours. We charge the hourly rate to the nearest 15 minutes. Another moving company might run by the whole hour.

Our hourly rate is mid-priced with NO hidden extras – we are very transparent with regards to the costs, so there are no surprises on the day.

The overall cost of the move is kept to a minimum due to the efficiency of the removalists. They are dedicated to your move and you won’t catch them slacking!


3. How long will it take?

We get asked this a lot.

The truth is every move is different, we’re not able to give an exact duration but we are able to provide an estimated time based on information we are given. This depends on the size of the property and how easy it is to move furniture and boxes from the property to the truck (including having to move stuff down stairs and using lifts).

Some people might understate the volume of boxes and furniture being moved when they make the booking and would therefore get an inaccurate moving time estimate. This may cause issues on the day you’re moving house, when it takes longer than expected.

Customers are obviously present at the time of their move and can see the guys working at their optimum pace, so rest assured they do not drag the jobs out.

We confidently say that our guys will get the packing and move completed in the best time possible whilst being mindful of your belongings. We are a family run and owned business and can relate to our customers on more of a personal level.


4. What about insurance?

According to Australia’s consumer protection laws, you have to be a licensed broker to offer an insurance policy to people and we are not. People can take out insurance either by using our broker or their home contents insurance.

We do, however, carry transit insurance in the unfortunate event that our truck is involved in an accident or rolls while we’re transporting your goods. The truck, the guys and your goods (excess of $500) are covered in these cases only.


5. What is the general policy with boxes for customers who are packing their houses themselves?

About 10% of our customers use our pre-pack and/or unpack service so they don’t have the stress of packing or getting their hands dirty

As 90% of our customers pack themselves we recommend that lots of packing paper is used, and don’t be economical with your boxes. Rather spend a few extra dollars on more boxes than trying to overstuff them.


6. How do you handle complaints from customers?

We address any concerns immediately and investigate whether the complaint is valid. We don’t hide anything and try to be as open as possible with our clients.


7. Finally, what would the most important piece of advice you’d give to people moving house?

Be prepared.

Finish your packing by the day before your move. Anything that still needs to be done on the day of the move could delay the process.

Use professional removal boxes only, you’ll find removal boxes are strong and stack well in the truck. Don’t use a mixture of sizes and/or weaker boxes from a supermarket – you’re giving yourself a false sense of security if you think you’ll save money this way. They’re more likely to break. Also if you have plastic tubs and want to use them for your move that’s fine, just be aware they are made of brittle material and may crack as they are not meant to be stacked and transported.

Try not to underestimate the time you think it will take to move, leave the hard work to your moving company and trust us to get it done in the best possible time. You won’t be disappointed!

Image courtesy of Nick Rice,Flickr,CC BY-ND 2.0