In the first two parts of this series of articles we have looked at the tasks required to source and secure new office premises along with the initial and detailed design of the new office layout. You have chosen a main contractor and may have appointed a project manager or quantity surveyor to help you oversee the fit out project and control the project costs.
The period you need to allow for the fit out of the new office will depend on the size of office accommodation you are fitting out and the complexity of the design, neither of which are elements we can speculate on in an article such as this. Both elements will be so unique to your project that you should get initial indications from your contractors and designers when you start the tendering process Office fit out company followed up by detailed programmes before you start the fit out works on site. Under our scenario of a relocation within six months from the start of the process we have used three months, leaving three months for the fit out programme which should enable a fair amount of work to be undertaken. By getting indicative timescales from your professional team early on, you can decide how different buildings and different fit out schemes compare and if you need to make compromises or fast track certain elements to meet your deadline. Your professional advisors should also be able to assist on elements such as IT, telecoms, furniture procurement and occupational health and safety elements, all of which will have implications on your relocation project.
Once the fit out is underway, you can focus on the physical relocation itself. As with the other elements of this project so far, it is likely you will need to tender the project to obtain prices for this part of the office relocation. Whilst relocation companies are very experienced in moving companies from office to office and within offices, they will all have a different approach and it is therefore a good idea to think through the processes involved and define the brief as fully as you can, before you meet with them. You should understand when your staff will be able to start packing and how long it will take. Will you need assistance from the removal company to pack and unpack or will your staff carry out this task themselves? Are you taking furniture and if so when can the removal company start to relocate this, and what are you going to do with the furniture, equipment and old paperwork that is not being relocated. On this last point an office relocation is a great opportunity to discard the rubbish that has been horded over the years and a series of ‘throw it away days’ in the weeks leading up to the move can help avoid taking this rubbish with you.