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Office Move Schedule Guide

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Table of Contents

Commercial Move Scheduling Instructions:

The following explains the steps you can take to ensure the successful scheduling of your commercial move on the days that make the most sense for your organization. This list is not exhaustive and does not include many of the other necessary steps required for planning a successful relocation. This checklist and the included instructions focus on the most important steps you can take, listed in approximate order from first to last, to achieve the best scheduling outcomes.

The final two pages are our move scheduling checklist, a handy to-do list to keep you on track. 

The scheduling checklist to-do items fall into three categories;

  • Scheduling steps to take to with your building management, 
  • Scheduling Steps to take with your staff and/or company ownership, 
  • Scheduling Steps to take when scheduling with your office moving company and other vendors

First Team Meeting

Get Started!

Gather information on expectations and goals for the move throughout the organization. Your mission here is to get enough info to start talking to moving companies about your project. Dates, addresses, special considerations, and requests from various departments. This may also be a good time to delegate responsibilities and form a moving team.

Research, First Conversations, Budgeting & Quotes

This is a good before-first step when you begin scheduling your move. Even if you don’t yet know exactly when or where you are moving, it’s best to have some options lined up as far as moving companies you might use.

There are a lot out there, and their level of service, quality, and responsiveness varies wildly!

This is a good time to begin talking to moving companies or your existing provider to ask about availability during the general time period you anticipate you will need a mover. It’s also a good time to start researching moving companies in your area if you are starting from scratch. A good first litmus test for a moving company is – do they answer the phone? How quickly do you get a callback? Are the salespeople helpful and engaged, or are they pushy or slow to respond?

This is also a great time to get some proposals. Again, how helpful is the moving company with this? How fast can they get you back a proposal? These are often great indicators of how they will conduct the move at large.

You may not have all the details at this point, but you should be able to get some ballpark proposals to start budgeting.

P.S. A good moving company will be patient and happy to help you along through some of these later steps 🙂

Confirm Where & When You Are Moving | Date Range and Destination

This one seems obvious, but if you are stuck in lease negotiations or still looking for a place and running out of time, this can make scheduling the move next to impossible.

My recommendation here is to explain your situation with your chosen or prospective moving company(s) and see if they can alert you before they fill up these dates. Some companies will hold the date for you with a penalty if you cancel too late. Some might ask for a deposit or a non-binding letter of intent. Be careful with all of this, but these are perfectly reasonable requests if there’s a good chance they may be holding a date for you that might not come to pass.

Keep in contact regarding the schedule to ensure they will be available when you are ready to lock in a date and/or destination

If you haven’t yet leased your new office address, ask your moving company to provide a “budget quote” ranging from an easy-to-access destination to the worst-case scenario.

A worst-case scenario might be, for instance, the new office is up two flights of stairs, and you can only move in on the weekend

If you are still waiting for these crucial details, keep pushing forward where you can with the following steps. Be ready to take quick action once the dust has settled and you are ready to lock in dates and destinations.

Confirm Building Restrictions | Origin & Destination Buildings

Why do this now? Your schedule and the mover’s schedules may be flexible. The building moving restrictions likely won’t be. Better to establish your guardrails for what times of the day or week you can move out of your current building and the same for when you can move into the new one before spending time scheduling. At this time, you will want to gather from both buildings:

  • Moving Restrictions & building protection requirements. What are their rules and available hours they allow companies to move in and out of the building. What kind of building protective materials do they require movers to use, and where?
  • How to schedule the use of the elevator or dock/loading area. Some buildings require reservation of the loading area or elevator. Other buildings treat it on a first-come, first-serve.
  • Get their moving company insurance requirements in writing. Your building will likely require your moving company to have general liability, auto, and workman’s comp insurance. Some buildings have other requirements, such as crime or additional umbrella protection.

*In step 6, you will circle back with the building to reserve your move dates.

After-Hours, Weekend, or Daytime Moves

So, assuming you can move when you want to, day or night, the next step is to figure out what’s best for your organization.

Daytime/Weekday move: If you can shut down the office for a day or two without disrupting workflow and losing a ton of money, then this might be best. You will likely save on moving costs and overtime hours for your staff by moving on a weekday, during the day.

After Hours: If you lose sales, productivity, and production hours, or it will generally throw a wrench in your organization’s gears, the additional cost of moving after hours or on the weekend is probably worth it.

Team Meeting | Setting Desired Dates

If you have a move team, you can call it a team meeting. If it’s just you planning the move, then sit down with a pen and paper and get to work—either way, pinpoint your desired move sequence and the best dates and times to get it done.

If you have a certain department that can’t be down – the payroll department or the factory floor are good examples, then make note of that for your later conversations with moving companies.

Get everyone in agreement on the best date(s) and times to do the move. (This should be easier if it’s just you!) Now you are ready to schedule with your moving company.

Shopping For and Choosing a Moving Company

If you don’t already have a trusted partner and you haven’t started shopping already, be prepared to shop around a bit.

If you are like most people you might not be savoring this task. Regardless, the time spent doing a little shopping is time well spent. This shouldn’t just be about the lowest price. In this situation, we strongly advise that you shop for a fair price from a reliable partner who will work with you to make the move a smooth transition. The cost of a failed execution or mismanaged move will far outway any potential savings you might attain from shopping on price alone.

The moving companies that quote your project should survey the space(s) with you during the quoting process to check the scope and logistical details concerning your origin and destination building.

Pro Tip: As you shop, check schedule availability and insurance along the way to ensure you don’t spend unnecessary time working with companies that cannot accommodate your building’s requirements or your target schedule. Also, find out what their terms are in the event that you need to reschedule!

Scheduling With Your Moving Company &
(x2) Buildings - Submit Insurance

Scheduling with your moving company and building should be done on the same day if possible. If either can’t make the date, then you are back to square one!!! You can start with the moving company first and then check that date with the building or vice versa but try to do this same day if you can to lock in a time that works for both.

Moving Companies often are navigating a challenging and choppy schedule. This DOES NOT let them off the hook for being as responsive and accommodating as possible. The day you choose a moving company is often the best day to firm up your move date(s). At this point, you want to ensure, before you sign their estimate or contract, that you have written confirmation that they can accommodate your desired move schedule. Best if the move date is printed on any binding contract.

Buildings like to be informed well ahead of time when you plan on moving. Check your dates to ensure other work or events aren’t happening on your requested move days. If another move or construction occurs during your desired dates or a significant event is happening in the building, this can interfere with your move. Make sure to check that your moving company will have reasonable access to the elevators and loading zones. Reserve them now if you can.

Insurance – This is a good time to verify that your mover submits their insurance to building management.

The Planning Meeting

You have reserved your move dates with the moving company, and a planning meeting with them is in order. For a small move, a quick phone call might suffice, going over the details, sequence, start times, and other critical details.

For larger projects, a Zoom or in-person meeting with stakeholders from your company and the leadership or planning team of the moving company should take place. Here you can check and double-check logistics details, set expectations, and review project phasing and visual details like schedules, photos, and floorplans. Upon conclusion of the planning meeting, your move schedule, as well as the rest of the plan, should be mapped out in appropriate detail.

Communicate the Plan

Once the plan is in place, communicate it to your staff. Whether by meeting or an email, you ask everyone to acknowledge – let your team know the schedule and expectations of the move. This is a good time to send out packing instructions, labeling instructions, a moving schedule, and other important information to your staff-at-large.

Getting this out early and giving everyone a chance to review and ask questions will make for a much smoother move day and will help your team to adjust to the transition.

Rescheduling and Revisions

Hopefully, you can skip this step! But if not – DON’T PANIC. Sometimes plans change. It happens. Face this head-on and early. Communicate with your staff and your moving company early and often. Avoid last-minute rescheduling whenever possible, as this can create a situation where your moving company struggles to reallocate resources to meet your needs on the revised date. (Not good!)

A good moving company will do everything they can to work with you on this, but depending on their available resources there is only so much that can be done. Also note that depending on their policies, this can result in additional charges.

If your relocation scope changes, items are added or removed, or additional services are requested, the same logic applies. Have these conversations as early as possible so your moving company can prepare the additional resources or reduce them to accommodate the change.

and now it's time for...

Our Office Move Scheduling Checklist

The order of items is recommended here but not set in stone. You may find some items do not apply to your situation. In that case, cross them out – You may need to take additional steps, such as scheduling additional vendors, etc. This checklist is meant to cover the essentials common to almost every move.

Good Luck!

Step 1 - First Team Meeting

Get Started! Gather information on expectations and goals for the move throughout the organization. Your mission here is to get enough info to start talking to moving companies about your project. Dates, addresses, special considerations, and requests from various departments. This may also be a good time to delegate responsibilities and form a moving team.

Step 2 - Start Research and Comparison of Moving Companies

If basic info is available, estimated scope and location details, during or after hours, etc – start getting quotes!

Step 3 - Confirm Where and When you are moving

Remember, if your company is still working out the destination and timeframe, you can still push forward with some of the following steps. Continue to engage moving companies, let them know your situation, and prepare yourself to take quick action once these points are confirmed.

Step 4 - Check with the Building Management of the building you are moving out of

Ask them about –

  • Moving Restrictions & building protection requirements
  • How to schedule the use of the elevator or dock/loading area
  • Get their moving company insurance requirements in writing

Step 5 - Check with the Building Management of the building you are moving into

Ask them about –

  • Moving Restrictions & building protection requirements
  • How to schedule the use of the elevator or dock/loading area
  • Get their moving company insurance requirements in writing

Step 6 - Time of Day/Week

Determine if your move is better done during weekdays, business hours, or weekends and after hours. Refer to the instructions in the pages above for some of the factors to consider here.

Step 7 - Second Team Meeting

Firm It Up!

Get the stakeholders and everyone involved with the move together to agree on a desired schedule, dates, and times. Make sure various departments are represented. Consider the schedules of the staff members who will be asked to assist in the move.

Step 8 - Shopping/Choosing Moving A Company

Maybe you already started in STEP ONE, but if you haven’t, get going.

Armed with your organization’s desired move dates and the restrictions of the building, you are ready to finish vetting potential relocation providers and choose among the companies that can accommodate your schedule. As soon as you’ve chosen a provider, don’t hesitate to get that schedule locked in.

Step 9 - Lock in Your Dates

With the buildings and your moving company – lock in both in one sitting, if possible. Check with the building to make sure there aren’t other projects going on in the building on the day of your move that will interfere.

  • Confirm the schedule with your moving company
  • Schedule the move with your Origin Building – Reserve Dock & Elevator
  • Schedule the move with your Destination Building – Reserve Dock & Elevator
  • Ensure Your moving company submits its certificate of insurance (COI) to the building(s).

Step 10 - The Planning Meeting

If your mover doesn’t offer to hold a planning meeting, ask for one! This is your last chance to review all the details, set and revise expectations, and ensure everyone is on the same page ahead of move day.

*Larger projects might require a weekly meeting with your staff and movers to keep things on track*

Step 11 - Communicate the Plan

Once the plan is in place, communicate it to your staff. Whether by meeting or an email, you ask everyone to acknowledge – let your team know the schedule and expectations of the move.

Note On Rescheduling

Hopefully, you skip this step! But if it must be done, communicate it as early as possible to your mover. This is for your own benefit, as the longer the mover has to make adjustments, the better they will be able to perform.

*Last-minute reschedules mean the mover may struggle to reallocate staff and resources*

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