PM Tips for office moves

When starting to plane for a new office space, there are several steps you need to take before you even start scoping out spaces

  • Think of future planning - how might your business grow for headcount
  • Are building amenities important
  • How accessible is the building for public transportation
  • Are you a "bring your dog to work: place?  Does the building allow for that?
  • If you are on a tight deadline to move in, what is the lead time for internet access. I cannot stress this item enough. Many facilities moves re derailed by waiting for a new fiber line!

The Lease

  • Make sure the lease clearly specifies the process for capital improvement credits - will you be reimbursed or do they pay contractors directly
  • Are you limited in choice for General Contractor or other service providers
  • Negotiate options for expansion now
  • Understand the contruction working hours contraints

The Build-out

  • Have weekly meetings with the Architect, GC and and Subs
  • Communicate process weekly to stakeholders and users-  a weekly email with pictures and updates will go a long way in preventing a bunch of interruptions from interested users wondering how the process is going
  • Order furniture early - after internet lead time, this is often one of the longest
  • Establish early on who the final decision maker on decorating - paint, tile, carpet etc will be. Those decisions need to be made early on to avoid delays.
  • Meet with your IT Stakeholder to make sure every desk will have adequate power, phone and data runs. This is an expensive fix if you don't plan well!
  • When you are 90% certain you will meet your target move date, confirm movers and reserve freight elevator.

The walk-thru

  • Try to have the "final" walk-through 2 weeks before move in to address any last minute repairs or changes
  • Now is the time to test internet connectivity and power

The Pre-Move

  • Stage as much equipment pre-move as possible. If new furniture is being installed, have it in the week before move in. 
  • Communicate plan with users! Make sure your plan includes enough down-time to breakdown, move, install and troubleshoot any IT issues.
  • Order storage crates and labels. Make sure users understand they are responsible for any and all personal effects.

The Move

  • Be on-site early to pack up items the users overlooked
  • For computer equipment get large plastic bags and label with user id and desk number and place keyboard, mice and cables in.
  • Make a checklist for IT to test each computer.  This should be signed off twice.
  • Have the office cleaned post-move, pre first day if time allows.


  • Be onsite the morning everyone is arriving at the new office
  • Have print outs at each desk illustrating key points - how to access the restrooms, where the nearest printer is, instructions on the new phone system, etc.
  • Facilitate unpacking in a timely fashion and return crates
  • Walk the old space to ensure everything has been emptied out
  • Ensure all services have been transferred or cancelled from the old space
  • Secure the security deposit refund

This is not a full project plan, just some important tips that will save you time and headaches. If you want help managing your next build-out or move, contact me!