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February 25, 2016

Where costs arise during an office move

If you’re planning to move office, you’ll undoubtedly expect to see some expense; it’s almost impossible to relocate a business without spending a little money. From business downtime, to the cost of a removal firm, and from new furniture to a complete office redesign, the number of different factors that you have to consider is huge – so plan in advance!

Despite all your planning and preparation, unexpected costs could still arise when making external and internal changes to an office space. Make sure you have some cash set aside in your budget to ensure you can cover these additional costs without breaking the bank.

Construction and repairs

Is your new office absolutely perfect for your business, or will it need a few tweaks here and there? Choosing a space that fits your requirements to the letter can help you avoid spending money on construction and repairs. On the other hand, a space that needs a few repairs, or that could do with being modernised, might be considerably cheaper than an office that is completely perfect from the second you move in.

To budget for construction and repairs, see if you can get these expenses covered in the contract with the office building manager, or if you can split the cost in any way. Before you formally agree to any new office building, speak to commercial location design experts, construction agencies and other organisations to receive an estimated quote for any necessary repairs or building work, and plan for this work to go over-budget.


Shrinkage is a euphemism for reductions in the size of a business’ inventory due to theft and wastage – and unfortunately, it’s something you’ll have to consider!

Some of your employees, or some of the people who you hire to help you move office, could take the opportunity to help themselves to some of your inventory – and you might have no hope of ever finding the stolen items again or even discovering who is to blame for their loss. Alternatively, items may be lost in transit – a misplaced box could be lying in the stairwell of your old workplace for years!

Even if you meticulously create an inventory and pay close attention to every item that leaves your old office and enters your new one, you could still experience shrinkage due to damaged items. Spend some time wrapping up all your equipment and taking care with fragile items to minimise the amount of money this issue will cost.

Employee downtime

An office relocation is a far less stressful process if you plan for employee downtime beforehand. You can try to avoid any business downtime, but it might not be feasible, and staff members may find they are unable to work at normal capacity during the relocation regardless. Consider whether it would be better to close the business for a single day and to complete the relocation over this time, or whether you wish to keep the business open and extend the length of the relocation to a week or so.

Services and utilities

Don’t forget that you may need to pay for services such as internet access, vending machines, energy connections, furniture movers and commercial property insurance when moving office, and that you may be liable to pay cancellation fees or break contracts with business service providers when leaving your old office space. If you plan your move well in advance, then you may be able to plan around these expenses or seamlessly move your services from one location to another.

Commercial property expenses

If you rent, you will need to inform your landlord that you are planning to move. There may be penalties and additional fees involved if you have to end your lease early, and reclaiming any deposits you have made with your landlord may be a lot harder and more time-consuming than you expect.

Companies that own their office space could face a range of other expenses, including estate agent fees, the cost of advertising their vacant property, and the cost of any necessary repairs or upgrades. It can be difficult to calculate what the cost of this could be, especially when considering the volatility of the UK’s commercial property market in recent years. You may find yourself paying business rates for an empty building for months or even years, or may find that the premises is snapped up before you’ve even emptied out your inventory.

Like many other bills, these expenses can be minimised or even avoided altogether with plenty of forward-planning – your building will be less likely to remain vacant for any period of time if you arrange for someone to buy it shortly after you have left it, while landlords will be better able to plan around your move and come to reasonable agreements with you if you inform them of your intentions well in advance.

Informing the world

An often-overlooked expense involved in moving office is the cost of updating online profiles, letterheads, stationary, business cards and other items to reflect the new business address. Existing customers and clients might also need to be informed about the office relocation – you might even want to send press releases to newspapers or discuss your move with the media.

Organising your budget and controlling costs is an essential part of moving office. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are taken by surprise by unexpected costs and plans going over-budget. If you need to move office urgently, then you may find it is difficult to control spiralling expenses, but if you are in the position of being able to plan months or years ahead, you should be able to keep a lid on your costs.

If you would like advice and assistance about moving office, then take a look at our contact page to find out more. You can also read our office design case studies to get some ideas for your new business premises.

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