Storage considerations

Often overlooked, storage can make the difference between happy staff and grumbling workers. Office relocation is an opportune time to reassess and calculate your storage needs.

  • What's your storage situation like at the moment?

    • How much and what do you need for the new office?
  • Storage for individuals - at desks or lockers

  • Document storage

  • Storerooms

    • For office supplies and equipment
  • Secure storage and safes

  • Off-site storage

    • Can you reduce the amount of space you need by moving long-term storage off-site?
  • Calculate future needs for all areas above

  • Don't forget the basics - coat racks or closets

Environmentally friendly and sustainable offices

For a step-by-step guide to producing a sustainable office interior, see our Sustainable Office Design Checklist.

  • Consider a BREEAM® rating or some other environmental rating system

  • Put energy efficiency at the forefront of the design

  • Design in recycling points

  • Maximise use of natural light

  • Specify furniture with a high proportion of recycled content

  • Choose fixtures, fittings and carpet with a high content of recycled materials, which can be recycled at their end of life

  • Use paints with low amounts of toxins

  • Only use timber that has been certified by the The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

Communicating with your stakeholders

Confusion at the time of relocation can cause anxiety amongst staff. It will pay dividends to keep everyone involved and create buy-in for the move.

  • Give people a way to voice their honest opinions and objections (such as an online forum)

  • Provide access to an Extranet to share files and plans (for the project team)

  • Hold formal presentations of design ideas for staff

  • Go on site visits with key stakeholders

  • Give staff tours of the office before it's finished

  • Create a 'move' newsletter for staff

  • Give staff an info pack on the new local area

Building surveys

A close look at your building can save you thousands down the road. For example, the heating and ventilation system may look good, but it may need a major upgrade. A good design and fit out company could survey your new space and at the same time estimate costs and timescales.

It it also critical to get some indicative designs drawn up at this point. It's the only way you can accurately estimate fit out costs.

Things to check:

  • Condition

    • If it's an old building, is it actually possible to bring it up-to-date?
  • Flexibility

    • Will it adapt easily, as your business evolves?
  • Disabled facilities

    • Do you know what your responsibilities are?
  • Air conditioning

    • You may want to commission a special survey - if you share services with other companies, you should make sure you're getting your fair share of cool air
  • Lifts

    • Can the lifts take goods and equipment? If not, you'll need to put extra money in your budget for the movers to carry things up stairs
  • What's new, second-hand, serviced or missing?

  • Has the building been rated as energy efficient?

    Since 2008, all buildings need to have an energy efficiency rating

  • Security

    • Is the space secure? Check all windows, doors and hatches, and get the landlord to fix any problems
  • Fire plan

    • It's your responsibility to have an escape plan in place. At this point, you may want to check that you don't have to alter your new space to comply with fire regulations
  • Check for asbestos, along with other hazards and risks through a:

    • Specialist audit
    • Type III survey
    • Risk assessment
  • IT and electrical

    • Looking at the space, now is a good time to get an idea of the work that will be needed to install floor boxes and data points, and to run cabling