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Headquarters Relocation Checklist: 30+ Items You Should Include

06 February
by Aley Brown
6 minute read

Headquarters relocation.

This can be a heavy phrase for many due to the causes of said relocation.

Sometimes it can occur because your business is doing well. Other times, it can be the consequence of your business doing poorly.

For example, let’s say that your business has experienced huge growth over the last 3 years. So much growth that you can no longer produce enough of your product to meet demands, due to your facility’s constraints. This would be a great reason to relocate your office!

office relocation checklist

Another reason for a headquarters relocation could be due to company funds. Rent might have increased for your facility, or you might no longer be able to make any profit in the geographic area where you are located.

As you can see, there are a plethora of reasons why a company might partake in a headquarters relocation.

But no matter the reason, headquarters relocations all have one thing in common: their importance. (Hence the need for a headquarters relocation checklist!)

The success of companies depend on how well relocations are conducted, so management and HR must put their full effort and brain power into making sure that they run smoothly.

A mistake in a relocation could lead to a company losing thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars. This could be the result of downtime in production, errors in paperwork, or even lawsuits from employees on the grounds of unfair practices.

These are just a few ways that a headquarters relocation could go south, but hopefully it gives you some understanding of why it is so important to get them right.

In this blog, we will go over the 5 different areas you need to include on your headquarters relocation checklist, and the 30 tasks involved with completing checklist. If you would prefer our template version, you can download it here.

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Headquarters Relocation Checklist: New Space Optics

It shouldn’t be a surprise that this topic is on our relocation checklist. This is because everyone relocating has to make sure that the space where they are moving to is ready to go, so that their business continues on strong.

So, what tasks should you include in this area of your checklist?

Well, it depends.

office relocation checklist

There are a millions reasons why an office could be relocating, and every business has its own objectives. So the tasks needed to make the new space ready for business will be different on every office relocation checklist.

We tried to take this into consideration when making a list of tasks for this section of the checklist. Here are the things we consider the most important:

  • Determining the new office headcount
  • Determine the new office layout
    • Desks needed
    • Common areas
    • Equipment
    • Organization of different departments in the building
    • Style/brand of the office
    • Inventory usable furniture from old office
    • Purchase new furniture if needed

This is a pretty general list, but it is a good starting point for leaders looking to develop their own relocation checklist.

It is pretty common to add onto this list the hiring of a designer (if office aesthetic is important for your brand), and consulting with workforce planning to determine how departments should be organized, based on the growth of different teams in the future.

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Headquarters Relocation Checklist: Technology

The most complicated of all of the sections on our relocation checklist is technology, which is one of the most important relocation issues.

Why?

Data is sacred. Losing data or even having a security breach could have huge impacts for your business. So, it is important that your leadership team, and your technology side of the house is completely prepared for the relocation.

We aren’t tech experts, but it is pretty simple to understand what goes into relocating an office from a technology perspective.

  • Complete an assessment of the entire IT infrastructure at the original office
    • Equipment
    • Power sources
    • Cabling
    • Servers
  • Backup any important files or data before the relocation
  • Develop a plan for the new office location
  • What equipment do we need?
    • Power sources?
    • Cabling?
    • Servers?
    • Etc

Here is an office relocation checklist specifically for IT professionals that provides more detail.

Headquarters Relocation Checklist: Business Operations

Business operations refers to the people and the processes involved with leading the move. This part of the relocation checklist mostly pertains to the high level executives at your organization, as well as the HR and organizational development teams tasked with conducting the move.

Here are the most important tasks to include on your checklist in this area:

  • Appoint a relocation committee
  • Set a timeline for committee members and executives to individually relocate to the new location
  • Develop a timeline of the relocation
  • Create a new seating and layout chart
  • Create a protocol for moving confidential and important data, equipment, etc

This section of the relocation checklist is very important, because completing these tasks will determine the company’s ability to move the headquarters quickly and efficiently.

office relocation checklist

Things that could also be included in this section: hiring management of the new office, conducting studies about the new locations labor pull and different market segments for your product, etc.

Headquarters Relocation Checklist: Old Space Management

Have you ever leased an apartment and had to inventory the damages to the space after moving out?

Well, in this section we basically go over how to do this exact process, except for an office space.

Here are the things you need to do to close up shop in your old space:

  • Identify and inventory the old space
    • Damages
    • Furniture
    • Electricity
    • Cables
    • Etc
  • Cancel services like utilities, electricity, internet, etc
  • Remove company signage and branding
  • Hire and schedule a cleaning services
  • Return building keys, passwords, etc to the landlord or new owner

This section of the checklist is probably one of the last things you will do in the entire relocation process. It wouldn’t make sense to hire a service to come clean the office with your workers are still in it, so make sure that the timing of all of these activities are well thought out.

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Headquarters Relocation Checklist: Communication

This area of the relocation checklist is all about communicating your big move to various stakeholders of the organization.

While it is important to communicate the transition to everyone, it should be noted that not every stakeholder should be treated the same way. For example, how you communicate to employees about the headquarters relocation should be very different than how you let the press know about your move.

Here are our tasks for this section of the checklist:

  • Internal announcement to employees
  • Relocation letters to impacted employees
  • Layoff letters to impacted employees
  • External announcement to vendors, clients, government, and press
  • Send out instructions to impacted stakeholders about the moving timeline
  • Update company information wherever it is listed with new information

If you are relocating your headquarters a large distance, you will need to be prepared to offer some or all of your employees relocation offers or severance packages. These are two completely different conversations, so make sure your managers are ready to have them both with our relocation letter template and our layoff letter template.

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Another thing to consider is if your organization will be subject to the WARN Act, a federal and state law that mandates notifying the government and employees if your relocation results in a big enough layoff. You can see if you will be impacted by the WARN Act with our self assessment list here.

Headquarters Relocation Checklist: The Final Say

Relocating an office is no small feat, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly by the involved parties. To ensure success, make sure that your business has a solid relocation checklist.

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