The search for a new office is usually a long process that starts with defining our requirements and restrictions. We then move onto comparing and analysing various offers and options and finally select the best one. Signing the lease and finding subcontractors to set the framework for our workplace design, design the space, deliver our furniture and carry out the fit-out work are important points on the agenda. However, we must not forget a number of other crucial details. Experts from the Office Agency Department at BNP Paribas Real Estate summarise what to keep in mind once the lease is signed.
1. Start with a clean-up
Your preparations for the move should be preceded by a thorough inspection of all the things stored in your office. This process will usually involve people from several departments and has to be split into stages. It is good to start with your documentation. Do all the documents have to be stored? Do they have to be available at hand or could some be archived? What documents have to be stored in a special manner?
“Many organizations aim to turn the clearing of desks and storage cabinets, both the individual ones and those shared by teams, into an integration exercise. Pizza is ordered, and jokes are flying around during the sort-out. Things that are to be taken to the new office are packed into suitably marked cardboard boxes. The rest finds its way to rubbish bins and bags,” says Karolina Dudek, Workplace Strategy Manager, Office Agency, BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland.
Additionally, it is worth taking a careful stock of the furniture irrespective of whether they will be moved to the new office or not. In the first instance, the assessment will reveal the condition of all the particular pieces of furniture. Maybe some are in need of repairs or replacement? It may also turn out that some furniture has to be transported in one piece, while others can be taken apart. If you are planning to buy new equipment, you will have to make a decision as to what to do with your old furniture.
“Would it be worth organizing a staff auction? The furniture could be recycled, however, that entails an extra cost. You could also try selling it. If you ask the furniture company that will be supplying the equipment for your new office, they will take care of the recycling at the same time for a much lower price. This will also be the case with your IT equipment,” comments Adrian Bojczuk, Associate Director, Office Agency, BNP Paribas Real Estate.
2. Check what state the office is to be left in
Finding a moving company to transport your cardboard boxes and furniture is usually not problematic, however, remember that just removing all your things from the office is often not sufficient.
“The state in which your vacated space is to be left in is regulated in the lease. Usually, it is enough to just have it cleaned up, however, it may turn out that small repairs will be required to reinstate the premises. It pays to check your lease provisions in advance to avoid any unpleasant surprises on the handover day,” highlights Małgorzata Fibakiewicz, Head of Office Agency, BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland.
Some furniture and fit-out companies offer the reinstatement service, and it is worth enquiring about it when looking for a company to carry out your fit-out work for the new office. It is a good practice to include both services within one contract.
3. Remember to assign a person responsible for taking over your new space
Before your things are delivered to the new office by the moving company, the new space has to be officially taken over. Sometimes organizations take over finished and furnished space and only carry in the computers and their documents.
“We recommend that at least two persons that have been involved in the entire office relocation process are assigned to take over the new premises. This will enable you to avoid many misunderstandings and, above all, stay in control of the entire process,” adds Maciej Skurczyński, Consultant, Office Agency, BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland.
Your next steps will involve checking whether the internet connection is working, and, once the moving company brings over your things, verifying whether all your boxes and documents made it safely without being damaged.
4. Do not forget to sign the “triple seven” clause
Additionally, you have to remember some final crucial formalities, such as having to sign the clause on submission to enforcement under Art. 777 of the civil code. The agreement, colloquially referred to as the “triple seven” clause, has to be executed in the form of a notarial deed and in the event that the tenant fails to pay rent, it secures the creditor’s claims.
5. Update your address and contact details, so the world knows where to find you
Updating your details is a fairly obvious step to take, however, it should be planned and it is worth assigning someone to coordinate the process and ensure that it runs smoothly. It is worth starting with a list of documents on which the address and contact details have to be amended.
“It is usually the National Court Register (KRS) details that have to be updated, your insurance policy, your company website and other internet sites such as social media, contact directories and your company document templates and business cards, as well as marketing materials and service provider agreements”, adds Małgorzata Małecka, Consultant, Office Agency, BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland.
“Once you submit the changes, give it some time and then verify whether your details have been updated using the Google search engine and are displayed correctly on Google Maps,” comments Adrian Bojczuk, Associate Director, Office Agency, BNP Paribas Real Estate.
It is a good idea to provide the reception desk at your old building with your new address to redirect your correspondence and agree for your mail to be picked up from the old location. Make sure you also remember to have your phones diverted and notify your business partners of the relocation and address change.