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A Step-by-Step Guide for a Smooth Office Move-in

Moving into a new office can be an exciting part of your company’s journey toward expansion and growth. A new serviced office space means a different environment to perk up employees who may be looking for more modern or upgraded working conditions.

On the other hand, moving office can be stressful. There are just too many things you have to think about and plan for. Office relocation could also cause separation anxiety among employees who are already too comfortable with or accustomed to the old office.

That’s why it’s critical to make the office move as smoothly as possible. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to plan meticulously and ensure that you and your team can transition to the new office seamlessly. This step-by-step guide gives you helpful pointers to ensure a hassle-free move-in whether you have a small team or a big team.

 

STEP ONE: First Things First

Once you’ve decided that your company needs new premises, there are three primary considerations that you should focus on so you can efficiently find the right serviced office providers.

1. Budget

Moving to a new office is a huge project and can, therefore, be very costly. That’s why it’s essential to work on your budget once you’re sure about your company’s plan to move to a new site.

  • It helps you identify, assess, and calculate all the major and minor expenses that the relocation project will incur.
  • It ensures that your moving expenditures do not go beyond what you can afford.
  • It prevents your expenses from ballooning since you have correctly accounted for possible delays, issues, or oversights concerning your office move project.

To prepare your budget, ask for quotes or cost estimates on the following:

  • Occupancy costs on new office property, including deposit, rent, taxes, maintenance, etc.
  • Professional fees for your property agent, insurance company, and law firm
  • Interior design or fit-out of new property
  • Furniture and office equipment
  • Setting up of IT and telecommunications systems
  • Air conditioning and ventilation
  • Environmental and fire plan assessments
  • Removal of workstations
  • Disposal costs of old computers, furniture, and other rubbish
  • Professional movers’ fees
  • Costs for reinstating your current office into its original condition
  • Printing and updating of marketing materials, including stationery, business cards, and website, to reflect your new office address

It’s also advisable to allot 20% of your funds to contingency and other unexpected expenses. Your budget should also account for potential costs on your business while the office is out of operation during the move. You can also arrange remote working or work-from-home options for your employees to avoid business closure during the transition period.

2. Location

You might think that you already found the perfect office. But if the location is not ideal for everyone, you should probably look for more options.

Here are some criteria that make for the right office location:

  • It’s accessible to your customers, business partners, and employees via public or private transportation.
  • It should have links to major roadways, so it’s relatively easy for anyone to get in and out of the area.
  • The area shouldn’t be prone to flooding.
  • There are local amenities nearby, such as restaurants, banks, shops, parks, and pharmacies.

As an entrepreneur or business professional, you know that location is a critical factor in the success of any organization. At Arch Serviced Offices, we recognize how having an office space in Makati can do wonders for your business.

3. Safety and Security

You should hold off signing a contract with any serviced office provider until you’ve inspected the ins and outs of the building, including but not limited to:

  • Office building condition. The newer the building, the better. If it’s an old building, it should pass the structural integrity test and be free of any issues in design and structure.
    Tip: Ask the building administrator if there are any planned upgrades to the building that may later be added to your occupancy fees.
  • Security. There should be a 24/7 security team and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras surrounding the premises and stationed on every floor inside the building.
  • Fire plan. Make sure the building has designated fire exits and other fire safety measures in place.
  • Lifts. Check if there’s an adequate number of elevators and if they’re all working efficiently.
  • Adjacent areas. As much as possible, you have to know who the other tenants in the building are. They should be operating as legal business entities. It’s also your responsibility to survey the areas surrounding your future office to make sure there are no threats to anyone’s safety and security.

 

STEP TWO: Before the Move

Congratulations! You’ve finally chosen the office space that suits your business needs. To carry out the move efficiently, you’ll have to decide on the following aspects:

1. Schedule and Timeline

Your timeline has to be as detailed as possible and should cover every aspect of your office relocation project. Here’s how your office move timeline might look like:

Six Weeks Before Moving Day

  1. Give notice to your current landlord.
  2. Measure your new office space and get its detailed floor plan.
  3. If your serviced office provider does offer fit-out services, find an office fit-out contractor that will help you conceptualize and design your new space.

Five Weeks Before Moving Day

  1. Make an inventory of all your equipment, furniture, and office supplies.
  2. Look for a moving company.

Four Weeks Before Moving Day

  1. Order any new furniture needed for your new office. Ask for a guarantee that they will deliver on time – at least one week before the move.
  2. Place orders for new stationery and business cards.
  3. Create a detailed moving plan and have it distributed to employees and staff.
  4. Determine the arrangement of the computer and phone systems with the help of your IT department.

Three Weeks Before Moving Day

  1. Organize a staff meeting to discuss your moving plan.
  2. Create a moving committee who will oversee what each department needs – from packing tapes to moving boxes and color-coded stickers.
  3. Determine the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the transfer, including which equipment is moved first, which department will stay at the old office while the move is taking place, or which staff members will proceed to the new site to monitor the move-in.
  4. Update arrangements with your suppliers regarding future deliveries from the old office to the new one.

Two Weeks Before Moving Day

  1. Use this time to have the computer and phone lines set up while the office is still unoccupied.
  2. Arrange for temporary storage of furniture and IT equipment in an external facility in case of any delay.
  3. Contact companies that rent out crates to hold large boxes of files and equipment.

One Week Before Moving Day

  1. The moving committee and the employees coordinate in sorting, labeling, and packing the office computers, laptops, hard drives, keyboards, extension cords, and the like. Remind your employees to dispose of broken and unnecessary items properly.
  2. Double check if all furniture has been delivered and is ready for setup in the new office.
  3. Get your IT service provider set up the servers, cables, and wirings.
  4. Contact your cleaners and have them do a final clean of your old office before you finally leave it.

Moving Day

  1. Make a thorough inspection of your new office space together with your contractor.
  2. Test all the telephone lines, computers, lights, and other office facilities to ensure that everything is working well.

2. Office Layout

Here are some tips when planning your office layout:

  • Maximize your office space, especially if you are anticipating growth for your company in the near future. Just don’t make it too restrictive for staff movement either.
  • Consider hiring a professional service planner to help you strike the balance you need in space planning.
  • Your servers, computers, printers, projectors, telephones, and other equipment for work collaboration and connectivity should be in your layout guide.
  • Decide with your contractor where power outlets and light switches should be located.
  • Know what office furniture you already have. Identify which pieces you are discarding, refurbishing, or replacing entirely.
  • Check the type of fit-out service that your new office needs, such as walls, partitions, or shelves.
  • Discuss with your fit-out company the size and location of these facilities — reception area, staff workstations, conference rooms, break rooms, pantry, and comfort rooms.

3. Internal and External Communications Plan

Give appropriate notice about the company’s relocation to all stakeholders. Here’s how you can make your internal and external communications plan a success:

  • Launch a move awareness campaign within your organization. Use it as an opportunity to share with staff the reason for the move as well as future plans of the company.
  • Provide employees with an info kit about the new office facilities and amenities. Then, organize a staff tour before the move-in.
  • Create a master list of customers, vendors, and suppliers who should receive communication about your change of address. Recipients should include your bank, accounting firm, insurance company, internet provider, and so on.
  • Assure customers that it will be “business as usual” and outline the positive sides of the move.
  • Request the postal service to forward all mail to your new office.

4. Paperwork

Moving to a new office will require you to apply for a business permit, service agreement with the property owner, insurance, equipment lease, and other licenses. You could also take advantage of this time to find new partners for expiring service contracts so that you can get better rates and pricing packages.

 

STEP THREE: Moving Day

Moving out of the old office and moving to the new site doesn’t have to cause undue stress or anxiety if you keep these things in mind:

  • Hold a briefing with your employees and the moving team to give additional instructions about the transfer, such as distributing entry permits to the new building.
  • You should have a skeletal workforce who will make sure that there is continuity of operations on that day, especially when it comes to processing or shipping orders for customers. Make sure they have access to relevant data and files that have been set up over an extranet.
  • Provide snacks and refreshments to all moving representatives. Give each one of them a copy of significant contact numbers.
  • Ask everyone to keep their communication lines open.
  • Send an advance party who will be in charge of bringing items from the moving truck into the new office. Arrange to have the air-conditioner turned on upon their arrival at the site.

 

STEP FOUR: Transitioning After the Move

It might take a few days or weeks for everyone to get settled in the new office. However, there are ways to make the post-move transition as smooth as possible.

  • Distribute a list of new telephone numbers, extension numbers, and department locations to all employees. Hand out new key fobs and access cards, too.
  • Check the building premises and facilities to see if there are issues that need to be addressed. Request your employees to report their own observations, too.
  • Ask the teams if their equipment is working and if they need additional supplies for their new workstation.
  • Stock your office pantry with free snacks and drinks while staff members are still unfamiliar with where to shop for their meals.
  • Plan an office warming party to welcome employees to their new environment and thank them for contributing to a smooth office move-in.

 

The Pains and Joys of Moving to a New Office

Moving your office to a new location is never easy. You’ll need excellent project management skills to make sure that all details go as smoothly as planned.

Good news is, you could have fewer worries when you rent an Arch serviced office for your new space. All Arch offices have a plug-and-play feature so you can move in quickly. Arch’s office solutions include fully furnished office space, pre-installed internet system that’s fast and secure, and 24/7 security access for your office and employees, among other innovative office ideas.

You can save a lot of time and money on renting an office space in Makati with Arch. More importantly, your employees will feel more motivated to work in a newer and better office setup.

Ultimate Business Guide to Makati CBD: All You Need to Know + Tips

An office space can be viewed as a validation of a company’s success and growth. In an office setting, it’s a lot easier to monitor employees and their work every day, while meetings with potential partners can also be done in the company’s own space for a personalized feel.

Office location is also essential. You want to be in an area that will benefit your business, partners, customers, and employees. You wouldn’t want to set up in a place where you know the company won’t thrive.

For a time, Makati Central Business District (CBD) was the go-to location for companies, both locally- and internationally-based. And while many other CBDs have sprung up over the years, Makati continues to prosper and is even getting regular upgrades to accommodate its ever-growing corporate population.

 

I. What is the Makati CBD

The Makati CBD was developed around 1960, including the construction of Ayala Avenue. The town that once contained a small airport became a cosmopolitan hub over time. Corporate buildings were constructed, and soon, different businesses opened.

Both start-ups and large companies choose to start out in this city for different reasons, but mainly because it’s a very progressive location that is open to diversity and different facets of life—not just employment—like culture, entertainment, food, retail, technology, arts, and a lot more.

 

Makati CBD at a Glance

 

Revenue

In 2015, Makati recorded P14 billion in revenue, half of which came from business tax. The good news is, despite competition from other business districts, it is still able to reach the revenue target each year.

As early as October 2017, Makati already surpassed its P14.5 billion revenue target for the year, with earnings of around P15.5 billion. Business tax was again the most significant factor, with collections of up to P8.2 billion.

Offices

Many of the buildings and skyscrapers in the CBD are filled with offices. And being a prime location, it’s no surprise that companies from different industries live within these structures, ranging from telecommunications and finance to creative agencies and e-commerce.

Another industry that has enjoyed success in this city is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). As of 2015, there are 274 BPO offices in Makati. IT-readiness is cited as one of the reasons why BPOs choose to have offices in this city.

While medium-to-large companies get to enjoy their own huge workplace, small businesses, start-ups, and freelance workers also get to work in Makati thanks to the emergence of coworking space in Metro Manila.

Common businesses

According to Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO), there were 4,211 new businesses registered for 2015. Commercial and retail establishments and private companies earned an estimated Php1.1 trillion combined gross sales the same year, making Makati an excellent location for both conglomerates and start-ups.

Corporations

There are more than 2,000 local and international companies that made Makati CBD their home. Some of these names include PLDT, SGV, Intel, Microsoft, Syngenta, Shell, Convergys, and Accenture.

Banks

Both local and multinational financial institutions choose to have head offices or branches in Makati CBD due to its long-running economic activity. There are around 472 banks in the city as of 2015—BDO, BPI, Security Bank, and RCBC have their headquarters here; while HSBC, Deutsche Bank, and Standard Chartered have branches.

Embassies and Consulates

Because of its expat-friendly environment and facilities, Makati houses around 80 embassies and consulates, including Indonesian, Italian, Greek, Australian, Saudi Arabian, Korean, Uruguay, and Nepalese, to name a few.

In addition, international governmental organizations and humanitarian institutions like the International Committee of the Red Cross and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund are in the city.

Shopping

The expansive shopping complex of Makati CBD will cater to everyone’s needs. Located just stone’s throw away from each other, Greenbelt, Landmark, Glorietta, and SM Makati have become a lifestyle and cultural hubs for locals and visitors alike, especially with the Ayala Museum just nearby.

Nightlife

Makati employees work hard but party harder, and that’s why each street is brimming with restaurants and watering holes that are as awake as call center agents during their shift.

Transit

Buses, trains, jeepneys, taxis, shuttle services—there are lots of ways to reach Makati CBD via public transportation, making it very accessible to both commuters and car owners, although the roads are almost always congested especially during rush hours.

Traffic rules are strictly enforced—public transportations are only permitted to load and unload on specific areas. The district is also very walkable. People often opt to walk around to reach their destination. Makati has an extensive underground and elevated walkway structures, some of which are complete with escalators for easy access.

Important information

Fire Station: Makati’s Bureau of Fire Protection is located at the intersection of Ayala Avenue and Gil Puyat Avenue

Healthcare: Makati Medical Center is touted as one of the best healthcare facilities not just in the city. There are also a lot of clinics that accept different Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) for employees who have one.

 

II. What You Need to Open Your Business in Makati

Make sure to secure these documents before going to Makati City Hall for a streamlined, hassle-free application. And, as always, bring lots of patience.

  1. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Business Name Certificate; Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Articles of Partnership; or SEC Certificate of Incorporation
  2. Barangay Clearance/Permit
  3. ID and Authorization letter of owner
  4. Contract of Lease or Land Title/Tax Declaration
  5. Sketch of Location
  6. Occupancy Permit
  7. Locational Clearance
  8. Public Liability Insurance
  9. Community Tax Certificate/Cedula (available at the City Treasurer’s Office)
  10. Fire Permit (can be applied and paid to a Fire Department personnel)
  11. Sanitary Permit (will require Microbiological water analysis, Pest control, and Health certificate for all employees)

Application for Locational Clearance

Application form for Locational Clearance is available at the Zoning Division. The notarized form, along with other documents (DTI Business Name Certificate; SEC Articles of Partnership; or SEC Certificate of Incorporation, Barangay Clearance/Permit, ID and Authorization letter of the owner, Contract of Lease or Land Title/Tax Declaration, Sketch of Location, and Occupancy Permit) is required upon submission.

An officer will assess and determine if your application is for processing or inspection. A processed application means that the locational clearance will be released after three working days, while those for inspection will be released after five working days.

Application for Business Registration/Mayor’s Permit

Once you have filled out and notarized your Business Registration form, go to the BPLO and submit the form along with other requirements (DTI Business Name Certificate; SEC Articles of Partnership; or SEC Certificate of Incorporation, Barangay Clearance/Permit, Locational Clearance, Public Liability Insurance, Community Tax Certificate/Cedula).

An assessor from BPLO will process your application and assess how much is needed as a fee. Once assessed, give the application to a BPLO officer for validation.

Submit both application and assessment to the receiving section of the BPLO; the BPLO staff will then give you a receiving copy. Payment can only be made the day after BPLO turns over the application to the cashier’s office.

Once paid, go to the Releasing of Permits and hand over the paid applications and Fire and Sanitary permits. The Mayor’s/Business Permit will be given shortly after.

 

III. What to Consider When Looking for an Office Space

There are a lot of factors that come in when deciding what space to choose or whether to rent or own a workplace.

Budget

In 2016, office for rent in Makati can go at a rate of about P1,116 per sq m / month. While that may not sound like a lot, every centavo matters when planning out your organizational costs. Make a practical decision when paying off your office space. It should be reasonable and should not cause a dent in your company’s financial resources.

Employees’ Needs

There should be enough space to accommodate the number of employees, as well as the equipment you need inside the office. As much as possible, there should be an area available for every aspect of work (and recreation!) that employees need to do.

Expansion

No corporation wants to remain stagnant or go down the drain; so, when thinking of renting or buying out a workspace, consider company growth as well. If you’re planning to hire more people, make sure that they can have an area all for themselves.

Clients’ Needs

Business partners are necessary for your company growth, and the best way to gain their trust is to accommodate them with the utmost pleasure. Have an office that is always prepped to receive guests and choose to have one on a location that is the most accessible for them. Consider other details, as well, like parking space availability and security.

 

IV. What are Your Office Space Options

Depending on your business, take into account these different office space options when selecting the type of workspace you’re going for.

Home Business

For start-ups with only a handful of employees, starting your company at home isn’t a crazy idea. If you already have a condo or house in Makati, the only thing you’ll need to worry about is how to organize your home to fit your office needs. Remember, though, that you still need to apply for a business permit.

Coworking Space

A better but costlier alternative to working at home is getting a coworking space. Here, you can rent out facilities like Internet connection, working areas, conference rooms, and eating areas, among others. You’d also get to share a space with other businesses renting the location, and this may help grow your network.

Virtual Office

A virtual office is an unorthodox office environment, rented through a provider to offer address services without providing actual office space. One or more businesses can rent a single virtual space. This is ideal for start-ups or medium or large enterprises that want to avoid the complexities of getting a traditional office.

Office Space Rental

Rental (or even purchase) is better for businesses that are expecting long-term returns. To save you from the hassle of setting up an internal facility management team, go for a serviced office type of space like those from Arch Serviced Offices. Their office and office building are run by its own facility management company, offering different companies their required workspace resources.

 

Despite many cities—in and out of Metro Manila—flourishing well to have a business district of their own, Makati is still special for many companies in the country. Those that found their footing in the city have grown and made their way to other places, while there are some that choose to remain and give back to the CBD.