Like almost every industry, the legal profession has encountered numerous difficulties during the global pandemic brought about by COVID-19. Some of these challenges include transitioning to remote work, converting to remote litigation, and facing higher competition for talent.
Helpful tips on getting the timing right on an office relocation to avoid a stressful process.
There is little worse than a looming deadline where no progress has been made on the task at hand.
Like a tsunami bearing down on an idyllic beach long after the warning bells have gone off – you will never out run it.
At best you will find yourself being thrashed around at the mercy of the sea, struggling to stay afloat and relive the horror experience for many years to come.
Don’t let it happen to your next office relocation project or you may run the risk of ending up with, at worst case, nowhere to move to, or at least, an extremely stressful move-in period.
The timing schedule involved in an office fitout and relocation depends on a number of elements: the size of your office space, the time of year you look to undertake it and the location of your new office space.
Size of Office Space
The timing as to precisely when you need to relocate is usually dictated by the date of your lease expiry, so it is actually quite simple to work backwards from there and identify points that ideally should be reached in numbers of weeks out from the final lease date.
Obviously, the smaller the office space, the less time will be involved in the process, both with finding space, right through to the construction and relocation stage.
However, that doesn’t mean that just because one may have a smaller office space (let’s say for example, 250 square metres), that you don’t need to think about until the last minute.
To ensure a totally smooth process, our recommendation is, for any size office, to be in the market place at least 4 months ahead of the lease expiry date, and for a 500 square metres plus space, at least 6-8 months.
This will ensure there is ample time for you to evaluate property options, work with your interiors partner to secure a great design, and ultimately, get out of your space with enough time on your side to carry out any make-good works.
Time of Year
If you are talking about this process including a December-January period, it’s a good idea to automatically add four weeks to the schedule.
This is because many of the trades and manufacturing departments across the industry take extended leave across this period, which can hamper efforts if one is trying to pursue a very tight deadline.
That is not to say projects cannot be done across this period, it is just a good idea to bear that in mind when you are planning your move-in schedule – allow for a contingency so to speak.
Location of Office
The third consideration is where is your new office located?
Premium and A grade office space can pose timing issues when gaining building owner’s approval.
Most of such buildings recommend allowing for at least a 2-week turnaround on building owners consent, even for the smallest of office fitouts.
This is required to lodge the application for a Building Permit, which in turn can take up to 2 weeks (regardless of size). If you are looking to go to Premium or A-Grade space, it is also important to look through the building’s tenancy fitout guide prior to starting works to ensure that all building requirements have been covered off on.
However, if you are looking at B-Grade space, or maybe even space in a metropolitan area, the timing of building owner’s consent is not usually such an issue – these are careful considerations that need to be taken into account.
Consequences of Failure
A failure to recognise the time the whole process takes will inevitably result in increased stress levels for yourself and your team, particularly if something comes off the rails.
With the market as competitive as it is, there is a genuine chance that you could miss out on the property you may have been eyeing off for months.
It is best to always err on the side of caution when looking to move.
Getting a complete workspace consultancy practice involved from the start can be very beneficial. With their expertise across multiple specialist fields, they are able to identify any potential timing and even budget issues (such as a need for increased A/C capacity) that may arise, and with plenty of notice, they can be effectively addressed.
So if you are considering a move in the next twelve months, take this as the initial tsunami warning.
Should I have one more cocktail? One more little dip in the sea?
Never think ‘it only happens to other people.’
It is safest to act while you can to ensure you remain in control of your destiny.
Do the menial jobs first.
Hit it hard early.
And there’s no doubt, you will be rewarded with a smooth transition as the tsunami recedes into nothing more than a harmless breaker, and like a surfing professional in Hawaii, you will expertly guide your board to shore.
If you are unsure about when to contact us about your office move, contact us now. Simply fill out the web form below and we will be in touch within 24 hours, or simply call and speak to one of our consultants – 1300 200 750.
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