27 Jul 2017 How to Manage the Complexities of Moving Your Office in the UAE
The reasons for moving your office can vary from business growth to moving closer to your suppliers or customers. In any case the location of your new office should be your primary consideration. The difference in rental space between an upscale locality like Downtown Dubai and an upcoming community like Dubai Silicon Oasis can be as high as 150% per square meter. So, it is important to maximize the value from the location you select.
Other crucial considerations are staying close to your target customer base, easy commutes for your employees in terms of transport links and parking space, and proximity to local amenities.
When scoping out potential properties make sure to contact several estate agents who have experience in dealing with commercial premises. You can use tools like Dubizzle and Bayut or PropertyFinder for research potential locations and arrange for a viewing. Don’t hesitate in asking your property agent about the current market, any new developments or issues with the properties you view. Make sure you are aware about any hidden costs or issues like unpaid maintenance fees by the landlord.
Select the Right Office
Another important consideration when looking for a new property is to check for the layout of the offices. The shape of the office premises will dictate your future interior design concepts and workflow possibilities. If the space isn’t quite right it will hamper productivity and affect client perception about your company. It is a good idea to create a checklist of key expectations for your office space. While you might not get everything you are looking for, you can eliminate any property that doesn’t fit a majority of your requirements.
Set a Budget
An office relocation is a major project and could prove costly if you don’t plan the details from the beginning. Use a budget planner to plan the costs and stay focused to avoid any unexpected expenses along the way.
Prepare the office
Once you’ve decided on the property, it is a good idea to start preparing your current office for the move. Organize your existing office tasks before you move:
• Complete a full inventory
• If you are using your existing furniture, plan for packaging and moving. If not, talk to your office fit-out contractor about the new furniture for optimum workflow productivity.
• Use this opportunity to safely destroy unwanted files and redundant office material
• Determine if you would like separate storage space for archived material. This can be incorporated in the new office layout by the interior design company.
New office design and floor plan
The design of your new office is crucial as it improve communication between your teams, increase operational efficiency and boost workplace productivity as well as staff morale and well-being. An office which is not planned correctly can easily lead to lethargy and compromise business processes. Over time this will lead to lost customers.
We have listed some important considerations when working with your interior designer or contractor:
• Positioning of employees and teams
• Teams that work together often and need to be in close proximity
• Upcoming staffing requirements as your business grows
• Flexibility in employee workspaces – we have noticed a trend towards open, flexible offices rather than a set desk space.
• Don’t forget empty spaces which give the office a more open environment and help employees move around freely
• Location of workstations, shelving and required partitioning
• Refurbishment requirements (carpets, blinds, lighting, heating etc.)
• Design requirements – colour schemes, artwork, creative touches
Prepare Floor plans for the use of staff and service providers
To help determine the design we can create floor plans in a standard format. In this design you can plan the location of all your furniture, telecommunications equipment, and individual workspaces. This design will also help your moving contractor, interior designer, and interior fit out contractor in planning the office fit-out project. Eire Gulf can create effective floor plans that meet your requirements.
This indicative floor plan will help you move on to producing a full layout – desks, meeting rooms kitchens, communication and IT rooms and air-conditioning units. You can then decide which look and feel you prefer by putting up mood boards. The colour scheme and design should match your brand and company identity.
Eire Gulf can guide you through the regulatory requirements and DED permissions. We can then create 3D renderings of your new office layout will help give a clear visual of what your new office will look like. From the lighting to the flooring, we work with you to create a space that breeds productivity and success.
Health and Safety
Health and safety is of paramount importance because you are responsible, even if you hire fit-out contractors. Make sure you work with companies with excellent health and safety credentials and processes. Ask your appointed fit out contractor to provide you with health and safety assistance. Get someone to check out any health and safety file that may exist for your chosen building, and make sure it’s up to date. Consider what arrangements you’d like contractors coming into your new premises to comply with parking, access and welfare issues.
Before and during your move it is important that you communicate your plans with external and internal stakeholders. There is bound to be some downtime but issues can be controlled with a carefully planned statement. Make sure to update your location with government departments, insurance agents and online directories.
You will need to keep regular contact with your suppliers and landlord, while ensuring that staff are kept up-to-date with the process at all times. Poor communication could lead to you losing important documents and losing the faith of your customers, so make sure you plan everything meticulously.
On arrival at your new office you will need to have a team of people on-hand to unpack, sort and setup, ensuring that everything is put in the right place. You will also need time to test all of your electrics, hardware, servers, networks and telephones, with help on-hand to fix problems. Check the condition of the office on arrival and make an inventory of everything. Take photographs and agree the condition with your new landlord. Identify any quality issues with design/re-fitting suppliers and remember, your office needs to be ready for business as soon as the doors open on Sunday morning, otherwise clients could see missed calls, failed e-mails and late documents as signs of inorganization.
An office move is a key stage of your business’s growth and you want to make sure your customers and staff don’t feel disrupted by your plans; just keep in mind all the finer details and your move will be a success.
Contact Eire Gulf for a full evaluation of your current office design and consultation for the office of your future.