Some companies underestimate the investment that’s required to move a business from Point A to Point B. Even when you’re relocating within the same office park or the same building, your budget will need to account for much more than just physical moving services.

Here are five tips to help keep your corporate relocation project on time and on budget.

1. Measure Twice, Cut Once

That’s a folksy way to emphasize the need for planning. And although the saying sounds simple, it’s amazing how often in-house move committees breeze through the pre-work stages, in an effort to “dig in” and get ahead of schedule. The truth is: you can’t get ahead without a comprehensive plan.

Company moves require ample lead team for things like floor-plan layouts, furniture orders, upgraded hardware, site inspections, etc. Having outside consultants oversee your plan from the outset—professionals who have experience anticipating these kinds of early phase projects—will help you avoid rework, change orders, and unnecessary downtime. Because for every day that you’re straddling multiple locations, you are losing money on business disruption.

2. Prioritize People

It’s easy to assign a dollar value to all the sensitive equipment and technology assets you need to transport. But companies can’t quantify (and often overlook) the costs associated with uprooting people. These go beyond straightforward employee relocation costs.

Many employees feel threatened by change—especially a major change like a brand new office location. If the new space is smaller, there will likely be rumors about downsizing and layoffs. If the space is larger, employees may feel estranged from their line managers and supervisors who used to be more physically accessible.

Employees may also experience logistical challenges or inconveniences, as the result of a corporate relocation. Longer commutes, scarcer parking spots, changes in childcare providers or gym memberships: all these examples can be major sources of frustration, which ultimately lead to disengagement and loss of productivity. So your relocation budget should include proactive initiatives to diffuse employee stress—whether it’s a monthly parking allowance to offset new garage costs, or a fully-stocked company kitchen to make lunch breaks more convenient.

3. Invest in Professional Space Planning

More complex than a life-sized jigsaw puzzle, commercial space planning is an actual discipline. Space planners help companies maximize the physical space in a new facility and account for different variables—like privacy, acoustics, noise levels, and light levels. Space planning also goes hand in hand with human resource goals, as a business’ physical layout can have a major impact on its work culture. (For example, rows of high-walled cubicles won’t exactly encourage collaboration.) Finally, space planners must account for future expansion possibilities—offering practical ways to house new workstations or equipment, if growth is an organizational goal.

4. Outsource Building Management Matters

As you leave an old facility and set up shop in a new one, you need to understand all the terms and conditions of your leasehold. What are you allowed to build or modify? Are tenant improvement funds available? Which inspections or permits are required?

If this doesn’t seem like a lot to tackle on your own, remember there’s still a lengthy list of “small” details (mail delivery, insurance, phone and data cabling, employee key cards, parking permits, signage changes, elevator access for furniture moving…) that warrant a dedicated point person to interface with your new landlord or building manager. You can hire an experienced liaison up front, or you can run into roadblocks, waste time, and end up paying for help anyway.

5. Provide Post-Move Troubleshooting

Even the best-executed moves will stir up some dust—problems that don’t materialize until after the boxes are unpacked and the old space is empty. By partnering with corporate relocation project managers, you can offload the long list of questions and help requests that inevitably arise. For some companies, it makes sense to create an online portal and ticketing system to keep track of open items. Outsourced project managers can address tickets and/or route specific issues to the appropriate departments for prompt, efficient resolution.

Planning a company move? Wondering about more specific issues or budget items? Feel free to contact us with your questions. We love hearing from readers and sharing our expertise!