How Long Does It Take to Move Offices?

The Hubble Team
The Hubble Team|

Before you find a new office, there’s probably one question on your mind: how long does an office move take?

Moving offices is a major project that involves meticulous planning. Before you start, you need to establish how long it takes to get from A to B and ensure minimal disruption to your business.

But how do you even plan an office move if you don’t know how long it takes?

With the help of Hubble’s brilliant advisory team, we’ve put together an office move guide to help you figure it all out.

While this isn’t an exact science, we’ve considered the size of your team and the type of office to come up with an average.

What factors dictate how long an office move will take?

First, let’s cover the three key elements that dictate how much time you dedicate to planning an office move:

1) The type of office you move to

Mindspace – Shoreditch

Nowadays, there are various office types you can choose from. These include:

  • Serviced offices (such as full-time or part-time offices)
  • Managed offices
  • Leased offices
  • On-demand workspace

But the one you pick determines whether your office move takes a weekend or an entire six months. Below, we delve into more detail on how long it will take to move into each specific office.

2) The size of your team

UNCOMMON – Liverpool Street

Next, we’ve got the size of your team. This can affect the duration of an office move in a few ways.

Firstly, a larger team means more opinions to accommodate. You want to ensure you’re taking your teams’ workspace preferences into account, and taking the time to understand can be time-consuming. But it’s worth it!

Secondly, a larger team typically requires more laptops, screens, and furniture. This means more boxes, more hands, and perhaps a need for larger vehicles or multiple trips — all of which can lengthen the timeframe.

What’s more, setting up workstations and IT equipment takes longer with more team members, and decision-making can sometimes be slower due to multiple stakeholders.

But luckily, relying on the expertise of advisors can make the whole process a lot smoother.

3) The amount of time you dedicate to the search process

Every office move is different. While some businesses have all the time in the world, others may face more urgency to find an office. This significantly impacts how long it takes to move offices.

For example, you may have complex requirements. In this case, a longer search period is needed for thorough research, multiple viewings, and comparisons.

You may also find that your business has expanded, so you need to quickly find a new office space that accommodates a larger team and growing business demands.

For us at Hubble, businesses driven by growth or favourable market conditions will opt for a shorter search to meet urgent needs.

However, a longer timeframe is best suited for companies that want to strategise and ensure every team member’s needs and preferences are considered.

Keen to check if your office move budget is realistic? Use our handy calculator to find out in just a few seconds.

How long does it take to move to a serviced office?

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. How long does it take to plan a move to a serviced office?

Serviced offices are set up and ready to go from the day you move in. A separate company handles all your utilities, bills, furniture, and day-to-day office management.

All you need to do is sign a contract and move your team (and their favourite plants!) into the space, and the workspace provider takes care of the rest.

With this in mind, the timeline for moving to a serviced office solely depends on how much time you want to dedicate to the search process. Since there’s less paperwork, you can move in immediately. Or you can take a weekend, a week, or a month to think things through.

There are two types of serviced offices available on the Hubble platform:

  • Full-Time Offices: An office for your team that you can access every day of the working week.
  • Part-Time Offices: An office for your team that you can access 1-3 days per week.

The type of office you choose will influence how far in advance to start looking. With full-time offices, companies can usually sign up to 3 months ahead of the start date. However, with part-time offices, companies usually cannot sign a contract more than 4 weeks ahead of the start date.

How long does it take to move to a managed office?

Compared to serviced offices, moving into a managed office takes more time.

This is because managed offices require greater input from the tenant. While this type of office rental provides a flexible workspace that a separate company operates, managed offices are customised to a company’s requirements.

Think of a managed office like a “blank canvas” that needs to be filled. You, the tenant, must establish what you need — from the number of desks and chairs to the type of floor finishes — and you must do this before moving in.

Following these guidelines, the office provider then fits out the space. This usually takes between one and two months. Again, how long it takes to move offices will depend on the team size — the bigger the time, the bigger the space, which will take longer to furnish.

When it comes to moving to a managed office, the furnishing of the space often takes longer than expected. We advise measuring, designing, and furnishing the space one to two months before the deadline.

Finding a managed office in London can be really difficult, but our tenant advisors can help put together a managed office solution, either directly via a landlord or by using a third party.

How long does it take to move to a leased office?

A leased office is one that businesses rent directly from the building’s landlord. This is done on a price-per-square-foot basis, and a substantial deposit is required upfront.

Leased offices are a favourable option for larger, established businesses. This is because you’re unlikely to work within the constraints of a third party, and you have a lot more freedom to design and build the space exactly to your liking.

So, it’s no surprise that moving to a leased office takes longer than moving to a managed or serviced office. A lease is a lengthy, complicated legal agreement and can take 2 to 8 weeks to complete, and it’s up to the business owner to handle.

Unlike a managed office rental, you’re also responsible for furnishing the premises and installing everything from cabling to partitions. This usually takes between one and two months, depending on the size and requirements of the space.

It’s the difference between renting a flat and buying the house. Given this responsibility, it is critical to plan well in advance of the desired move-in date. 

How long does it take to move to an on-demand workspace?

On-demand workspaces are workspaces you can book by the day or hour.

Hubble On-Demand is a flexible solution ideal for remote teams who want to meet and collaborate in person. It’s also suitable for any company that wants to give their teams access to high-quality workspaces in convenient locations. These include:

Since these workspaces are bookable on-demand, you can secure a hot desk or a private office for your team less than 24 hours before you intend to use it.

But here’s a breakdown on how long it takes to move to an office that’s available on-demand:

Day passes to coworking space

UNCOMMON – Borough

When you book an on-demand coworking space, you can grab a desk and work in the building for the entire day. You can also use the building’s facilities, such as free coffee, phone booths, and even gyms.

With Hubble On-Demand, you can easily book a day pass to a coworking space for the next day. However, most of the providers on our platform need to receive and secure the booking by 5pm the previous day.

Day offices

Team Day Offices in London
Boutique Workplace – Tottenham Court Rd

A day office is a private space separated and out of earshot from other companies. With no contractual ties to worry about, you and your team can brainstorm, work on a project, or strategise whenever and wherever you want.

With Hubble On-Demand, you can book a private day office on short notice, but your request must be made by 2pm the day before you need it.

Meeting rooms

x+why – Whitechapel

With Hubble On-Demand, you can book a meeting room by the hour or day. This will give you access to a fit-for-purpose space with facilities that’ll make your meeting a total breeze.

If you need to make a last-minute request for a meeting room, you can — but make sure to submit your request by 2pm on the working day before your desired booking date.

This could be before 2pm on a Friday for a Monday morning booking, for example.

Tips for planning an office move

1) Use data to help guide your decisions

As with any significant business change, it’s worth relying on data to help guide your decision.

For instance, an employee survey can reveal current and future office usage and location preferences, helping to pinpoint suitable office types and convenient locations for your search.

We recently did this at Hubble. After examining office attendance patterns, we concluded that Tuesdays and Thursdays were the most popular office days.

This led us to find a part-time office for our team at 60% capacity and move in pretty quickly.

We’ve put together a blueprint for getting your team’s feedback on your workspace setup, helping you start your office search with a clear vision.

2) Organise, organise, organise!

To plan an office move effectively, organising is your best friend.

Make intelligent use of documents, spreadsheets, and checklists, ensuring they include all the tasks that need to be completed, the steps leading up to them, and who’s responsible for each.

3) Have a deadline

Having a timeline and a set deadline can help make the whole process more efficient. With a deadline, you don’t have the luxury of procrastinating. It’s motivating to have a deadline day for everyone to work towards.

How long does it take to find a new office? And how can I speed up the process?

So, with all this in mind, how long does it take to find a new office?

To answer truthfully, it completely depends on:

  • Your priorities
  • The type of office you choose
  • How much time you dedicate to the search

But at Hubble, we can help make the process faster.

Our flexible workspace platform holds 100% market coverage, with over 22,000 offices across over 1800 buildings in the UK.

Huckletree – Manchester

With over 25 years of combined experience, our team of experts places a company in their new home every 2.5 hours. They’re friendly, super responsive, and work hard to get the best deals.

So, whether you’re hybrid, remote, or fully office-based, we can help you find great workspaces for your team to use, such as:

  • Full-Time Offices: Our expert advisors can manage your entire search and negotiate the very best rate, thanks to our strong and long-lasting relationships with workspace providers.
  • Part-Time Offices: Make substantial savings without losing the magic of in-person working with your very own office for the same 1-3 days per week.
  • Hubble On-Demand: Give your team members access to thousands of on-demand workspaces to work and meet, helping you make cost savings and maintain collaboration.

For more handy content on office moves, check out our Ultimate Guide to Moving Offices resource hub.

Introducing: Part-time Offices

Your very own office 1-3 days per week. Save up to 75% compared to a full-time office.

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Prefer to chat? Get in touch with our team of expert advisors:

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+44 20 3966 6804