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How Long Does It Take to Move Offices?

Lucy O'Connor
Lucy O'Connor|Updated August 20th 2019

Moving offices is a major project that involves careful planning. Before you start searching for your perfect office, you need to consider how long the process will take and plan the least disruptive time for your business to move. Having a timeline and a set deadline in place can help make the whole process more efficient. With a deadline in sight, you don’t have the luxury of procrastinating and it is motivating for your employees to have a set date to work towards.  But how long does it take to find and move offices?

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There are three key elements that dictate how long the move will take:

  1. The type of office you are moving to (serviced, managed or leased)
  2. The size of your team
  3. The amount of time you want to dedicate to the search process

We’ve consulted our brilliant Tenant Advisors and put together a handy guide to advise how long it will take (on average – this isn’t an exact science!) to relocate, depending on the size of your team and the type of office you are moving to. Our Hubble experts also shared some top tips on how to make the move as smooth as possible and minimise disruption to your business.

Want to check that the budget you’ve allocated to your office move is realistic? Use our calculator to find out in just a few seconds.

Moving to a Serviced Office

The type of office you are moving to largely affects how long it takes to move. Moving to a serviced office is a lot quicker and easier than moving to a managed/leased office. Serviced offices are set up and ready to go from the day you move in. The utilities, bills and day to day running of the office are managed by another company and the space comes complete with furniture. So, all you need to do is move your team and your favourite mug to your new building and the office provider will manage the rest.

The timeline for moving to a serviced office largely depends on how long the office manager/business owner wants to dedicate to the search process, it could take one day, one month, or longer. In general, the larger the business, the longer it takes to move – mainly because there are more opinions to consider and there is more risk involved. Check out our average timeline for different sized companies moving to serviced offices:  

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We spoke to Tai, Lily and Charlie, Hubble tenant advisors, to understand how long the process takes and to get some expert advice on how to speed up the move.

Tai, how long on average does it take for one deskers to move office?

Tai: Some people complete on the day they view the office, but I’d say on average it takes people two weeks to view different workspaces and decide. It really depends on the person, if they have a narrow search criterion and they know exactly what they want, it can be really quick.

Lily, how can businesses speed up the process?

Lily: When moving to a serviced office, the planning/searching phase takes the most time. If a team knows what they want and they have a location and budget in mind, it speeds up the process. It is therefore really important to plan before the search process begins and to include the rest of the team in the brainstorming process.

The actual search can be really time-consuming – when you go down the traditional route. On our platform you can filter the search by office type, location and budget, consequently speeding up the lengthiest part of looking for a serviced office.

If you’re not sure how to select your budget, you can use our calculator to help estimate the cost of your office and the square footage you need in the click of a button.

How long would you advise teams of 20-50 to spend searching for serviced offices?

Charlie: Most businesses of this size allow at least a month for the search process. There are more people involved in the decision-making process and more people means more risk, so companies tend to spend at least a month to find the right office. 

Having said that, we can help businesses of this size move to a serviced office in 24-48 hours. Recently, we helped a team of 28 move in under 48 hours(!) Their initial office move using brokers fell through, so we created a shortlist of spaces to suit their criteria, we arranged back-to-back viewings and helped them to sign the deal all within 48 hours. 

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Moving to a Managed Office

Moving to a managed office takes more time than moving to a serviced office. Whilst they both provide flexible space and are both operated by a separate party, managed offices are customised to a company’s requirements. Before moving in, a tenant must define their specification, from the number of desks to the type of chairs, to the finishing touches. Following these guidelines, the office provider then fits out the space. This usually takes between one and two months.

Again the time it takes to move offices is dependent on the size of the team, a bigger team will require a bigger space which in turn will take longer to furnish. In general, small companies don’t tend to move to managed offices because it is not cost effective, so we have created an average timeline for teams bigger than 20.

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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. Check out our handy checklist to help you with planning.

Finding a managed office in London can be really difficult, but our Hubble tenant advisors can help put together a managed office solution, either directly via a landlord or tenant or by using a third party. Read about how Hubble helped BRAVO COMPANY move their team of 60 to a managed office space. 

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Moving to a Leased Office

More established, bigger businesses tend to prefer a leased option because it gives them more control over costs and internal culture. If you’re still not sure which type of office is right for your business, check out this flowchart.

The process of 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. Unlike both serviced and managed solutions, the legal transaction is dealt with by the business owner/office manager. Given this responsibility, it is critical to plan well in advance of the desired move-in date.  

The tenant is 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.

Want to speed up the process of finding and briefing an office design company? Check out this blog for some tips.

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We spoke to Holly, Tenant Advisor and Real-Estate Expert, about how long it takes different sized companies to move to a leased office. 

Holly, can you help to break down the timeline?

Holly: It takes between one to two months to search and find the office space, the legal transaction takes between two and three months and then it takes one to two months to fit out the space – but this largely depends on its size.

Why does it take longer to move to a leased solution than a serviced or a managed office?

Holly: The best way of describing it is that it’s the difference between you renting a flat and buying a house. There are more complicated legals involved with a lease, more risk, more exposure to things going wrong, and more planning and responsibility involved. 

How can you help to speed up the process? 

Holly: Moving to a leased office is a huge undertaking – but we can help you by offering free advice. We can oversee or project manage the whole process (whichever suits you) from shortlisting potential solutions to independently sourcing bespoke options. 

If you are interested in leasing office space, please contact our tenant advisory team at +44 20 3608 0215 or email enquiries@hubblehq.com for free advice. You can also book a consultation at a time that suits you at this link.

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Moving offices is no mean feat. But setting a deadline and planning well ahead of the move in date can help make the move as smooth as possible. A quick turnaround time can minimise disruption to your business, and that’s where Hubble can help. Our platform, brilliant support team and tenant advisors can help to speed up the process by making the initial search more efficient and by helping to project manage the move. 

If your deadlines are in place and you are ready to start searching for your perfect office, click the link below: 

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