Save Money by Sweating the Office Decommissioning Details

Failing to address the requirements listed in an office decommissioning agreement can lead to unnecessary costs and extra headaches.

Most managers have a general understanding of the mechanics behind an office move—furniture and equipment are moved from one facility to another in a specific timeframe, and eventually employees join them. But leases for commercial office spaces often contain specific actions businesses must take before they can turn over the keys to the realtor.

Don’t leave this process to the last minute. It’s best to include decommissioning procedures as a part of your overall office moving plan.

As you begin to plan your office move, consider the following steps to ensure a seamless and cost-effective relocation.

1. Carefully Review your Commercial Lease Agreement

All office decommissioning requirements can be found in the lease agreement you originally signed with the real estate company. These terms are typically specific and encompass all actions your business must take before departing the facility. Usually, the terms include the following:

  • Do you need to sweep the floors before departing the facility?
  • Are you required to remove or replace flooring?
  • Do you need to patch or repaint walls?
  • Will your company need to replace ceiling tiles and grid work?
  • What are the requirements for removing cabling in your facility?

2. Build Decommissioning Procedures into Office Move Timeline

Ultimately, addressing these requirements will take time and will therefore need to be included in your move plan. Rather than waiting until the last minute to address these terms, it’s wise to consider the amount of time you will need to allocate for completion and then inform all parties.

When you’re creating the timeline, be sure to include as much “wiggle” room as possible with the time you set aside to complete each task. Rest assured, there will be unexpected obstacles that reveal themselves along the way, and it’s best to anticipate and prepare for them as much as you possibly can.

3. Evaluate Potential Vendors

Given the complexity of the office decommissioning process it’s important to partner with vendors who are experienced in performing office decommissions. Cost should, of course, be one your major consideration, but you should also seek as much information as possible about potential decommissioning vendors to get a sense of how their services differ from their competitors.

To start, don’t assume all office moving companies offer decommissioning services. When seeking a quote, ask the company specifically whether they offer the services as well as the breadth of the decommissioning services they offer.

4. Plan to keep External Constituents in the Loop

For businesses, it’s difficult enough to communicate effectively with their own staff, let alone those outside of the company.

But during the office decommission process, it’s absolutely critical for the departing company to be as transparent as possible about their plans with not only the real estate company but also any vendors involved in the office move and decommission process.

When communicating with the real estate company it’s imperative to keep conversations centered around clarifying terms of the lease agreement as well as offering them updates on the progress made toward meeting the decommissioning requirements listed in the lease.

Similarly, vendors such as office moving companies need to know when your company intends to move so they can plan when they will need to be at your facility over the course of the move.

5. Thoroughly Inspect Facility Before Turning Over

The day of your office move will certainly be hectic, but it’s crucial to not skip the small details.

Before the day arrives, create a checklist to use when reviewing each item listed in the decommissioning agreement. Then, assign a team to help you go through each item once the moving process is complete but before you turn over the keys to the facility.

Once the office moving company finishes the decommissioning process, carefully inspect to ensure their work satisfies the terms listed in the agreement. If you notice any errors, alert the decommissioning and real estate companies as soon as possible to resolve the issues. Do not turn over the facility until you are certain each term of the decommissioning agreement has been thoroughly addressed.

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