Corporate Relocation Tips

New Liberal Government Mandates could significantly improve Commercial Real Estate Industry

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Justin Trudeau, leader of Canadian Liberal Party and current Prime Minister of Canada
Justin Trudeau, leader of Canadian Liberal Party and current Prime Minister of Canada

Oct 19, 2015 marked an era of change for Canada—a change to a Liberal majority government. What does that mean for the commercial real estate industry over the next four years?

Well, while the Liberal government is not planning to directly invest in the commercial real estate industry at this time, some of their mandates, if fulfilled, could have a significant impact on the industry.

For example, one of the main mandates of our new Liberal majority government is to largely invest into each province’s transportation infrastructure. This means improving and adding public transit options as well as improving local roadways and highways. For commercial real estate owners, improvements in transportation around their properties could improve the marketability of the office spaces available for lease. Commercial real estate owners would not be forced to lower their lease rates to attract potential leasers. Instead they would just remarket their available office space as “accessible to” multiple forms of transit. If successful, this could potentially lower the percentage of office vacancies, at least within Ontario.

Another Liberal government mandate is to significantly invest in Canada’s social infrastructure, that is, to improve where people live and increase their options/locations for child care. For commercial real estate owners, there is an opportunity to further improve the marketability of their lease properties by adding their properties on the list as potential hot spots in which daycare centres could be built, thereby getting in on the $6+ million that the liberal government plans to invest in this area.

Finally, the Liberal government wants to invest in renewable energy. This could be significant in causing new renewable energy companies to be formed or existing ones to expand into and throughout Canada. For commercial real estate owners, this could mean more potential leasers for their properties.

Per Trudeau:

“Every dollar we spend on public infrastructure grows our economy, creates jobs, and strengthens our cities and towns… Government has a responsibility to act decisively and for the public good. Canada’s economic growth was made possible by building ambitiously. We must do so again if we are to transform our transit and transportation systems, create more liveable communities, and ensure that we adapt to a changing climate.”

Only time will tell what the true effect the Liberal government will have on the commercial real estate industry.

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DJ McGauley and Associates Inc. is your Space Planning, Renovation and Facilities Management company of choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If an office move or reconstruction of your 2,000 – 25,000 sq.ft. office space is in your plans, contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. Our friendly experienced team will work seamlessly with your staff to guide you through the process, allowing your employees to enjoy a productive, stress-free experience.

Call 416-239-1931 , email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com, or visit our website to complete our contact form.

 

References:

August 27, 2015, Liberal Party of Canada, “Trudeau commits to largest infrastructure investment in Canadian history”, https://www.liberal.ca/trudeau-commits-to-largest-infrastructure-investment-in-canadian-history/

Liberal Party of Canada, “Real Change: An Historic Investment Plan to Strengthen the Middle Class, Create Jobs and Grow Our Economy”, https://www.liberal.ca/files/2015/08/An-historic-investment-plan.pdf

The Link Between Lease Negotiations and A Rushed Office Relocation

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office lease agreement
office lease agreement

We see this quite often. Companies that know that they will need to relocate to a new office space start the process two, sometimes three years in advance, but they still end up rushing the physical office relocation procedures to within the last three months prior to their scheduled relocation date. Why is that?

Well, let’s look at the process. Companies planning an office relocation begin by engaging a real estate agent whose main focuses are to (a) find an ideal office space and (b) negotiate and close the lease. Often, however, the new location requires some redesign or reconstruction to “fit” the image and culture of the business that is moving in. That process requires a designer to be engaged to view the new location and draw up the plans for the company’s approval before office construction or build specialists are brought in to do the work…

Stop. Here is where the common error lies—Companies often are led to believe that they should not engage a designer until the lease is 100% finalized and signed. Getting to that stage of the lease negotiation process, however, could take up most if not all of the two or three years set aside for planning and putting into motion the physical office relocation!

So, when should a designer be brought into the picture?

Well, despite what most real estate agents may advise, we suggest that when there is an 80% commitment to the lease, even though the lease is not signed, that a designer be brought in to learn about the company’s goals and vision for the new office space, view the new office space, and draw up office design plans for approval. By the time the final office design plan is approved (an approximate three month process), the lease should be fully finalized, which means the office construction and build process along with the furniture research, purchase, delivery and set-up, and finally employee relocation-in can happen.

Leases are an important part of the office relocation process but they should not be the main cause of a rushed office relocation.

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DJ McGauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Relocation, Design, Reconstruction and Reconfiguration Project Management Company of choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If an office relocation or reconstruction of your 2000 – 25,000sqft office space is a remote possibility, consider contacting us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. We guarantee that by the end of that meeting you will know all that would be required to make your office relocation/reconstruction project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931 , email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com, or visit our website to complete our contact form.

Why Your Employees Should Not Manage Your Office Move

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Stressful office moveOne of my clients recently moved to a new office building and in an attempt to save on moving costs, decided to have members of their staff coordinate the office move.

The next business day after the move was complete, the employees went into the office only to find that their phone lines were not working– someone forgot to contact the phone company to inform them of their move date. As a result, employees were forced to use their personal cellphones to conduct business.

In addition, they found out that all the company mail was still going to their old location — someone forgot to contact the postal service and alert them of both the move date and the change of address. So, the receptionist took two to three hours out of her work day to travel back to the old office location to retrieve the mail and distribute it to the staff accordingly for an entire week.

Is this a question of incompetency of the staff assigned to coordinate the office move? Hardly! They are experts in performing the job they were hired to do….which I bet was not to coordinate an office move.

Having company staff coordinate such a demanding project as an office move, I believe, is an incompetent decision. Here are four reasons why:

  1. An office move is a full-time project. From coordinating the move date with all stakeholders and third parties, to planning and implementing a communication strategy with all parties involved, to working with all utility companies, postal services and all other external services your company relies on to stay operational, plus working with construction managers if the new site requires reconstruction, the furniture movers, the moving truck and on-site lease managers, an office move could be considered a full-time contractual job.

 

  1. Unless you are a moving company, your staff would most likely not be trained to know and handle every detail of an office move.

 

  1. Your staff already fills a 40hr week applying their skills and talents to other duties related to your business operations. Adding an additional full time project to their plate that is not directly related to your business operations would only be a recipe for important details (like not informing the phone company and post office of your office move) being missed and neither job being done well.

 

  1. The thought of saving your company money via using your office staff in an office move is a myth. If five of your staff members were assigned to coordinate the office move and they each earned approximately $300 – $900/day, the cost to you would be $1,500 – $4,500 per day on staff being diverted from their regular business responsibilities. Add the loss of incoming revenue because of missed business opportunities (an estimated average of $ 10,000 per day), and the added cost of mistakes like those described at the beginning of this blog (mobile fees, extra mileage expense payouts), and you have an idea of how much it really costs to have your staff involved in an office move.

So what is the solution?

If your business is moving into a 2000sqft or more office space, consider finding an office move project management company in your area to take the lead and handle all the details related to your office move. Your company will be better off financially, incur minimal disruption, and enjoy hitting the ground and running once in your new office space.

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DJ McGauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Move, Reconstruction and Reconfiguration Project Management Company of choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If an office move or reconstruction of your 2000 – 25,000sqft office space is a remote possibility, consider contacting us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. We guarantee that by the end of that meeting you will know all that would be required to make your office move/reconstruction project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931 , email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com, or visit our website to complete our contact form.

 

10 Reasons an Office Move is Not Like a House Move

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Office MoveWhether you are moving into a new house or moving into a new office space, a move is a move, right? Well it may seem like that on the surface, especially when some of what needs to be done in both an office move and a residential move is the same (e.g. arrange change of address, pack, call the phone company, etc). In comparison, however, an office move has a much greater impact and greater risks associated with it, so it cannot be fully treated the same way as a residential move.

There are many factors that effect and that are affected by an office move that may have minimal to no effect in a house move. Some of those factors are outlined in the chart below:

A House Move… An Office Move…
1. Impacts a family unit Impacts 5 – 25000 + employees
2. Causes a mild interruption to family life Can cause a major interruption to all employees
3. The cost of making a mistake (e.g. forgetting to arrange the forwarding of the mail) is minimal The cost of making a mistake (e.g. forgetting to arrange the forwarding of the mail) could have a significant impact regular business operations
4. Minimal to no effect on incoming household income Possibility of significant revenue being lost due to regular operations being disrupted and sales opportunities being missed
5. Minimal moving expenses (i.e. expenses can be limited to renting a moving truck and having friends help load and unload for a pizza meal) Moving expenses being limited to renting a moving truck means higher expenses incurred by company to pay employees and disrupt regular business operations
6. No strict packing rules – items can be packed in irregular sized boxes Strict packing rule – all items must be packed in boxes of the same dimensions to facilitate easy stacking in the truck
7. One family member can take time off of work to focus on the move on moving day One staff member can be assigned to coordinate the office move but will be unfocused as that staff member would also be expected to fulfill his/her regular 40hr/week business duties
8. No operating expenses involved in family life Organizations are obligated to pay staff even if their attention is diverted away from performing regular business duties
9. Lead time required for a successful move is two months Lead time required for a successful move is two years
10. DIY approach can work successfully DIY approach is not recommended

These issues will be discussed in more detail in upcoming blogs. In the meantime, if your company has five or more employees and is planning to move into a 2000sqft – 25000sqft office space, why not contact us to arrange a 20-minute no-obligation site meeting. We’ll be able to advise you on what to expect, what to budget and how we can help.

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DJ McGauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Move, Reconstruction and Reconfiguration Project Management Company of choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If an office move or reconstruction of your 2000 – 25,000sqft office space is a remote possibility, consider contacting us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. We guarantee that by the end of that meeting you will know all that would be required to make your office move/reconstruction project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931 , email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com, or visit our website to complete our contact form.

7 Things To Know Before Your Next Office Move

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York Street Toronto

 

Your organization is outgrowing your current office space, so much so that an office move into a 2000sqft to 25000sqft office space is very possible. If this describes your organization, then there are a few things you should know before you plan your next office move.

  1. An office move should not be treated like a Do-it-Yourself project. Compared to a residential move, an office move can be more involving in terms of getting your equipment, computer and communications systems up and running so that your business can function optimally. Thus, it would be wise to consider seeking the help of a professional office move management company that can help take care of such details for you.
  2. A successful office move is one that is planned two years in advanced.
  1. An office move represents change and could add significant disruption and stress to your staff of five or more, so empower your staff by implementing an organizational communications plan.
  1. Having your staff be responsible for packing up the office up will not save you any money. If you compare the total of your staff’s daily wages to the cost of utilizing a professional office move company for a day, you will find that using your staff to pack up your office actually costs you more money than using a professional moving company to do the same.
  1. If your original office furniture was purchased from IKEA, it may not make it through an office move. Consider purchasing industrial-grade office furniture for your new office space.
  1. The planning of your new office space needs to be based on the actual (not assumed) measurements of both the office space and your office furniture.
  1. The smallest details in an office move such as informing the postal service of your new address and effective move date, could have the biggest impact on your business operations.

I’ll share some real stories related to the above in upcoming blogs. In the meantime, if an office move into a 2000sqft to 25000sqft office space is in your short-term future, why not contact us to arrange a 20-minute no-obligation meeting. We’ll be able to advise you on what to expect, what to budget and how we can help.  Call us at 416-239-1931, email us at info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com or submit your queries on our Contact Form.

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DJ McGauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Move, Reconstruction and Reconfiguration Project Management Company of choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If an office move or reconstruction of your 2000 – 25,000sqft office space is a remote possibility, consider contacting us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. We guarantee that by the end of that meeting you will know all that would be required to make your office move/reconstruction project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931 , email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com, or visit our website to complete our contact form.

 

Good Project Managers Sweat the Details

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Project Manager Checklist
Checklist for any Office Move or Office Renovation

Have you ever looked at your office space and thought, “I think the kitchen/kitchenette area would look better and serve our staff more conveniently if it was shifted over a few feet”? Or maybe, “it should only take a few days to move into our brand new office space and be fully operational by Monday”? If you have, then you need a good project manager take care of the details and make it happen.

What is a good project manager”? Well for an office move, renovation or reconfiguration, a good project manager is one that looks at a project and thinks about all the details that no one else would think of to get from the project’s starting point to its desired end.

For example, my client that wanted the office’s kitchen area moved over approximately 50ft was surprised when I quoted her the estimated cost of $50,000 and responded, “Can’t you just unplug the kitchen unit from here, cut an outlet and plug it back into the new spot?”   What she didn’t realize is that her request would require some extensive reconstruction and rewiring behind the wall before a new outlet could be created and her kitchen area successfully moved over the 50ft.

A good project manager sweats the details so that neither you nor your staff has to. In an office move, for example, a good project manager would call in, coordinate and manage all the necessary engineers and construction professionals to

  • wire or rewire the electrical to PEng standards to better suit your business needs,
  • build new offices or take down walls to create an open office space,
  • install and test phone and data lines to accommodate complex phone systems, computer servers and connections to and from each planned work station,
  • activate utilities
  • dismantle and reassemble workstations
  • pack and move furniture
  • check and change all florescent light fixtures
  • paint
  • clean, shampoo the carpets, polish the floors, and wash the windows
  • ensure office temperature is optimal for your staff and equipment

So, if an office move or reconstruction of your 2000 – 25,000sqft office space is a remote consideration, don’t sweat it.  Instead let an office move/office reconstruction project manager sweat the details for you.

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DJ McGauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Move, Reconstruction and Reconfiguration Project Management Company of choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If an office move or reconstruction of your 2000 – 25,000sqft office space is a remote consideration, consider contacting us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. We guarantee that by the end of that meeting you will know all that would be required to make your office move/reconstruction project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931 , email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com, or visit our website to complete our contact form.

 

Avoiding the Inadequate Phone Service Post-Move Growing Pain

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If there is one thing a business does not need after moving into a new office space, it is an inactive or inadequate phone service.

The lack of a phone service could mean one of two things:

  1. The phone lines at the new location have not been activated, a result of either
    1. the phone service provider not being aware of your intent to move (which, believe it or not, is quite often the case),
    2. extenuating circumstances rendering the existing phone lines to be temporarily inoperative , or
    3. the lines simply do not exist
  2. The existing phone lines do not have enough capacity to meet your particular business needs

Regardless of the reason, ensuring your new office space has adequate phone service upon move-in requires adding the following to your pre-moving plans:

Have either a member of your organization or a representative of your third party Office Move Management Team contact the local phone service provider to inform them of the following:

  1. Your intent to occupy a new location,
  2. The future address,
  3. The move date, and
  4. Any specific phone service needs that will be required on your new site (e.g. phone lines must accommodate an additional number of phones for new staff members joining after the move date).

We typically recommend that the above be done at least two months prior to your move-in date. That way, your phone service provider has enough time to either ensure the phone lines servicing the new site exist and are adequate to meet your business needs, or, if necessary, schedule a technician(s) to install extra lines and ensure they are activated on your move date. It will also give you an opportunity to reconfirm the scheduling of phone service activity one month and then two weeks prior to your move date.

So, avoid the aggravation. Making sure adequate phone service is activated when you need it is just one more step towards minimizing disruption to your business operations and maximizing the opportunity for your business’ success.

Avoiding Post-Office Relocation “Growing Pains” – Ask the Right Questions

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Ok. So in one of my previous blogs, I pointed out seven post office relocation “growing pains” to avoid, namely

(1)          Insufficient office space to facilitate growth

(2)          Insufficient electrical outlets and/or voltage for office equipment

(3)          Noisy or disruptive heating/cooling system

(4)          Telecommunications limited or not activated at new site

(5)          Insufficient internet services available for your business needs

(6)          Lack of transportation options for staff to get to the new location

(7)          Lack of parking available

 

One strategy to avoiding the above is by asking and answering the right questions.

  • How much staff and equipment do you currently have?
  • How many additional staff do you foresee hiring within the next five years? What about equipment?
  • Do any of your staff need closed-in offices? How many will be in cubicles?
  • What about meeting rooms, lunch areas, storage areas?—how many would your organization need?

 

Your answers to the above questions multiplied by the knowledge that the standard space allotted to each room or staff member ranges from approximately 36 sq.ft (for a small cubicle) to 300 sq ft (for a large office) can help determine the ideal size of your office space should be in order to meet your current and future business needs.

Some office environment questions you may want ask include,

  • Is that heating/cooling system noisy or quiet?
  • What about windows – are there a lot or very little?

 

Why these questions? Background noises such as the low hum of a heating or cooling system could prove to be quite distracting especially if your organization regularly conducts meetings via conference calls, webcast or Skype. As for the windows, studies have shown that employees tend to work more productively if they are able to see the outside from their work areas.

Here are some more questions you may want to consider regarding the geographic location:

  • Outside of walking or driving a personal vehicle, is the potential new location easily accessible by public transit?
  • Are there a variety of eateries, post offices, and other services nearby that would be complimentary to the function of your business ?

Finally, to avoid technological “growing pains”, one should seek answers to the following questions:

  • How many outlets are available for your equipment?
  • What about your telecommunication needs such as telephone, internet availability? Can the telecommunication services in the new area accommodate your company’s current and future telecommunication needs?

It can be easily overlooked, but I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for businesses to actually know what their organization needs in relation to their office space to function effectively. Asking the right questions, and aiming to get the right answers is a step closer to helping your business hit the ground running once your office move is complete.

5 Tips On Avoiding the Post-Office Relocation “Growing Pain” of Insufficient Office Space

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There is probably nothing more frustrating than moving into an office space that is insufficient in meeting your current and/or your future business needs. Avoiding this dilemma requires some proactive planning.

First, you need to know what you are starting with and what you want to end up with by the end of the lease term. You can do this by

  1. Acknowledging what you have and/or need in the short term (staff wise and equipment-wise)
  2. Having a five-year business plan that details anticipated changes in staff and equipment

 

Second, take measurements of all the office furniture and office equipment you plan to move into your new office space in the short term. With this information, you will be able to accurately plan the layout of your new office space based on actual rather than assumed information related to your office furniture and equipment.

Third, consider your staff (current and future) and the type of work spaces they will need to function most effectively. How many will need to be in collaborative workstations? How many will need closed-in offices? What about meeting rooms, lunch areas, storage areas?—how many would your organization need? Your answers to these questions multiplied by the knowledge that the standard space allotted to each room or staff member ranges from approximately 36 sq.ft (for a small cubicle) to 300 sq ft (for a large office) can help determine the total ideal size your new office space should be in order to meet your current and future business needs.

Fourth, when checking out a potential office space, walk with a measuring device and use it to document the square footage (or square metres) of the office space. If the office space is somewhat irregular in shape, then take note of wall lengths and heights and the angles these walls create when they meet.

Finally, before signing any lease agreements, take all the information from the previous steps and create basic office space design layout. This can be done either by using design software or on paper with 2-dimensional cut-outs representing the office furniture and equipment, or you can have a professional office space planner provide one for you if you do not have the time or resources to do this yourself. Having a visual of each potential office space can help you determine which space would be optimal for your business. Just make sure your office space layout is to scale so that your decision is an accurate one.

There are other factors to consider when choosing the right office space such as electrical and internet capacity, but following the above can at least help ensure that your next office space is the right size to facilitate your current and future business operations.

7 Post-Office Relocation “Growing Pains” To Avoid

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An office relocation can be quite exciting, especially for a company going through an expansion or just taking the next step to being a bigger player in its marketplace. But with growth comes various types of “growing pains” – some involving the productivity of employees, others relating to the existing physical and technical aspects of the actual office space. While there are many organizational management strategies in place to help the employees through an office expansion, very few businesses have a proactive strategy in place to deal with office space related issues…so I’d like to suggest a few.

First, if your organization is even thinking about going through office relocation, please take into consideration the following:

  • Your company’s current and future business goals
  • The physical and technological aspects a potential office space needs to have in order to best meet your current and future business goals

I can’t even count the number of companies that did not take the time to do the above but instead rushed into a relocation only to encounter one or more of the following problems:

  • Insufficient office space to facilitate growth
  • Insufficient electrical outlets and/or voltage for office equipment
  • Noisy or disruptive heating/cooling system
  • Telecommunications limited or not activated at new site
  • Insufficient internet services available for business needs
  • Lack of transportation options for staff to get to the new location
  • Lack of parking available

All of the above could be avoided by simply taking a proactive approach to your relocation project. That is why over the next few blogs, I will outline more proactive strategies your relocation team can put into effect for each of the above problems even before your organization begins considering a new office space.

Watch for more blogs in the coming weeks!