According to Statista.com, “Almost one quarter of all businesses have temporarily closed or paused trading due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the United Kingdom as of April 2020.”
As a result of this, many businesses have down-scaled offices, drastically accelerating the ‘work from home’ trend that had started to take root in more progressive organisations. The need for office clearance has never been higher and there are myriad factors and infrastructure to consider. If you’re facing down a large-scale office clearance, and can’t shake the feeling you’ve overlooked something, this step-by-step guide will help you get your head around what needs doing.
An inventory to remember
Get on your feet and get ready to count. Furniture, laptops, cables; everything needs to be itemised, counted and qualified. You need to know what stays and what goes.
Your infrastructure and materials are likely to be a mix of owned and leased equipment. You need to ensure the right items go back to the right suppliers in the right state. A robust inventory is essential to ensure you aren’t subject to financial penalties.
Organise and arrange
Now that you know what you have, it’s time to sort out where it’s going. You will need to arrange for collection for any leased items and organise for when to move out the rest. While there are many businesses who assist with all the different aspects of a move, this is where it can be beneficial to be working with a single service provider.
There’s enough on the go that having to stay in touch and organise the movements of several service providers can be unneeded stress. Dealing with a single point of contact who can take care of not just the admin, but also organising and removing assets
While you may be able to get value from the resale of the IT equipment you own and no longer need, unfortunately, second-hand office furniture is unlikely to have value.. If you’re planning to set up your next office with new kit, you can’t count on getting much back for the resale of your office furniture.
Rather than trying to get some small value out of your equipment – or even paying dearly to get it removed – there are some fantastic charities that will collect and redistribute your unneeded items. We’re personally big fans of Waste To Wonder, who enhance educational opportunities for disadvantaged communities around the world.
When disposing of or clearing out IT assets you have to be considerate of waste regulations. For example, in the UK if equipment cannot be salvaged or resold it needs to be disposed of in accordance with waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) guidelines, which can be found here.
There’s a minefield of waste disposal legislation to pick your way through when dealing with IT assets. Again, this is why it’s essential to engage a reputable IT asset disposal company that can handle all aspects of the project – from removal to destruction. Ultimately, you will be liable for any contraventions, so you need to have total confidence in your IT disposal partner.
Get your move on
I’s have been dotted, the T’s have been crossed. It’s time to make the move. Before you turn off the lights and hand over the keys; are you sure you’ve left the office in the way the landlord expects to find it? If you’ve used drywall to partition spaces, or shifted cabling, it may be part of your agreement to return the place in the exact same state as when you first took occupation. Check through your agreement to ensure you’ve met all the requirements.
If that’s all sorted, then you can proceed with shifting everything out. An office move or closure is not necessarily cheap, but there are ways you can mitigate the expense.
One way to offset the costs of a move and office set up is through the resale of your previous IT equipment. If you have engaged an expert IT asset disposal company, they may be able to wipe and destroy data on devices, refurbish them and resell them and then depending on the condition of the gear, return some of that value to you either as credit with them or they will offset it against the cost of the removal. Depending on the state of your equipment, it can have a significant saving on the cost of the project as a whole.
Putting it all together
So to summarise, the four key steps you should keep in mind for any office clearance are:
- Create an inventory
- Confirm landlord requirements
- Arrange collection
- Check regulations
- Schedule collections
It seems simple when written out, but it quickly gets complicated when it comes to execution. That’s where we come in. As a one-stop, value added reseller, we can step in and manage every aspect of your office clearance from an IT perspective and possibly return some value from the resale of equipment that is no longer needed.
If you’re wondering where to start with your office clearance, or just need advice around IT asset disposal and infrastructure, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 (0)203 0922 787.