Back in June 2020, an unprecedented 4.3 million Aussies — roughly one-third of the working population — were carrying out their jobs from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to market research firm Roy Morgan. With companies large and small embracing the work-from-home model for the foreseeable future, the question of what to do with that empty office space becomes a puzzling logistical problem.
When it comes to planning a business relocation, one of the biggest challenges can be what to do with office furniture and equipment.
If your organisation is considering downsizing your office arrangements or ditching the office altogether, here are several effective ways to get rid of office furniture, reduce business relocation stress and make the transition as easy as possible.
Create an office inventory
Taking an office inventory is an important first step, whether you want to sell, donate or keep the office furniture and equipment. This way, you can be clear about what items the company has in its possession.
Having someone take photographs, document the condition of the piece and record its dimensions is a helpful way to determine how much each piece might be worth and ensure it finds a good home.
Sell your unwanted office furniture
If your office furniture and other assets are in salable condition, you can sell them to help recoup some of the year’s lost earnings. Once you have photos of and information about each item, you can share these details with prospective buyers.
Who could these prospective buyers be? Well, one place to start is with your employees. Employees might be interested in upgrading their home offices with an ergonomic chair or sit-stand desk at a steep discount. Just be sure to create an equitable sales process so all staff have a fair shot, and set the prices low with the understanding that your staff are doing the company a favour by taking these unwanted items off your hands.
After that, you might contact a local furniture reseller to find out if they’d be willing to take everything off your hands for a reasonable price. As a last resort, try listing your items online through a marketplace sales platform.
Donate the furniture to a local business or charity
An office furniture donation could be a major help to community organisations that don’t have the resources to furnish their workspaces with brand new, high-quality items.
Seek out local businesses that could use the furniture and equipment your company no longer needs. Or, find a charitable organisation that accepts those sorts of large donations. For example, you might partner with a nonprofit that resells furniture and uses the money from each sale to fund social welfare programs. Find out what the organisation’s process is for removing the items or accepting them at a dropoff centre.
Coordinate how and when the items can be taken off the premises
When selling or donating your old office furniture, establish a clear logistical plan with the new owner. Since heavy desks and conference room chairs can be difficult to move, and access to your office may be limited, be clear about how and when the pieces should be transported off the premises.
For instance, you might ask employees to pick up any furniture items they’ve purchased. But, if the building is secured after-hours, make sure they have keys to enter and lock up the office. If there’s someone else picking up your office gear, you’ll likely need to have an employee or building manager onsite to let them in and out of the space.
Keep in mind that lifting and moving heavy pieces of furniture and technology can pose serious risks. If the individuals who will be doing this are not insured professionals, it would be wise to have them sign a waiver releasing your company from any liability. Or, as a contingency of the sale, you might require that any items must be removed from the office by a team of professionals.
Dispose of old office furniture responsibly
If you’re left with unwanted office furniture that simply isn’t in a condition to sell or donate, you may need to dispose of those items — but do so responsibly. If you leave an entire office worth of desks and chairs out on the street without notifying your local waste collection authorities, you could be charged a fine.
Instead, call ahead to coordinate a bulk waste pick-up. Or, contact a local tip or scrap yard to find out how you can safely dispose of these types of items. Keep in mind that large pieces of technological equipment will need to be disposed of in a nonhazardous way, and a bulk pickup service may cost your company.
Or, leave it all to a team of professionals
All of these options can require some heavy lifting, in all senses. Especially with organisational leaders and employees working from home, these methods may not be practical for all companies and circumstances. That’s where a professional business relocation service provider can step in to eliminate all the hassle and streamline the entire moving process.
With Allied, you’ll have access to a wide range of commercial moving services catered to your business needs. Whether you’re attempting to move a handful of hefty desks or an entire health care centre, our specialist removalists can take care of all the details.
Moreover, our experienced IT team will help your company get your systems started up, should you decide to move to a smaller office space where you’ll need to get up and running quickly. If your business relocation isn’t quite as clear-cut, we can also provide secure storage and asset management services to provide you with peace of mind and full visibility during the interim phase.
Finally, since project management is critical to ensuring a seamless move, we’ll provide you with a detailed, tailor-made operational plan for your business relocation. Throughout the whole process, you’ll have a single point of contact to reach out to with any questions or concerns, who can help adapt your business relocation strategy as new needs arise.